Despite being available all year round, pineapples bring to mind tropical summer. They do for me. I am one of those dog owners that share everything that goes into my mouth with my pets if it’s safe of course. So let’s look at can dogs eat pineapple. While I am at it I’m going to debunk a myth about canines and pineapples too.
Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
In a nutshell, yes, dogs can eat pineapple. There are also several benefits for canines that eat pineapple.
To reap optimal health benefits, pineapples must be fresh. Moreover, old pineapples can cause more harm than good.
Fiber, Vitamins, And Minerals
Pineapples are a great source of all of these most notably Vitamin C and Manganese. These improve overall digestion and the immune system amongst others.
Bromelain is a digestive aid that breaks down proteins more effectively. But that’s not all this proteolytic enzyme does. It also has anti-cancer agents to fight off formation.
Depending on the circumstance, those with cancer (canine and human) that eat pineapple or take bromelain supplements have shown a reduction in tumor size!
Bromelain also lessens joint swelling and prevents bladder stones.
It’s also used to treat pancreatitis which can be fatal.
Can Dogs Eat Pineapple? - What Makes Too Much Pineapple Bad For Dogs
The reasons why dogs cannot eat pineapple in large quantities or too regularly are:
It’s not surprising that oh-so- sweet pineapples are high in sugar. One cup of pineapple contains 16 grams of sugar.
The digestive system of dogs cannot handle too much sugar at any given time. This will result in a runny tummy and can even lead to obesity. There’s also tooth decay and the risk is increased as pineapples are highly acidic.
When letting dogs eat pineapple it is also best that the canned variation is avoided. Not only are many of the benefits lost when pineapples are not fresh but the water or syrup used in the canning process are also packed with concentrated sugar. It also completely destroys bromelain.
Diabetic dogs should not eat pineapple.
While this has the benefit of keeping bowel movements regular, too much can cause constipation because of water absorption.
How To Feed Your Dog Pineapple
Don’t give your dog the rind of the pineapple or the tough core. Both of these are hard to digest. Stick to the fleshy part only.
In addition, the prickly skin of the pineapple is difficult to chew and could possibly damage his/her teeth in the long run.
Begin by giving your dog 1 or 2 small pieces of pineapple. Observe them for any adverse reactions. If there aren’t any, give him/her a couple of pieces in a few days again. This is the general rule of thumb when introducing any new fruits or veggies to your pet’s diet.
The snag with letting dogs eat pineapple is that it must be done in small quantities. As with fruits and veggies dogs eat, intake must be restricted.
For pineapples, in particular, they actually work best as a treat because they are sweet. There is also no fat or cholesterol and very little sodium.
Additionally, the sugar is of the natural kind as opposed to processed to unhealthy, processed “treats”. Freeze chunks in the summer for a
delightful healthy delicacy.
Debunking The Myth About Dogs Eating Pineapple To Curb Coprophagia
Not sure what coprophagia is? Well, it’s when dogs eat poop. Even if it disgusts us it is actually normal doggy behavior.
There are many reasons why this may occur with one of the most common being a nutrition deficiency. Dogs will then eat poop to make up for whatever they are lacking. It can be a behavioral issue as well.
An old wives tale goes that if dogs eat pineapple it will put an end to coprophagia tendencies. The idea behind this is that it changes the composition of poop thus making it unappetizing for dogs.
The internet is also littered with this as a solution but upon further research, there is absolutely no evidence to support this and there are also absolutely no stories of success with this method.
It is easy to see as to how this myth was formed though. Pineapple contains bromelain which has many great health benefits as explained, one of which is that it breaks down protein.
Meat tenderizer contains bromelain too and is another popular solution for preventing coprophagia. The latter definitely works, but not pineapple.
One theory is that meat tenderizer is effective only because it is has a high concentration of bromelain. To achieve the same with pineapple, your dog will have to eat tons of pineapple which will only make pooping worse as explained and not correct poop eating behavior. Personally, I have found that raw pineapple has worked very well for my puppy during training.
Additionally, because of all the awesome benefits of this fruit, I do let my other dogs eat pineapple a few times a week at most. Their favorite is homemade Pineapple Dog Treats.