When you’re thinking about great treats for your dog, fruits and vegetables might not be at the top of the list alongside commercial dog treats, kibble, or more obvious choices like meat and cheese. But a lot of dogs enjoy different kinds of fruits, and you may even find your favorite pup at your side whenever you’re eating it, begging for just a taste.
It might seem like an easy, nutritious choice. After all, most people know that fruit is often a great and healthy snack for humans. But not everything that’s safe for humans to eat is safe for dogs to eat. Is it safe to give in and let your dog try some pineapple?
Benefits Of Pineapple
You probably already know that pineapple can be a great source of nutrients for humans. It’s chock full of things like vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, and vitamin B6. Pineapple also has useful minerals, like manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, iron, and smaller but still useful amounts of things like calcium, zinc, and phosphorous. Not only are these all great for humans, these are all nutrients that your dog can make use of too! Just like humans, dogs rely on their diet to provide many of the things their bodies need to be healthy but which they aren’t able to manufacture on their own. The nutrients present in pineapple may help your dog with immune support and even digestive health.
Vitamin C is something you might wonder if your dog even needs, since unlike humans, dogs are capable of producing vitamin C on their own. But research suggests that the supply of vitamin C a dog’s body can produce by itself can be quickly depleted when the dog is ill or under unusual stress, so it’s still a good idea to make sure they’re getting some of this important nutrient from the food they eat.
So, sounds like this is a no brainer dog snack, right? Not so fast! There are a couple of things you should keep in mind before you start feeding pineapple to your pup.
Many people buy pineapple pre-packaged or otherwise commercial prepared forms. You’re probably familiar with the pineapple that comes in store bought fruit cups, for example. You can also buy canned pineapple in chunks, rings, or spears.
Canned, prepared pineapple is often one of the most economical ways to buy pineapple, so it may seem like a great option if you’ve got a pineapple-loving dog. But this isn’t the kind of pineapple you should be buying if you plan to share it with your pet, because it’s usually full of a lot of added sugar.
Too Much Sugar Is Bad For Dogs
You’re probably aware that even when raw, pineapple is very sweet, because it’s got a lot of natural sugar already in it. Canned pineapple has even more, because sugary syrup or juice is often added along with the fruit itself. Just like humans, dogs need to be careful about how much extra sugar they consume in their diets. If you feed this kind of pineapple to your dog, your dog may experience unpleasant digestive symptoms like diarrhea or an upset stomach. Not what either you or your dog wants to deal with! If your dog is getting too much sugar on a regular basis, over time more serious health problems might develop.
If you’re interested in giving pineapple to your dog as a treat, raw pineapple in small quantities is the way to go. Buy whole pineapple at the store and prepare it as you would for a child, by removing the tough, spiny outer skin and fibrous core from the middle.
Using a clean, sharp knife, start by carefully removing the leafy top of the pineapple. Then, still using the same knife, slowly slice off strips of the pineapple skin, moving the knife from top to bottom (and always being careful to slice away from your hand, not toward it).
Once you’ve removed all the spiny skin, carefully slice the tender fruit inside into small chunks. When you reach the core, you can remove that and throw it away, as it’s not good for your dog to eat. Once your pineapple is completely chunked, you’re ready to go!
Give your dog just a couple of chunks at a time at first. Keep an eye on your dog the first time you try feeding them pineapple to see if they like it or if the sugar present even in raw (not canned) pineapple might be too much for their tummy. It’s also always possible that your dog might have a pineapple allergy.
Just like humans, dogs sometimes have food allergies that take you by surprise, so start small to be on the safe side. If your dog likes it and doesn’t seem to be made uncomfortable by eating it, congratulations! You’ve found a new, nutrient-dense treat you can feel good about giving your pet.
Just remember, though, that not all dogs will like all foods, particularly foods like fruit and vegetables. There’s no reason to try to force your pet to eat pineapple if they don’t seem to enjoy it, since there are plenty of other ways for your dog to get the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Try It Frozen
In warmer months like spring and summer, consider freezing bite size pieces. The frozen pineapple chunks will be just as delicious as a popsicle or ice cream bar, and they’re much more healthy for your dog than either of those desserts.
Packaged frozen treats intended for humans are usually not the greatest choice for your dog, but small bites of frozen pineapple should be just fine. You can give them to your dog right out of the freezer in small quantities as a delicious cooling treat, and you may find you like them that way yourself!