Pineapple is a healthy treat for humans, but is it safe for dogs? Here’s what you need to know about sharing human food with your furry friends.
Sharing human food with dogs
Many people like to share their favorite treats with their four-legged companions. And pineapple is a delicious, refreshing fruit that is enjoyed worldwide.
But not all human foods are good for dogs, even the healthiest fruits and vegetables.
Grapes and chocolate, in particular, are toxic to dogs, even in small doses. Parts of some fruits and vegetables can also contain toxins, pose a choking hazard or cause digestive problems.
It can be confusing to know which foods are safe to share with furry friends. And some online sources claim there are health and behavioral benefits from feeding dogs fruits and vegetables.
In particular, a few sources, such as Animal Planet, claim that feeding pineapples to dogs discourages coprophagia or eating feces.
Here’s what you need to know if pineapple is safe for dogs and if there are any reasons to start feeding your furry friend this tropical fruit.
Why are some foods unsafe for dogs?
In general, dogs and cats don’t differ much from humans in terms of how they digest and absorb food in the body, says Erin Anderson, associate veterinarian at DVM Pets First Animal Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.
However, something is considered poisonous or harmful to an animal if their metabolism is not equipped to deal with it, she adds.
“Certain foods are harmful to pets because they don’t have the same type or amount of enzymes we do to help process the food into non-toxic waste products,” Anderson says. Enzymes are compounds the body uses to break down nutrients in foods.
Anderson says how much food a dog eats also plays a big role in determining whether it will be harmful.
As an example, she explains that small amounts of something like milk chocolate probably won’t have serious effects, but high doses will.
“Other things, like common pain relievers like ibuprofen, are very harmful even in small amounts,” she says.
“If a person were to eat enough of these ‘toxic’ foods, he would also get sick.”
Some foods also contain inedible parts such as seeds, kernels, husks, husks, or hard shells that can cause a choking hazard, be difficult to digest, or clog the esophagus.
Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
“Dogs can eat pineapple,” says Karen Overall, VMD, an associate professor at Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Anderson reiterates: “Pineapple is not something that has a specific toxic dose associated with it. It is not known to cause harm to pets.”
But some parts of pineapple can pose health risks, especially for smaller dogs or in large quantities.
“The more fibrous parts like skin and stem could theoretically cause gastrointestinal obstruction if enough of it is eaten by a smaller dog,” Anderson says. That means it’s a good idea to remove pineapple stems, skin, leaves, crowns, core, and skin before feeding pineapple to a dog.
While pineapple flesh may be safe for dogs to eat, experts say unsweetened pineapple isn’t as appealing to most dogs.
So unless it has some added syrup or sweetener, dogs are unlikely to consume enough pineapple to cause any health problems.
“Many dogs and cats will not like it enough to consume in large enough amounts to cause harm,” says Anderson.
Does Eating Pineapple Stop Dogs From Eating Poop?
According to the experts, there is some anecdotal evidence that feeding pineapple to dogs or giving it to them as a supplement can discourage them from eating feces.
But Anderson and other experts say there have been no studies of pineapple’s efficacy for the habit — known as coprophagy — and most vets know someone who’s tried it with unimpressive results.
The theory is that pineapple gives feces a bad taste and that will discourage dogs from eating it, says Tina Wismer, DVM, senior director, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, but there are no scientific studies to prove this.
Even if pineapple made a dog’s feces worse, it adds. In general, it’s unlikely to discourage them from continuing to eat it.
“Digested or bad-tasting substances don’t deter dogs,” she says.
Is Pineapple Good for Dogs?
There may be some health benefits associated with feeding pineapples to dogs.
Pineapple contains several important nutrients, including fiber, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, folate, and vitamins C and B-6.
“There is some anecdotal evidence that the flesh of the… [pineapple] fruit can help with digestion,” says Anderson.
That’s probably because the enzyme bromelain in pineapple makes it easier for dogs to absorb protein.
But there is little to no research to prove that feeding pineapples to dogs has any real health benefits.
And only one study published in 2017 in the Journal of Nutritional Science tested the benefits of giving supplements to dogs containing bromelain.
This study concluded that there were no health benefits associated with taking the supplement and no reason to take it.
Also, as carnivores, dogs don’t really need to eat fruits and vegetables like pineapple to meet their nutritional needs.
Common Foods Unsafe for Dogs
Most foods that humans eat can also be safely enjoyed by canine companions. But a few foods and drinks contain certain chemicals that can be toxic or harmful to dogs.
Avocado contains persin, a toxin that can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs.
The compound allium, found in onions, chives, garlic and leeks, is toxic to dogs.
Cocoa seed-derived products
Products derived from cocoa seeds, such as coffee, chocolate and caffeine, also contain methylxanthines, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, excessive urination, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures and death in dogs.
Grapes and raisins
For unknown reasons, grapes and raisins can also cause kidney failure in dogs. Consuming macadamia nuts can also cause dogs to develop hyperthermia, tremors and vomiting.
Wismer adds that citrus fruits can also pose health risks to dogs: “The stems, leaves, peels, fruits and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. .”
Most inedible, fiber-rich fruit and vegetable seeds, cores, crowns, husks, stems, leaves and husks should also be removed to make them dog-friendly.
Pear seeds, in particular, are known to contain trace amounts of the poison cyanide.
Foods with xylitol
Eating foods containing xylitol, a natural sweetener, can also cause mild symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, but in higher doses it can cause liver failure and death.
Raspberries contain a small amount of xylitol, so limit the serving to less than a cup at a time.
It’s also a good idea not to let dogs eat tomatoes, the green parts of which contain the toxin solanine.
Alcohol is also a big no-no for dogs and even in small doses it can be fatal to dogs.
Other Problematic Foods
Many animal organizations also recommend that dogs not eat yeast dough, salty or salty foods, and raw and undercooked animal products such as meat, bones, and eggs.
Feeding large doses of dairy products or coconut and coconut oil to dogs can also cause digestive problems and loose stools in dogs.
Other Tips for Feeding Pineapple to Dogs
Experts warn to be careful when giving sugar-enriched foods to dogs because – just like in humans – eating too much sugar can have negative health effects, such as weight gain and increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes .
Even unsweetened pineapple contains quite a bit of natural sugars, so it’s best to give it to dogs in moderation.
“Dogs have a sweet tooth and sugar is no better for them than it is for us,” says Overall.
It is also important to allow dogs to eat sugary fruits like pineapple in moderation as it can accumulate excess calories.
“As with all added treats, snacks should be no more than five percent of their daily calorie intake, so keep portion sizes small,” Wismer says.
To avoid a choking hazard, it may also be a good idea to cut pineapple flesh into smaller pieces before feeding it to dogs, especially small dogs, and remove any hard parts of the fruit.
“We recommend cutting the pineapple into bite-sized pieces and removing the core,” says Wismer.
When you give a dog new food, you should also monitor the dog to see if these introductions are causing any problems such as diarrhea or vomiting. While most can, not all dogs tolerate pineapple well.
How to prevent dogs from eating poop?
In general, it is explained that research has found two things that prompt a dog to eat feces: living with and growing up with another dog eating feces (a learning component) and whether a dog’s parents did (a genetic component). .
She says the only real way to reduce the habit once it’s established is to restrict access: Pick up the stool right away and keep your dog away from temptation.
You may be able to prevent your dog from developing the problem, she says, by keeping mom and pups very clean and away from feces.
Other Tips for Feeding Fruits and Vegetables to Dogs
Some fruits and vegetables are high in fat, calories and sugar, such as nuts and many tropical fruits.
But plenty of fruits and vegetables are excellent options for dog parents who want to give their pups something nutritious or flavorful.
“Vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, or cooked (canned) pumpkin are all good snack options,” Wismer says.
(Check out these plant-based trends for 2021.)
“They can be offered raw — except pumpkin — or cooked; just avoid seasonings if you’re offering them cooked. Apples, bananas, cucumbers, cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries, and kiwi are all [also] ok to give to your pet.”
Wismer notes that adding cucumbers to your pet’s water or making a dog smoothie with dog-friendly fruit is a fun, nutritious way to spoil your pups.
For a healthy, refreshing drink, dog parents can try tepache, kombucha’s healthier pineapple-based cousin.