It is natural to feel the urge to share whatever you are eating with your best furry friend; especially when you look down and see those large eyes looking back up at you. How can you resist that? What you need to do before sharing your food with your dog, though, is to properly investigate the risks that might come with it.
Not everything we eat is good for dogs, and some food items are better left on our own plate than anywhere else. The good news? Some of the stuff we eat is just as good for our dogs as it is for us humans, and many fruits can make a much healthier snack than store-bought dog treats. One fruit loved by both children and adults is the delicious and juicy pineapple, so the question is – is it okay to share a chunk with your dog?
Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
Just like with most fruits, most dogs can enjoy a chunk of pineapple every now and then, and there is nothing about this sweat, yellow and delicious fruit that should prevent you from tossing over a piece to your awaiting fur friend. It is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and more, and can be enjoyed whenever you happen to have a pineapple waiting to be consumed.
As with all treats, you should always be careful not to overfeed, or your dog could end up with a case of explosive diarrhea, and – trust us – that is not something you want to go through.
There are many ways a dog can eat pineapple, and it is just as refreshing for a canine as it is for a human during a warm summer day. Make pineapple an occasional addition to your dog’s regular diet (it should never substitute a high-quality dog food, as it does not contain a complete enough mix of nutrients), and know that it is okay to give in to those endearing puppy eyes sometimes, especially when what you plan to share might provide your doggy with additional nutrients.
Health Benefits of Pineapple
Pineapples are sweet and delicious, and many are surprised to find out that it contains a total of 85% water. This makes it low in calories (even if it does contain sugar), and it can make a delicious treat for dogs when wanting to keep things light and natural. Pineapples contain a good dose of vitamin C, vitamin B6, Folate vitamins, Thiamine and Manganese.
For dogs, all this can come together to heal ligaments and other tissue, repair and heal flaked skin, boost the immune system and flush out unhealthy bacteria from the digestive tract.
For a dog to fully benefit from the nutrients found in pineapple, it is important to only use it as a snack, and not as a food replacement. Think of your dog’s daily nutrition as a total of 100%, where 90% should be completely dry or wet dog food, and the other 10% nutritious snacks. For dogs struggling with weight gain, pineapple can make an excellent substitute for other high-fat snacks, as long as you feed it in moderation.
You will find about 10% sugar in fresh pineapple, and the canine digestive system is not necessarily equipped to handle large quantities of sugar. Some dogs are more sensitive to it than others, so make sure you feed reasonable amounts and watch out for any stomach problems, diarrhea and similar.
Just because a dog can eat something it does not always mean they should, since every dog is different and might react differently to the introduction of a new treat.
Always remove the core and the skin before even considering giving your dog a taste, as both can cause serious cases of obstruction, and present a choking hazard. The core is a lot harder than the rest of pineapple, and the same applies to the skin, and even a small piece can cause problems if you (and your dog) are unlucky.
How much is too much?
Okay so now that we’ve established how good pineapple can be for a dog and what the potential downsides are, it is time to look at the quantities you can feed without causing digestive issues. The easiest way to look at it is by considering the size of your dog and how much dog food you normally feeding him or her.
Common sense should tell you that a large dog can have more pineapple while a small dog should have less, but it is also a question of how much pineapple you are feeding in proportion to the dog’s regular meal size. Consider pineapples part of their daily snack and not of the regular food portions, and stick to the 90/10 rule mentioned above, and you should be fine.
Fresh Pineapple Vs. Canned Pineapple
It may seem easy to just buy a can of pineapple instead of having to slice up a fresh one, but this is a trap you don’t want to be stepping into. Canned fruit is often drenched in syrup, which will significantly up the calorie and sugar content; and with fresh pineapple being as sweet as it is already – nothing good will come out of it. It does take longer to slice a fresh pineapple than it does to open a can you just picked up at the supermarket, but for the good of your dog you will want to take the extra few minutes to that this healthy snack gets to remain healthy.
Change It Up by Freezing It
If your dog is not too convinced by the chunk of pineapple you accidentally “dropped” on the floor, try freezing it first! A frozen chunk of pineapple could be the ideal treat for a hot and sweaty summer day, and it gives your pup something to work on for a few minutes, rather than to just gulp down the fruit right away. You can even freeze small squares and use it as healthy training treats (less messy when frozen)!
You can go ahead and give pineapple to your dog without worrying about the effects, as it is a healthy and natural treat perfect for our canine friends. Just make sure you don’t give an amount bigger than what your dog can handle, and this all depends on the size and weight of your furry friend, of course.
A small chunk whenever you are having pineapple yourself won’t do any harm and it could provide your pooch with essential nutrients, but your Chihuahua probably shouldn’t eat a whole pineapple by itself. Use common sense and enjoy those yellow chunks with your dog!