Do you like piña coladas? If you do, then you’re probably familiar with the tangy taste of pineapples (and perhaps even enjoy the sensation of getting caught in the rain!)
Let’s face it – pineapple is the perfect image for a hot summer’s day, and while you may be busy indulging your taste buds, you might find lil’ fido looking at you with their irresistible puppy eyes and find yourself wondering…
“Can dogs eat pineapples?”
What Is A Pineapple?
Pineapples have a unique outer skin that is dotted with “eyes” that follow the contour of the exquisite fruit in an upward spiral. The fruit top resembles the fronds of a palm tree or a pointy succulent.
The inner core is hard and is generally discarded during preparation. Between the core and the rough outer skin is the soft and edible fruit that can be consumed.
Few fruit flavors capture the feeling of summer like a pineapple can. Cutting it in half crosswise reveals a distinct round core with fleshy and bright yellow rays that resemble that of the sun.
It has a sweet flavor as refreshing as a summer breeze mixed with a sour kick like the bite of the glaring sun. Pineapple chunks generally fill pastries and adorn cocktails in America.
In many eastern countries though, the sweet and tart flavors are used to compliment main courses. It is especially good for spicy meat dishes.
The sweetness balances out the spiciness and the tartness cuts through the oily flavors. As an added bonus, pineapple juices also tenderize the meat.
Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
Pineapples are definitely a tasty treat, but are pineapples safe for dogs? If the pineapple is from a can, then it’s best to not give your pet any. Canned fruit generally has too much sugar to be considered healthy for your dog.
This is because by nature, a dog’s digestive system is generally not designed for high levels of sugar. However, if the pineapple is fresh or frozen, then it is perfectly safe for dogs in moderate amounts.
In fact, dogs may even benefit from all the vitamins and minerals found in pineapples.
However, pineapple for dogs should not become a regular addition to your dog’s diet, be fed on a regular basis, or be given in excess. As a general rule, fruits and vegetables should only make up at most, 10% of your dog’s overall diet.
How To Give Your Dog Pineapple
Preparing a pineapple for puppy consumption is simple in theory. Just peel and serve, right? In practice, it can be a little tricky if you aren’t too confident with your knife skills and especially if you’ve never cut a pineapple before.
The core can be tough and difficult to cut through. The rough and bumpy skin is vastly different from peeling the common apple or orange.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare pineapple for your dog:
- Use a large and sharp knife. Lay the pineapple on its side and cut the succulent top off.
- Stand the pineapple up. Slice off strips of the bumpy skin. Make sure to ‘remove’ the eyes while retaining as much of the fruit as possible. You can carve out the eye spots you may have missed with a smaller knife.
- Keep the pineapple upright and slice the fruit off of the tough inner core. This will leave you with long Toblerone-shaped slices of pineapple.
- Lay the slices on it’s side and cut it up into smaller, consumable pieces.
You can give these pineapple slices to your dog as is, or you could garnish it to make dog treats extra zesty.
You may also freeze the pineapple slices or bits for an extra refreshing treat on a hot summer’s day. Pineapple slices can also be skewered and tossed onto a grill.
Pineapples should only be fed as snacks when given to dogs, and since your dog won’t be able to finish the entire fruit, you can chuck the rest of the fruit into the freezer, a juicer, or even a salad. After all, pineapples are good for you, too!
Benefits Of Giving Your Dog Pineapple
Pineapples are rich in vitamins, enzymes, and minerals that can help your dog stay healthy and happy.
- Beta-Carotene – This antioxidant is useful in fighting diseases. It is also converted into vitamin A in your dog’s liver. This keeps your dog’s fur shiny and its skin healthy.
- Thiamine or Vitamin B1 – This is an essential vitamin for maintaining your dog’s energy and important organs in your dog’s body like the brain and the intestines. If your dog has thiamine deficiency it could exhibit a loss of appetite and weight.
- Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 – Another vitamin B variant that will help your dog produce red blood cells and antibodies. The red blood cells will help your dog’s organs receive the nutrients and oxygen they need. Antibodies will ensure that your dog’s immune system is well-armed against diseases.
- Niacin or Vitamin B3 – Yet another type of vitamin B that your dog needs to process fats, carbs, and proteins.
- Pyridoxine or Vitamin B6 – This vitamin helps with the production of red blood cells. It helps boosts your dog’s immune system and regulates its hormone production. Your dog uses pyridoxine to produce glucose, which they use for energy.
- Folic Acid or Vitamin B9 – A type of vitamin B that helps regulate your dog’s small intestines. Folate acid is also essential in cell division, meaning the creation of new cells to help your dog heal and replace old cells.
- Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C – This is known as the scurvy fighting antioxidant. Vitamin C in large doses can harm your dog more than help why is why it is better for them to acquire it through their food rather than supplements. Pineapple treats are also more pleasant for some dogs over being forced to swallow vitamins.
- Bromelain – This is an enzyme that helps your dog digest proteins. This is the meat tenderizing enzyme that makes your tongue feel weird after too many slices of pineapple.
- Magnesium – This mineral helps your dog deal with joint pain, muscle spasms, and digestive issues.
- Manganese – This helps your dog process proteins and carbohydrates, which your dog needs to repair injuries and stay energetic.
- Potassium – This is an important mineral for your dog’s muscle cells and neurons. If your dog has been vomiting a lot, it could lose a lot of the potassium chloride in its body, and it is up to you to provide your dog with the water and salts they need to recover.
- Iron – This mineral is essential for making the distinct red pigment in red blood cells called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is what red blood cells use to transport oxygen all throughout the body. If your dog doesn’t get enough iron, that would result in anemia or low amounts of red blood cells in your dog’s blood.
- Copper – Iron needs copper to create hemoglobin. Copper is also responsible for making bones and collagen, a major component of connective tissue.
- Calcium – Your dog needs calcium to grow strong teeth and bones. Insufficient calcium can cause weak bones or rickets.
- Phosphorous – It doesn’t matter how much calcium your dog is getting if it can’t make use of the mineral. This is where phosphorus comes in. Vitamin D and phosphorus are both needed for your dog’s body to absorb calcium.
Potential Side Effects Of Giving Your Dog Pineapple
Too much of a good thing can make you sick, and the pineapple isn’t an exception. This fruit is rich in fiber. The excessive fiber in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract can result in diarrhea. If your dog gets soft or watery poop, give their tummy a break from fruits and other fibrous snacks until they recover to their usual firm stool.
There is also high levels of sugar to consider. If your dog has had a lot of sweet treats already, hold off the pineapple for a while. Feeding your dog excessive amounts of pineapple could result in tooth decay, obesity, or even diabetes in dogs due to the high sugar and acidity of pineapples.
The skin is pointy and the core is tough to chew through. Your dog might scarf them down behind your back if they are feeling naughty. The skin might perforate your dog’s mouth, esophagus, stomach lining, or intestinal lining.
The core can obstruct your dog’s intestines and cause constipation. Both the skin and the core are choking hazards. Take your dog to the vet if you think your dog has eaten something it shouldn’t have.
Allergies are another factor to consider. Your dog can develop allergies to things they’ve been eating for years. This can happen to their favorite dog food and treats like pineapple. If this happens, don’t fret! Partner up with your vet or a pet nutritionist to find new treats and food.
Alternative Fruits For Dogs
Are you allergic to pineapples? Or do you just not enjoy them as much as other fruits? It would seem wasteful to purchase an entire pineapple just for your pooch, or perhaps your dog doesn’t enjoy eating pineapples either?
You can try giving your dog other fruits too! After all, variety is the spice of life! But remember, fruits contain sugar, so be sure to practice moderation.
- Apple – Juicy, fibrous, and crunchy. A lot of dogs love apple slices as treats. Wash the skin thoroughly and take out the core before eating. Be extra sure to get rid of the seeds as they contain cyanide.
- Apricots – These are rich in beta-carotene like the pineapple. Take out the pit, stem, and leaves as these also have cyanide.
- Bananas – Freeze a banana and mash it up to make a quick and easy ice cream for you and your dog. It’s a fun way to beat the summer heat. The banana contains high potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6. It has a lot of sugar and carbs, though, so a few tablespoons a day should be enough for your dog.
- Blueberries – These are full of antioxidants to help your dog fight free radicals. They are low in fat and high in fiber and vitamin C. They also stain very easily, so don’t let your dog eat a handful and lick your face afterward if you’re planning to attend any special events, or let them eat blueberries on their own to prevent staining furniture.
- Cantaloupe – These are full of vitamins A, B and C as well as beta-carotene. Just make sure to remove the rind and seeds before feeding to your dog.
- Cranberries – Fresh or dried cranberries are a great treat for dogs. (Fresh cranberries bounce so that should be fun for your pup.) They are high in fiber, ascorbic acid, and manganese. Cranberries are also good for dogs suffering from urinary tract infections. Don’t try giving your dog cranberry sauce or cranberry juice though, as these are chock-full of sugar and will upset your dog’s stomach.
- Cucumber – This is a great low calorie snack that is full of vitamin K. Wash the skin and remove the seeds before eating.
- Mango – This delicious fruit is packed with vitamins A, B, C, and K. Mango also contains iron, copper, calcium, and beta-carotene. Remember to peel the skin off and thoroughly remove the pit. Your dog has a strong biting force and may accidentally ingest parts of the pit, which can be very toxic to dogs.
- Orange – Ah, the poster fruit of vitamin C. When it comes to oranges for dogs, only feed the fleshy inside of the fruit. The skin and seeds should be removed as they contain oils that could poison your dog.
- Pears – Pears are fibrous and contain ascorbic acid and vitamin K. Peel the skin and remove the seeds as they contain cyanide.
- Pumpkin – These gourds are great treats. Some zoos use whole pumpkins as enrichment toys for their animals during autumn. The fruit has beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Plus it’s fun for your dog to roll around. It doesn’t have a lot of calories so this is good for dogs who are overweight or obese. Seeds can be used as a treat, too, but use them in moderation.
- Raspberries – These are good for your dog in small amounts. Raspberries contain xylitol, a sweetening agent that can be harmful to dogs in large doses.
- Watermelon – These make for tasty treats and are great when served fresh or frozen during the summer. Ensure you take the rind off before serving to your dog. Watermelons contain vitamins A, C, magnesium, and potassium. They contain mostly water (more than 90%!), so it’s a fun and tasty way to keep your dog hydrated too. It’s best to serve seedless watermelon for dogs, but it you can’t find any available, you can simply carve out the seeded parts or remove them one by one before handing it over to your dog.
- Strawberries – Strawberries always manage to put a smile on our faces, and it’s bound to make your dog smile too. Rinse the fruit thoroughly and remove the leafy tops before consumption. Strawberries contain vitamin B, C, and K.
It’s important to note that fruits you should never give your dog are cherries and grapes.
Bottom Line On Pineapples
Yes, dogs can eat pineapples. If your dog likes pineapples then they can have it as a treat. As long as it isn’t from a can or a juice box, it’s perfectly safe.
Canned pineapples and most pineapple juice marketed toward humans have a lot of sugar that could mess up your dog’s stomach.
There are a bunch of different ways you can give pineapples to your dog. It can be fresh, frozen, pureed, grilled, or even baked into a treat.
Try new things and see what your dog likes the best. Don’t forget that pineapple contains high levels of sugar, so only feed your dog in moderation.