Can Dogs Eat Kiwi Fruit: Are they Beneficial for Your Pet?

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Kiwi is nutrient-dense. Several studies in the past even named kiwi as a cancer-fighting fruit. It has been used in treating many medical conditions such as insomnia and diabetes.

Can Dogs Have Kiwi Fruit?

Yes, definitely! Kiwifruit, or simply kiwi, boasts of vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial to both you and your dog. It is on the list of the safe fruits for canines.

Kiwi 101: Know Your Fruit

The name of the fruit was derived from New Zealand’s national bird. The country is one of the biggest exporters of kiwi but history says the fruit really came from the Southern and Eastern parts of China. In fact, the kiwi was first called “strawberry peach” or yang tao. The history of kiwifruit can be traced back some 300 years ago.

The Europeans renamed it Chinese gooseberry later on, due to its distinct color and taste. There are different cultivars of kiwifruit and are around 40 varieties of it worldwide. The most common ones are those with the fuzzy brown skin and bright green flesh. They are called Abbott kiwifruit, which is green and round. The size of a kiwi is comparable to a large chicken’s egg.

While we usually see them in green, there are varieties of different colors. Some kiwifruits look yellow-white, while others are brownish.

Kiwi is not just a pocket-sized powerhouse that can treat several medical conditions. It also has many flavors. It is quite complex and can be both sweet and sour. Kiwis have the same tang and aroma as strawberries, which makes sense because they are technically berries. Sometimes, they have a delicate and slightly tart flavor.

Additionally, the fruit itself is not the only part of the kiwi plant that can do something for your dog. Did you know that the fruit’s branches and leaves can cure mange in dogs? The liquid is believed to be an effective natural remedy for this bad skin condition among canines.

The Nutritional Benefits of Kiwi

Kiwi is a small fruit but it is big in terms of nutrition. It offers so many health benefits that you will love giving it to your dog. Here are the amazing facts about the kiwifruit that make it a “superfood”:

  1. It has an impressive amount of Vitamin C.

Did you know that kiwis have more Vitamin C than oranges? Every 100g (about two kiwis) have as much as 155% of Vitamin C. A canine’s body has the capability to create Vitamin C but giving your dog foods rich in this vitamin would not hurt. In fact, it can help in the developing and maintaining of his teeth and gums.

  1. It is a good source of potassium.

Your dog’s diet should consist of 0.6% potassium. Kiwi is an excellent source of potassium that you can safely give to your pooch.

  1. Kiwi consists of a great deal of Vitamin K.

A 100g of kiwi contains 50% Vitamin K, a bone-building vitamin. This fat-soluble vitamin is necessary for blood coagulation. For humans, vitamin K is important for the functioning of most of our body’s enzymes.

  1. It is a good natural source of fiber.

When you have an overweight dog, your vet might suggest a high-fiber diet. Two medium kiwis contain 16% of fiber, which could make an always hungry dog feel full. You can offer the fruit to your dog if he is suffering from constipation and diarrhea.

  1. It is loaded with antioxidants that can boost the immunity. 

This fruit helps in boosting your pup’s immune system function. For us humans, it is difficult to ward off diseases when we have a weak immune system. That is why it is important to eat foods like kiwi that can make our immunity stronger. If kiwifruit helps in boosting your immunity, it does the same for your dog.

  1. It can help fight cancer.

Sad to say, even our dogs are susceptible to cancer. Like people, dogs may get cancer either from their genes or from environmental factors. There are also certain breeds that are more prone to cancer than others. It is actually common in canines, but even more prevalent in adult dogs. Once a canine reached the age of 10, there is a 50% chance he would develop a form cancer. While some things are beyond our control, there are some things that we can do to at least help our beloved dogs. One of this is giving them healthy meals. Kiwi is an excellent anti-cancer food that you could add to his diet.

  1. It has no saturated fats.

A piece of kiwi has no saturated fats at all. This makes kiwi a nice treat for canines with obesity problems. If you want to help your dog to get rid of the extra pounds or maintain his current healthy weight, better balance his fat intake.

  1. Kiwi has a great amount of copper.

Dogs need around 3.3 mg of copper daily for the formation of their connective tissues. Although many kibbles already have copper in them, it is still best to give your pet natural sources of copper like fruits and vegetables. A serving size of kiwi has 5% of copper in it.

Should you decide to incorporate fiber on a regular basis, it is best to consult your vet first. Every dog is different and just because a high-fiber diet is working wonders for others it doesn’t mean it will be the same for your pet. When you are not sure about giving your Fido a particular food, ask a vet.

Safety of Giving Kiwi to Dogs

Kiwi is a safe treat but be careful not to give your puppy too much of it. It might leave your dog with an itchy tongue. This is because kiwi contains Actinidain, an enzyme that acts on our tongue cells. This enzyme is also present in bananas and mangoes. Too much consumption of anything containing Actinidain can leave you with an irritated tongue or a weird feeling afterward.

Kiwis are a “no-waste” fruit because they are entirely edible. You can eat all parts of it, from the skin to the seeds. In fact, the skin contains three times more fiber than the flesh itself.

However, eating the skin usually leaves tiny quills on the tongue so it is easy to understand why you would normally peel a kiwi before eating it. Who eats the skin, anyway? It pretty much reminds people of the kiwi bird, from where the fruit’s new name was derived.

How to Prepare the Kiwi for Your Dog

When offering a kiwi to your furry friend, remember to keep these things in mind:

1.Buy fresh kiwi – the best thing about kiwis is that they stay ripe for a while. A ripe one can last in your fridge for a week and taste the same. But just like any fruit, kiwis also spoil. How will you know if a kiwi is still good for consumption? It should have an unwrinkled skin and should not have any signs of mold. When buying kiwi, make sure the skin is not too soft to the extent that you can already break it. A ripe kiwifruit should only give off slightly when you feel it. Choose firm kiwis with no discoloration.

2.Cut the kiwi into small sizes to avoid choking – This fruit is not that hard but remember that any small object can still potentially choke your dog. The best way to serve it, especially to small dogs, is to remove the skin first and dice it.

3.Make the fruit more interesting – the emerald green color of kiwi is already inviting, but you can still do something to make meal-time more fun! Try making a vegan chia pudding with kiwi. The chia seeds contribute to the healthy coat. Add it on top of his oatmeal. Or, just like most people do, mix it in your fruit salad! You can definitely share it with your dog.

4.Choose organic –Since not everyone owns a kiwi orchard, most of us get our kiwis from the supermarket. When buying fruits, opt for the organic ones. They have better antioxidant properties.

5.Look out for signs of allergies – If this is the first time you are giving kiwis to your dog, keep an eye on potential allergies. For us humans, a kiwi allergy usually happens after consuming too much of it. That may be the same thing for your puppy.

6.Avoid buying canned kiwis drenched in heavy syrup – They already contain lots of sugar that can harm your dog. If you will look at the labels, the carbohydrate content of canned kiwi is almost twice the ones of the fresh and frozen ones.

Conclusion

A kiwifruit is indeed a perfect treat for dogs that get a thrill out of complex-tasting foods. You may offer it to your puppy in small servings, but don’t give him too much of it. It might leave him defecating too much because of its high fiber content. The best way to give it to your pooch is to peel it and cut in small sizes. A slice of kiwi will be enough for your dog.

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