A frequently asked question by dog owners is; “can a dog eat fruits?” The answer is yes; dogs can eat fruits; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to eat fruits. It is a common misconception that dogs are carnivores, while in fact, they are omnivores just like humans. While the bulk of a dogs diet should still be meat based, they can without a doubt, benefit from some plant-based material such as fruit.
However, before you go ahead and share your favorite fruits with your dog, it’s crucial that you know that your pooch’s digestive system isn’t like ours. So as a responsible dog owner, it’s paramount that you know which types of fruits are okay and which ones can be dangerous to your dog. In this article, we’re going to discuss one of the most nutritious fruits around – durian, and whether you should feed it to your dog or not.
What is Durian?
If you are a native of the Asian continent or you’ve been to Asia, mainly South East Asia, then you may likely have come across the world’s smelliest fruit – Durian. This fruit is often known as the “King of fruits” in Asia, and it is also native in some countries such as Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Durian is a very large fruit that can reach up to six inches wide and one foot long. It has a hard, spiky exterior with a range of red to yellow flesh on the inside.
Durian has a dense nutritional value, at least according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. According to this database, Durian is rich in minerals and vitamins including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Calcium, Sodium, Zinc, Phosphorous, Potassium, and Thiamin. To explain more, here are some of the health benefits that come with eating durians:
• Aids digestion- According to the Asian Institute of Medical Science and Technology, Malaysia, eating durians can improve the overall digestive process. The fruit is rich in dietary fiber, which is crucial to the normal functioning of the digestive system. In short, eating this fruit can help improve conditions like constipation, bloating, heartburn, and crumps
• Improve bone health- Minerals such as Magnesium, Copper, Potassium, and Manganese are known to be essential in the development and maintenance of healthy bones. As a whole, these essential minerals found in durians can prevent osteoporosis development.
• Treat Anemia- Durian boasts of being rich in folic acid, which is very crucial in the production of RBC (red blood cells). Also, this fruit contains high levels of copper and iron, two other components essential to the creation of RBC.
With all the benefits above, it’s difficult to see why you shouldn’t include durians in your regular diet and maybe that of your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Durian?
The answer – YES, but beware of the seeds. The durian seeds, just like most fruit seeds, can be dangerous to your animal’s health due to the availability of cyanide. This chemical compound is known to be very potent and can harm your dog’s heart and brain, ultimately leaving your pooch without life. Some common signs associated with cyanide poisoning include dizziness, cardiac arrhythmia, rapid and weighty breathing, loose stool or diarrhea, and vomiting.
But apart from the seeds, durian flesh isn’t poisonous or toxic to your dog. Tests have revealed that the vast majority of dogs that have been fed durians show no allergic reactions.
To protect your dog, you should cut the fruit wide open, take out all the seeds, and then remove the soft, fleshy part which you should give to your dog. However, keep an eye on typical signs such as stomach upset or indigestion, which might occur if your dog isn’t used to eating durians.
Also, there have been claims that dogs bark a lot after consuming durians, but this is mainly down to the offensive odor produced by the fruit. So don’t fret if you notice your dog barking a lot after consuming this fruit.
Think about this; why doesn’t dogs in South East Asian countries where durians originate react in any strange way after consuming this nutritious fruit? That might be because they are already used to the durian diet, hence backing up the point that durians are harmless to dogs.
Durian – The Bottom Line
So, now you know that you can use durians to give your dog a sweet treat, but with incredible caution. The general rule is never to feed your dog the seeds (critical) and the outer part that is hard and prickly. Another thing, make sure that you talk to your veterinarian before deciding to put your dog on a new diet. Alternatively, you can search online about the foods that can be toxic to your dog. However, ensure that the website you’re reading from is a reliable source.