Kiwi fruits are low in calories and contain lots of nutrients and fiber. But are they safe for dogs to eat? Read on to find out more.
Not all healthy human foods are beneficial for dogs though. Some nutritious foods can even be toxic to dogs, such as garlic and onions.
Fortunately, you don’t need to worry if your dog steals a piece of kiwi. Kiwi is fine for dogs to eat in small quantities, preferably with the skin removed. Whether it’s a beneficial food for dogs to eat is another matter though.
Can Dogs Eat Kiwi Fruit?
Yes, dogs can eat kiwi – but only occasionally and in moderation!
Kiwi isn’t toxic for dogs and is generally safe for them to eat in small amounts. In fact, kiwi fruit may offer certain health benefits.
However, you should be careful about introducing any new food to your dog’s diet. Kiwi contains a lot of sugar, so it can cause a stomach upset in some cases. Talk to your vet before feeding your dog any new foods or changing their diet.
Vet Note from Dr Linda Simon: “While dogs can eat kiwi, most choose not to as they aren’t particularly a fan of the sweet, sour and acidic tastes.”
What Are The Benefits of Kiwi for Dogs?
Kiwi contains a range of healthy properties that may be beneficial to dogs. Some examples of kiwi’s potential nutritional benefits include:
- Packed with Vitamin C. A cup of kiwi fruit provides humans with 273% of their daily recommended intake of Vitamin C! Dogs produce Vitamin C naturally, so it’s less common for them to have deficiencies. But getting a little extra from a kiwi is no bad thing. Clinical observations suggest that stressed dogs can deplete their supplies of Vitamin C more quickly, so kiwi may be helpful if you’ve rehomed an anxious rescue dog.
- Low in calories. If your dog is on a weight loss programme, kiwi could be a healthy snack option. It should only be given to your dog occasionally though.
- Rich in fiber. Kiwi is a good source of fiber. This could aid your dog’s digestion, help them feel fuller for longer, and promote healthy bowel movements.
- Anti-inflammatory properties. Kiwi fruit contains the proteins kiwellin and kissper. These are both thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Packed with other vitamins and minerals. Some of the other beneficial components of kiwi include vitamins A, B6, B12, E, K and magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium.
What Are The Dangers of Giving Dogs Kiwi Fruit?
Despite the above benefits, you probably shouldn’t be feeding kiwi as a regular part of your dog’s diet. Dogs don’t naturally eat a lot of fruit, so they’re best reserved for an occasional treat.
Fruit is high in sugars, and veterinary nutritionists recommend that treats like this shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet. There also haven’t been any studies confirming whether the potential benefits of kiwi actually apply to dogs.
Some of the potential risks of eating too much kiwi include:
- Allergic reaction
- Health issues due to the high sugar content
- Vomiting or diarrhea due to the sugar and fibre content
- Choking on the kiwi skin or on chunks of fruit
If you notice any of these symptoms, stop feeding your dog kiwi immediately and contact a vet.
Vet Note from Dr Linda Simon: “Thankfully allergies to kiwi in dogs are rare (unlike in human children) and, while possible, aren’t something I have encountered in practice.”
Carefully Manage Your Dog’s Consumption
Kiwi, or any fruit, should never be given to your dog in large quantities. As already mentioned, the sugar levels are too high to make it a healthy treat.
As with any food, some dogs can also be allergic to kiwi fruit. You should always introduce new foods gradually and look for signs of an allergic reaction or intolerance.
Symptoms of an allergy could include an upset stomach, skin irritation, or even serious respiratory issues. If you’re concerned about anything your dog has eaten, or their reaction to it, you should always seek advice from your vet.
Even if your dog doesn’t have an allergy to kiwi fruit, they may have an upset stomach if it’s introduced too quickly. A dog’s digestive system needs time to adapt to new foods.
If your dog manages to snaffle a whole kiwi from the fruit bowl, it could even present a choking or blockage hazard. Make sure you always cut the fruit into slices and keep the bowl out of reach of counter surfers!
What About Kiwi Skin for Dogs?
The tough outer skin of the kiwi is usually removed before eating, and it’s important to remove this skin before giving the fruit to your dog.
Aside from being unpleasant to eat, the extra fiber increases the risk of stomach upsets and diarrhea. There’s also a small risk of it becoming a choking hazard if the dog doesn’t chew it properly.
However, kiwi skin is probably not toxic for dogs to eat in small quantities and can have additional health benefits, due to the extra fibre and vitamin E. This doesn’t mean you should purposefully give your dog kiwi skin though.
You might be wondering if the many seeds in kiwi will cause a problem. Luckily, these are safe for your dog to consume, so you don’t need to pick them out.
Choose a Ripe Kiwi for Dogs
Kiwi fruits are a year-round option. However, you should only give ripe kiwi to your dog. An overripe kiwi fruit may not be suitable for eating.
It’s usually easy to spot a ripe kiwi, as it will be brown and firm. There shouldn’t be any signs of bruising or mold, as this could indicate that the fruit has overripened.
Should Dogs Eat Kiwi? A Quick Summary
Kiwi is a low calorie and high fiber fruit that isn’t toxic for dogs. It’s fine to give your dog the occasional piece, as long as they don’t have an allergy to the fruit.
Dogs don’t naturally eat fruits, however, so kiwi shouldn’t make up a regular part of your pet’s diet. The high sugar content is unhealthy, while the fibre can cause diarrhea if too much is consumed.
You should also remove kiwi skin before giving it to your dog. While edible, the skin is tough to chew and can sometimes be a choking hazard.