April 25, 2020

Can Dogs Eat Kiwi?

Risks and Benefits

Published by Emma Hughes

Vet Approved

Dogs really love scoffing down most foods, and kiwi is delightful too. However, we should be considering whether certain foods are, in fact, ideal for our canine friends before being so quick to share all of our human food with them.

Certain foods may create stomach upset and cause allergic reactions, which you should, of course, avoid. It's not pleasant seeing your pet friend in pain, so why risk it?

Kiwis are delicious, but as your dog's owner, it is your responsibility to find out if a particular food causes any issues when fed to our canine friends. So, can dogs eat kiwi? Let's find out.

Can Dogs Eat Kiwi?

Yes, dogs can eat kiwi, but the skin should be removed first because it may pose a choking hazard to canines. Although kiwi does contain many vitamins and minerals, it may also cause stomach upsets or allergic reactions in dogs. Follow the recommended serving size to avoid health problems.

Kiwi may not benefit your dog in the same way it does people, although it is ok for them to eat.

Take care to avoid offering them the entire kiwi and the seeds, as these can be toxic to dogs and may cause some problems.

Kiwi skin is hard, and even though some dogs may like it, it may be considered a choking hazard if swallowed whole.

Kiwi, in moderation, is great as a treat when training your dog or as a small reward as opposed to offering them junk food. Also, kiwi, in small quantities, will definitely have some health benefits.

Health Benefits: Are Kiwis Good for Dogs?

Kiwis are deliciously sweet and tart in taste, and that makes it an alluring fruit. Usually small in size compared to oranges and apples but packed with lots of flavors and nutritional value.

Kiwi is chock full of vitamins and minerals, and they make a fantastic, occasional treat for your dog. 

It's not attractive looking on the outside, but under that fuzzy brown skin, you will find a vivid green hue and minuscule black seeds inviting you to have a bite. It's no wonder our canine friends are intrigued.

Antioxidants Are Abundant in Kiwis

A well-balanced diet of a variety of food is vital to dogs, supporting their health and wellbeing and helping them to lead long, active lives. Kiwis contain a ton of antioxidants.

Antioxidants protect your dog against the damage caused by free radicals, which contribute to disease progression and aging prematurely. They are crucial in keeping your pet healthy and are included in most dog foods available today.

fresh kiwi on table

Antioxidants will help to promote healthy digestive systems, regulate blood pressure, boost immunity, prevent degeneration of muscles, and fight heart conditions, which many dog breeds are at risk of.

Rich in Essential Vitamins 

To remain healthy and function optimally, provide your dog with a healthy, well-balanced diet. Kiwis are rich in Vitamin C, although dogs are able to synthesize this vitamin in quantities their bodies require. Manufactured dog food also includes the vitamins and minerals dogs require.

Kiwi does contain Vitamin K and Vitamin E in good quantity. Potassium is also present in kiwi. Dogs require Vitamin E to support their vision and immune systems. Retinopathy is a condition that results from a lack of vitamin E deteriorating your dog's vision.

Kiwi acts as a safeguard against oxidative cell damage and is great for the prevention of breathing problems such as asthma. Kiwi can also provide folate to pregnant dogs, which supports them during the birthing process.

Some dogs also suffer from spinal issues, hip dysplasia, and arthritis, and the anti-inflammatory properties in kiwis may actually help ease the discomfort.

How Do Kiwis Form Part of a Dog's Diet?

Dogs, omnivorous in their diet requirement, have adapted to eat both meat and plant-based food, but and their ideal nutrition is meat-based. Protein and fat are naturally what your dog would go for, with less than 10% of carbohydrates as part of their diet.

Sometimes your dog may show interest in fruit and vegetables, even though he may mostly derive his energy from protein and fats. Kiwis do contain some protein, but nowhere near enough for your dog. Therefore, kiwis should only be given as a treat.

As dogs are naturally carnivorous, they do not require fruit and vegetables in high amounts, and would not do too well with the overconsumption of kiwi.

Health Risks: Are Kiwis Bad for Dogs?

Kiwi contains many beneficial nutrients, and there is hardly anything bad about the kiwi flesh for your dog.

However, the black seeds may be toxic, and the skin can be a choking hazard.

Take extra care when feeding kiwis to your dog to avoid potential issues.

Seeds May be Toxic

Like many other fruits, kiwis have seeds, which may be toxic to your dog. You can serve the flesh of a kiwi fruit to your pooch, but make sure you remove the seeds first to stay safe.

Risk of Choking

Do not attempt to feed your dog a whole kiwi. They are small in size, and small dog breeds may not be able to fit an entire kiwi in their mouth, but larger breeds will easily gobble up a whole kiwi in one bite. The kiwi could potentially cause an obstruction in your dog's throat and block his airway, causing choking.

Also, the skin of a kiwi is tough and may pose the risk of choking for small dogs. Besides, if swallowed whole, the tough skin could potentially block the digestive tract causing severe health issues.

It's best to avoid feeding your dog a whole kiwi, even though you may think they are able to manage, and rather offer small bite sizes, especially for small dogs. It's much safer this way.

Stomach Upsets

Kiwi skin is high in insoluble fiber, also referred to as roughage, which stimulates the intestines and allows food to pass through much quicker. The fiber in huge amounts for your dog can lead to bad bouts of diarrhea and stomach upsets.

Since the kiwi is high in water and fiber, you should only serve your dog with small portions and not too often to prevent issues with digestion.

Allergic reactions

Although it is unlikely that your dog is allergic to kiwi, the fruit may cause allergic reactions in humans when eating in large amounts – and your dog might react the same.

Be careful when feeding kiwi to you doggo for the first time. Offer only a small bite and monitor your dog for any signs of an allergic reaction. If your dog is ok with the fruit, you can gradually increase the size of the treat.

Serving Size and How to Feed?

Kiwi should only be fed as a treat and introduced slowly. The fruit benefits people more than dogs.

Although your dog will still reap some of the advantages, there is no reason to offer more than just a small treat and not more than a couple of times a week

Your dog may consume kiwi in a raw or cooked form. The skin should be removed entirely, as should the seeds. Also, the green flesh should be diced into pieces if you have a small dog.

Again, a whole kiwi fruit should never be fed to your dog under any circumstances. If a large dog gobbles up the fruit in one piece, it may block the airway or cause a blockage in the intestinal tract.

Nutrition Facts

One kiwi fruit weighing approximately 69 grams will offer 42 calories. This fruit is packed with different antioxidants and minerals that can significantly benefit your dog's wellbeing and longevity.

Kiwis are nutritional powerhouses and will benefit your pup if fed in small quantities.

Potent Antioxidants

Kiwis are rich in several antioxidants, including choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all working together with vitamins A, C, and E to contribute to boosting your dog's immune system and fight against heart conditions. Your dog's skin and coat are also nourished.

Contains Protein

A dog's energy requirements are satiated with protein and fats, not carbohydrates. Kiwis contain some protein at about 8g of protein per 69 grams of kiwi. Not enough if used as the main source of protein, but a good amount for a healthy treat.

Great Mineral and Vitamin Content

Kiwis are a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals that are important to your dog's health and wellbeing. Per 69 grams of kiwi, you are looking at about 215 mg of potassium, 23 mg of calcium, 1mg of vitamin E, 8 mcg of vitamin K, 7mg of magnesium, and 17 mcg of folate all of which contribute to your dog living a healthful life.

Bottom line: Can Dogs Have Kiwi?

Kiwis are nutritious, and many dogs will easily devour them. However, some may refuse them as they prefer more meat-based meals.

Kiwis contain so many fantastic vitamins and antioxidants but are only beneficial in small amounts for dogs. Large amounts of kiwi fed to dogs may not be so favorable and cause stomach discomfort.

It is best to offer your dog a well-balanced diet of a variety of foods suited to their diet requirements. Offer small, bite sizes of kiwi as an occasional treat and only once or twice a week. No skin, no seeds. It allows your dog to enjoy kiwi without any ill effects, and he'll reap the benefits from this nutritious fruit.

Kiwi for Dogs - FAQ

Can kiwi kill dogs?

No, kiwi does not kill dogs when fed in moderation without the peel and seeds. Kiwi flesh is not as beneficial to dogs as it is to humans, but it is safe and not toxic. However, a kiwi can be dangerous to your dog if it is swallowed whole, and it causes a blockage. Because the kiwi skin is tough and hard to digest, it can pose a choking hazard and cause intestinal blockages even when fed in smaller pieces.

Therefore, it’s better to peel the kiwi before feeding it to your dog. Although the kiwi seeds are not toxic to your dog unless fed in excessive amounts, it’s better to serve kiwi without the seeds. Still, you don’t need to worry if your dog gobbles up a piece of kiwi with seeds and all.

Vet's Comment

When feeding kiwi, make sure to cut it into small bite-size pieces for your dog. Some dogs get very excited when you give them kiwi as a tasty treat and will try to swallow them whole. This can cause them to choke or the fruit to cause a blockage that would require your dog to have surgery to remove. While many times your dog's stomach will be able to break down this fruit if it is swallowed whole, sometimes the thick skin found on a kiwi it too much for your dog's stomach to digest, which may lead to many problems.

- Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

Sara Redding Ochoa Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Vet-Approved by
Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa

DVM

Sara Redding Ochoa, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, was raised in Calhoun, LA. She knew since she was a little girl that her dream was to become a veterinarian. Dr. Ochoa attended Louisiana Tech for her undergraduate school, and then attended St. George University to complete veterinary school. After graduating, Dr. Ochoa moved to east Texas and has been working as a small animal and exotic veterinarian.

NOTE: Advice provided within this article by FeedingMyPet.com is not a substitute for veterinary advice. Please discuss your dog's specific dietary needs (based on his breed, weight, age, and health status) with a veterinarian.

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