Can Dogs Eat Dragon fruit?
Is Dragon Fruit Safe for Dogs?
Your dog is your loyal companion. Having a pet is one of the greatest joys in life, and you want to ensure you’re doing the best job possible in caring for your furry friend. Since your dog is domesticated, that means that they rely on you for shelter, safety, and sustenance. If you didn’t feed your dog, they wouldn’t eat! This means that you have the responsibility to provide for them and ensure that whatever you’re giving them is of the best nutritional quality and the utmost in safety.
You’ve probably already chosen a brand and type of dog food to give your pet each day. If you checked with your vet to confirm that this was the best kind for your dog’s size, breed, and lifestyle, then kudos to you! However, you might be wondering about supplemental food and treats. After all, it’s a rare dog that doesn’t ever have anything to eat besides its morning and/or evening kibble.
One of the foods that many owners choose to give their dogs as a sweet treat is fruit. Fruit is low in calories, which helps prevent weight gain from salt and empty calories. It’s full of natural sugar, which gives a burst of energy but doesn’t elevate a dog’s blood sugar too much (in most cases). Fruit is also full of myriad vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help your pet stay healthy. So, what’s to think about?
Well, some fruits just aren’t safe for dogs. In particular, grapes and raisins are a hard no. Others, such as grapefruits, contain irritable enzymes that can make your dog uncomfortable. Certain types of fruit contain flesh that is perfectly safe but has stone pits that contain toxic compounds (these include peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries).
What about dragon fruit? Is dragon fruit something dogs can have? Luckily for the tropical fruit lover, the answer here is yes! Dragon fruit contains beneficial antioxidants and other vitamins and is an occasional healthy addition to your pooch’s chow.
Benefits of Dragon Fruit for Dogs
One of the great things about dragon fruit is that the seeds don’t have to be removed before feeding them to your dog. The flesh is easy to chew, too, so you don’t have to do anything extra to it. However, the spiky skin is a choking hazard, so that should be carefully removed and thrown away securely.
This natural food is high in vitamin C, which helps support a healthy immune system and improves brain function. Did you know that there are many colors of dragon fruit? The yellow variety has the most vitamin C.
Dragon fruit is also high in fatty acids, which lead to a shiny, lustrous coat. It also has plenty of beta-carotene, which strengthens the visual system.
Considerations when Offering Dragon Fruit
Although dragon fruit has natural sugar and is not processed, the amount of sugar is high compared to other fruits. So is the amount of fiber. Both are good in moderate quantities but can cause some stomach upset if an animal (or person!) eats too much.
When you’re offering your dog dragon fruit for the first time (or any new food, for that matter), monitor them closely. Offer the fruit in small pieces and watch for irritability, itchiness, or tummy troubles. Dogs can have allergies, just like people! Make sure to offer them plenty of freshwater and a place to relieve themselves easily. If you’d like to check with your vet before offering dragon fruit, that never hurts. They can also tell you what signs and symptoms are fine to pass at home and when you might need to bring Fido in for a check-up if there was an adverse reaction.
Other Ways to Serve Your Dog Fruit
There are so many fruits that can add variety and nutrition to your dog’s diet. Let’s look at a few of them with some ideas on ways to safely feed them to your pup.
Bananas – Bananas are a soft, sweet fruit that dogs enjoy best when they’re fresh and ripe. They’re full of vitamins and nutrients that can leave your pup with a beautiful, healthy coat that shines bright.
Papaya – If you want to help boost your dog’s immune system, papaya is an excellent fruit worth serving. It’s full of numerous vitamins, much like kiwis, and is one of the more affordable fruits in grocery stores.
Apples – Fresh apple slices are another great treat for dogs. You can serve them as is or dip them in a bit of peanut butter, which most dogs enjoy. You can provide your dog with any type of apple, whether it’s Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or any other kind you can find at the store. Apples contain plenty of vitamins and antioxidants, making them such a healthy treat.
Cherries – You can give your dog cherries, but you’ll need to remove the pit from them beforehand for safety purposes. Cherries contain lots of vitamins and nutrients and are an excellent source of antioxidants, so it’s worth de-pitting them to serve them to your dog as a quick, sweet treat. Sure, it might take a few extra minutes, but your dog will love them.
Dates – Another great fruit for the immune system, dates are an excellent treat for dogs. Dates are a great source of fiber and contain both vitamins and potassium, making them a super good choice.
Watermelon – Watermelon has high water content, which makes it great for keeping your dog hydrated on a hot day or after an exerting activity. Just remove the seeds first!
Mango – Dogs will love the exotic taste of this rich and delicious fruit. You’ll love the nutrients it provides and the fact that you can dehydrate it to last even longer! Ensure that the peel is cut away and your dog doesn’t get ahold of the pit to prevent choking.
Peaches – Peaches are full of vitamins and dietary fiber. They encourage a healthy digestive system and a lustrous coat. However, the pit, leaves, stem, and tree roots are toxic, so keep your pup far away from those parts of the plant.
Nectarines – Nectarines are a great fruit to use as a treat for your furry friend. Carefully throw away the pits, as these have cyanide, which is toxic. However, the fleshy meat of a nectarine is great for them!
There are other fruits as well which are safe for your dog such as blueberries, oranges, cantaloupe, guava, kiwi, pears, apricots, etc..
For your benefit, we have compiled a list of all the fruits your dog should eat here. Dogs can eat sweet potatoes and many other vegetables instead.
How to Safely Choose Fruit for Your Pet
When you shop for fruit, you probably pick up and turn the pieces over in your hands, carefully selecting the most appetizing, eye-catching pieces. You also probably try to go for organic fruit when available because of the risk of pesticides.
When choosing fruit for your dog, it’s best to go organic, as well. Pesticides aren’t good for any animal, including canines! However, if that’s not available or not in your budget, don’t worry. Just wash and rinse the fruit well before offering it to Fido.
Now, you want fruit that’s appealing to your eye and palate. Your dog probably isn’t so choosy, however. They won’t care about what a piece of fruit looks like, and they’ll happily accept it if it’s a couple of days overripe. However, you should never give your dog fruit that’s begun to turn or has mold on it. Rotting fruit contains ethanol, which is harmful to dogs.
If you love dragon fruit, you’re probably very happy to know that you can share this delicious health food with your pup. Remember to offer it in moderation, since their main nutrition should always come from their regular food. Fruit of many types is an excellent choice as a treat or training tool since it’s healthier than store-bought treats and dog bones full of salt and preservatives. Choose fruit as a snack for both you and your dog, and enjoy healthy lives together!
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