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There are parts of dragon fruit that are safe for dogs to eat and parts of the fruit that are not so safe.
Discover how to separate the safe from the unsafe, learn the benefits and the risks and how you can safely serve a dragon fruit to your adoring canine friend.
Can Dogs Eat Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is a healthy snack food for a dog but due to its large size and inedible spiky skin, it has to be pre-prepared and then offered in moderation. The thin white inner skin of dragon fruit must be removed after peeling as it can cause gastrointestinal upset.
Dragon fruit comes in a variety of shapes sizes and colors but all are safe for a dog to eat.
Dragon fruit types:-
- Pink skin – white flesh – black seeds – least sweet
- Pink skin – red or pink flesh – black seeds – mid sweet
- Pink skin – purple flesh – black seeds – mid sweet
- yellow skin – white flesh – black seeds – sweetest
Which Parts Of A Dragon Fruit Are Safe and Unsafe For Dogs
Dragon fruit has a spiky leathery skin that is indigestible and can be a choking hazard to dogs if they are allowed to gnaw upon it. If ingested the tough outer skin of dragon fruit can cause gastrointestinal upset, tear the gut lining or cause an internal blockage that may require surgery to correct.
The thin white inner skin surrounding the fruit needs to be removed to reveal the edible soft inner fruit that is packed full of small black edible seeds.
Amazingly, unlike many other fruits, dragon fruit seeds are full of essential fatty acids, namely, linolic acid and linolenic acid which are important substrates in an animal’s metabolism that they cannot synthesize themselves.
Dragon fruit becomes softer and sweeter as it ages so portion sizes should be reduced for riper fruits as the high sugar content may cause stomach upsets.
Portion sizes should also be reduced for puppies, but as a dragon fruit offers many health benefits, puppies should not be excluded from eating the fruit altogether.
How To Feed Your Dog Dragon Fruit
Ripe dragon fruit will feel slightly soft when squeezed and the spikes will be hard and full of color. To prepare the dragon fruit for your dog you should cut it into quarters, and remove the skin and pith to reveal the soft and densely seed-pitted inner flesh of the fruit.
You may find that the dragon fruit flesh may be too sweet and soft for your dog to appreciate. But you may find that your dog simply prefers to eat the dragon fruit served frozen, and in bite-sized cubes. However, due to the high sugar content dragon fruit servings should be restricted to 2 or 3 small dice-sized cubes per day and fed on an irregular basis.
Overfeeding may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and loose stools and may lead to obesity and pancreatic problems in the long term. Too much dragon fruit may also turn your dog’s pee pink or red but this is perfectly harmless and it will return to normal once the fruit is out of the system.
Benefits To Dogs From Eating Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is naturally fat-free and high in fiber and contains a wide variety of healthy fats vitamins and minerals that can boost a dog’s metabolic system. It is rich in antioxidants, and probiotics and it may help to strengthen a dog’s immune system.
Nutritional benefits of dragon fruit for a dog:-
- Antioxidants – are natural substances that protect cells from free radicals which are molecules that can lead to diseases like cancer.
- Vitamin A – is a nutrient important to vision, cell division, reproduction, and immunity.
- Vitamin C – is a nutrient important in the development of blood vessels, muscle, cartilage, and collagen in bones.
- Calcium – is a mineral important to healthy heart rhythms, blood clotting, and nerve functions.
- Iron – is a major component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of the body.
- Magnesium – supports muscle and nerve functions and is important in the production of energy for the body.
- Fatty Acids Omega-3, 6 & 9 – Important in early and throughout life these acids are crucial to developing and maintaining a healthy heart, eyes, and brain.
- Prebiotics – a source of food for the gut bacteria that are required for a healthy digestive system.
Dragon fruit is also suitable for anemic dogs due to its iron content, but as always, please check with your dog’s veterinarian before making adjustments to your dog’s diet plan.
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Risks To Dogs From Eating Dragon Fruit
The major risks to dogs from eating a dragon fruit are:-
- Skin – a dragon fruit’s skin is tough, leathery, and has spikes that can potentially tear the soft internal skin of a dog. Additionally if ingested the skin could become a choking hazard and may cause an internal blockage that may need surgery to correct.
- Pith – Between the dragon fruit rind and the soft inner flesh is a thin line of pith that can be a stomach irritant and may cause vomiting or diarrhea.
- Sugar content – too much sugar can lead to hyperactivity, gastric irritation, vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, and weight gain leading to obesity and pancreatic problems.
Summary Of – Can dogs Eat Dragon Fruit?
The answer to whether can dogs eat dragon fruit is yes but the skin and pith of the fruit can cause issues if ingested. However, not all dogs appreciate the texture of dragon fruit and may prefer to eat it frozen and in small bite-sized pieces.
This exotic fruit is packed full of goodness and should be encouraged due to the number of positive health benefits for dogs of all shapes and sizes including puppies.
But, as with all things in life, please remember that you must always feed dragon fruit in moderation as too much of a good thing is never a good thing!
Disclaimer: Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. The only clear option for your dog’s health is to feed a diet rechecked and subscribed by your dog’s veterinarian. Feeding human food of any sort carries some degree of risk that is not under this website’s control.