While there is dearth of clinically sound research studies supporting the old wives’ tale of using pineapples as a ‘cure’ for dogs eating their own poop – a condition called coprophagia – many pet owners and online pet resources proclaim the fruit’s effectiveness in deterring pooches from feeding on their own feces. Whether this is true or not, it should not only be the sole reason why you should give pineapples to your pet. Yes, dogs can eat these tarty yet sweet tropical fruit delicacies that always remind us of the warm glow of summer. They’re packed with vitamins and antioxidants, but can be quite unhealthy, too, if consumed more than is necessary.
More than Just a Tropical Fruit
From March all the way through June, you’ll see local markets displaying pineapples in their fruit shelves for everyone to feast on. While it has become synonymous to tropical goodness, pineapples can be very healthy treats for dogs, too, especially if they are given in moderation. Just look at the nutritional profile of pineapples and the benefits that they bring to your pooch.
- Vitamin C – As an antioxidant, vitamin C is helpful in providing your pooch with healthier tissues primarily its skin and its coat. This vitamin is also important in boosting the immune system so you don’t necessarily have to worry about your mutt’s ability to ward off infections. This can be particularly beneficial for canines with reduced immune system functioning. More importantly, however, is vitamin C’s role in collagen synthesis. This easily translates to firmer, healthier skin as well as other tissues that contain collagen as its principal component.
- Manganese – Not many understand the many benefits of this mineral. One of the most important uses of manganese is in increasing the density and mass of bones, especially those found in the backbone, making it stronger and more resistant to fractures. Manganese also has antioxidant properties and may aid in controlling blood sugar levels. It has anti-inflammatory and cognitive enhancing functions both of which can greatly benefit aging canines.
- Copper – Known for its role in the reduction of inflammation of the joints such as what happens in arthritis, copper is indeed a very important nutrient especially among elderly canines that may already be suffering from reduced mobility because of problems in the joints. Aside from this, copper is also important in the synthesis of new and healthier red blood cells which help in the more efficient oxygenation of the cells. Copper also has antioxidant properties.
- Vitamin B6 – This B vitamin is important in enhancing the overall function of your pooch’s immune system so that it will be more resistant to infections as well as inflammatory conditions. Mutts that have problems in cognition can also benefit from pyridoxine found in pineapples.
- Vitamin B1 – If your mutt is already showing signs of cognitive decline such as forgetfulness, giving a slice or two of fresh pineapple can supply it with vitamin B1. This vitamin can help improve some of the signs of cognitive decline by improving the health and functioning of the nervous system.
- Folate – This nutrient is important in the synthesis and repair of DNA while also encouraging optimum growth of cells and tissues. Including pineapples in your mutt’s diet can help supply it with folate for healthier cells and tissues.
- Pantothenic acid – Known as vitamin B5, pantothenic acid is essential for the normal and more efficient metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbs so your dog will have the nutrient building blocks, energy, and cellular integrity that it needs.
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Not Too Much Though
As we have already said above, pineapples may be nutritious and beneficial for your pooch, but it can also be dangerous if you give your mutt too much of this tropical fruit. As always, moderation is the key. And here’s why.
Pineapple contains a lot of fiber. It should be good, right? Besides, a lot of the dry kibbles that we give to our food contain fiber. But the point is that giving too much fibrous foods to canines can effectively draw out water from the walls of the intestines leading to constipation.
Additionally, pineapples contain lots of sugar known as fructose. If your canid happens to be predisposed to canine diabetes, then you are merely increasing its risk. We are not saying that you should not give pineapples to a dog that has a high risk for becoming obese and developing diabetes. What we are saying is to give pineapples in smaller portions than giving a whole bowl of it.
Moreover, skip canned pineapples. These may save you the hassle of paring and cutting these tropical fruits but you are also increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes to your pooch. The reason is quite simple. Majority of canned pineapples are bathed in a syrupy solution that is made of sweeteners. You already have a naturally sweet pineapple. Adding syrup into the mix further increases its sugar content. Going fresh is still the best way to help your pooch enjoy its treat.
Also, don’t ever give to your pooch the core and the spiky skin of the pineapple. They won’t be able to digest these properly which can lead to stomach upset.
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The Truth about Coprophagia and Pineapples
Many people observe that when they give pineapples to their poop-loving and poop-eating pooch, this behavior is inherently minimized, if not eliminated. While there is no conclusive clinical evidence to support such claims, many of the anecdotal evidence point to the tendency of pineapples to make a dog’s poop less appealing. It would seem that pineapples may taste and smell good when eaten, but it surely isn’t when already passed out in the stools.
While it may help, a better approach is to consult with a veterinarian to check for any underlying medical condition why your pooch loves eating its poop. It is also possible that you’re not giving it food that is nutritious and palatable for it.
Whether it is for your poop-eating pooch or simply for its amazing health benefits, it’s always a good idea to give our mutts a slice or two of fresh, sweet pineapple. Just remember to do it in moderation.