Handy in size but big in flavor, kiwis are both sweet and tart in taste, making them an enjoyable treat for our canine companions. Despite its size, this fruit is a nutritional powerhouse, boasting high levels of vitamins A, C, K, E, fiber, and potassium that are healthy for your dog.
And not just kiwis! Your dog can even enjoy kiwi berries as a treat as long as you feed it occasionally and in the right manner. For the unacquainted, kiwi berries are small varieties of the kiwi fruit.
In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of feeding kiwi to dogs, as well as proper ways to feed it.
Is Kiwi Safe For Dogs?
Yes, kiwi is safe for dogs when given in moderation. In fact, it’s packed with nutrients and vitamins your pup could greatly benefit from.
According to Dr. Andrew Miller, a Locum Small Animal Vet, “A kiwi has more vitamin C than an orange. It’s also packed full of vitamin K, folate, and potassium.” He adds that the fruit also contains plant-based enzymes which have been proven to aid digestion in both humans and hounds as well as fibre that’s good for their gut.
In fact, here is a list of essential nutrients and minerals your dog can draw from Kiwis.
Kiwis are among the most nutrient-dense fruits you can give your dog. They’re full of antioxidants like vitamin C and other nutrients that help keep your pet’s immune system strong and healthy.
Further the high levels of beta-carotene in kiwis protects your dog’s cells from free radicals that can cause premature aging, cancer, and heart conditions.
According to Dr. Claudine Sievert, a doctor of veterinary medicine, “Kiwis are also high in lutein, which supports healthy eyes, as well as beta carotene, an essential antioxidant.” Beta-carotene, when metabolized in the body, becomes vitamin A, which is beneficial to your dog’s vision, especially at night. As an antioxidant, it contributes to your dog’s overall health by warding off illness and promoting a shiny coat and healthy skin.
Essential Vitamins and Minerals
“Like Papaya, Kiwifruit has high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, and some vitamin E, with lesser quantities of minerals and vitamins”, shares dog trainer Vinayak.
While vitamin A is necessary for your dog’s healthy skin and eyesight, vitamin E, in addition to bringing in the benefits of being an antioxidant, also helps in curbing the effects of allergies.
If your dog sustains any injuries, vitamin K in kiwis can speed up the healing process by helping with blood clotting and platelet activity.
Kiwi also has trace quantities of potassium, an electrolyte mineral beneficial to your dog’s fluid balance, muscular development, and cardiovascular health. Additionally, the presence of calcium in kiwi contributes to stronger muscles and bone density.
Compared to other fruits, kiwis possess an unusually high amount of fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Overweight dogs can benefit from insoluble fiber since it will help them feel full and reduce their urge for food. On the other hand, soluble fiber facilitates digestion and promotes a healthy gut in dogs.
As a bonus, kiwi also has the digestive enzyme actinidin, which enables your dog’s body to better absorb the proteins and minerals in its diet.
Before feeding kiwi to your dog, be sure to remove the fruit’s skin and seeds. Too much of the kiwi seeds can be toxic to your pup. On the other hand, kiwi skin, while edible, is very tough and can be difficult for them to digest.
As with any new food, kiwi should be introduced to your dog gradually, in smaller amounts to begin with. Doing so will allow you to monitor if your dog develops any allergic reactions or issues with the fruit.
Wondering, “how much kiwi can I give my dog”? Well, kiwi or any other fruit for that matter is not ideal for your dog in large quantities.
Although kiwi is loaded with healthy nutrients, it also has sugar and calories.
There are 42 calories, 2.1 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of carbs in a single medium-sized kiwi fruit (of about 60 grams).
Keep in mind that kiwi is best served as a treat that accounts for less than 10% of your dog’s total daily calorie intake.
Health Risks of Feeding Your Dog Kiwi
While kiwi is a fruit your dog will be glad to have, you should feed it only in small amounts and that too occasionally.
Is kiwi toxic to dogs?
Well, eating too much kiwi can pose a health risk. Here are some things to watch out for when feeding kiwi to your dog:
Large pieces of kiwi, may cause choking, especially in puppies or tiny dogs with narrower throats.
Chop the kiwi into bite-sized pieces so your dog can easily swallow them. Smaller portions are also better for digestion.
Due to the toughness of kiwi skin, dogs who eat it may get constipation or intestinal obstruction and may have trouble or discomfort, when defecating.
It’s therefore important that you feed your dogs peeled kiwis cut into small pieces.
Kiwis, like many fruits, have trace amounts of sugar. While there is just 6.7 g of sugar in a single kiwi fruit, treating your dog with too much kiwi can contribute to weight gain.
Actinidin found in kiwis is an enzyme which when consumed in large quantities, can cause irritation in the mouth and tongue.
Small levels of cyanide – a substance known to cause breathing difficulties and even fatality in dogs, are found in kiwi seeds. That said, kiwis are not hazardous to dogs unless they consume the fruit in very large amounts.
Nonetheless, it’s better to remove the seeds of a kiwi before feeding it to your dog, just to be on the safe side.
Kiwi skin is tough and consists of insoluble fiber. Even though it helps with constipation because it stimulates the intestines, it can cause stomach discomfort or diarrhea in healthy dogs. Although the kiwi skin is edible, it’s best to peel it off before feeding the fruit to your dogs.
As always, it’s important to check with your vet first, before feeding kiwis to your dog.
How To Serve Dogs Kiwi
Start by selecting a ripe kiwi – one that is firm, brown and fuzzy. Those with any signs of overripeness, such as bruises, black patches, mold, or wrinkles, should be avoided.
Before preparing kiwis, it is important to thoroughly wash and scrub the outside of the fruit to remove any chemicals or pesticides. Peel the kiwi and cut it into bite-sized pieces to make it easier for your dog to chew and digest.
Here are a few ways you can feed it to your dog:
Stuffing a reward toy like a Kong with pieces of kiwi can provide your dog with fun mental stimulation. This way, you won’t overfeed them and they’ll have fun with the fruit as well.
To prepare a nutritious, delicious kiwi popsicle for your dog this summer, blend sliced kiwis with water or low-fat plain yogurt before freezing the mixture in a popsicle mold.
Offer it to your dog as a cool treat on a hot day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Kiwi Fruit Toxic to Dogs?
Generally speaking, kiwi is safe for your dog to consume. Its fiber content is unparalleled among fruits. It also has more vitamin C than an orange and more potassium than a banana.
However, dogs may find the peel of a kiwifruit tough to digest properly. The seeds of the fruit can also be toxic when consumed in large amounts.
Feed your dog kiwis only as an occasional treat.
How Much Kiwi Can I Give My Dog?
Keep in mind that kiwi should account for up to less than 10 percent of your dog’s total daily calorie intake. The fruit cannot be a staple to your dog’s diet as it contains sugar.
Is Kiwi Fruit Poisonous for Dogs?
When served in moderation with the peel and seeds removed, kiwi is not toxic to dogs. Make sure to pick a ripe kiwi and give it a thorough wash to remove any traces of pesticides.
Can Dogs Eat Kiwi With Seeds?
It’s better to take the kiwi seeds out of the fruit before feeding it to your dog. But otherwise, the fruit is a safe and nutritious treat for dogs.
Kiwi seeds include trace levels of cyanide, which is hazardous to pets if consumed in large quantities. Furthermore, your dog will have a hard time digesting the peel of the fruit.