There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a chunk of pineapple on a hot summer day and this tropical fruit is a popular favorite at a picnic, but can we feed pineapple to dogs, and is it safe to do so?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to feed dogs pineapple, 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.
Hopefully, you weren’t thinking of feeding the skin or leaves of 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 center. 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 with your dog’s digestive system.
If your dog were to ingest any of the skin, leaves, or core, you’re a bit lucky if the only issues they’ll have is vomiting or diarrhea. In worst case scenario, they would need an operation to remove the piece of pineapple blocked in their intestinal tract.
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. While it’s mostly water, it doesn’t mean that pineapples are empty calories. Aside from its hydrating properties, it’s rich in antioxidants. These are compounds that help reverse the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that damage the cells and are hosts of diseases.
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, and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
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 carbohydrates in their diet, allowing efficient absorption from their food. Potassium is extremely important for proper nerve function and muscle contraction.
Pineapples also contain an enzyme called bromelain. It’s a powerful enzyme that contains anti-inflammatory properties. It’s believed to be nature’s histamine and helps with skin issues. It’s also been suggested that this compound might help if your dog has the behavior of eating stool. It is believed that the addition of pineapple to your dog’s food makes stool less appealing.
Do note though that while it is suggested, it’s not the full fix if your dog has an unpleasant behavior of eating stool. Eating excrement is a behavioral problem that needs more than just pineapple consumption.
In addition to all these benefits, pineapple is a great source of fiber that 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 about this.
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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 fiber content and, in some extreme cases, a gastrointestinal blockage that may even require surgery to remove.
Generally, fruits contain high sugar content. 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. If your dog already struggles with obesity or diabetes, pineapples are not an appropriate snack for them. 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.
Dried pineapples and other dried fruits has an even higher sugar concentration so those are not recommended as well. Best to consult your vet on what fruits have less sugar for your dog to enjoy.
It is also worth noting that in some rare cases, your dog may have a genuine food allergy to pineapple. Symptoms of an 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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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 to obesity.
If canned pineapples are the only option you have, try to only purchase canned pineapples packed in water instead of sugary syrups. Before giving them to your dog, make sure they are thoroughly rinsed. But, as much as possible, only purchase fresh pineapples and completely avoid canned ones.
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.
To add variation to pineapple as snacks, here are some dog-friendly pineapple recipes you can make at home.
Dogs can eat pineapples, but in moderation and under supervision. Ensure the pieces are cut to a manageable size and have no chance of causing them to choke on it.
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