Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
Serving up a pitcher of piña colada and wondering if you dog can nibble a bit of pineapple? Here's what you should know.
It's tropical fruit salad season—and you're cutting up fresh pineapple or making a summertime piña colada with fresh fruit. Can your pooch enjoy this sweet, juicy marriage of citrus and apple, too? You bet; pineapple is an excellent fruit to let your dog have a taste since it's not only yummy but a boost to their health. Pineapples are packed with vitamin C, great for the immune system of dogs too, and contain vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B9, which all provide health benefits like maintaining their energy level and helping their metabolism.
"Like any treat you give your pet, moderation is key!" says Freshpet's expert veterinarian, Dr. Aziza Glass. "While your dog may thank you for some pieces of pineapple, the fruit does contain high amounts of sugar and fiber. This means that too much pineapple can have adverse reactions to their digestive system," says Dr. Glass.
How much pineapple can your dog safely have?
We know that only about 10 percent of your dog's diet should come from treats, so that means pineapple portions should be strictly monitored.
You'll want to feed your dog small quantities of the fruit as it's naturally high in sugar. Plus, too much pineapple can result in upset tummies and more serious issues such as weight gain and diabetes. "When introducing any new foods to your pets, be sure to monitor their bowel movements to see if they have an upset stomach as it may not be the snack of choice for them," warns Dr. Glass.
What about canned pineapple?
Your dog loves tropical fruit, so why not buy canned pineapple for them to snack on? Dr. Glass says to use caution with canned pineapples when it comes to your dog. Canned fruits often come in syrups that are very high in sugar and can be too much for a dog's digestion to handle. However, if you do offer your pup a piece of canned pineapple, choose fruit that's packed in 100 percent natural fruit juice, not heavy syrup, and rinse off the juice before giving the pineapple to your pets as a treat.
Again, use the freezer to make a nice summertime treat for pups. Slice fresh pineapples and place them in a freezer to serve almost frozen.
Does eating pineapple stop dogs from eating their feces (coprophagia)?
You may have heard this myth that eating pineapple can help stop your dogs from eating their poop. Called coprophagia, it can be both a behavioral or learned trait and can also be caused by a lack of nutrition in your dog's diet that causes a decrease in absorption of nutrients. "This leads to gastrointestinal upset and an increased appeal in a dog's number two," says Dr. Glass.
While pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that makes it easier for dogs to metabolize proteins, it's a misconception that bromelain would alter the dog's poop, making it unappetizing and there's no proof it really works. Drats. "While we all wish some dogs would choose to not delight in eating their own poop, pineapples will not be the solution," says Dr. Glass. Pet parents that have dogs that suffer from this may want to give fresh dog food a try to see if it helps.
And while your pup is enjoying some summertime pineapple, make sure to skip the skin or core of the fruit as these can be hard for a dog to digest and become a choking hazard. "Only offer them bite-sized chunks of the fleshy part of the fruit," says Dr. Glass. Now, back to that piña colada.
Always consult your vet about adding new foods to your dog's diet.