Appealing in looks, sweet in taste, and crunchy in texture — Dragon fruit has to be one of the coolest fruits on the market!
This unusual fruit comes from several different species of cactus that are indigenous to Central and South America.
Dragon fruit is not only amazing to look at, but is delicious to eat. So, it’s no surprise that our dogs might be interested in helping us eat them.
In this article, we’ll ask, can dogs have dragon fruit? We’ll discover how safe they are, and if there are any health benefits or potential problems for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Dragon Fruit?
The dragon fruit plant has a very unique appearance. It looks kind of like a cactus version of a weeping willow tree, that has bright-red spiky fruit that grows on the end of each prickly green stem.
The fruit itself is sweet and loaded with prebiotics and antioxidants. This makes dragon fruit one of the healthiest fruits you can buy!
But, can a dog eat dragon fruit, and is it safe? The simple answer is yes! It’s harmless and completely non-toxic to dogs. What’s more, it’s really healthy for them too.
However, we wouldn’t advise you let your dog get too close to one of those plants, as your furry best friend could get covered in nasty prickles.
Types of Dragon Fruit – Dragon Fruit Varieties
The Dragon fruit plant is heavily affected by the climate of the area it grows. This in turn alters the dragon fruit color and appearance, taste, and nutritional value.
Knowing this, perhaps we should really ask – Are all the different dragon fruit colors safe for dogs?
White/Pink Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit with bright pink skin and containing white-colored flesh is cultivated in Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Southeast Asia.
The creamy white flesh contains black colored seeds, and is completely safe for dogs to eat!
Purple Dragon Fruit
Purple dragon fruit for dogs is safe too and found in Honduras and Guatemala. It’s packed with beta carotene, which is a great ingredient for your dog’s eye health.
Red Dragon Fruit
Mainly cultivated in Costa Rica and Mexico, they can also be found throughout South America. Red dragon fruit is red on the outside, red on the inside, and entirely safe for dogs to eat!
This variety is typically high in ascorbic acid content, which can boost immunity in your dog.
Yellow Dragon Fruit
This dragon fruit variety has a striking bright yellow skin, and is white inside with black seeds sprinkled throughout.
Yellow dragon fruit are believed to be the tastiest of all the dragon fruit varieties. Again, this is absolutely safe for dogs!
The clear message to remember about all dragon fruit varieties, is that they are not only safe, but can make for an outstanding addition to your dog’s diet!
Not convinced? Let’s take an in depth look at the benefits.
Dragon Fruit Nutritional Info
The different dragon fruit varieties may contain slight differences in nutritional benefits, but they’re all primarily equal in terms of nutritional contents and their values.
Take a look at the Nutritional value of a dragon fruit:
Protein (3.57 grams)
- Fat (0 grams)
- Carbohydrates (82.14 grams)
- Dietary fiber (1.8 grams)
- Calcium (107 mg)
- Sodium (39 mg)
- Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid (6.4 mg)
- Fatty acids (0 grams)
- Cholesterol (0 mg)
Is Dragon Fruit Good for Dogs? – Benefits of Dragon Fruit for Dogs
Dragon fruit is incredibly tasty and remarkably healthy for your dog. This amazing sweet fruit has literally no fatty acids, cholesterol, or fat content.
If you feed your dog a healthy balanced diet, the food will likely have all the proteins and carbohydrates your dog needs. But what about vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants?
This is where dragon fruit for dogs can be a godsend! It’s jam-packed with all the additional nutrition that can enhance your dog’s diet.
Dragon fruit seeds
Our usual recommendation is that you should avoid letting your dog eat the seeds of any fruit, as they may pose a choking hazard.
However, when it comes to a dragon fruit seed, it’s different.
The dragon fruit seed is very small and so soft that it can’t get stuck in your dog’s throat.
The seeds are also easily digested, which makes them completely safe to eat.
Here’s some of the many other health benefits of dragon fruit for dogs:
- Boosted immunity: The high vitamin C and antioxidant content of dragon fruit can help strengthen the immune system of your dog.
- Better digestive function: Dragon fruit for dogs is loaded with fiber, this promotes digestion and eases bowel movements.
- Additionally, dragon fruit for dogs contain prebiotics that help increase the number of “good” bacteria in your furry friend’s abdomen, improving their digestive action.
- Cancer-resistance: Flavonoids and betacyanin present in dragon fruits are well-known cancer-fighting agents. These metabolites also protect the cells of your dogs from free-radical damage, combating cancer and premature aging.
- Prevents anemia: Both you and your dog need hemoglobin to transport oxygen in the blood, this is enhanced by the minerals in dragon fruit. The higher the hemoglobin level (up to a limit), the better the supply of oxygen to your dog’s organs, providing energy and resisting anemia.
Aside from the health benefits, dragon fruit can be handy if you have a sweet-toothed diabetic dog. Giving them suitably sized dragon fruit chunks once in a while would be a perfect choice for a tasty treat.
Is Dragon Fruit Bad for Dogs? – Risks of Dragon Fruit for Dogs
Dragon fruit is high in sugar content, which can pose the following potential health concerns:
- Depilation: An excessive intake of sugar can cause depilation (or hair/fur loss). It can also cause endocrine disorder, which may affect metabolism, growth, and the overall temperament of your dog.
- Therefore, it’s a good idea not to feed dragon fruit to your dog too frequently — moderation is highly advised.
- Gut irritation: Too much sugar from dragon fruit can also trigger stomach irritation. This will strain the intestines of dogs trying to process the excess sugar properly.
- Tooth Decay: High amounts of dragon fruit can heavily damage your dog’s dental health by sticking to their teeth and gums, this can increase the chances of plaque build-up, leading to decay.
- Obesity: It is common knowledge that excessive sugar can lead to weight issues. Obesity can further lead to numerous other health problems!
In a nutshell, dragon fruit should be fed to your dog in moderation.
Keep in mind the universally accepted 10-percent rule – Treats should never account for more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
Pitaya vs Dragon Fruit – Is there a difference?
There’s no difference between dragon fruit and pitaya — they’re different names for the same tropical fruit!
Dragon fruit has a few aliases:
- Strawberry Pear
The names “pitahaya” and “pitaya” comes from Mexico, whereas the name Dragon Fruit is a literal translation of its local name in Vietnam.
Vietnam is where the fruit is cultivated and exported on a huge commercial scale. This has popularized the dragon fruit name.
Whatever it’s called, it’s definitely safe for dogs! In moderation, they can be a great addition to your dog’s diet!
Can Dogs Eat Dragon Fruit Skin?
As appealing as it seems, the dragon fruit skin is leather-like and has rough, scaly spikes on its exterior.
It is not easily chewable, hard to swallow, and harder to digest!
It’s not a good idea to let your dog eat dragon fruit skin. It’s always best to peel it off to prevent a choking hazard or abdominal blockages.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Dragon Fruit?
Dried dragon fruit is both safe and unsafe for your dog, depending on how the fruit is dried!
If the dried dragon fruit contains pure fruit with no preservatives, extra sugar, or added flavors, they’re not just safe, they’re actually safer than the fresh dragon fruit for dogs. They’re even easier to chew and digest.
However, steer clear of the dried dragon fruit that contains preservatives or artificial flavoring agents, as they might be allergenic, or even toxic to your dog.
Can Dogs Have Dragon Fruit Juice?
Yes, it is safe, but in small quantities.
Whole dragon fruit juice is safe for your dog but we don’t recommend you do this. It’s incredibly easy to accidentally give your dog too much.
At maximum, give your dog a few splashes of any fresh dragon fruit juices from the plate you used to slice it; never pour lots of juice into their bowl — your dog will end up consuming way too much of it.
Secondly, don’t add extra sugar or salt to the dragon fruit juices that you give your dog.
Pure dragon fruit juice in very small quantities is safe to give to your dog, but in very small amounts and only once in a while.
Dragon Fruit for Dogs – Is It Safe?
Yes! On the whole, dragon fruit is safe and non-toxic for dogs. In fact, it’s very good health-wise and can make a great addition to your dog’s diet. It’s a fantastic natural source of minerals and antioxidants.
Even the seeds are safe to eat!
However, too much of this astonishing superfruit can be bad for dogs, as it does have high sugar content.
Also, avoid giving the skin of the dragon fruit to your furry best friend, it’s a serious choking hazard and definitely NOT safe.
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All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian’s advice.