My latest obsession: Pineapple! I pretty much always have one in the house for breakfast parfaits, smoothies, healthy snacks, and, of course, happy hour Piña Coladas (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?!). This tropical fruit offers up a satisfying sweet/tart/tangy flavor. Plus, it’s loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that make it great for our health (well, as long as it’s not mixed with coconut cream and rum ;-p). In this week’s Food Facts feature, we’re answering the question: Can dogs eat fresh pineapple?
Short answer: Yes!
Pineapple Nutritional Info
According to the US Department of Agriculture, 1 thin slice (about 56 grams) is packed with:
- Water – 48.2 g
- Calories – 28
- Protein – 0.302 g
- Total fat – 0.067 g
- Carbs – 7.35 g
- Fiber – 0.784 g
- Sugars – 5.52 g
- Calcium – 7.28 mg
- Iron – 0.162 mg
- Magnesium – 6.72 mg
- Phosphorus – 4.48 mg
- Potassium – 61 mg
- Sodium – 0.56 mg
- Zinc – 0.067 mg
- Manganese – 0.519 mg
- Thiamin – 0.044 mg
- Folate – 10.1 µg
- Carotene, beta – 19.6 µg
- Vitamin A – 1.68 µg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.063 mg
- Vitamin C – 26.8 mg
- Vitamin K – 0.392µg
In summary, pineapple is chock full of key nutrients like vitamin C, folate, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. While each offers up health benefits to us and our dogs, much of pineapple’s healing powers come from a protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain. Experts claim bromelain has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, along with a long list of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Pineapple
- Fights Inflammation – Chronic inflammation is at the root of almost all diseases. Good news: Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which researches say has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Boosts Immune System – Along with bromelain, pineapple is rich in a variety of immune-boosting vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s high in a variety of antioxidants that help fight against free-radicals in the body, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells. If there are too many free radicals in the body, it can damage your dog’s DNA and lead to chronic disease.
- Great Addition to an Anti-Cancer Diet – Several studies have shown that pineapple and its compounds may reduce the risk of cancers. Once again, this is thanks to the bromelain.
- Aids Digestive Health – The anti-inflammatory effects of bromelain, along with pineapple’s fiber, high water content, and electrolytes all benefit digestive health.
- Offers Heart Health Benefits – Fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and bromelain all offer up heart health benefits.
- May Ease Arthritis – Since bromelain, offers anti-inflammatory properties, it’s believed to help ease arthritis and joint pain.
- Bone Health – The manganese, magnesium, and calcium in pineapples help promote bone health! Manganese is essential for bone health, including development and maintenance. Plus, the magnesium helps the body to absorb and retain calcium (the building block for bone growth and regeneration).
Another Possible Benefit of Pineapple For Dogs
Sometimes our dogs do gross things and we’re left asking ourselves: WHY?! Well, eating poop is one of those nasty behaviors. The technical term for it is coprophagia and, if your pooch does this, know you’re not alone. It could be the result of poor diet, digestive issues, parasites, puppy exploration, isolation, anxiety/stress, boredom, or even seeking attention. Obviously, the best thing you can do is figure out the exact cause … and always keep your dog’s space clean. But, as you investigate and grab the waste bags, you may also try introducing pineapple into your pup’s diet.
Pineapple is believed to make a dog’s feces smell and taste unpleasant, bitter, and/or acidic. There is no real scientific evidence to support this. But, a lot of pet parents swear by it! If your dog is a poop eater then it may be worth a try.
When it comes to feeding pineapple to your dog, there are a few things to know:
- Moderation is key. Since this fruit is high in natural sugars, it can lead to digestive upset if overfed. Start with one or two bites and see how your dog handles it. If you have any questions or concerns, consult with your veterinarian!
- Opt for fresh or frozen. When feeding fresh, ditch the tough core and spiny skin. Stick with the softer, fleshy part!
- Avoid canned, as the syrup is full of processed sugar that isn’t good for our dogs.
- Avoid serving store-bought pineapple juice, as it contains added sugar that isn’t good for our dogs.
Add a few pineapple chunks to your dog’s food bowl or offer them up as a healthy treat! Either feed it straight up or use it as an ingredient in homemade dog treats, like my Tropical Treasure Dog Biscuits:
Another great treat idea? If your dog likes frozen snacks, blend up pineapple with a little coconut oil or plain Greek yogurt and freeze in silicone molds!
Get More Doggy Food Facts
This feature is part of a weekly web series called Food Facts Friday. Every Friday, we share foods that are great for our canine companions. Check out other foods highlighted in this series HERE!