As warm weather begins and we look towards some nice cool refreshments we are often led to eating fruit and fruit based dishes.
The added water and cooling effects of fruits such as pineapple are well known among humans but what about dogs?
There are many fruits that dogs can eat and enjoy but is pineapple a good choice and is it safe for dogs to eat?
It is safe for your dog to eat pineapple but you’ll need to remember that your dog is a carnivore and too much fruit, such as pineapple, can be bad for him and can make him gain weight. In small quantities raw pineapple can be a nice treat for your dog, particularly in warm weather when he will enjoy it.
Are there any benefits to giving pineapple to your dog?
In small quantities pineapple is safe for dogs and can have some benefits.
Pineapple contains a moderate quantity of vitamin C which can help boost your dog’s immune system.
Vitamin C also helps to prevent skin infections in dogs so feeding them pineapple may reduce the risk of skin problems developing.
Pineapple is a wonderful source of manganese, vitamin B1, vitamin B6 and dietary fibre.
Manganese helps with normal bone formation while also breaking down protein, fat and carbohydrates into usable energy for your dog.
Vitamin B1 helps to convert food into energy while vitamins B6 are essential for the proper development of red blood cells.
Dietary fibre is important in removing waste from your dog’s system and a more efficient digestive system can help promote a more active lifestyle.
Pineapple also contains phosphorus, copper, magnesium and potassium while being low in saturated fat and sodium which is important for your dog’s heart health.
Are there any side effects to feeding him pineapple?
There are some side effects associated with giving your dog pineapple and they should be taken into account.
Pineapple contains lots of sugar which can be problematic for dogs who are not ‘designed’ to deal with high levels of sugar.
For this reason it is important that you only feed pineapple in small quantities and that this is not done often.
For the same reason you should only feed natural, raw pineapple and avoid any canned versions of the product.
Canned pineapple often contains added or concentrated amounts of sugar and should not be given to dogs.
How can I safely feed my dog pineapple?
You should be able to feed your dog a little raw pineapple without any concerns however you should not make it a regular event.
If you want to give your dog a treat of some pineapple then the best way to do this is by peeling the skin from the fruit and grating a small quantity of fresh, raw pineapple.
You can then mix this in with his regular food which will allow the pineapple to be digested more easily by your dog.
Grating the fruit helps to make it more palatable to your dog and also makes it easier to mix into his dog food.
You should look to only give one or two tablespoons of this mixture to your dog each time you feed it to him.
For a small dog this may only be four or five teaspoons but for a medium sized dog you could aim for around one and a half tablespoons while larger dogs should have no more than two tablespoons of the mixture.
Is too much pineapple bad for dogs?
As with many foods there can be problems associated with giving your dog too much pineapple.
Too much fruit, in general, can lead to weight gain in dogs which will have a negative impact on his health and energy levels.
Pineapple is high in sugar so if you are giving your dog too much pineapple then the weight gain may be even more pronounced.
Too much sugar can also lead to tooth decay so it is important to ensure that any food given to your dog has minimal risk of causing dental problems.
Although in moderation pineapple is safe for dogs there are some side effects and risks associated with feeding your dog too much, so it should not be fed regularly.
It is important to only feed you dog ‘fresh’ pineapple without any added sugar or syrup which may be found in canned pineapple.
You should also avoid giving your dog any core or skin portions of the fruit as this is can cause problems if consumed by your dog.
As with all foods you should ensure that you only give your dog pineapple occasionally and not on a regular basis.
This will help you to keep risks low while still allowing your dog to enjoy this delicious fruit as a treat.
It goes without saying that you should always seek the professional advice of your vet before changing your dog’s diet or if you have any concerns about his health.