With its exotic taste and appearance, the kiwi is a popular fruit rich in vitamins that many people enjoy as a healthy snack. Can dogs also enjoy the delicious taste of kiwi?
Dogs are allowed to eat kiwis. However, peeling the kiwi and cutting it into small pieces before giving it to your dog would be best. Otherwise, there is a risk of constipation. You should also not feed kiwi to dogs too much or too often.
There are many foods, including chocolate and even some fruits and vegetables, that are toxic to dogs and must therefore be avoided. However, there are also many foods that they can enjoy in small quantities.
Fortunately, kiwis are one of these relatively safe foods. However, there are a few things to consider before feeding them to your dog.
This article explains whether kiwifruit is suitable for dogs, what nutrients it offers dogs, and whether kiwifruit is suitable for dogs in all cases.
You will also find out how best to feed your dog kiwifruit.
Is Kiwi Good for Dogs?
Like papaya, kiwi contains high levels of vitamins C and K and some vitamin E. It also contains other vitamins and minerals but in smaller amounts.
In addition, the kiwi consists mainly of water and carbohydrates in the form of fructose. The water content of the kiwi is over 80%.
For humans, the kiwi is a very nutritious and vitamin-rich treat, but as we know, the digestive system and nutritional needs of dogs differ from those of humans.
While dogs are generally allowed to eat kiwi, both the frequency with which you feed kiwi and the amount of kiwi you give your dog are essential.
You should start with a small amount of kiwi to see if your dog can tolerate it. If he shows no signs of discomfort in the following 48 hours, this should be the case.
But even then, you should always keep the portion sizes small and not give him kiwi too often, as it contains sugar. And just as small breed dogs need less food, these dogs should also eat less kiwi.
What Nutrients Does Kiwi Have for Dogs?
There are many nutritional benefits to giving your dog kiwi. Kiwi contains vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients and is a low-calorie snack for your dog.
Like other healthy fruits such as pineapple, you should only feed it to your dog in moderation.
Other healthy treats for dogs are sweet potatoes, peppers, and zucchini. All of these foods contain vitamins that strengthen your dog’s immune system.
Let’s take a closer look at which nutrients kiwis contain in particular.
Vitamin C is a proven antioxidant and is classified as essential in humans, as the human body cannot produce it, and it must be obtained from food.
However, dogs can produce their vitamin C themselves. It is not required for them, and there is little evidence that it provides many benefits.
However, the amounts found in most fruits certainly can’t do any harm.
Kiwi also contains vitamin K, an essential vitamin for blood clotting that helps to treat certain clotting disorders in dogs. For this purpose, high doses of vitamin K are needed.
However, the amount contained in kiwis is negligible compared to the amount required for this purpose. Although vitamin K does not harm the dog, it is insufficient as a source of vitamin K for dogs that need it as an active ingredient.
A dog’s water intake should be around 25-50 ml/kg daily. This means an 8 kg Dachshund should drink about 200-400 ml of water, and a 30 kg German Shepherd requires 750-1,500 ml daily.
A dog’s water requirement varies and depends on many other factors, such as the weather and the outside temperature.
But the dog’s activity level, age, current diet – i.e., wet or dry food – and state of health also influence its water requirements.
As mentioned above, kiwi fruit consists of more than 80% water. Therefore, 100 g of kiwi flesh contains around 80 g of water, corresponding to approximately 80 ml.
So, although kiwi does not come close to meeting the daily water requirement, in small quantities, it can be a refreshing treat and supplement water intake.
Kiwi contains an enzyme named actinidin that helps break down proteins such as those found in meat.
In humans, studies have shown that it aids protein breakdown in the stomach and small intestine, which helps improve digestion and reduces gastrointestinal discomfort and bloating.
There is some likelihood that some of these effects may also occur in dogs. However, this has not yet been scientifically investigated in dogs.
Dogs’ diets are high in protein, so their digestive tracts are well-equipped to absorb kiwi. It is unlikely that kiwi as a treat or snack will harm their digestion.
Enzyme supplements are also often added to dog food to alleviate bloating in dogs with such problems.
If you feed your dog a premium dog food, these dry foods probably already contain probiotics and digestive enzymes.
However, kiwi also provide other antioxidants. Still, kiwi may not have much benefit for your dog’s digestion.
Kiwifruit has a high fiber content with both soluble and insoluble fiber. Dogs can certainly benefit from this fiber in kiwifruit.
These kiwi fibers cause the intestinal contents to retain water. In humans, this has been shown to increase intestinal transit time, i.e., the time that food needs to pass through the entire intestine.
Fiber is also known to change the consistency and size of stool.
However, a study on rats has shown that kiwifruit has little to no effect on intestinal transit time. Therefore, it is difficult to say with certainty how it would affect dogs.
Depending on the amount of fiber consumed and the dog’s size, there may be an increase in the amount or frequency of bowel movements.
However, there is a possibility that they may have an undesirable laxative effect, leading to diarrhea and, in severe cases, may cause dehydration and illness requiring veterinary treatment.
It is fair to say that fiber consumed in the right amounts can have a dietary benefit.
However, it is difficult to say what this amount is and whether the benefits outweigh the potential side effects for your dog. This means that this has to be judged on an individual basis.
There is a fine line between good stool quality and explosive diarrhea in this case.
If your dog lacks fiber, there are also dog foods that support regular bowel movements through fiber.
Is Kiwi Fruit Dangerous for Dogs?
Due to the size of the kiwi, there is a chance that it could act like a foreign object and cause a blockage in your dog’s stomach or intestines.
Your dog is unlikely to swallow the kiwi whole without chewing it. But some dogs can manage this.
The high insoluble fiber level in the skin means it is not easily digestible. When the softer green flesh is digested, the remaining kiwi skin may clump together and cause a blockage in the gut.
Also, both ends of the kiwi are very hard, which can pose a choking or blockage risk, especially in smaller dogs.
Gastrointestinal tract blockages can be very dangerous in dogs. They often require major surgery and can lead to a dog’s death.
So, if your dog shows persistent vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal discomfort, you should always talk to your veterinarian immediately.
This is especially important if there is a possibility that the dog has eaten something it shouldn’t.
Can Kiwi Kill Dogs?
Fortunately, eating kiwi is not dangerous for dogs. Although kiwi can cause problems in dogs, these are usually mild and temporary.
However, dogs that experience severe side effects or develop constipation can die. If you notice these effects, seek veterinary advice immediately, as this is an emergency.
How to Introduce Kiwi to Dogs?
When you introduce a new food into your dog’s diet, it might cause gastrointestinal upset. For this reason, you should only ever give small amounts the first time.
If these small amounts do not cause problems, you can slowly increase the amount over time. However, ensure you do not exceed a sensible and healthy maximum amount.
Problems such as vomiting or diarrhea may occur at first. In most cases, these problems are temporary and can be remedied with supportive measures.
These include a low-fat diet with lots of water since there is a risk of deterioration and dehydration. This can be done with dogs of any age, but special care should be taken with puppies and older dogs.
There is always the possibility that a dog may have an allergic reaction to a particular food. It is therefore advisable not to offer too many new foods at once.
That way, if a problem occurs, you can be sure which food caused the reaction so that you can avoid it in the future.
How to Feed Kiwi to Dogs
Dogs need a balanced diet. But as a dog owner, you also want to offer your dog a variety, including exciting treats.
Kiwis are full of vitamins, fiber, and water, aid digestion, and, most importantly, taste good. However, not all dogs like the taste – just like humans.
If you want to feed kiwis to your dog, you should follow these tips:
- Only feed kiwi in small quantities.
- Wash the kiwi skin to remove pesticides and other chemicals.
- Cut the kiwi into small pieces and peel it to make it easier for your dog to digest.
- Always remove the hard ends, as these pose a choking and blockage risk.
- Some dogs have sensitive stomachs and should avoid kiwi.
- Frozen kiwi makes an excellent training treat.
If your dog experiences undesirable side effects, stop feeding kiwi and consult your veterinarian. This is particularly important if the symptoms persist for over 2-3 days.
If symptoms are severe, you should seek emergency veterinary care. These symptoms include repeated vomiting, refusal of food and water, lethargy, or dehydration.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Kiwi Fruit?
Dogs are allowed to eat kiwifruit. However, as with all things, you should introduce your dog slowly to avoid potential stomach problems and allergic reactions.
Most dogs are fine with the occasional kiwi feeding but test it slowly and carefully.
If your dog doesn’t respond well to the kiwi, you can always try other natural treats. Just make sure you stay away from processed foods.
Kiwi can be an excellent addition to a dog’s diet and offers your dog a change from their regular routine. Just make sure that any new food is introduced slowly.