Q: I know from experience that Labradors can be greedy dogs, but the one I have now beats all others in that. Given the chance, he devours (among many other things) carrots, apples, pears and bananas (which he unzips first). Should fruit-loving Labradors be allowed to carry on or is fruit and veg of this kind bad for them?

Neil says: Clever boy indeed to be skinning his bananas himself! Patience with food such as this is unusual in Labradors. Yes they will eat anything. A Labrador patient of mine recently made a valiant attempt to eat the entire contents of the coal bunker. It took three days of enemas to get it all out. You could say a “miner” issue that became a major problem!

Happily, the items you mention will not, in moderation at least, cause your dog any harm. While apple pips are, in theory, poisonous (as they contain cyanide), very large quantities would need to be consumed regularly to do any damage. Watch out, however, for complacency creeping in and thinking that all fruit and veg is okay. Raisins, grapes, currants, onions and green potatoes are dangerous.

Peach stones and corn on the cob are very common foreign bodies, as they stick tight to the bowel, causing obstruction. Contrary to popular belief, avocados are not toxic to dogs (but don’t give them to your rabbit, bird or horse). The danger with your dog is that he will start to see all these things as food and resort to stealing or raiding the bin so only give him the chance to eat them in a controlled manner!

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