It is only natural for pet owners to occasionally feed their animal friends a bit of “human food”, but many people eventually come to an important question: can dogs eat pineapple? While there are certain fruits, vegetables and other foods that are appropriate to give your dog, it is crucial that you check before adding any exotic foods to their diet.
Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
Pineapple is not only delicious for humans but also a wonderful treat for your canine friends, provided they only eat fresh pineapple in moderation.
Rich in Nutrients
Pineapple is rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as beneficial antioxidants, many of which can help dogs just as much as humans. This nutrient mixture includes calcium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin C, manganese, iron, magnesium and significant amounts of dietary fiber.
These nutrients can help your dog improve its immune, digestive, circulatory and muscular systems, which is why allowing your dog to have the occasional piece of pineapple is not a bad thing. There are no known toxins in pineapples, and all of the various proteins and nutrients are digestible by canines.
The high level of dietary fiber found in pineapples is excellent for your dog’s digestive system, as it can stimulate bowel movements and improve the nutrient uptake in a dog’s gut. Furthermore, pineapples are rich sources of bromelain, which is a powerful enzyme that can further improve digestive efficiency.
One of the more unusual benefits of dogs eating pineapple is the peculiar smell that pineapples leave behind after being digested. Dogs have a strange and rather disgusting habit of eating their own fecal matter, at times. This is known as coprophagia, and is something that most dog owners would like to eliminate. Research has shown that when dogs eat pineapple, it makes their droppings extremely unpleasant to eat. This is good news for any dog owner who would like to keep their dog’s mouth clean and sanitary.
Is It Safe For Dogs to Eat Pineapple?
As with many “human” foods that can be eaten by dogs, moderation is key. While small amounts of fresh pineapple, removed from the spiny skin, can be good for your dog, eating too much can cause gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea. If these symptoms appear, stop feeding your dog pineapple, and try other approved fruits and vegetables instead.
It is important that you only feed your dog fresh pineapple, as canned or heavily processed pineapple will have less beneficial nutrients (namely bromelain), as well as higher levels of sugar. Although sugar is important for dogs, as they must consume and expend large amounts of energy every day, excessive amounts of sugar can lead to canine obesity, just as it does to humans.
Some canine experts recommend giving your dog up to 10% of their food in the form of treats, which include fresh fruits and vegetables. As with any unusual or foreign food, it is wise to check with your veterinarian before giving it as a treat to your canine companion, particularly if your pet has any ongoing health complications or specific dietary restrictions.