Pineapples are one of the most versatile fruits you can roast, blend, saute, or enjoy fresh. But you might not know that pineapples are more than just a delicious tropical fruit as they offer a wide range of significant health benefits.
They’re loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that can help boost our immunity and reduce the risk of many diseases and health conditions. But is this super delicious and healthy fruit safe for our dog?
The good news is that it’s completely safe for dogs to eat pineapple in small amounts. But as a pet owner, you should be cautious about a few things before incorporating this fruit into your dog’s diet. We’ll discuss all these precautions and various ways in which you can feed pineapples to your dog, in this article.
But before that let’s start by understanding the various health benefits of feeding pineapples to our dogs.
5 Interesting Health Benefits of Feeding Pineapples to Dogs
Below are the 5 amazing health benefits of pineapples for a dog:
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Pineapples are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds that can boost a dog’s immune system and help them fight against the harmful effects of free radicals.
Additionally, pineapples exclusively contain bromelain which is a proteolytic enzyme that acts as an antioxidant.
It's important that you add such antioxidant-rich fruits to your dog's diet to protect their body from oxidation and various other health conditions including respiratory diseases, allergies, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, and heart diseases.
2. Aids Digestion
Pineapples contain a high amount of dietary fiber which can be good for a dog’s digestive system when fed in moderation. It can aid in bowel regularity and help prevent constipation.
Fiber is also helpful in improving the dog’s gut health by supporting the growth of good bacteria and inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria in your dog’s intestine.
But if your dog is already getting enough fiber from their current diet or they aren’t used to a fiber-rich diet, start with very small amounts of pineapple first. If they face any stomach-related issues like vomiting or diarrhea, stop immediately and talk to your veterinarian to determine your dog’s dietary needs.
3. Provides Many Vitamins
Pineapples offer a wide variety of vitamins that can help support your dog’s overall health. It’s particularly rich in vitamin C which is also an important antioxidant that helps boost your dog’s immune health, support healthy aging, and reduce inflammation.
In addition to that, pineapples also contain B complex vitamins including Thiamine (B1), vitamin B6, Folate, Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), and Pantothenic acid (B5). They all affect different parts of a dog’s body and together help support proper nutrient absorption, immune health, brain function, and red blood cell production.
4. Loaded With Minerals
Pineapples are also rich in minerals, especially manganese. It’s a mineral required for the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates and it helps maintain healthy bones and cartilage in joints.
It’s also important to note that manganese isn’t produced naturally by a dog’s body and is therefore obtained through food or supplements. Thus fruits like pineapples can help fulfill your dog's manganese requirements.
Apart from that, pineapples can also provide a small amount of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
5. Provides Hydration
Pineapples contain around 86% of water which makes them an ideal treat option for summer. You can serve raw pineapple chunks to your pup after a play session or a walk. It’ll help rehydrate their body while providing nourishment to their organs.
But remember that pineapples aren’t enough for your dog, you need to ensure they’re drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration, especially during summer.
How to Safely Feed Your Dog Pineapple
Pineapples are an incredibly delicious fruit that has a sweet and tarty taste. It’s mostly loved by our dogs but it’s important not to go overboard as too much of this fruit (or almost anything) could be harmful to their health.
Remember that pineapples are rich in fiber and they contain a lot of natural sugars. Thus you need to be mindful of the portion sizes and serve only a few small chunks of pineapple to your pup.
Below are some simple and fun ways in which you can incorporate this fruit into your dog’s diet.
- Cut up raw and fresh pineapple into small bite-size chunks and serve as a treat
- Use small pineapple chunks as a food topper
- Puree some pineapple, mix with some dog-friendly yogurt and freeze in small ice cube trays before serving
- Directly freeze some pineapple chunks and serve on a hot summer day
- Make fresh pineapple juice without adding any other ingredients or seasoning
To determine how many pineapple chunks you can safely feed your dog either consult with your veterinarian or follow the 90/10 rule. It states that 90% of the calories your dog eats should come from a complete and balanced diet and the remaining 10% from treats like pineapple.
Some Precautions While Feeding Pineapples to Your Dog
Pineapples are safe and nutritious fruit but you should be careful about a few things while introducing any new food into your dog’s diet.
Below are a few things you should be aware of before feeding pineapple to your dog.
1. Only Feed in Small Quantities
Pineapple contains a lot of fiber and sugar which can be harmful in large amounts. If too much is eaten, it can have many immediate side effects like an upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. While the sugar content can lead to obesity and diabetes in the long run.
To avoid such situations, stick to only a few chunks of pineapple occasionally. Also, keep an eye out for any unwanted reaction when feeding pineapples for the first time. If it causes any stomach issues, stop immediately and switch to a low-fiber dog-friendly fruit or treat.
2. Don’t Feed the Core or Skin
Your dog cannot chew and digest the tough core of the pineapple. It can even be a choking hazard or cause severe obstructions in the digestive tract of a small pup. Thus it’s advised to avoid feeding the core to your dog and stick to the soft fleshy part of the fruit.
The same goes for the spikey skin and leaves of pineapples. They are tough and sharp and can easily cause tears or other major internal damage to the dog’s mouth, esophagus, or intestines.
3. Avoid Canned Pineapples
Most vets advise that raw and fresh pineapples are the best for your dogs. Any other processed or packed alternatives especially canned pineapples contain unnaturally high sugar content which, in the long term, can be dangerous for our dog’s health.
You have the option to feed dried or dehydrated pineapples to your dog but make sure they’re tender and they don’t contain any additional ingredients. Dried pineapples made for human consumption often contain seasonings, artificial flavors, and sugars that can be harmful to a dog.
4. Monitor for Allergies
Although it’s rare, your dog can still be allergic or sensitive to pineapples. If you’re feeding them this fruit for the first time, start with a small quantity and monitor their reaction for 24-48 hours.
Look out for any of the following signs of an allergic reaction:
- Upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting
- Excessive licking or scratching
- Continuous sneezing
- Red or inflamed skin
- Swelling around the face, eyes, or ears
- Itchy ears or ear infections
- Itchy or runny eyes
If you notice any of these signs of an allergic reaction, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Pineapple is a safe and delicious fruit that can provide many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to our dogs. Its high fiber content can also be extremely beneficial for dogs who suffer from digestive issues and constipation.
But to actually reap the benefits without any risks, you should monitor the portion sizes. You should consider pineapples as a treat that is occasionally served in small amounts.
If you still have any doubts, consider consulting with a veterinarian before adding pineapples to your dog’s diet.
Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about feeding pineapples to a dog:
1. Can my dog eat canned pineapple?
No, dogs shouldn’t eat canned pineapples as they contain unnaturally high levels of sugars which can be harmful to their health over a period of time but can cause immediate stomach aches.
2. How much pineapple can a dog eat?
The exact amount of pineapples a dog can eat depends on their age, weight, health conditions, and dietary requirements. Ideally, you should only feed a few small chunks of fresh pineapple to your dog occasionally.
Due to its high fiber and sugar content, most vets advise against feeding large amounts of pineapples every day.
If you’re skeptical, you should consult with a veterinarian to determine how much pineapple you can feed to your pup.
3. Can a dog eat pineapple when they have diarrhea?
You shouldn’t feed pineapple to your dog when they have diarrhea as its high fiber content can make the situation worse.
Also, if the diarrhea is persistent you should consult with your veterinarian to find the underlying cause.