Dog sniffing pineapple

Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
Canine Safe Food Guide

Pineapple is one of our favourite tropical fruits, sweet, tangy and deliciously juicy. But, can dogs eat pineapple?

Here’s what our experts have to say about it.

Sliced pineapple

Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?

Pineapple is definitely on the list of fruit dogs can eat. However, pineapple consumption in dogs should always be done in moderation. If you feed them more than what’s recommended, eating pineapple can lead to gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, diarrhea, or uncomfortable gas.

PRO TIP: Fruits and other treats should be considered as a “bonus” snack. Because of it, vets recommend they only make up to 10% of your dog’s weekly calorie intake.


Benefits Of Eating Pineapples For Dogs

On top of being a delicious fruit, (for both you and your pup!) pineapples have many other nutritional benefits. This juicy treat has plenty of vitamins, minerals and fibre to round up your dog’s diet:

Pineapple is rich in key enzymes

Enzymes are chemical compounds that break up other compounds. Our digestive system, for example, produces enzymes to digest food! Pineapple is particularly rich in bromelain, a specific enzyme that targets proteins.

In different studies, bromelain showed promising results as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic [1].

Great for active pups

If your dog works or is very active, pineapple might be a great treat! The main enzyme in this fruit (bromelain) has strong anti-inflammatory properties. In different research studies, scientists found that oral bromelain could lower the inflammation, swelling and bruising that happens after strenuous exercise and surgery.

In these cases, bromelain could help speed up recovery by lowering inflammation and maintain strength post-workout. If your dog has a physically demanding lifestyle, pineapple could be an excellent option!

It’s a natural dewormer

For dogs in particular, bromelain also seems to have a very mild anthelmintic effect. The same enzymatic properties that break down protein also destroy the outside tissue of canine hookworms!

This means eating pineapple could help keep internal parasites controlled. Keep in mind the effect is very brief and it won’t be sustainable in the long term. Veterinarians recommend thinking of natural dewormers like this as a complement to your dog’s check-up schedule. Remember: eating pineapple shouldn’t be a replacement for actual dewormers!

PRO TIP: Interested in natural dewormers for dogs? Besides pineapple, scientists have found that papaya and figs have a mild anthelmintic effect as well.

Pineapple helps keep your dog young

Like other fruits, pineapples are very rich in antioxidants. These compounds fight normal cellular aging and get rid of excess free radicals in the body. Free radicals and the cellular stress they cause are linked to chronic inflammation, a weaker immune system and chronic diseases. So, increasing your antioxidant intake is a great way to fight these natural processes!

Pineapples in particular have loads of powerful antioxidants. These include flavonoids, phenolic acids, vitamin C and manganese. Thanks to these compounds, eating pineapple helps your dog fight infection, viruses, and bacteria, as well as helping with cellular regeneration and preventing chronic diseases.

It helps their joints

Remember those enzymes? Well, they also work as an anti-inflammatory. Because of it, researchers believe bromelain can help relieve some of the pain associated with arthritis. Plus, its high vitamin C content also served to protect joint cartilage, build immunity and strengthen collagen in the joints.

Some studies found an association between bromelain consumption and fewer arthritis symptoms in dogs [3], which are great news! Of course, these findings are still preliminary. If you think your dog is suffering joint pain, always talk to your vet before adding supplements to their diet.

Pineapple could improve chronic ear infections

This is one of the latest findings on the benefits of pineapples for dogs, so it’s still in the early stages of research. A study found that a fish-based diet, paired with pineapple and ginseng, significantly improved chronic ear infections in dogs! [4]

The authors of the study consider the reasons for this improvement were two-fold: because of the anti-inflammatory properties of fish and pineapple, and because the diet prevented food allergies. Among dogs, food allergies and intolerances are some of the most common causes of skin diseases, including external otitis. This means that switching to foods that don’t cause an allergic reaction is one of the best ways to treat chronic inflammation and infections of the skin.

PRO TIP: Do you think your dog has food allergies? Ask your vet to try an elimination diet. This is mainly reducing their food consumption to a very small number of items, and slowly adding new foods one by one. This process helps narrow down what exactly are your dog’s food sensitivities. Always ask your veterinarian before trying any sudden changes in your dog’s diet!


How To Give Pineapple To Your Dog

Step 1. Peel and cut the fruit

Even though pineapples are a safe food for dogs, the skin and other parts of the fruit are not! In fact, pineapple have “eyes” that can be very irritant to their mouth and stomach.

Before giving pineapple to your dog, cut out the flesh and leaves, take out the eyes and remove the core. Then, cut the fleshy parts of the fruit into smaller chunks.

PRO TIP: Take care to cut up the fruit into small pieces! A larger chunk of fruit can get lodged in your dog’s throat and cause asphyxiation. It’s better to err on the smaller side.

Step 2: Start small

This means only giving small portions of pineapple, and never overfeeding. Remember that pineapple should only become up to 10% of your dog’s diet (and that is counting pineapples and other treats!). If your dog has never eaten pineapple, just give one small piece to start.

Step 3. Watch their reaction

You should not only check if they like pineapple, but also if the fruit causes any allergic reaction or gastrointestinal upset. If they have diarrhoea, are vomiting or have other symptoms, then pineapple isn’t the right snack.

Step 4. Only offer fresh pineapple

This one should go beyond saying, but it bears repeating. Only give fresh fruit to your dog! Canned pineapple is full of sugars and preservatives that can be detrimental to your dog’s health.


Final Thoughts

If your dog is always begging for a little pineapple piece, now you know they can eat it! This fruit is full of amazing nutrients to help round up your dog’s diet. Plus, it can help fight inflammation and chronic disease, so what’s not to love?

Remember to keep pineapple as an occasional treat, and offer balanced dog food the rest of the time.

Check out our other fruit related articles:


References

  1. Behnke, et al. "Developing novel anthelmintic from plant cysteine proteinases." Parasites & vectors 1.1 (2008): 1-18. https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1756-3305-1-29
  2. Dodds, W. J. "Functional foods: the new paradigm based on nutrigenomics." Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association 36 (2014): 26-35. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20153355526
  3. Siengdee, P., et al. (2010). Effects of bromelain on cellular characteristics and expression of selected genes in canine in vitro chondrocyte culture. Veterinarni Medicina, 55(11), 551-560. https://www.agriculturejournals.cz/publicFiles/30936.pdf
  4. Quantavalla, F., et al. (2004). The role of Nutrition in the health of canine ears. Ann. Fac. Med. Vet di pharma, 24, 53-67. https://www.academia.edu/download/41398105/THE_ROLE_OF_NUTRITION_IN_THE_HEALTH_OF_C20160122-30109-17eh20m.pdf
Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is a dog lover & anthropologist. She enjoys writing content that will actually help people understand their dogs better. Eloisa is able to use her expertise to write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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