Can Dogs Eat Pineapples? Here's Everything You Need to Know

by Richard Walther, DVM
Pawlicy Advisor
Pet Care Blog
Can Dogs Eat Pineapples? Here's Everything You Need to Know
Dogs can only eat pineapple in moderate amounts because they are high in sugar, which can be harmful. Some parts of the fruit can be very dangerous to dogs, so be careful.

Dogs can eat small pieces of pineapple, but only in moderate amounts. Pineapples are chock-full of nutrients but they are also high in sugar, which can be harmful and cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) upset. Pet parents should also be aware that there are some parts of the fruit that can be very bad for dogs.

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Pro tip: If your pet has an upset GI with diarrhea and lethargy, a vet visit should be a top priority. Enrolling in pet insurance helps reduce the financial burden of visiting the vet by reimbursing up to 90% of the bill.

Health benefits of pineapple for dogs

Besides the sweet and tangy taste, pineapples offer a ton of nutrients to both humans and dogs. Here are some of the most valuable ones:

  • Vitamin C. This vitamin boosts immunity, lowers cholesterol levels, helps to regenerate tissues, and protects against heart disease. Be careful not to go overboard as too much vitamin C can cause stomach upset and other illnesses.

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine). Thiamine is a very important vitamin for dogs and for that reason it’s often found in dog foods. It aids the optimal functioning of the heart and brain and ensures healthy eyesight. Don’t worry about feeding your pooch too much thiamine - any unused quantities of this vitamin will be peed out.

  • Vitamin B6. This derivative helps with growth and development, regulates fluid balance, builds proteins, regulates hormones, maintains a healthy heart, regulates the production of red blood cells, as well as the overall mood of your dog. Similar to vitamin B1, this vitamin is very important for dogs and is often found in good-quality kibbles. So, if you notice that your four-legged companion is a bit down, a few pineapple chunks might improve their mood.

  • Bromelain. As an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties, bromelain works like a natural histamine and might help with skin issues.

  • Manganese. This mineral acts as a catalyst for your pup’s organ and enzyme functions and helps support a healthy skeletal structure.

  • Hydration. Pineapples are made of 86% water, which makes them an excellent choice for natural hydration. This is especially important in the summer months when pet parents can chop up the fruit and place the chunks into the freezer for sweet frozen treats.

  • Fiber. Pineapples are also rich in dietary fiber, which is very important for your pup’s digestive system. As with humans, the function of fiber for dogs is to maintain the health of the GI system. Eating high-fiber foods can aid the prevention of certain diseases like obesity, diabetes, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Dietary fiber facilitates smooth bowel movements and helps prevent constipation.

Pineapple also contains vitamin A and K, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium, as well as antioxidants that help repair damaged cells.

dog and pineapple with sunglasses (Image source: The Spruce Pets)

Why are pineapples bad for dogs?

Pet parents can safely feed their pets several chunks of pineapple, but as with other human foods, there are some precautions to take into consideration.

Upset stomach

Pineapples are quite high in fiber which, if consumed in large quantities, can lead to diarrhea, increased stool frequency, and/or urgency to defecate.

Food sensitivities

Some dogs can be sensitive to pineapple. If you’re giving a pup a this tropical treat for the first time, be sure to monitor your dog for adverse reactions like vomiting, diarrhea, or straining to defecate. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop offering pineapple and contact your vet.

High sugar content

A medium-sized pineapple contains 89g of natural sugar including fructose, glucose, and sucrose. These fruits can increase blood sugar levels, cause tooth decay, and lead to diabetes or obesity. If your dog already has diabetes or has excess, you should avoid feeding them pineapple.

Pro tip: Pet insurance covers the diagnostics and treatment for diabetes as long as the dog was enrolled prior to developing the disease. For that reason, you should enroll your pet with a health insurance policy while they’re young and before an illness occurs.

Can dogs eat pineapple skin?

No, only the soft inner flesh of the fruit is safe for dogs to eat. Before giving pineapple to your dog, be sure to remove the hard inner core and the spiky skin. If your pup ingests these, they can cause intestinal obstruction or present a choking hazard.

Can dogs eat dried pineapple?

Dried fruits are not recommended as dog treats as they usually contain higher concentrations of natural sugar than their fresh counterparts. As the water is removed, the fruit portions become smaller, but the amount of sugar remains the same. If you do decide to offer it as a snack be sure to keep the amount very low.

Can dogs eat canned pineapple?

Canned pineapple often contains added sugar that can impact your dog’s blood sugar levels, especially if they have diabetes. There is also a chance that some of the nutrients have been reduced or completely eliminated during the canning process. If fresh pineapple is not available, use the type of canned pineapple that contains no added sugars and rinse it with water before feeding.

What about other pineapple products?

  • Pineapple juice. Juice should be fine as long as it doesn’t contain any additives. However, because it has a higher concentration of sugar, it should not be given in large amounts, especially to senior and diabetic dogs.

  • Pineapple ice cream. When it comes to ice cream, your pet is more likely to have a lactose issue, which could cause loose stools.

  • Pineapple popsicles. These should be okay, as long as they don’t contain any additives and preservatives.

  • Pineapple cake. If your pet gets its paws on a piece of pineapple upsidedown cake, there’s no need to be concerned. However, you should keep in mind that cake contains sugar and milk and if eaten in big quantities, it can result in stomach issues. The butter in the cake can also lead to pancreatitis.

  • Pineapple pizza. Considering the fact that pineapple pizza only includes the flesh of the fruit, your pup should have no problems after eating a a small bite.

Can pineapple stop dogs from eating poop?

If you're a pet parent, you might have heard the theory that pineapple can stop your pup from eating poop. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that supports this claim. There are often complex behavioral reasons why dogs might pick up this habit, but many vets agree the most effective way to discourage them from doing this is to clean up right away so there is none available to ingest.

How to feed pineapple to dogs

If you want to give your dog pineapple as a treat, fresh pineapple is the best option. Just be sure to remove the hard core and rough skin, then cut the fleshy part into cube chunks. Eight small chunks of pineapple account for 50 calories, which is the adequate amount for an average-sized adult dog. Smaller-sized pieces are preferable as they can help with portion control, especially for small dog breeds.

Here are some additional ways you can feed your dog pineapple, pending your vet's approval:

  • Frozen pineapple is a great, refreshing treat for hot summer days, but note that large frozen pineapple pieces can present a choking hazard.

  • Pureed pineapple frozen in ice-cube trays is another delicious treat when your pet needs extra hydration.

  • Combine pineapple with other fresh fruits safe for dogs, such as oranges, bananas, and watermelon to prepare a healthy fruit salad.

  • Mix pureed pineapple with some plain yogurt and freeze to prepare a tasty ice cream snack for your furry baby.

Keep in mind that treats should only account for 10% of your dog's total food intake, and to go lightly with these sugary fruits to prevent GI issues and weight gain.

Key Takeaways

  • Pineapple is safe for canine consumption as long as it is fed in moderation and you only give your dog the digestible parts of the fruit.
  • If your dog has diabetes, you should consult a veterinarian prior to them feeding pineapple.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of sensitivities and adverse reactions whenever introducing new foods into your dog's diet.

Ricky Walther, DVM

About the author

Richard Walther, DVM

Associate Veterinarian - Blue Ravine Animal Hospital

Ricky Walther, DVM, is a small animal general practitioner at Blue Ravine Animal Hospital in the greater Sacramento, California area. Realizing the positive financial and medical impact that pet insurance can provide for pet parents and the profession, he lends support and advice to companies like Pawlicy Advisor that simplify the process of connecting with veterinary financing resources.

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