A frequently asked question by dog owners is; “can a dog eat fruit?”. The answer to this question is most definitely yes; dogs can eat fruits. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that dogs need to eat fruits, especially in large portions.
It is a common misconception that dogs are carnivores, in fact, they are omnivores just like humans. The bulk of a dogs diet should be meat-based as this can provide sufficient protein and fat for growth, repair, and activity. However, a portion of a dogs diet can be plant-based. This plant-based portion can provide carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
However, it is important that you aware that not all plant-based foods such as fruits are suitable for a dog’s digestive system. As a responsible dog owner, it’s paramount that you know which types of fruits are suitable for a dog and which ones can be dangerous or harmful.
In this article, we’re going to discuss a fruit that is uncommon in the west but very popular in other parts of the world – Durian.
What is Durian?
If you are from the Asian continent or you’ve visited Asia, then you may have come across the world’s smelliest fruit – Durian. This fruit is often known as the “King of fruits” in Asia, and is native in countries such as Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Durian is a 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 a number of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Calcium, Sodium, Zinc, Phosphorous, Potassium, and Thiamin.
To to into more detail, here are some of the health benefits that come with these micronutrients and 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 it is vital to beware of the seeds. The durian seeds, just like most fruit seeds, can be dangerous to a dog’s health due to the high availability of cyanide.
This chemical compound is known to be very potent and can harm your dog’s heart and brain, which in extreme cases, can lead to death. Some common symptoms associated with cyanide poisoning include dizziness, cardiac arrhythmia, rapid and weighty breathing, loose stool or diarrhea, and vomiting.
However, except for the seeds, durian isn’t poisonous or toxic to your dog. The vast majority of dogs are capable of consuming durian flesh without any adverse effects or an allergic reaction.
To protect your dog, you should cut the fruit wide open, take out all the seeds, and then remove the soft, fleshy part which is the part that 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 to your dog as a sweet treat, but with incredible caution. The critical rule is never to feed your dog the seeds and the outer part of the fruit that is hard and prickly.
Besides, you should always make sure that you talk to your veterinarian before altering your dog’s diet or transitioning to a new diet. Also, through research about the foods that can be toxic to your dog can help to avoid adverse reactions. Be sure to base your research from trusted sources such as professionals and reliable online sources.