Dogs love treats—especially when they’re being rewarded! And as any dog owner knows, there’s a huge variety of doggy treats available out there that are sure to please any canine. Unfortunately, many of those treats are packed with sugars, colors, preservatives, and other artificial ingredients that aren’t actually very good for your dog.
That’s why more dog owners are turning to ‘real’ food as treats. ‘Real’ food includes anything naturally grown in the earth or that you can make at home—foods that you would eat yourself. This includes vegetables, fruits, and certain grains and pulses.
But not all fruits and vegetables are safe! So, before you start tossing your dog anything that winds up on your own plate, it’s important to check what foods are safe for dogs and what’s not. While healthy for you, some can be downright dangerous for your pooch.
Fruits are a tricky one. They contain skins, pits, stems, leaves, and other parts that aren’t easy to digest, but dogs don’t know this. While rich in nutrients, some fruits pose certain risks—especially if they contain stones. Mangoes are a good example! Mangoes are a sweet, tropical fruit that can be green, yellow, orange, or red. They have juicy yellow or orange flesh surrounding a flat, hard pit. The fruit is typically peeled and cut away from the pit before eating.
So, is mango safe for dogs?
Can dogs eat mangoes?
Yes! Dogs can happily eat mango. This delicious fruit is quite safe for canines as long as it has been prepared properly.
Of course, just because mango is safe for dogs doesn’t mean they should eat it all the time.
The benefits of mangoes for dogs
Mango is rich in nutrients
Mango is a great source of vitamins A and C. It also contains folate, B6, and iron. Small amounts of calcium, zinc, and vitamin E are also present. Mangoes are a good source of antioxidants, including important phytochemicals gallotannins and mangiferin. These have been shown to harbor powerful health benefits in protecting cells from free radical damage.
Mango can aid digestion
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that obese mice had improved gut microflora after mango was added to their diet. This is due in part to the high fiber content of mango. Mango is also known to improve bowel regularity and reduce constipation, which is good news for dogs of all ages!
Mango’s phytochemicals also harbor gastroprotective effects. These may help to reduce inflammation in the digestive system.
The risks of feeding your dog mango
If you do decide to let your dog chow down on mango, there are some important risks to be aware of.
First of all, the mango pit or stone is definitely off-limits. The pit is very large and can be a serious choking hazard to a dog, no matter how big he is.
The pit also contains a small amount of cyanide, which can be extremely harmful to your dog’’s overall health. It’s quite normal for pits and seeds of fruit to contain trace amounts of this type of toxin, which is actually called amygdalin. When broken down, amygdalin degrades into hydrogen cyanide (HCN).
The skin of the mango may also be a little tough on your dog’s digestion and lead to tummy problems. The high fiber content may cause gas, diarrhea, or bloating if he eats too much in one sitting.
How to prepare mangoes for your dog
As with most fruits, mango is best fed in small amounts—and only on occasion.
Serve no more than a quarter cup of fresh mango every now and then as a snack. Be sure to peel the mango, cut it into small pieces, and remove the pit.
You can serve mango fresh or freeze it for a yummy frozen treat. Frozen mango is a healthy snack you can both share on hot summer days.
Another great idea is to dehydrate your mango. This makes it easy to preserve and carry with you. Just make sure the dried pieces are small enough for your dog to chew easily.
You can also add chopped mango to a dog-friendly smoothie alongside other fruits and vegetables like blueberries and peas. Mix it up with a dash of goat’s milk and you’ve got a healthy, nutritious snack for any time of the day!