Few things are as satisfying on a hot summer’s day as a pineapple. But it can be hard to enjoy it when your dog is giving you those big begging eyes. Before you give in to the guilt, consider: Is pineapple safe for dogs? We break down everything you need to know about this tropical treat.
The short answer is yes, dogs can eat pineapple.1 Pineapple is just one of the many "human foods" that dogs can eat. Raw pineapple is packed with nutrients that benefit both you and your canine companion. Frozen pieces of pineapple are also a delicious way to beat the heat. However, there are a few things to consider before feeding your dog pineapple.
Pink pineapples are a relatively recent addition to the pineapple family. That’s because they have been genetically modified by the Del Monte company to produce a rosy flesh.
While genetically modified foods can sound intimidating, the vast majority of them are safe. In the case of pink pineapples, scientists altered the enzyme that controls the pineapple’s color as it grows. In yellow pineapples, the enzyme changes pink pigments (lycopene) into yellow pigments (beta carotene).
Lycopene is the same pigment that gives tomatoes and watermelon their reddish color. Both of these foods are dog-safe, which means pink pineapples pose no threat to your pooch and still have all the health benefits of yellow pineapple.
Homemade dried pineapple can still be a fun treat for your dog. The dehydration process concentrates sugar into much higher quantities per serving, so dole it out sparingly. Store-bought dried pineapple should be avoided, since it usually contains additives and preservatives.
It is best to steer clear of canned pineapple, store-bought pineapple, and pineapple juice, as these often contain added sugars or syrups. Too much sugar is bad for your dog and can lead to an upset stomach, or worse yet, obesity and other related health problems.
Pineapple is not only safe for dogs, but it is packed with nutrients that support your dog's health.1,2 Pineapple also consists of 82% water, making it a great source of hydration on a warm day.3 Here are some of the nutritional benefits of pineapples that your dog can enjoy:
● Vitamin C: An essential vitamin for building up the immune system and reducing inflammation in the body. It can also help reduce cognitive aging in dogs.
● Thiamine: Helps regulate energy and carbohydrate metabolism.
● Riboflavin and Niacin: Both assist with the regulation of enzyme function.
● Manganese: This mineral helps dogs develop and maintain strong bones and connective tissues.
● Vitamin B6: Helps regulate brain and body functions as they relate to fluid balance within the body. It also assists with building proteins, regulating hormones, immune response, and supporting neurotransmitters within your dog's body.
● Minerals: Support healthy skin and coat, strong ligaments, and tissues.
● Folate: Plays a role in amino acid metabolism and protein synthesis.
● Potassium: An electrolyte necessary for healthy heart and kidney function and the regulation of nerve function.
Like apples and other fruits, pineapple is rich in antioxidants, which may help repair damaged cells. Since dogs are regularly exposed to more toxins in the environment than humans are, antioxidants are crucial in boosting immune-cell function and repairing cell damage caused by day-to-day environmental stress.
While pineapple is packed full of healthy vitamins and minerals, there are parts of the fruit that you should not feed your dog. Just as we remove the spikey skin and hard inner core before serving the fruit to humans, we should do the same for our canine companions. The pineapple core and the skin are far too dense for the dog’s digestive system to break down. These can cause choking or, if eaten, can get stuck in the digestive tract, creating a blockage in the intestines. Only the soft inner fruit of the pineapple is safe for your dog’s digestive system.
Think of pineapple as you would any treat. It is something to be given on special occasions, not a regular or frequent part of your dog’s diet. A few chunks of raw pineapple is enough for most dogs. Before feeding them, be sure they are peeled and sliced into small, bite-sized portions.
Some dogs can have pineapple allergies, and eating too much can cause your dog to have diarrhea or other symptoms of stomach upset. Start with two to three small pieces and monitor your dog. Keep in mind, the smaller the dog, the smaller their digestive system, and so the less fruit you should feed them.
Pineapple is a healthy and refreshing treat both you and your dog can enjoy. But you should always talk to your vet before adding any human food to your dog’s diet. Want to take your pet’s safety one step further? Consider investing in a dog insurance policy from MetLife Pet Insurance.1 All it takes is a small monthly payment to keep your pet happy and healthy. Get your free quote today.