Everything You Need to Know About Pineapple in Dog Food


Everything You Need to Know About Pineapple in Dogs’ Food: The Myths, the Truths, and the Snacks

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Aaahh, snacks! Don’t you just love them?! Yeah? Well, guess what — your dog does, too! While you probably already know that you shouldn’t give them the unhealthy snacks that we humans are known to gorge on, you must be wondering whether it would be okay to toss your pooch a piece of fruit every once in a while. 

Take pineapples, for example. They are sweet, juicy, delicious, and incredibly refreshing! Seriously, how shrewd was Mother Nature when she fashioned such a delightful thing — crunchy and succulent at the same time — that is also super healthy! No wonder our doggos watch us with those hungry-puppy eyes whenever we eat one. 

You can probably tell that here at TheDogDigest, we are pretty crazy about this tasty fruit. We’d like nothing more than to offer some of it to our furry companions, and we bet you would too. Is pineapple as good for our dogs as it is for us, and can we put pineapple in dogs’ food? 

Tender on the Inside, Rough Around the Edges: The Many Benefits of Pineapples

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You already know that pineapples are yummy and good for you, but do you know what is it that makes them so healthy?

This tropical fruit not only has the best hairdo in the plant world, but it is also incredibly nutritious. It is jam-packed with manganese — if you eat one pineapple, you’ll take in around 44% of your daily need for this mineral. Manganese plays an important role in metabolic processes and is instrumental for bone and brain health, among other things. How ’bout dicing a pineapple right now and having a snack while you read?

Pineapples also abound in vitamin C — you’ll take care of almost 60% of your daily vitamin C requirements with one pineapple every day. That way, you’ll aid your body’s iron intake, boost your immune system, and reduce your risk of many chronic diseases.

We’re just getting to the best part: pineapples are over 80% water, and they contain only negligible amounts of fat. They pack a lot of fiber and have roughly 13% carbs, so they are also quite beneficial for both your digestion and your waistline. It is only natural to wonder whether your pooch could reap similar benefits from this delicacy.

Is Pineapple Toxic For Your Dog?

We already wrote about Thanksgiving turkey in dogs’ diet, and many of our readers were surprised to learn that this delicious roast is a no-no for dogs for numerous reasons. The same goes for garlic — although it is a superfood for humans, it is incredibly toxic for canines. Could it be that pineapple is not a good fit for your doggo, either?

A sigh of relief is in order because, fortunately, pineapples are not poisonous for dogs. They contain absolutely no compounds that would raise a red flag for your pooch’s well-being, which is why they are not considered to be common allergens for dogs. In fact, just as you do, your pooch also benefits from all the goodies that pineapples have to offer — including vitamin C, fiber, and manganese!

Here is an overview of the most prominent nutrients in fresh pineapples.

Nutritious Value of Raw Pineapple (per 100g)

Carbs 

13.12 g

Sugars 

9.85 g
Fiber 

1.4 g

Fat

0.12 g
Protein 

0.54 g

Manganese

0.927 mg (44% daily value/DV)
Calcium

13 mg

Iron

0.29 mg
Vitamin C

49.8 mg (58% DV)

Thiamine (B1)

0.079 mg (7% DV)
Vitamin B6

0.112 mg (9% DV)

Folate (B9)

18 μg (5% DV)
Calories

50 kcal

You may have noticed that commercial dog foods rarely (if ever) sell pineapple-flavored kibble or canned dog food with chunks of real pineapple. If this fruit is really harmless for dogs to eat, why don’t they?

Pineapple in Dog Food: The Yays and the Nays

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If your dog gets hold of a pineapple slice, they will not suffer any dire health consequences, but you are unlikely to find this fruit among the main ingredients in dog food. Why could that be? Pineapples are certainly not among the dog food ingredients to avoid. Quite the contrary — they are just as healthy for our fluffers as they are for us!

The reason behind this seeming discrepancy is that pineapples are simply too sweet for dogs to eat on a regular basis. Fresh pineapple contains about 10% sugar, which is way too much for your doggo to ingest every day.

Dog’s don’t need sugars in their daily diet; sugars only raise their blood glucose levels and then cause them to plummet suddenly, making your pup even hungrier as a result. In the long run, all that would contribute to excessive weight gain and obesity in your dog. Not to mention that they could develop diabetes if their blood sugar levels continue to fluctuate uncontrollably.

All of the above applies to canned pineapples more than anything else — not only are raw pineapples super sweet in their own right, but the canned kind also contains way too much sugar syrup for your pooch. That is why you should avoid giving it to them at all cost and only opt for a fresh, ripe pineapple instead.

How to Give Pineapples to Your Dog

The fact that this fruit is sweet doesn’t mean that you should deny your furry buddy an occasional pineapple slice. To be on the safe side, use it as a treat when your doggo behaves or learns a new training command (read more about healthy and natural treats here). You can even use some pineapple to teach your dog to catch in the air — after all, a sweet piece of fruit is much more tempting than a random twig from the park, wouldn’t you agree?

Alternatively, you can add a few cubes of pineapple to your dog’s standard meal. It hardly makes any difference if your pooch is on a wet or dry diet — they will surely welcome the change in flavor. Pineapples are also super convenient if your dog eats home-cooked meals — add a few chunks to any recipe to get out of the rut of always making the same grub.

It’s vital that you limit your fellow’s pineapple intake, though. Give it to them in moderation, and don’t treat them to this sweet food more than a couple of times a week; otherwise, they may develop a sweet tooth and refuse to eat their standard, pineapple-free meals.

Slice the fruit into small cubes, and only use a few at a time. That way, you’ll avoid feeding your pup too much sugar, and you’ll keep them healthy. Remember to remove the hard pineapple skin and core and only give the tender pineapple flesh to your doggo. In the summer, you can even give them frozen pineapple treats — freeze the juicy cubes, and treat your pooch to an equally delicious yet even more refreshing snack.

How Not To Give Pineapples to Your Dog

You should never give your dog the pineapple that you are eating. Feeding them table scraps or sharing the food from your plate will without fail trigger behavioral problems in your dog. If they get used to eating your food, they’ll start refusing theirs.

Whenever you give pineapple (or any other human chow) to your goggie, make sure to serve it in their bowl or give it to them as a reward. That way, they won’t associate pineapples with your food, and they will be happy theirs is so delicious.

How to Tell If Pineapples Agree With Your Dog’s Tummy?

Dogs can eat pineapples in moderation, but as with any other food, some dogs may not respond well to it. This is particularly true if you give too much pineapple to a dog that hasn’t had any before.

Pineapples have quite a lot of sugar and may contribute to several conditions in dogs:

  1. Weight gain
  2. Digestive issues
  3. Hyperglycemia
  4. Obesity
  5. Diabetes

Staying on top of how much pineapple your dog eats will curb these unwanted complications, but your pup may experience other adverse effects after consuming this fruit too.

After you give pineapple to your woofer, especially if it is the first time they’ve tried it, you need to monitor them closely. Watch for any signs of digestive upset, such as stomach cramps, gas, or diarrhea.

Pineapples are rich in fiber, which retains water in the intestines. If your dog eats too much of this fruit, the chances are they will have a couple of loose stools. The opposite can also happen — if your dog eats too much pineapple but doesn’t drink enough water, they may become constipated from all that fiber.

All your dog will need to recover from these ailments is a little rest, a lot of water, and a break from pineapples. If you notice any of the signs that worry you, you should get in touch with your pup’s vet and ask for advice on what to do next.

Fact or Fiction — Does Pineapple in Dog Food Stop Pups From Eating Poop?

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We’ve learned all the facts about the nutritional value and health benefits of pineapples, and we’ve covered how you can include pineapple in your dog’s diet. Now the time has come to delve into the realm of legend and lore.

There’s a saying that doggos who eat their own poop will break that nasty habit if they eat pineapples.

Dung eating is a thing among animals, and it is common among doggos, too. The condition is called coprophagia, and it has its roots in the behavior of our canines’ distant ancestors — wolves. Namely, wolves eat their own feces and that of other members of their pack and their cubs, too, to get rid of their scent. It is a clever survival technique that protects them from predators and rival wolf packs and prevents other animals from locating their dens.

Our pooches don’t have dens that they need to hide and protect, but they may have other reasons for eating poop. There are many theories about why dogs find their excrement appetizing, but the most widely accepted one is that they may lack a specific nutrient in their diet and are trying to make up for it. They may also be having a digestive enzyme deficiency, which makes them unable to absorb nutrients from their meals.

Whatever the drive, such behavior grosses owners out — so much so that they sometimes abandon their pups because they cannot make them stop eating droppings.

Can Pineapple Stop Dogs From Eating Poop?

There are numerous products on the market that claim to help with coprophagia, but only a veterinarian can tell you which one to go for and how to use it if your dog has this problem.

Judging by some people, there is also an alternative approach. Many owners believe that pineapples create a specific unpleasant odor that draws dogs away from their poop and stops them from eating it. They claim that adding a few chunks of this fruit to every meal the dog eats will positively break this habit.

TheDogDigest was unable to find any conclusive evidence to support that claim, and we believe that serving your dog so much pineapple will undoubtedly lead to the health issues discussed above, including:

  • Excessive weight
  • Diabetes
  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Obesity 

The best way to try and discourage poop-eating behavior in your dog is to clean up after them immediately after they do their business. You also need to keep an eye on them when you take them to the park or anywhere else where they may come across dung. You should consult with their vet or hire an animal behaviorist for help if the condition gets worse.

What Other Fruit Can Dogs Eat?

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Pineapples are safe for dogs to eat on occasion, but if you would like your pooch to try more exciting flavors, feel free to include other fruit in their diet. There are many different fruits that they can eat — each with their own set of nutritional goodies — so take a look at some that dogs enjoy munching the most.

Fruit 

Benefits and Nutritive Value

Apples 

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Fiber 
  • Low protein
  • Low fat
  • An ideal snack for senior dogs

Bananas

  • Low-calorie treat
  • Potassium
  • Biotin
  • Fiber
  • Copper
  • Low in cholesterol
  • Low in sodium
  • A special-occasion treat due to its high sugar content

Blueberries 

  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Superfood
  • Support cell health
  • Phytochemicals
  • Fiber 
  • Low sugar, so can be used freely in dog food

Mangos

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Potassium
  • Alpha- and beta-carotene
  • High in sugar and best served sparingly

Cranberries

  • Antioxidants
  • Low in calories
  • Vitamin C
  • Fiber
  • Potassium
  • Best for occasional use as they are rather sweet

The Digest of It All

We’ve established that adding small amounts of pineapple to your dog’s food would have numerous benefits for their health, but going overboard could cost them their health in the long run.

This fruit is loaded with vitamin C, manganese, and fiber, and as healthy as those are, they are not enough for a complete and balanced canine nutrition, as recommended by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). You should avoid adding them in excessive amounts and making them one of the main ingredients of your pup’s grub.

Pineapples are delicious, but they are also super sweet. That is why you should not get your dog too used to their taste — reserve this delicacy for an occasional special treat or a yummy topper for your pooch’s standard meal.

If your pooch already has weight issues, it might be best to steer clear from pineapples altogether. In that case, we suggest that you add green beans to your dog’s food — they will keep your chubby doggy full and help them shave off extra pounds as well!

You can also add other fruits to their meals — apples, cranberries, and blueberries are all fine as long as they contribute to the complete and balanced nutrition a dog chow should provide. To get a better idea about what dog food should be like, browse through our instructive guides on:

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_food
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprophagia
  4. https://www.quora.com/Can-and-should-dogs-eat-pineapple
  5. Hart, Benjamin L., et al. “The Paradox of Canine Conspecific Coprophagy.” Veterinary Medicine and Science, vol. 4, no. 2, 2018, pp. 106–114., doi:10.1002/vms3.92.
  6. Ing, Anna D., et al. “Functional Analysis And Treatment Of Coprophagia.” Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, vol. 44, no. 1, 2011, pp. 151–155., doi:10.1901/jaba.2011.44-151.
  7. Schultz, Brandon, and Chase Schultz-Osenlund. Cooking for Two, Your Dog & You!: Delicious Recipes for You and Your Favorite Canine. Skyhorse Publishing, 2016.

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