With summer quickly approaching, thoughts about pineapples and all the ways to eat them are probably growing. While a lot of people enjoy pineapple on pizza, others simply enjoy eating raw or grilled pineapple pieces. Some even prefer to sprinkle some cinnamon or sugar onto their pineapple for an extra taste boost. Regardless of how you like to enjoy pineapple, you might be wondering: can dogs eat pineapples?
Dogs can, in fact, eat pineapples. They definitely shouldn’t eat pineapples as their only meal, nor should they eat pineapples in large quantities. But, as an occasional, tasty treat, pineapples are perfectly acceptable to be given to dogs.
Health Benefits of Pineapples for Dogs
Pineapples contain a large amount of vitamins and minerals that can be healthy for your dog. Vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, folate, thiamin, and vitamin B6 are all found in ripe, raw pineapple. As for minerals, copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, and minor amounts of calcium, zinc, and phosphorous are all prevalent in pineapple.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and part of its job is to reduce inflammation. Riboflavin, niacin, folate, thiamin, and vitamin B6 are classified as B vitamins and perform their own distinct and important roles. They help to facilitate enzyme function, regulate energy and metabolism, and generate glucose. Calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth, and magnesium can help with bone and muscle development.
These are just some of the healthy nutrients found in pineapples, so shouldn’t we feed as many pineapples to our dogs as we can? Not necessarily.
Can Dogs Eat Pineapples? The Downsides
Though pineapples can definitely contribute to your dog’s overall health, pineapples are not a purely nutritious treat. They contain a lot of fiber and natural sugars, so if your dog eats too much of it at once, they can experience stomach upset. Feeding too much sugar to your dog can also cause obesity, which can lead to a whole host of other issues. So, while dogs can eat pineapples and gain some healthy vitamins and minerals from doing so, dogs should only eat pineapples in moderation.
Another downside to pineapples applies specifically to canned pineapple. It may seem more convenient to buy pre-sliced or cut pineapples, but the syrup in canned pineapples contains a high amount of sugar. As pineapples already have high sugar content, it would be best to feed your dog fresh pineapple so as to avoid giving your pup even more sugar from the canned pineapple.
Also, as with all foods, there’s a chance that your dog could be allergic to pineapple. Signs of an allergic reaction can include swelling, coughing, difficulty breathing, and itching. If you think your dog may be suffering an allergic reaction, contact your vet immediately.
How to Cut Up a Pineapple
Okay, so your dog can eat pineapples. Great! But, how exactly do you prepare a pineapple? I admit, they look like a pretty intimidating fruit, but it’s actually quite easy to cut them up.
- Start by laying the pineapple on its side and cutting off both the top and bottom of the pineapple.
- Next, stand the pineapple up and cut off the rind (the hard and spiky outside). Make sure you cut off all of the rind, but try to spare as much of the actual pineapple flesh as possible.
- After the rind is removed, cut the pineapple in half. Then, cut the halves into half, so you end up with four pieces of pineapple flesh.
- Cut and remove the tough inner core of the pineapple from all four pieces.
- Cut the large pineapple pieces into bite-sized chunks suitable for your dog’s size.
And there you have it! It’s only five easy steps to cut up a pineapple for your canine buddy (or yourself). Your pineapple can remain fresh in an airtight container for up to a week, if stored in the refrigerator.
What Part of the Pineapple Can Dogs Eat?
After cutting up your pineapple, you might be wondering which parts of it you can feed to your dog. The answer is the pineapple flesh. The inner core and spiky outside of the pineapple can cause obstructions in your dog’s digestive system, so it’s best to only feed your dog the actual pineapple flesh. Again, however, only feed your dog pineapple in moderation.
What About the Bromelain in Pineapples?
If you’re an avid eater of fresh pineapple, you might have noticed that your mouth starts to itch or burn after eating a certain amount of pineapple. Though some people believe this is due to the acid in pineapples, it’s actually caused by an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain breaks down and digests protein, so when your mouth starts to hurt after eating a lot of fresh pineapple, it’s probably because the pineapple is also starting to eat you.
Knowing this, you might be worried about feeding fresh pineapple to your dog, but bromelain doesn’t seem to affect them the same way that it affects us. Notice, too, that it’s fresh pineapple that causes this problem. Cooked or grilled pineapple doesn’t try to break down protein, since the heat renders the bromelain ineffective. If you’re worried about feeding your dog too much fresh pineapple, try cooking it to alleviate your concerns.
So, now you know! Pineapple is both healthy and safe for dogs, as long as it’s prepared properly and fed in moderation. The vitamins and minerals contained in pineapples can be beneficial to your dog’s health, but the high fiber and sugar content could cause digestive issues, among other things. Though fresh pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down protein, cooking or grilling the pineapple neutralizes that effect.
Can dogs eat pineapples? You bet. So have fun with your dog and share your pineapples!