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What Exotic Fruits Can Dogs Eat? 10 Vet-Verified Safe Options

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Dogster Team

plateful of mangoes

What Exotic Fruits Can Dogs Eat? 10 Vet-Verified Safe Options

VET APPROVED

Dr. Amanda Charles Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Unlike cats who are obligate carnivores, dogs are omnivores. In addition to animal-based proteins, they can eat a range of vegetables and fruits, and we don’t just mean your everyday bananas and blueberries, either. Like us, dogs can indulge in exotic fruits from time to time!

That said, it’s important to know which fruits are safe and which ones are not. In this post, we’ll introduce 10 exotic fruits dogs can eat, but also give you a heads-up on fruits to stay away from.

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The 10 Exotic Fruits Dogs Can Eat

1. Guavas

guava fruit
Image Credit: VD Photography, Unsplash

Guava—a fruit native to Central and South America and available in many varieties—is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts. It is rich in vitamin C and other important nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It’s also packed with antioxidants, which are beneficial for immunity.

As with other fruits, guava is not to be offered in excess because it’s high in sugar, so feed only in small pieces and occasionally. Remove the rind, seeds, and leaves, as these can be choking hazards, and the leaves are toxic. Avoid feeding guava paste to your dog because its high sugar levels could upset their stomach.


2. Pineapples

slices of pineapple
Image Credit: Nvr Endng Anupam, Unsplash

Pineapple fruit, in small amounts, is safe and potentially beneficial for your dog’s immune system thanks to its antioxidants. In addition to vitamins C, A, K, and B6, pineapple is a source of riboflavin, folate, thiamin, potassium, magnesium, and more. Its high water content makes it hydrating.

To prepare pineapple for your dog, remove the spiky exterior, core, and leaves, and cut the fruit into small chunks (each about 1/4-inch-thick). You can offer it occasionally as a treat, but not too regularly to prevent stomach upset. While raw pineapple is okay,  avoid feeding other items like pineapple candies, cakes, pastes, and canned pineapple.


3. Kumquats

a bowl of kumquats
Image Credit: Joanna Stołowicz, Unsplash

Kumquat—a fruit similar to oranges from Southeast Asia—is edible for dogs (not the peel, though—see below), but proceed with caution. Too much of this little citrus fruit can easily cause diarrhea due to their high acidity and the psoralen they contain.

Many dogs don’t like the smell and taste of citrus fruits, but if your dog does enjoy it, remember to only offer the flesh of kumquats in small quantities and avoid offering any seeds, leaves, and peel. The citrus oil in the kumquat peel may upset your dog’s stomach, and if enough is consumed, it could cause toxicity.


4. Mangoes

slices of mangoes on a plate
Image Credit: Fedor, Unsplash

Mango is a source of vitamins C, E, B6, and A, and it’s got a high fiber content, so in moderation, it can be beneficial for the gut. However, while mango fruit is okay in moderation, the pit, peel, and leaves should always be removed. The pit is not only a choking hazard, but also a digestive obstruction hazard, which is why it’s so important not to let your dog eat it.


5. Dragon Fruit

sliced dragonfruit
Image Credit: Maddi Bazzocco, Unsplash

Dragon fruit, which is native to Central America, is safe for dogs, as are its small seeds. It’s a low-calorie food that’s high in vitamin C, fiber, and omega-3 and omega-6. Nevertheless, dragon fruit should still be fed in moderation to keep the effects of too much sugar at bay. The spiky skin should also be removed.


6. Blood Orange

a bowl of blood orange slices
Image Credit: Monika Grabkowska, Unsplash

Dogs can eat blood orange, but only a little of the flesh itself from time to time if they enjoy it—no other parts. Citrus fruits are pretty acidic, so too much of a blood orange could easily cause an upset stomach. Moreover, like kumquat, the blood orange peel contains essential oil and psoralens, both of which are toxic to dogs. Fruit peels can cause intestinal obstruction, too, as they’re hard to digest.


7. Durian

sliced durian fruit
Image Credit: Jim Teo, Unsplash

Durian is a nutrient-rich Southeast Asian fruit with a distinctive aroma commonly found in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and China. It’s a somewhat divisive fruit that some love and others hate, but can dogs safely eat it?

The answer is yes—durian fruit is okay for dogs as long as it’s offered in small amounts and only occasionally. It’s a source of fiber and vitamins C and B. You probably already guessed it, but be sure to remove the rind and seeds.


8. Figs

fig fruits
Image Credit: Quin Engle, Unsplash

In small quantities, fresh figs are okay for dogs. They contain vitamins C and A as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron—nutrients that can be beneficial for various areas of health, including bone, heart, and digestive health.

However, dried figs are not suitable for dogs because they have a high sugar concentration. Furthermore, parts of the fig plant, including the branches, leaves, and bark, are all toxic and should be avoided at all costs.


9. Lychees

a peeled lychee in the midst of other lychees
Image Credit: Kamokila Cruddas, Unsplash

Ripe lychee flesh is fine for dogs to eat occasionally and in small amounts. Like other fruits, lychees are a source of vitamin C, but they’re also sugary, which is why moderation is so important.

It’s also essential to never offer the skin or seeds of a lychee to your dog due to the risk of choking and the fact that lychee seeds contain hypoglycin A which could make your dog unwell.

Stick to ripe lychees, too, as unripe lychees have also been linked to toxicity and low blood glucose levels in humans. While this information doesn’t refer to dogs, it’s best to be on the safe side.


10. Papayas

slices of papayas
Image Credit: Ashleigh Shea, Unsplash

Papaya is another exotic fruit dogs can enjoy. A tropical fruit from Central America and southern Mexico, papaya is lauded for its health benefits, including being a source of vitamins A and C as well as fiber and potassium.

As usual, stick to small amounts of papaya only in bite-sized pieces and take off the skin and seeds.

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Other Types of Exotic Fruits

Can Dogs Eat Acai Berries?

Unfortunately, the acai berry is a fruit to keep away from dogs because, like chocolate, it contains theobromine, a compound that’s toxic to dogs. However, the general consensus is that if your dog has managed to sneak a few acai berries, it’s unlikely to cause any serious issues. It’s always best to double-check with your vet, though, and keep an eye out for signs of ill effects.

It’s best not to feed these berries to your dog just to be on the safe side.

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Can Dogs Eat Passionfruit?

It’s not wise to feed passionfruit to your dog. The pulp contains cyanogenic glycoside, which is toxic to dogs because it may lead to cyanide poisoning. This is especially risky in fruits that are unripe. The seeds and rind can also contain these toxic compounds.

There are a lot of seeds in passionfruit, so removing them would be tricky. On that basis, it’s best not to attempt feeding passionfruit to your dog—even when ripe— as it’s simply too risky and impractical.

Can Dogs Eat Jackfruit?

Another Southeast Asian fruit, jackfruit is a relative of the mulberry. There isn’t much literature on whether or not jackfruit is safe for dogs, so it’s impossible to say with certainty. What we do know is that the ASPCA has ruled that mulberry—which is in the same family as the jackfruit—is non-toxic to dogs. In addition, there’s also no evidence to suggest that jackfruit is toxic to dogs.

Since there isn’t much certainty about jackfruit, it’s best to check with your vet before feeding it to your dog. The same goes for any new food you introduce.

a bowl of jackfruit
Image Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya, Unsplash

How Much Fruit Can Dogs Eat?

Fruit should never make up a large percentage of your dog’s overall diet and are best considered as occasional treats. Fruit is not a necessary part of your dog’s daily diet,  they should be getting all their essential nutrients from their high quality regular dog food.

As we mentioned, it’s a good idea to check with your vet before offering new foods to your dogs, especially if they have any health conditions. If given the go-ahead, start slowly and monitor for any adverse effects. The exact amount you can offer differs depending on your dog’s size: What may be fine for a large dog may upset a small dog’s stomach. Fruit is high in natural sugars and feeding too much will also lead to weight gain. If we take papaya as an example, extra-small dogs should have less than a teaspoon’s worth, but extra-large dogs can have up to 1/4 cup.

Many experts go by the 10% rule, meaning only up to 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake can be in the form of treats. The other 90% should consist of a complete, balanced formula for dogs.

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Conclusion

There are plenty of exotic fruits your dog can indulge in as a treat, but they certainly shouldn’t be a part of their regular diet and should always be fed in moderation to prevent some unpleasant side effects.


Featured Image Credit: Desirae Hayes-Vitor, Unsplash

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