The dragon fruit got its name precisely because of its exceptional appearance. The exterior of the dragon fruit is bright red with green edges and the flesh of the fruit is white with small black seeds. The taste of the dragon fruit is very mild, similar to that of a moderately sweetened cucumber. But we dog lovers often wonder if we can share this food with our pets? Can Australian Shepherd dogs eat dragon fruit? In this article we‘ll look at nutrition, potential health benefits, as well as potential dangers.
Can Australian Shepherd dogs eat dragon fruit? Yes, it is safe for dogs to eat dragon fruit. But give only the inner part of the fruit, the mushy flesh. Cut and discard the skin as it would be difficult to chew and digest. You can freeze it, maybe use it in the summer as ice cream to freshen up from the hot air.
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit for Dogs
Dragon fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron and vitamin C.
Vitamin C: it is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Iron and Calcium: Proper calcium levels are an essential part of keeping your Australian Shepherd fit and happy. Calcium is an essential nutrient for bone growth and skeletal development. So a bit of dragon fruit occasionally would help your dog bones stay strong.
In addition, calcium can support heart and nerve function, normal blood clotting, and even muscle health. Healthy iron levels help produce and develop red blood cells, which perform critical functions like carrying oxygen to the body.
Fatty acids: dragon fruit seeds are also super rich in fatty acids, which are an essential part of your dog‘s diet. They are particularly high in linoleic acid or omega-6 fatty acids. These are one of the few fatty acids that the dog‘s body cannot synthesize itself and must be obtained from food.
A balance of fatty acids can support joint function, skin and hair health or even brain development.
Possible Dangers of Dragon Fruit for Dogs
Although the dragon fruit is a healthy fruit and suitable for giving to dogs, it should be considered a delicacy. And delicacies, as we already know, should be given in moderation.
It‘s deliciously sweet and a great summer snack. But keep it as a snack or treat and don‘t overdo it because the dragon fruit is high in sugar. Excessive sugar intake is dangerous for dogs in many ways. The dog may gain weight, which would make it difficult to move and worsen the dog‘s health.
Some dogs have a more sensitive digestive system than others. Large amounts of sweet foods can upset the stomach or cause diarrhea. So give in moderation and watch how your dog reacts. The first signs that your dog has overeated and perhaps this is unsuitable food if your Aussie loses his appetite after eating, starts to have constant farting or diarrhea.
Like humans, eating too much sugar in dogs can lead to dental disease. Sweet snacks like dragon fruit should be enjoyed occasionally, this should not replace your Australian Shepherd‘s daily diet.
How to Feed Dragon Fruit to Your Dogs
First check that the dragon fruit is natural and fresh, and then present it properly to the dog:
- First step is to prepare the dragon fruit properly for the dog. Cut the dragon fruit into a smaller piece and let your dog taste the soft flesh. Some dogs won‘t like the squishy texture and your Australian Shepherd may not be interested in eating more after a little taste.
- However, if your dog enjoys first taste of dragon fruit, next step is to snip off the pink, leathery skin before giving him more. The skin is not edible and can cause indigestion.
- It can also be divided into small pieces and served as a cold snack in the summer. It would be like healthy ice cream.
Dragon Fruit Varieties
So, you have probably noticed that there are different types of dragon fruit. So the question is, are they all suitable for dogs?
Yellow Dragon Fruit
The yellow dragon fruit stands out for its yellow skin, but the inside is similar to that of the other varieties. This variety is still more popular in South America. The inside is white, soft, with small black seeds. Perhaps a little sweeter than the other species, but still a good treat for the dog. In moderation!
Red Dragon Fruit
The distinctiveness of the red dragon fruit is the light red skin and red inside with small black seeds. This type of dragon fruit is most commonly found in Central American countries. It is believed that red dragon fruit has more antioxidants. You can give your dog red dragon fruit in moderation as it helps to keep healthy eyes and skin.
Pink Dragon Fruit
Pink dragon fruit has a rather similar appearance to the red dragon fruit, but differs inside. The inside is a mixture between white and pink, with small black seeds. Mainly found in countries in Central America. Dogs can safely eat this type of dragon fruit.
Purple Dragon Fruit
Purple dragon fruit is probably the most distinctive of all kinds of dragon fruit. Bright red skin and purple inside with black seeds. Most commonly found in Mexico, Costa Rica and northern South America. You can safely give purple dragon fruit for your dog, as it helps to strengthen immune system and is rich in antioxidants.
Dogs can eat dragon fruit, but it should be treated as delicacy and given in moderation. Small amounts of this tropical fruit can provide health benefits, but too much can lead to a health problems like obesity or even more serious long-term effects. Also, you can consult your veterinarian and decide what would be an appropriate portion size and frequency.
Can puppies eat dragon fruit?
Yes, puppies can eat dragon fruit too. However, the amount should be even less than for adult dog. Puppy tummies are more sensitive to sugar and new food, so just a little taste would be enough.
Can dogs eat frozen dragon fruit?
Well, the best option is to always eat fresh food, but freezing a dragon fruit does not spoil the fruit. A little change in texture and taste, but sometimes using such delicacy like ice cream is a great choice.
Can dogs eat dragon fruit seeds?
It is usually recommended not to give dogs various seeds or even remove them from the fruit. However, with dragon fruit the situation is simpler, they are small and harmless so you can boldly give all the flesh along with the seeds.