How Many Apricot Pits Are Lethal To Dogs?

While walking in your orchard, you may have come across some ripe apricots on the ground.

However, before you pick and take them home, your furry friend reaches for one.

You quickly stop your dog but are left wondering: can dogs eat apricot pits safely?

So, how many apricot pits are lethal to dogs?

The number of apricot pits that are lethal to dogs varies depending on the size of your dog.

For example, for a small dog, it may only take 1-2 apricot pits to suffer from toxicity, while a large dog may be able to eat several without any adverse effects.

However, it is always best to exercise caution and keep your furry friend away from this fruit.

This article will explore the dangerous truth about apricots and their pits.

We will also provide some tips on how to keep your dog safe if they have eaten an apricot pit.


Can I Feed My Dog Appricot Pits?

Feeding apricot to your dog is generally safe in small quantities.

However, the pit of this fruit contains cyanogenic glycosides, which release cyanide when metabolized.

Cyanide interferes with oxygen uptake in cells and can lead to cell death.

In large quantities, it’s fatal.

While the flesh of the apricot isn’t toxic to dogs, the pits contain a small amount of cyanide.

If your dog ingests an apricot pit, it may experience vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and difficulty breathing.

In severe cases, it can lead to collapse and death.

How Many Apricot Pits Are Lethal To Dogs

What is Apricot Toxicity?

Apricot poisoning in dogs happens when they eat the pits or large quantities of the fruit.

The poison is found in the seeds of the fruit, which contain amygdalin.

When metabolized, this substance turns into cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs.

Symptoms of Apricot Toxicity in Dogs

The symptoms of apricot toxicity depend on how much of the fruit your dog has eaten.

If your dog has only eaten a small amount, it may experience vomiting and diarrhea.

However, the symptoms can be much more severe if it has eaten a large quantity.

It takes 15 minutes or a few hours for the symptoms to develop after eating the apricot.

Some of the symptoms of apricot toxicity include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Convulsions which can lead to death
  • Weakness
  • Bloody stools
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Collapse
  • Watery eyes
  • Drooling
  • Aggression
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Spasms of different limbs.

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately.

Apricot toxicity can be fatal if left untreated.

What Causes Apricot Toxicity in Dogs?

When your dog eats the apricot, the amygdalin in the pit is metabolized into cyanide.

Cyanide inhibits oxygen uptake in cells, which can lead to cell death.

Apricot poisoning in dogs occurs in the following ways:

  • Inhalation of cyanide fumes
  • Direct contact with skin or mucous membranes
  • Tissue death due to reduced oxygen supply
  • Organs such as the heart and brain may fail or collapse
  • Cyanide is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.

How is Apricot Toxicity Diagnosed in Dogs?

Perhaps your dog ate an apricot, and now you are worried.

The first step is to contact your veterinarian.

They will ask you about your dog’s symptoms and medical history.

They may also want to know how much of the fruit your dog consumed and when they ate it.

After taking a history, your veterinarian will perform a physical examination of your dog.

They may also want to do some blood tests and take a urine sample.

These tests help rule out other potential causes of the symptoms and confirm apricot toxicity.

Imaging studies such as x-rays or an ultrasound may also be recommended.

These can help assess organ damage or other abnormalities. 

Moreover, the veterinarian will collect diagnostic specimens of the gut to confirm HCN presence.

Thus, the veterinarian must wear protective gear while collecting specimens, such as a respirator, gloves, and gown.

Trocarization might also be recommended to collect gas and fluid in the stomach.

In this procedure, a needle is inserted into the gut through the skin to collect the gas and fluid.

Moreover, a detection tube can also be placed in the stomach to monitor HCN levels.

How is Apricot Poisoning Treated in Dogs?

Commence treatment immediately after diagnosis to prevent further absorption of HCN.

This stops the bonding of cyanide with cytochrome oxidase enzymes and prevents the further metabolism of amygdalin.

Induce Vomiting

The veterinarian will induce vomiting if the dog has only recently eaten an apricot.

This helps remove as much of the poison from the gut as possible.

Activated charcoal may also be given to bind any remaining poison in the gut and prevent absorption.

Give Plenty of Fluids

Intravenous fluids are given to keep the dog hydrated and support organ function.

The veterinarian will also monitor the dog’s heart rate and blood pressure during treatment.

Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen therapy is used to help reduce tissue damage from lack of oxygen.

This helps improve the overall prognosis.

The veterinarian may also give the dog inhalation therapy with nitrates.

This helps increase oxygen uptake in cells and reduce tissue damage.

Cyanide Antidote

A cyanide antidote may be given if the dog has a high level of cyanide in its blood.

The most common antidote is hydroxocobalamin.

This helps bind with cyanide and reduce its toxicity.

How many Apricot Pits are Lethal to Dogs FAQs

Can dogs eat raw apricot kernels?

Dogs can eat raw apricot kernels in small amounts.

However, they shouldn’t eat too many as this can lead to cyanide poisoning.

Are dried apricots toxic to dogs?

Dried apricots aren’t toxic to dogs. However, they may contain pits that are poisonous to dogs.

Therefore, removing the pits before feeding your dog dried apricots is important.

What are the benefits of apricots pits for dogs?

Apricot pits contain amygdalin, a compound that can be toxic to dogs.
However, some people believe that apricot pits have health benefits for dogs.
These benefits include reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system.


Apricot pits are poisonous to dogs and can cause cyanide poisoning.

If you think your dog has eaten an apricot pit, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately.

Treatment is typically started with induced vomiting and intravenous fluids.

In severe cases, a cyanide antidote is administered.

With prompt treatment, most dogs recover from apricot poisoning without any long-term effects.

Megan Turner

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