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Can Dogs Eat Kiwi? The Sweet Truth About This Sweet Fruit

Kiwi is packed with nutrients, including fiber and potassium. This small, portable fruit has more vitamin C than an orange and has numerous health benefits for fruit-loving people. 

Can Dogs Eat Kiwi? The Sweet Truth About This Sweet Fruit

Kiwi is packed with nutrients, including fiber and potassium. This small, portable fruit has more vitamin C than an orange and has numerous health benefits for fruit-loving people. 

By: Dr. Juli, DVM

Many people love the tart, sweet taste of the exotic kiwifruit or kiwi. This small, portable fruit has more vitamin C than an orange and has numerous health benefits for fruit-loving people. Many dog owners love sharing their favorite snacks with their favorite pooch. However, not all human food, including some fruits, is safe or nutritionally beneficial for your pet.

Understanding which human foods are dog-safe is critical to responsible pet ownership and will help avoid emergency veterinary visits. So, let's delve into the safety of kiwi for dogs and how to recognize signs your dog has a kiwi allergy.

 

 

As with any new food or treat, always check with your veterinarian before changing or adding anything to your dog's diet to ensure it's a safe option for your pup. 

Nutritional Benefits of Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit is a popular addition to many fruit salads, and many people enjoy indulging in kiwi as a healthy alternative to sweet, sugary snacks. Kiwi is packed with nutrients, including fiber and potassium. Other kiwi vitamins include vitamins C, A, E, and K. Kiwi is also rich with antioxidants, including beta carotene, folate, and lutein, which supports eye health.

The high water content and fiber also make it an option for people with occasional constipation. The outer rough kiwi skin and soft fiber-filled fruit can aid gastrointestinal (GI) contractions to move food through the digestive tract. However, never feed your dog kiwi skin.

Although the list of nutritional benefits for people is extensive, the same does not apply to our four-legged friends. Dogs digest foods differently than people, and the amount of kiwi they need to consume to receive adequate nutrient levels would likely cause severe GI problems or other health issues. Additionally, dogs fed a complete and balanced diet do not require additional nutrients to remain healthy. 

Risks of Feeding Kiwi to Dogs

Although kiwi is not inherently toxic to dogs, feeding it to your pup has risks. Like people, dogs can respond differently to certain foods. So, while kiwi may be okay for some dogs, it could be detrimental to the health of another dog. Always check with your veterinarian before feeding your dog kiwi or any human food. Several risks are associated with feeding your dog kiwi, especially when fed in large quantities or improperly.

Choking Hazard and Obstruction

Some ball-loving dogs may mistake a whole kiwi for a new toy. However, because of its small size, it may be easily swallowed whole by some medium or large-breed dogs, posing a choking risk and hazard for GI upset, requiring emergency veterinary care. The rough, fuzzy skin is also difficult for dogs to digest and may cause additional GI problems or an upset stomach. Even if you don’t have a small dog, you should always cut the kiwi into small, bite-sized pieces.

Sugar Spikes

Kiwi is high in natural sugars, which can cause a glycemic spike, which is especially dangerous for diabetic dogs or pups with other underlying metabolic health conditions.

Weight Gain

Although high in fiber, the natural sugar content can lead to weight gain in dogs when regularly fed. With over 50% of US dogs being overweight or obese, ensure that your pup's daily snack allotment does not compose more than 10% of their daily calories to prevent weight gain and obesity.  

Gastrointestinal Distress

Adding fiber to your dog's diet can help with occasional constipation. However, feeding your dog too much fiber-filled kiwi can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea. Dogs with sensitive stomachs are also at risk for GI distress, including vomiting or pancreatitis in severe cases.  

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Kiwi?

Kiwi is known to cause allergic reactions in some people, which can lead to problems including skin redness, hives, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing. Similarly, dogs can also suffer from allergic reactions to any food or fruit, even if they are not considered toxic to dogs.

Bring your dog for immediate veterinary care if they show any allergic reactions signs, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Swelling on any part of the body
  • Fever
  • Itching 
  • Red or inflamed skin
  • Tremors
  • Lethargy

Is Kiwi Safe for Dogs?

Before feeding your dog any kiwi, check with your veterinarian to ensure it's not contraindicated for your pup or any medications they may be taking. Although kiwi is not toxic, it may be problematic for some dogs with underlying health issues like diabetes or food allergies.

Kiwi should only be offered as the occasional treat and fed in small amounts to prevent weight gain and GI upset.

Follow these steps for safely feeding your dog kiwi:

  • Clean the fruit with soap and water to remove debris or pesticides, and rinse thoroughly.
  • Peel off the skin and discard. Never give your dog kiwi skin because it is difficult for your dog's digestive system to process.
  • Cut the fruit into small, bite-size pieces.
  • If it is your dog's first time eating kiwi, offer one small piece of kiwi, then monitor closely for allergy signs.
  • Only feed your dog a few small pieces as the occasional treat. Kiwi should not be fed daily, and giving your dog too many kiwi can lead to GI problems and weight gain.

Dog-Safe Alternatives to Kiwifruit

Providing dog treats is one of the many ways to strengthen your bond and show your furry friend love. However, too much of a good thing can be dangerous for your pup and put them at risk of painful GI problems. Although offering your dog fiber-filled kiwi for the occasional constipation may be tempting, there are better dog-safe alternatives, like Native Pet Pumpkin Powder.

Other dog-safe alternatives to kiwi include:

  • Dog-safe fresh veggies, like green beans or baby carrots
  • Long-lasting chews, like Native Pet Yak Chews
  • Homemade dog treats like the ones listed here
  • Placing a small amount of your dog's food in a puzzle toy to enrich their brain and feed their belly

Although kiwi is not toxic, dog parents must exercise caution when offering any human food to their pets. Kiwi can exacerbate underlying health problems or create new ones for some dogs, so always check with your veterinarian before feeding it. While kiwi seeds are safe to eat, never give your dog kiwi skin, and ensure that you only offer kiwi in small amounts when feeding it to your dog as an occasional treat.

For more information and tips on your dog's health, check out the Native Pet blog.

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