Since dogs have sharp teeth and like to hunt, fruit likely isn’t the first thing that you think of when it comes to your dog’s diet. But dogs can benefit quite a bit from the vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables. A treat in the form of a juicy piece of fruit is a great way to boost their health.
Although many people think that a mango is only for humans, your dog can eat it too1. While mangos have their downsides — particularly the skin and pit — when given to your dog in moderation, a few pieces of mango make healthy treats.
Benefits of Mango for Dogs
Mangos are super healthy for both humans and dogs. They’re filled with vitamins A, B, B6, C, and E and antioxidants that can help with your dog’s growth and boost the health of their skin and coat. In moderation, the fiber content also helps settle minor stomach aches and can even help ease constipation and diarrhea.
A tasty mango treat now and then is also a healthy way for your dog to get a little variety in their diet. While you shouldn’t give them a large amount, especially when they’re not used to the food a new snack is a great way to keep their food interesting.
Are Mangos Dangerous for Dogs?
While the flesh of the mango is completely safe for your dog — in moderation — certain parts pose a choking risk to your pooch.
Like many other fruits with pits or stones, the pit inside a mango can pose a serious threat to your dog. Small and hard, the pit is easy for your dog to accidentally swallow. Sometimes, the pit can pass through your dog’s system without causing problems. However, it is equally likely for the pit to get stuck in your dog’s throat or somewhere in their digestive tract.
This is especially true if your dog accidentally swallows the whole pit instead of small pieces that they’ve broken off while chewing. Obstructions like this are a serious health risk and often require surgery to fix.
Blocking your dog’s digestive system isn’t the only threat that the pit pose. Many pits — for example, those in cherries and peaches — contain cyanide. It may only be in small amounts, but it can still pose a risk if your dog chews on too many mango pits.
At first glance, the skin on a mango doesn’t look like it could cause problems. It’s smooth and isn’t sticky enough to get stuck to your dog’s teeth. While dogs can swallow the skin without issue, it can be difficult for them to digest and can cause stomach upset.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Despite their health benefits, mangos in excess can cause problems. The same can be said for many other fruits and vegetables when given to your dog, especially if they’re not used to the food. Mangos are high in fiber, which makes them great for soothing upset stomachs and constipation, but they can also cause stomach aches if your dog eats too many.
How to Prepare Mango for Your Dog
Preparation is key when it comes to keeping your dog safe when you feed them mangos. While the flesh of the mango is safe, it’s best to avoid letting your dog eat the skin or have access to the pit.
Peel the mango, and remove the pit before cutting the fruit into easily manageable chunks. It’s important to remember to keep the size of the chunks small enough for your dog to handle. Mango might be soft and relatively easy to chew, but small chunks are ideal, especially for dogs who have difficulty chewing or are missing teeth.
Ways to prepare mangos for your dog include:
- Dog-safe smoothies
- Dog food topper
- Frozen cubes for a cooling summer treat
- Cubed treats
Fresh mango is always the best choice when it comes to your dog. Most canned fruit and fruit juice contains sugar and artificial additives that are less healthy for your pooch. That said, if you make your own mango juice without any extra ingredients like sugar, you can give a small amount to your dog.
Filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, mangos are healthy and safe treats for your dog. With the pit and skin removed, the flesh of a mango is a sweet, tasty snack. Too much mango can cause stomach upset, though. Only give your dog a few pieces a week, and don’t feed your dog the whole fruit at once. Instead, freeze the leftovers for cooling summer snacks or treat yourself to the rest of the fruit.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay