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Is Pineapple Safe for Dogs?
Feeding your dog a small amount of raw pineapple is very safe and also nutritionally beneficial as it contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. As with any new food you introduce to your dog, it’s best to feed a small portion and not overwhelm the dog’s digestive system with new food. Pineapple flesh from a fresh pineapple contains natural sugars that can be tolerated by dogs but canned pineapple contains added syrups and sugars that are not healthy for dogs and can cause major digestive upset. This fresh fruit is relatively high fiber fruit as well which is another reason you want to feed a small portion to your dog. Too much fiber can also cause digestion issues. If your dog reacts poorly to high-sugary foods you will want to avoid feeding pineapple.
You’ll also want to avoid pineapple juice that is store bought as it also typically has added sugar. Stick to pineapple chunks that you scoop from the flesh of the pineapple, or purchase whole skinned chunks from the grocery store. You want to make sure to dice the pineapple into smaller portions to make sure your dog doesn’t eat too much and get an upset stomach.
The parts of the pineapple that humans avoid eating should be avoided by dogs as well. This means to make sure your dog does not eat the pineapple’s rind (skin) or core. The green leafy part on the top of the pineapple should also not be fed to dogs. The pineapple core is too difficult for dogs to digest and therefore should not be fed to avoid digestive upset. The pineapple skin should also be avoided as it’s prickly and scaly. Not only could it cause a blockage in the dog’s digestive system, it could also cause tears and be very painful if the dog ingests. The safest part of the pineapple is the fleshy part that can be enjoyed by both humans and dogs.
What Are the Health Benefits of Pineapple?
Pineapple contains many nutrients that are important for a dog’s overall immune system, digestive system, and general health. Pineapple contains a long list of vitamins and minerals and also digestive enzymes like bromelain which are often used to help battle the bad habit of coprophagia (eating poop). Bromelain is part of the enzymes known as proteases which assist in breaking down protein and aiding in protein absorption as well. Dogs who are prone to malabsorption issues may benefit from enzymes such as bromelain added to their diet. Consult your veterinarian or nutritionist for more advice on this.
I've highlighted some of the nutritional vitamins and minerals found in pineapple below but keep in mind this fruit is also full of many other important minerals including copper, potassium, and magnesium.
- Vitamin C: Is an excellent way to support your dog’s immune system; it can fight free radicals and oxidative stress and keep cells healthy. Pineapple is one of the fruits with the highest Vitamin C content so it’s a great option to give your dog’s body an antioxidant boost!
- Vitamin B6: Is also found in a decent amount in raw pineapple. This water-soluble vitamin is necessary for several bodily functions including protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Vitamin B6 is also important for keeping Fido’s skin, coat, and nails healthy.
- Thiamin: Is a water-soluble B Vitamin that is also known as Vitamin B1. Thiamin is known to have some anti-inflammatory properties and is critical for turning carbohydrates into energy for use in the brain and nervous system.
- Niacin: Is another one of the B Vitamins known as Vitamin B3. Niacin helps keep cholesterol under control, and an extra boost of this vitamin can help arthritis pain and boost brain function.
- Riboflavin: Another vitamin that is part of the B Vitamin groups is Riboflavin also known as Vitamin B2. This is a very important vitamin as it helps with the production of red blood cells throughout the body.
- Manganese: Raw pineapple contains a decent boost of manganese which is a mineral that is very important for dogs to develop and maintain strong bones and connective tissues.
Feeding Pineapple as a Healthy Treat to Dogs
There are a few ways to feed pineapple to your dog. Anytime you introduce a new food to your dog you want to make sure to introduce it slowly to avoid digestive issues. Large amounts should not be fed to your dog, stick to small quantities as a treat or an appropriate amount for your dog’s size added to food. Less is more when it comes to introducing your dog to a new food!
You can feed raw pineapple fresh to your dog, pureed pineapple, even freeze pieces or put the pureed pineapple into freezer-safe molds for a cool snack.
Pineapple Ice Cream Dog Treats
1/2c of plain yogurt or greek yogurt
1/4c of raw pineapple chunks
Optional ingredients: 1/8c of watermelon or blueberries
Blender or food processor
Silicone freezer safe molds
- Add your raw pineapple chunks and yogurt into the blender with any of the additional ingredients. Blend until smooth
- Take your pureed mixture and with a spatula add the mixture into silicone molds
- Freeze until frozen
- Feed one of the frozen treats to your dog!