Can Dogs Eat Pineapple? Our Vet Weighs In
-Pineapple can be a great natural source of vitamins and fibre for your dog, and it helps them stay well hydrated.
-The soft flesh of the pineapple is safe for dogs to eat, but they shouldn’t eat the skin, leaves or tough core.
-You should still limit the amount of pineapple your dog consumes as too much can cause problems
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a chunk of pineapple on a hot summer day and this tropical fruit is a popular favourite at a picnic, but can we feed pineapple to dogs and is it safe to do so?
Yes, pineapple is perfectly safe to feed to dogs, but it is important to only give in moderation. This succulent fruit has a high sugar content and so can cause issues such as obesity, and there are parts of the fruit that should be avoided. However, when fed as part of a balanced diet, pineapple can be a refreshing treat that has a host of health benefits.
Which parts of the pineapple can dogs eat?
Hopefully you weren’t thinking of feeding the skin or leaves of a pineapple to your dog, and you should certainly keep them out of dogs-reach. If swallowed, the sharp edges could cause serious damage to your dogs’ digestive tract.
Similarly, you should avoid the tougher centre. It’s very difficult to chew, even for a dog, and can cause blockage to your dogs’ gastrointestinal system. In worst-case scenarios, surgery may even be required to remove such blockages.
The soft fleshy area of the pineapple is the part you’ll want to be feeding your dog, it’s easier to digest and contains many of the vitamins and minerals that your dog will benefit from. I’d recommend cutting it up into small bite-size cubes that won’t get lodged somewhere along your dog’s digestive system.
Is pineapple good for dogs?
Pineapple is full of micronutrients such as vitamin C and B6, and is 86% water, so it is a creative way to keep your dog hydrated, especially on a hot summer day.
Vitamin C is very important in strengthening the immune system, helping to prevent any nasty viruses or bacteria from causing infection. It also plays a role in protecting against heart disease.
Vitamin B6 is essential in many of the body’s chemical reactions, including the manufacture of red blood cells, healthy brain processes and the production of amino acids. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) aids in keeping organs healthy and boosts the cognitive function of your dog.
Minerals such as manganese and potassium are also found in pineapple. Manganese helps your dog digest the protein and carbohydrate in their diet, allowing efficient absorption from their food. Potassium is extremely important for proper nerve function and muscle contraction.
In addition to all these benefits, pineapple is a great source of fibre which aids digestion and efficient bowel movements.
So, as you can see, that’s a long list of benefits. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. Your dog may already be getting most of these micronutrients from their diet and an excessive amount of sugar-rich pineapple can cause problems.
I would recommend only giving pineapple as an occasional treat rather than making it a staple of your dog’s diet. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s overall calorie consumption for the day, and it is important to be vigilant of this.
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When is pineapple bad for dogs?
If it is your first-time feeding pineapple to your dog, be aware of any signs that might indicate it may not agree with them. Some dogs are more sensitive than others so I would always start with a small amount and then wait for 24 hours, monitoring for any adverse side effects. If your dog develops diarrhea or becomes particularly gassy then this may indicate they are struggling to properly digest the fruit and so it may not be the best thing for them.
Similarly feeding too much may result in constipation due to the high fibre content and, in some extreme cases, gastrointestinal blockage that may even require surgery to remove.
As previously mentioned, pineapple is also high in sugar and although a source of natural sugar, too much can cause excessive weight gain and obesity problems. Frequent exposure to sugar may also cause dental disease. Even if you are limiting your dog’s sugar intake, I would strongly suggest implementing a teeth-cleaning routine.
It is also worth noting that in some rare cases, your dog may have a genuine food allergy to pineapple. Symptoms of allergic reaction can range from excessive diarrhea to itchy skin and even anaphylaxis (difficulty breathing). If your dog has a reaction like this, take them to your local vet immediately.
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What about canned pineapple?
Avoid feeding your dog canned fruits like canned pineapple. These products are often packed with syrup that is very high in sugar, which can cause stomach upset and contributes towards obesity.
So, as mentioned before, only feed pineapple in moderation and save it as a sweet healthy treat rather than making it a staple component of their diet.