Does your dog love mango? If he does, it’s easy to understand why. Mangoes, especially when they are ripe, are juicy and sweet. But how about their dried counterparts? Will it be safe to share a few pieces of dried mango with dogs? Read on for more information.
What You Need to Know About Dried Mango
Dried mango is made by dehydrating or air-drying the mango pieces. The water content in the fresh fruit is removed, which is a way of preserving it. There are various ways of doing it. Some soak the mango in lemon and honey first before the drying process.
Is it true that certain nutrients are also removed when the mangoes are dried? Yes, it is. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed that drying fruits significantly reduce their Vitamin C content. This has something to do with the fact that Vitamin C is very heat-sensitive.
Nonetheless, your dried mango still has fiber and antioxidants. Several studies even suggest that there are more concentrations of nutrients when we take out water from the fruit. This is the reason why it’s still healthy to snack on dried fruits from time to time.
Can Dog Eat Dried Mango?
Yes, you can share small slices of dried mango with your pet. Like their fresh counterpart, dried mangoes are bursting with macronutrients. Mangoes have antioxidants that can boost Fido’s immune system.
The dietary fiber found in mangoes also keeps constipation at bay. Also called pectin, this highly soluble type of fiber can prevent diarrhea in dogs, too. All in all, mangoes promote a healthier digestion.
Compared to fresh mangoes, though, dried mangoes have more calories. If you are helping your dog shed some pounds, giving him dried mangoes would not be helpful. A 4-piece serving of dried mango has as much as 160 calories while a cup of fresh mangoes only has 100 calories.
The thing with dried mangoes is that they can be quite expensive, especially when it’s not mango season. It’s more convenient to make some at home using your oven rather than buying it from the grocery. It will only take a couple of hours compared to dehydrating the fruit which can take as long as 10 hours.
Making your own dried mango at home also assures you that there is no added sugar or preservatives in your pet’s snack. It also allows you to control the thickness of the slices.
Benefits of Dried Mango for Dogs
Aside from supporting a healthier gut and having a great amount of antioxidants, mangoes have a lot more to offer. Even whey are dried or dehydrated, mangoes remain a powerhouse of nutrients. Here are the advantages of sharing slices of dried mango with dogs:
- They are a great source of potassium. This mineral can balance out a high sodium intake, which helps in managing blood pressure levels. Mango is just one of the tropical fruits that are rich in potassium.
- They are good for the brain. Mangoes are loaded with B-vitamins that promote healthy brain neurotransmitters. This is the reason why many people eat mango as a sleeping aid.
- They can protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration. Like us, our pets are also prone to eye diseases related to aging. Mangoes have zeaxanthin, an antioxidant known to filter out blue light rays.
- They promote healthier bones. Mangoes boast some of the nutrients that are all essential for strong bones. This includes calcium and Vitamin K. The mineral and vitamin are both important to prevent fractures.
- They can combat cancer. Did you know that mangoes are being used to prevent cancers, particularly prostate cancer? Thanks to their pectin and beta-carotene, which are both powerful enough to prevent many types of diseases including the deadly cancer.
Risks in Giving Dried Mango to Dogs
The only concern with dried mango is its very high sugar content. There are more sugars concentrated in the dried mangoes than the fresh mangoes. The natural sugar coming from fresh mangoes is better for dogs as it gives them the energy they need for daily activities.
As with humans, dogs also need sugar of some sort so they can go on with their daily activities and survive. However, too much of anything can be bad. Even natural sugars can be bad if ingested in unreasonable amounts. Excessive amounts of sugar can have a detrimental effect on your dog’s health.
Offer one to two slices from time to time to make sure Fido will not get to consume too much sugar. If you’re worried about the sugar content, consider the organic dried mangoes being sold in specialty stores. They don’t have any preservatives or sugar added.
Or better yet, just serve your dog fresh mangoes. They are not only more nutritious but there’s a lot more you can do with them compared to dried mangoes. You can puree them, add some coconut milk and honey for a refreshing treat to your dog or even mix those mango slices with some bananas for a simple frozen dog treat.
Dried mango is not really bad for doggies. Your pet can munch on it once in a while. Like the fresh mangoes, dried mangoes are nutrient-dense. They have the same dietary fiber, some vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as the fresh ones.
Just don’t over-feed your pet with dried mangoes because they contain high amounts of sugar. Meanwhile, mangoes are actually on top of the list of fruits best eaten fresh, so go ahead and share fresh fruits with your dog. It’s a healthier choice compared to the dried one.