Believe it or not, for decades many canine experts told pet parents that dogs didn't like variety in their diets. Fortunately, we now know better!
If anything, dogs raised on a varied diet like more variety in their food. This becomes particularly important if a dog needs to change diet due to food allergies or intolerance, if it develops a medical condition that requires a therapeutic formula, or even if it needs to change foods to lose a few pounds.
But can dogs eat pineapple?
Pineapple can be part of a balanced diet for dogs, along with other fruits and vegetables.
Let's break the basics of pineapple into chunks (pun intended). We will talk about the benefits and misconceptions about feeding dogs pineapple. We will also give you some tips on adding more flavor and variety to your dog's diet.
Breaking Down the Basics
When you buy a pineapple from the store, you think you're getting just one fruit, right?
Pineapples are clusters of berries within one rind. The fruits grow together like scales.
Each "cluster" takes around 19 months to grow. The plants look like huge, buried pineapples in the ground.
Most of the world's pineapples are grown in Southeast Asia. If you live in a warm and humid climate, though, you can grow your own pineapples at home!
Once harvested, a pineapple is mostly water (much like watermelon), fiber, and vitamins. This makes pineapple a low-risk food for most animals, wild or domesticated.
A key beneficial nutrient in pineapple is bromelain, an anti-inflammatory agent that also aids digestion and has even been shown to fight cancer cells.
In other words, pineapple has a lot of health benefits to offer as a snack!
Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
The good news: your dog is an omnivore.
You may be wondering how to incorporate more nutrients into your pup's daily serving of chow. But does that include pineapple?
Pineapple is not toxic to dogs. There is no danger in feeding your dog small amounts of pineapple. Like humans, dogs cannot process the core. They may try to chew off large parts of the pineapple core, as they may assume it is edible.
Unless your dog has a rare allergy, you won't need to worry about allergic reactions, either.
You can always check with your veterinarian if you want to be sure your dog doesn't have any unusual food allergies.
Some dogs may be sensitive to pineapple the same way some people can be lactose intolerant. As with any new food, you will want to observe your dog the first time they try pineapple.
If your dog's tail starts wagging and they paw at you for more, you know it was a hit!
Benefits of Feeding Pineapple to Your Dog
Now that you know more about what pineapple has to offer in general, how can it benefit your dog?
Pineapple offers numerous health benefits for dogs. The sweet pineapple has loads of Vitamin C, as well as Vitamin B6, Folate, and Manganese.
Since pineapple is mostly water, it helps your dog stay cool and hydrated. The water in pineapple also helps remove waste and maintain nutrients in their body.
Fresh pineapple is low in sugar, which makes it healthier than other foods that might be present at the dinner table.
Pineapple is high in fiber. Small daily doses of fiber help your dog process and eliminate waste in the body.
Fresh pineapple supports a strong immune system in dogs. This is because it contains many minerals, including manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium, iron, and more.
Tastes like a tropical vacation!
Things You Should Know Before Feeding Pineapple to Your Dog
Like watermelon or strawberries, pineapple should serve as a snack or occasional treat, not a full meal by itself.
While you don't need to measure your servings down to the gram, you will want to have a good idea of how much fruit your dog is eating on a daily basis.
When serving fruits and veggies for dogs, avoid using table scraps. Let your dog know which snacks are yours and which are theirs.
If your dog food already has some fruits and veggies in it, then factor that in before serving up fruit-based snacks.
Moderation Is Key
Can dogs eat pineapple core?
The short answer is: no. Pineapple is healthiest when served fresh, with no rind or core.
Dogs should not be fed canned pineapple - or any canned food that is packed in syrup. The syrup tends to have lots of sugar, something your dog's tummy won't like.
Pineapple is only healthy in moderation. Feeding your dog too much fruit can make them sick or potentially lead to digestive upset. Your dog needs protein and fats to balance their diet, not just fruits.
The best way to serve dogs pineapple is in small chunks. If the dog likes it, spread out the servings so they have room to eat other food, as well.
Keep in mind the size and build of your pup. Pineapple contains about 74 calories and 14 grams of sugar per cup. A toy-breed dog would need much smaller servings than a large dog.
If you want to make your pineapple treat extra fun for both you and pup, associate it with a special trick.
Train your dog to shake hands for their special treat. They will associate the fruit with that action!
Fun Ways to Feed Pineapple to Your Dog
Pineapple tastes great however you prep it. Freeze it, bake it, blend it: the possibilities are endless!
Grill small chunks of pineapple (be careful not to burn it!) and serve some to your pup. Let cool and serve one grilled chunk at a time. The smokey flavor and added sweetness will leave your pup begging for more.
Blend several servings of fresh pineapple with dairy-free yogurt and freeze overnight. It will taste a bit like ice cream but without all the sugar.
You may find yourself sneaking into the freezer for a bite of frozen pineapple, too!
Another great idea is to dehydrate pineapple. Dried pineapple is a quick and easy snack for at home or when out and about.
Dried pineapples last a long time, allowing you to spread out servings easily. You can save some for a day out on the trails or at the dog park!
If you don't have a food dehydrator, set your oven on the lowest setting, and perhaps leave the oven door cracked to lower the temperature even further. Check on your treats in a couple of hours, then every 15 minutes or so.
Storing your dried treats is easy. Just seal them in an airtight container (out of reach of your pup).
Better Nutrition One Chunk at a Time
As you incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies into your dog's favorite snacks or desserts, you may find your dog craving fresh ingredients more often!
Take this as a sign of success. Your dog is feeling the benefits of a healthier, balanced diet.
While you are limited in how much fresh fruit you serve your dog, you can feed regular dog food that uses the same quality of ingredients.
The Bottom Line
There's no better feeling than the one you get from raising a happy and healthy dog. Not only can dogs eat pineapple, but they will surely enjoy it!
We know you want to offer your dog the nutrients they need without unnecessary fillers. The right information makes it easy to change your dog's eating habits for the better, one fun treat at a time.
Now that you've learned more about the many benefits of serving dogs pineapple, you'll want to start serving it asap.
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