Can dogs eat dragon fruit? Heck… many people have never heard of dragon fruit, let alone have one lying around at home that their dog might snaffle!
Most dogs will try to eat anything that looks or smells appetizing. Our dogs will devour practically any of the foods we keep in our homes if we’re not careful and they have an opportunity.
In most cases this won’t be a problem… but some fruits are not good for dogs (you can find some of them on this list: 17 Foods Dogs Should Never Eat).
In this post, I’m specifically asking if dogs can eat dragon fruit and what the potential benefits or hazards of doing so might be.
Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Eat Dragon Fruit?
- What is Dragon Fruit?
- Dragon Fruit Nutrition
- Is Dragon Fruit Good For Dogs?
- Is Dragon Fruit Bad for Dogs?
- How to Serve Dragon Fruit to Your Dog
- Related Posts
Can Dogs Eat Dragon Fruit?
For those of you in a hurry, dogs can eat dragon fruit… but you may not want them to eat too much.
Read the rest of this post to find out why!
What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is a very strange looking fruit. It’s actually the fruit of a cactus plant found in Mexico and Central America… and to be honest, from its appearance this makes sense!
It’s skin can be pink, red or yellow and it has green scales, which give it a dragon-like appearance (hence the name).
The fruit inside can be white, red or pink or (and sometimes even purple) depending upon the variety, but most usually dragon fruit comes in the following colours:
- Pink skin and white flesh.
- Red skin and red flesh.
- Yellow skin and white flesh.
- Pink skin and pink flesh.
The flesh of dragon fruit is peppered with edible black pips that add to the psychedelic effect!
Although dragon fruit looks like it comes from outer space, it has a flavour that’s similar to many other fruits. Many people describe it as tasting like a cross between kiwi fruit and pears. In fact, another name for dragon fruit is strawberry pear.
But not only does it taste good but it’s also packed with nutrients.
Dragon Fruit Nutrition
Dragon fruit is a highly nutritious fruit containing a high amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and so it potentially offers a boost to a dog’s immune system.
The US Department of Agriculture lists the following nutritional information based upon 100g of dragon fruit:
|Total lipid (fat)||0g|
Is Dragon Fruit Good For Dogs?
As we’ve established, dogs can eat dragon fruit. Dragon fruit flesh is not at all toxic to dogs, though the skin should be avoided.
As long as you feed your dog dragon fruit in small doses (i.e. offered as an occasional treat) it’s not harmful to dogs and may also provide a range of health benefits.
Dragon fruit may help protect your dog’s cells from the premature aging caused by free-radicals. Antioxidants protect against the effects of oxidation such as arthritis and other joint problems.
The Vitamin C in dragon fruit helps to support your dog’s immune system, aids tissue repair and reduces the likelihood of infection. Dragon fruit might also help the development of teeth and bones since it contains calcium.
Dragon fruit seeds also offer health benefits. Since they contain healthy fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-9. These fatty acids are believed to deliver a range of benefits, from brain function to cardiovascular health.
As it’s high in fibre, dragon fruit can help with your dog’s digestive system, keeping bowel movements regular. Moreover, dragon fruit offers a great way for your dog to hydrate in the summer as it contains 90% water.
Is Dragon Fruit Bad for Dogs?
You can have too much of a bad thing… and even healthy foods in excessive doses can cause health problems.
Although dragon fruit is not toxic to dogs like raisins, overfeeding it to your dog can lead to the following undesirable effects:
- Canine Obesity – dragon fruit contains fructose (a sugar) and an excess of sugar can lead to weight problems. Overweight dogs have a higher risk of all sorts of medical problems, such as diabetes, arthritis and even cancer.
- Tooth decay – since dragon fruit contains sugar, excessive consumption (especially without administering dental care to your dog) can lead to tooth decay.
- Stomach Upset – too much fibre and sugar can lead to digestive problems… nobody likes to deal with canine digestive problems!
Finally, when we’re talking about the benefits of dragon fruit for dogs, we’re talking about the flesh of the fruit and not the skin. Although not toxic, dragon fruit skin will be very difficult to digest and will likely cause stomach irritation.
Hence, if you’re going to give dragon fruit to your dog, only offer up the flesh and not the skin.
How to Serve Dragon Fruit to Your Dog
There is no need to do anything more fancy to dragon fruit than removing the scaly skin to leave only the flesh and small seeds.
Dragon fruit doesn’t need to be cooked, seasoned in any way or blended to make it good for dogs to eat.
Giving your dog the odd slice of fresh dragon fruit flesh will be a refreshing treat on a hot day! But as with all treats, don’t give your dog too much dragon fruit in one sitting.
Dogs can eat dragon fruit and it’s completely safe for them. Not only this but dragon fruit is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and healthy fatty acids to bolser canine health.
As with other fruits, although dragon fruit is good for dogs in small doses, too much of a good thing can be bad. All fruit contains sugar and too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, canine obesity and digestive irritation.
As long as you’re not over-feeding your dog as well as providing appropriate daily opportunities for exercise for the breed and not giving too many extra snacks, an occasional morsel of dragon fruit flesh (but not the skin) might be a welcome treat!
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