If you are searching for a healthy treat to give to your dog look no further than the mango. Packed with vitamins and minerals, dogs can eat mango, but only in moderation
Is Mango Good for Dogs?
Can dogs eat mango? Yes! With one caveat: not too much and not the stone. In all other respects a mango is an excellent fruit to use as an occasional treat. It contains fibre, vitamins (A, B6, C, and E) and plenty of minerals.
It does also contain a lot of sugar though and for this reason and one or two others (see below), mango should only be given to your dog sparingly.
Take a look at this list of the benefits of eating mango:
- Brain health: Vitamin B found in abundance in mangoes is thought to improve the health of a dog’s brain.
- Cancer protection: Mangoes contain polyphenols. Studies of human cancer have uncovered a link between polyphenols and a reduced risk of cancer.
- Eye and skin health: Mangoes contain vitamin A and B, both of which are concerned with the health of a dog’s eyesight, skin and fur.
- Healthy gut: The fibre contained within the mango helps to maintain a healthy gut.
- Healthy heart: Research of human subjects suggests eating a healthy amount of dietary fibre lowers the risk of heart disease.
- Immunity booster: Antioxidants are a controversial subject. Some argue that having more than your allotted amount accrues very little benefit. Others think that antioxidants boost immunity.
- Vitamins and minerals: As we have already mentioned, mangoes are full of natural goodness. Mango minerals include potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
It should be mentioned at this stage that a well-balanced and high-quality dog food supplies all of the minerals, vitamins and fibre a dog needs to maintain good health.
However, as a substitute of treats or as a substitute of less healthy human food, a mango is a 'safe' food for your dog.
Is mango good for puppies?
A puppy’s tummy is more sensitive to new foods than an adult dog is. If you want to feed your puppy mango then start with very small amounts of the mango flesh. Do not feed her the mango skin or the stone. You should also cut the mango flesh into small bits to avoid her choking.
Once your puppy has eaten a small amount of mango, monitor her over the next few hours, in case she has some ill effect due to this tropical fruit. It may give her a bad tummy or she may be allergic to it. If you notice any unusual signs of behaviour then you must not feed it to her again and contact your veteranian.
Your puppy gains everything she needs from a good quality puppy food so there is no real reason to give her something like mango. However, if she is able to digest it safely it will do her no harm and her body will welcome the added minerals and nutrients.
The hazards of the mango
When feeding your dog mango, do NOT just hand your dog a mango. Be careful with the mago pits, seed and skin.The peel is not very digestible, the stone is indigestible and the flesh can get stuck in her throat. Peel the fruit and remove the pit before cutting it up into small pieces and feeding her some (not all) of the mango.
The stone itself can be a serious choking hazard (but it does not contain cyanide). If your dog eats the stone by accident there is a chance it will pass through unbroken, but it could just as easily become lodged in her intestine.
Mango endocarp (stone)
Around the stone of the mango is the soft flesh and covering the flesh is the leathery exocarp (skin). The flesh of the fruit is safe for dogs to eat but the skin can be difficult for them to digest.
Unlike some other fruits (apricot, plums, cherries and peaches) the stone of the mango does not contain a compound of cyanide and is in fact quite nutritious. However, it is too difficult for the dog to eat.
If the mango stone is swallowed by accident you should pay attention to your dog’s physical behaviour over the next few hours. In the worst cases, the stone can disintegrate in the dog’s stomach and cause blockages further down the digestive tract.
If such a thing happens and you notice one or more of the symptoms listed below, you should contact your vet as a matter of urgency.
- Abdominal tenderness or pain
- Decreased appetite or anorexia
- Straining to defecate
Another hazard for your dog should she eat mango on a regular basis is the high amount of sugar contained within the flesh. In fact one mango contains 46 grams of sugar. The sugar is naturally occurring fructose but your dog does not need it.
A dog that eats too much sugar will become obese and with that is likely to suffer one or more of the diseases and conditions that come with canine obesity (osteoarthritis, diabetes, pancreatitis, etc.). For this reason alone a dog should eat mango only on special occasions and not regularly.
Giving your dog too much mango (or any other fruit or veg) in one sitting will cause her to have a sore and swollen tummy. Dogs have no need to ingest fruit as part of their diet. Too much mango causes an inflammation of the stomach and intestine.
A dog gets all she needs from her normal dog diet but as a seldom treat a piece of mango is certainly not the worse type of food you can give her. However, problems arise through over-eating, mango allergies and ingestion of the skin and the stone.
Be careful when you feed your dog mango. Some other exotic fruits for which care should be taken include: apricots, papayas and cantaloupes. A sweet and tasty treat they all are but they also come with hidden dangers.