Pineapple’s tart and tangy flavors evoke scenes of beachside relaxation and breezy, seaside air.
Whether it’s served as a wedge in a Pina Colada or sliced onto some delicious roast pork, pineapple is an irresistible summer snack.
But what should you do next time you’re cutting pineapple and hear your four-legged friend start begging? Should you cut up a pineapple spear just for him? Or maybe try and distract him before feeding him an alternative treat?
Are Pineapples Healthy for Dogs?
Yes! Pineapples are rich in essential nutrients including Vitamins B6 and C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Additionally, pineapples contain a high concentration of nutrient-dense minerals including manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium, iron and trace amounts of calcium, phosphorus and zinc.
Should You Give Your Dog Pineapple?
A few slices of pineapple can be a great, healthy treat for your dog! However, like with most foods, pineapple should only be served in moderation. Additionally, you should only serve your dog fresh pineapple. Canned pineapple is loaded with sugar. Not only will this add unnecessary calories to your pooch’s diet, but it can also upset their stomach and cause vomiting or diarrhea.
Are There Risks to Feeding Your Dog Pineapple?
One potential risk of feeding your dog pineapples is their potent acidity. Pineapples are rich in bromelain which dissolves the protective mucous in our tongues and mouths. If too much pineapple is ingested, this can lead to an unpleasant stinging sensation which can irritate your dog. The acid from pineapples can also disrupt your dog’s gastrointestinal system, resulting in an upset stomach and unwanted side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Additionally, pineapples contain a tough outer skin, pointy leaves and a rock-solid core. If ingested, any of these components can cause an obstruction and will be exceedingly difficult for your pup to ingest.
Pineapples are also a very fibrous fruit, so be sure to pair them with plenty of water when you feed them to your dog. Otherwise, they may have trouble digesting them.
How to Prepare Pineapple for Your Dog
It’s easy to properly prepare delicious pineapple slices for your furry friend.
Just follow these simple steps:
- Lay the pineapple on its side
- Cut off where the pineapple tapers, near its leaves and bottom
- Stand the pineapple up
- Cut off the pineapple’s tough skin, making sure to not cut more than a half-inch deep
- Lay the pineapple on its side (last time, we promise)
- Cut the pineapple into one-inch chunks
- Remove the bits of core from each slice
- Cut the remaining pineapple into one-inch chunks
After you’re done cutting up the pineapple, you may be looking at a big pile of trimmings and begin wondering “What parts of a pineapple can my dog eat?” The answer is simple: only feed your dog the actual fruit of the pineapple. Pineapple cores are notoriously difficult for your dog to digest. Pineapple skin, with its spiky surface, is both hard to swallow and may actually tear up your dog’s esophagus on its way down.
How Much Pineapple Should Your Dog Eat?
Your dog should only eat pineapple in moderation. There is a rule that is touted by veterinarians that your dog should only get 20% of their calories from fruits and vegetables, and only 10% from treats. To provide a more practical example, let’s say your dog weighs sixty pounds.
They require around 1,000 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight.
Using the rule above, your dog should only consume 200 calories of fruits and vegetables per day and 100 calories of treats per day. One cup of fresh pineapple is roughly equal to 82.5 calories, but, as in any food consumption, moderation is the key. It would not be a good idea to suddenly feed your dog 2 cups of fresh pineapple out of the blue; it would be too much acid for her system and probably cause a tummy upset although not being wrong… in strict theory.
When Should You Feed your Dog Pineapple?
You should only feed your dog pineapple in sensible amounts, preferably as a treat. Reward your dog for good behavior or for progressing in training by throwing them a nice chunk of pineapple, appropriate to their size. This both provides them with a delicious treat and reinforces positive behavior.
Learn more about how to keep your dog happy and healthy on our blog!