How many of you out there eat kiwi fruit as a part of your daily diet? If you do eat this nutrient-dense fruit regularly, you are sure to add a lot of essential vitamins to your body. Undoubtedly, kiwis are extremely healthy for humans to consume.
Now coming to dogs. Dog owners tend to feed much of their food to their beloved pets. However, before you feed anything to your dog, ensure that you are aware of and have researched the various human foods that can or cannot be consumed by dogs. Don’t assume that all fruits and vegetables are good for your canine. For instance, avocados are very good for humans. But for dogs, it is a strict no-no. Likewise, certain vegetables also cannot be eaten by dogs. All of these differences arise as the digestive system of a dog is quite different than ours. Hence, pet owners must be absolutely clear before putting anything into their dog’s mouth.
After reading all of this, the next thing coming to your mind would be, can dogs eat kiwi? Or is kiwi toxic for dogs? You will shortly discover the answers to all these questions as you read down further.
In this article, we shall explore facts on whether kiwis are good for dogs and whether can dogs eat kiwis. We will also peek through a few kiwi dog treats, what should be the feeding guide, and many more aspects.
What is Kiwi fruit all about?
Having originated in China, the kiwi or the Chinese gooseberry, originally known as “the kiwifruit” contains a higher content of vitamin C when compared to oranges and a higher amount of potassium as compared to a banana. This fruit is extremely tasty and is packed with loads of nutrients. Now come the main questions. Can dogs eat kiwis? To answer this question, yes, you can give kiwi to your dog. But you need to keep a few things in mind before feeding this fruit to your canine.
Now, when we say one needs to take certain precautionary measures before feeding kiwis to dogs, immediately, the next question popping into your mind would be, are kiwis bad for dogs? Or are kiwis toxic for dogs? Well, kiwis are not toxic, but you need to be aware of any kind of allergies your dog is dealing with. The water content within this fruit is nearly 80%, and the remaining 20% consists of natural sugars, vitamins, and minerals. Hence it shouldn’t be bad for your dog if you follow all the feeding instructions carefully.
The kiwi fruit has its own variations. One of them is the gold kiwi. Now you may wonder whether dogs can eat gold kiwi. Yes, they are perfectly ok for your dog to feed on. Gold kiwis are quite similar to the normal green-colored ones except for their taste. Yellow-colored kiwis are sweeter when compared to their green counterparts.
Kiwi berries may not be very popular, but these belong to the same family as the kiwi fruit. Kiwi berries are quite delicious and are of the same size as grapes but unlike the latter, these are quite safe for your dog to eat. However, make sure your canine does not gulp down an entire kiwi berry in one go, as it could be a potential choking hazard.
Before we jump into the details on how and when to feed kiwi to your pet and the precautions you need to exercise while giving this fruit to your dog, let us check the health benefits this fruit has on your canine.
Health Benefits of Kiwis for dogs
Kiwis undoubtedly are extremely beneficial to us. But if you are wondering if the same benefits apply to your dog too, you may be mistaken here. According to Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a doctor at New York City’s Animal Medical Center, the nutritional demands of dogs are quite different when compared to humans. So does this mean that dogs do not benefit from this fruit at all? Absolutely not. Dogs do reap a few benefits if they have kiwi as a part of their diet. Let us have a look at these benefits one by one.
1. A powerhouse of antioxidants and folic acid
Kiwis are packed with loads of antioxidants like beta carotene, folic acid, and lutein. All these antioxidants come in extremely handy for your dog to fight against free radicals, thereby strengthening its immunity. This ultimately implies that your dog can tackle all sorts of infections more effectively.
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 or folate aids in creating red blood cells and DNA. It also helps in improving metabolism.
2. High vitamin content
The kiwi fruit is an in-house of vitamins like Vitamin A, C, E, and K. Interestingly, the kiwi fruit has more vitamin C content when compared to an orange. Vitamin C helps your dog to tackle any kind of injury faster. It also uplifts its immune system. Vitamin K helps in improving and maintaining healthy blood cells. All these multivitamins ensure that your dog’s skin stays healthy and also improve the overall functionality of its circulatory system.
If your furry friend suffers from calcium oxalate kidney stones, then you need to keep an eye on the amount of vitamin C in your dog’s diet. A high amount of vitamin C consumption can lead to more stone formation and you would not want that to happen to your dog.
3. Contains a good amount of potassium and calcium
Kiwi also contains minerals like potassium and calcium in abundant quantities. Potassium helps in the transfer of energy between various cells and muscles. This ensures that your dog remains energetic and active throughout the day. Potassium is also important for the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Calcium is important for a strong and healthy bone and muscle structure in dogs. Your canine will undoubtedly be fit and sturdy.
4. Contains actinidin
Apart from the goodness of vitamins, minerals, calcium, potassium, and folic acid as mentioned above, kiwis are also packed with high loads of fiber content. When dogs eat kiwis in the right amounts, their digestive systems start working perfectly as they should. More importantly, actinidin, a very useful digestive enzyme is found in kiwi. This helps in the breakdown of proteins and other nutrients normally present in the regular foods which dogs eat.
We have seen how kiwi fruit can benefit your dog. However, it is important to keep a few things in your mind before you feed your pet with kiwi. Let us see what aspects and points you need to consider before feeding your dog with kiwi.
Methods of including kiwis in your dog’s diet
Before you put your dog on any new diet, check with your vet first. Just like we humans are allergic to certain foods, the same goes for dogs too. Hence, you need to keep a few things in mind before you feed kiwi to your dog.
Things to keep in mind while including kiwis in your dog’s diet
1. Start with minute portions
If you are feeding kiwi to your dog for the very first time, start by giving very small portions. If your dog feeds on a large portion of kiwis in a single go, it could face stomach-related ailments like tummy pain, vomiting, or even diarrhea.
You need to exercise this precaution, not just for kiwis, but for other human treats as well to eliminate the risks of any allergic reactions in your dog. As Dr. Hohenhaus puts it, some dogs adjust only to dog-specific foods and no human food at all, so be very careful in this aspect.
2. Every kiwi bit should be small
Cut the kiwi into tiny bite-sized pieces and give them to your pup. Be careful to not cut it in big sizes as your dog could choke on them. Dog breeds like Havanese and Chihuahua, which are relatively small, won’t even be able to put an entire kiwi into their mouths.
Whereas breeds like Golden Retriever could end up swallowing an entire kiwi fruit in one go. This could be a serious choking risk. Small-sized kiwi pieces make it much simpler for the dog to bite it, ultimately leading to better digestion.
3. Peel the kiwi skin
Make sure to remove the kiwi skin and then give it to your dog. No, we are not implying here that kiwi skin is unhealthy. Kiwi skin has a high fiber content. This fiber, along with the fiber present in the fruit can make it a high-fiber fruit for your canine.
High amounts of fiber in your dog’s food could spoil your dog’s tummy.
What happens when dogs consume kiwi skin along with the fruit?
If your dog eats the kiwi fruit along with its skin, it could suffer from constipation as kiwi skins tend to block the dog’s intestines. Dogs who suffer from constipation tend to develop other severe issues like obstipation and megacolon.
Moreover, the kiwi skin is quite tough and thick. Eating this skin could irritate your dog’s mouth and could also cause some itchiness and swelling. Hence to be on the safer side, it is better to discard the kiwi skin before feeding it to your dog.
4. Keep kiwis as a rare treat for your dog
Keep kiwis as an occasional treat for your pet. Yes, we have mentioned that kiwis can indeed be healthy for dogs.
But they also contain sugar. Regular intake of sugars could make your canine gain unwanted weight and ultimately render him or her inactive.
5. Monitor any warning signs
Watch out if your dog is exhibiting any allergic reactions or shows any distress signs like an upset tummy, any kind of swelling anywhere on its body, or any other symptoms of uneasiness.
If this is the case, you need to contact your vet immediately. If your dog is allergic to kiwis, then apart from kiwis, you need to omit bananas and watermelons too from its diet.
A Guide To Feeding Kiwis To Your Dogs
We have already seen that kiwis need to be chopped into tiny bits before you feed them. We have also seen why you need to remove the kiwi skin. Now, let us see how many kiwis your dog should be fed.
How much of kiwi should your dog eat?
Undoubtedly, this fruit is high in fiber and is quite healthy. We have seen the advantages of incorporating this food into your dog’s diet. But still, vets advise against feeding kiwi fruit too often for your pet, even if your dog is not allergic to kiwis. What do you think could be the possible reasons for this? Let us see
- Constipation: If you give kiwis regularly to your dog, it could suffer from constipation issues.
- Could lead to obesity: Kiwis do contain sugar. The sugar content in this fruit can also lead to obesity over a period of time.
Whenever you are feeding your dog any fruits and vegetables, remember an important thing. As a thumb rule, all these fruits and veggies should constitute only 10% of your dog’s daily diet. The remaining should be dog-specific food. This will help your dog in striking that perfect calorie balance in its body. You can decide on the choice, quantity, and frequency of feeding these fruits and veggies after having a word with your vet.
Kiwi Treats for your dog
Let us have a look at some kiwi dog treats that your dog would love to gorge upon. The simplest way to offer kiwis to your dog is to cut them into tiny bits and place them in a bowl along with other fruits like apples or peaches.
However, just like we crave different varieties of foods, the same goes true for our dog too. We have come up with a few kiwi dog treats that your furry friend would relish. Do give these recipes a try.
1. Kiwi-Peach combo frozen treat
This can be a perfect treat for your beloved dog on a scorching summer afternoon. All that you require for preparing this treat is a cup of kiwis without their skin, a cup of peaches, and about 1.5 cups of coconut water. Just go through the recipe below. It is a simple dish and gets done in no time.
- Add the chopped kiwis, peaches, and coconut water into a blender and blend them into a smoothie.
- Transfer this smoothie into ice cube molds.
- Put this into a freezer and allow it to set for at least eight hours.
- Once these are set, you can give them to your dog. Now see how your canine enjoys feasting on these.
You can prepare the smoothie a day before and allow these to be set overnight. That would be ideal.
2. Tomato Mint Kiwi Chicken treat
This is another tasty treat made from tomatoes, kiwis, chicken breast, and mint leaves. Have a look at the recipe below.
Ingredients for this treat
1 whole chicken breast, ensure that it is cooked and chopped well
1 whole kiwi with its skin removed and chopped into tiny pieces
1/6th ounce of canned tomato paste
½ a tablespoon of mint leaves, they should be dried out well
A cup of whole-wheat flour
How to make this recipe
- Mix all the ingredients given above and form a smooth dough.
- Now, divide this dough into small balls.
- Pat each ball into your palms and give it a cookie-like shape.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the preheating is done, place these cookie-shaped balls into a baking tray.
- Bake for about 10 minutes.
- Once the baking is done, remove them from the baking tray.
- Refrigerate these.
Once cooled and refrigerated, they are ready for serving. Your dog would love these healthy cookies. With tomatoes, mint, and chicken, the nutrition levels of this dish are also quite high.
3. Kiwi Beef dog treat recipe
This is another dog treat made from kiwi and beef. You would need about half a pound to a pound of beef.
A pound of Beef Steak (you can even use half a pound depending on the taste and quantity
2 whole kiwis, chopped into tiny pieces
Cilantro leaves, about 2 tablespoons
Water, about 2 cups
- Blend together the kiwi pieces and cilantro leaves along with water. Make a fine puree.
- Freeze the beef steak for a while and then cut it into strips. Remove the fat content from the beef, as much as possible. Freezing the beef makes the cutting process a little simpler.
- Now place these beef strips into the kiwi-cilantro puree, also known as the kiwi marinade that you prepared earlier. Allow it to coat well. This needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- On a baking tray, place these beef strips coated with kiwi marinade. You can add a little more marinade if required.
- Dry the beef steak for at least 3-4 hours in the oven. The door of the oven should be slightly ajar, to drive out moisture.
- The meat should feel very dry to touch.
- If you have a food dehydrator, you can use that too. Just follow the instructions prescribed in its manual carefully.
Homemade foods are undoubtedly healthy and delicious. If your pup needs a change of taste from its regular dog food, you can try out these amazing dog treats. However, check with your vet for the feeding quantity and feeding frequency of these foods.
Other fruits that are safe for dogs
We have seen the benefits your dog can gain when you include kiwi fruit in its diet. We also know the repercussions of feeding kiwis to your pup in larger quantities than required. Apart from kiwis, what other fruits do you think you can feed your dog?
Dogs are a part of the omnivorous family. This means that they require a mix of both plant-based and animal-based foods in their diet. However, all fruits are not good for your canine. In this section, we will check out a list of fruits that are safe for your dog to consume.
Your dog can eat the following fruits:
- Apples: Apples are safe for dogs to eat, provided you deseed them. High in vitamins A and C, an apple cut into small, tiny pieces proves to be a good snack for your pup. Even though the protein content is not very high in apples, the high amount of fiber in this fruit keeps your pet friend energized for a while.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are low in calories, and rich in vitamin C, fibers, and antioxidants. These fruits also contain phytochemicals, a plant-based chemical compound that can tackle cancer. Hence undoubtedly, blueberries are very important and healthy for humans. However, they are very good for dogs too. Include blueberries in your dog’s diet for better night vision and improved cell health. This fruit is also known to handle the mental well-being of animals in their old age.
- Strawberries: Strawberries also contain a good amount of vitamin C, potassium, and loads of fiber and antioxidants. Regular intake of strawberries improves your dog’s immunity. You can feed your dog strawberries by cutting them into tiny bits or you can even puree them.
- Watermelon: Watermelon is safe for dogs to consume but make sure you have removed the seeds before you give them to your pet to eliminate any choking hazard. The high water content in watermelons ensures that your dog stays hydrated. A lovely watermelon treat on a hot summer day can relax your dog to a great extent.
- Bananas: Although bananas are high in potassium and vitamins B6 and C, you need to keep a check on the feeding quantity owing to their high sugar content. The feeding technique is quite simple. Just like we normally do, remove the banana peel, cut it into bite-sized chunks and give them to your dog. You can also mix bananas with other healthy fruits.
Fruits that are unsafe for dogs
Now we know which fruits are safe for your dogs to consume. However, there are a few fruits that may not be good for your dog. Let us see the fruits you need to keep away from your dog.
- Avocado: You may long to have that avocado smoothie or avocado toast, but please keep this fruit away from your dog. The reason- avocados contain Persin, a fungicide-based toxin that can be fatal for animals. Although many vets believe that dogs can handle Persin more effectively when compared to other animals, this does not mean you can feed avocados to your dog. Moreover, the high-fat content in avocados can lead to gastrointestinal issues in dogs. Hence, you need to omit this fruit totally from your dog’s diet.
- Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins cause kidney issues in dogs. The exact cause of this remains unknown, but one thing is sure-these fruits are just not made for your beloved pet. Hence, it is best to keep grapes and raisins out of your dog’s reach since they may be tempted to put these in their mouths if you keep them somewhere close to their sight.
- Wild berries: While you may feed your dog strawberries and blueberries, there are certain species of berries that you need to avoid. Let us have a look at each of these:
- Holly Berries: These berries contain certain elements that could make your dog fall ill. The leaves of this fruit can also injure your dog from the inside when eaten. Hence, it is best to avoid this fruit for your dog.
- Mistletoe Berries: These berries are very much in demand during Christmas since they come in handy for decorations. Keep this fruit out of your dog’s reach during such times. Mistletoe berries contain some alkaloids and a few other chemicals that can cause gastric issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and other tummy-related problems. Keep in mind, these berries are not too good for humans either. Just use them for your decorations and discard them.
- Juniper Berries: Juniper berries are known to contain certain medicinal properties. They are also used in cooking. However, these are just not made for your dog. If your dog feeds on too many of these berries, it could face issues like hypoglycemia (blood sugar falls rapidly). Your dog can also experience kidney dysfunctional issues or even seizures in serious cases. Please keep these berries away from your dog.
- Baneberries: Baneberries come in shiny white and red colors. Although these berries look quite attractive, they are not fit for consumption. They are extremely bitter when it comes to taste. Also, they are quite acidic. Just six baneberries can put your dog’s life in danger. Whenever your dog experiences baneberry poisoning, you can see blisters or rashes appearing on its body. In rare cases, dogs also experience heart-related issues when they consume baneberries. This fruit is not good for humans too.
- Poke Berries: It is absolutely fine for birds to feed on poke berries, but not for dogs. The toxins in these berries do not seem to affect birds, but the reaction of these toxins on dogs is not very good. Feeding on poke berries can be dangerous for your dog. The disturbing symptoms include a fall in blood pressure and stomach-related ailments like diarrhea or blood in your dog’s stools. Hence, keep your dog away from these berries.
Apart from the above-mentioned berries, avoid a few more berries like gooseberries, salmonberries, and dogwood berries in your dog’s diet.
Now you know which fruits to give your dog and what fruits should be kept away. Just ensure that your pet does not get hold of any of the fruits that are unsafe for consumption.
Alternative Healthy Treats for Dogs
We have seen fruits that are good for your dog. You also know those fruits which should be kept away from your pet. Earlier, we have seen some kiwi-based dog treats and how to prepare them safely and hygienically at home. In this section, let us go through a few more alternative and healthy treats your pup or dog would love to gobble upon.
1. Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes are quite safe for your dog to have. These baked fries are quite delicious and we guarantee, your dog would love these. Have a look at the recipe below.
1 sweet potato
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Turmeric and Cinnamon (A pinch or as required)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Wash the sweet potato well and remove its skin
- Cut it into thin strips (like french fries)
- Coat these sweet potato strips with oil, turmeric, and cinnamon. Mix well to ensure all the pieces are uniformly coated.
- Place these strips on a baking tray.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. Check whether all sides are baked uniformly. If required, flip over these strips and bake again.
- Let the fries cool down completely and then feed these to your dog. Watch how your canine friend enjoys munching on these.
2. Frozen Apple Treats
A very simple treat that involves no cooking. All you require for preparing this dish are 2 apples, a cup of low-fat yogurt, and ice-cube molds.
- Cut 2 apples into tiny bits. Ensure you have deseeded the apples.
- Blend together the apples and yogurt along with a little water as required. It should be a smoothie-like consistency.
- Now pour this smoothie mixture into ice-cube trays.
- Freeze this until it becomes hard.
You can feed your dog a single cube at a time. Store the remaining cubes in a freezer container.
3. Ginger Apple Dog Treats
If your dog is suffering from any kind of grain allergy, you can try giving this treat. This dish requires a cup of brown rice flour, a cup of sliced apple, about ⅔ cup of plain yogurt, about half a teaspoon of ginger (grated or minced), and about a tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and combine them well to form a dough.
- Dust any suitable surface with flour and spread this dough on that surface.
- Roll it neatly with a rolling pin to about ¼ inches in diameter.
- The thickness should be such that you are able to cut it into pieces. Cut it into any shape of your choice. You can even choose molds for cutting so that you can cut them into attractive shapes.
- Now transfer these pieces onto a baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes.
- Check to see if the cookies have turned golden brown.
Keep these on your dog’s plate and watch the reaction!
Well, we now hope that you have sufficient healthy food options for your paw friend.
Well, now if someone asks you a question like “can dogs eat kiwi fruit?”, you know the answer. We have also seen how kiwis can be bad for dogs if you do not follow some necessary protocols. We have also seen a few healthy kiwi dog treats, other fruits that are good and bad for your dog, and a few alternative healthy treats for your canine.
Remember, your dog is an integral member of your family. It requires your utmost love, care, and attention and feeding is a very critical part here. Never ignore any distress signs shown by your pup and immediately bring it to the attention of your vet if you notice anything absurd. Just shower your “paw” friend with the required amount of attention and see what you get in return!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can dogs eat kiwi peel?
Vets advise against feeding kiwi peels to dogs as they could cause digestion issues. Moreover, the tough kiwi skin could injure your dog’s mouth.
2. Can dogs eat kiwi seeds?
Kiwi seeds when taken in large amounts can be harmful. Hence it is better to remove the seeds.
3. Why does my dog love kiwi?
Kiwis are quite delicious to taste. It is no surprise if your dog loves kiwi.
4. What fruit is poisonous to dogs?
Fruits like avocados, grapes, and a few wild berries are not good for dogs.
5. Are kiwi seeds toxic to dogs?
If your dog happens to eat a minute quantity of kiwi seeds, then no major issue will occur. However, you need to ensure that your dog does not feed on a large number of kiwi seeds at a time since these are difficult to digest. Hence it is better to eliminate kiwi seeds.