Health & Wellness
Our furry family members likely love fruit as much as we do, and thankfully most of these snacks are not only safe, but loaded with nutritional benefits. From raspberries to bananas to blueberries, different fruits provide several nutrients for humans and dogs alike — though there are some extra precautions to keep in mind before letting your pup chow down at snack time.
Adding kiwi to that dog-approved fruit list is generally OK, but like raspberries and bananas, the safety aspect mostly comes down to ensuring you’re feeding your pet properly.
We spoke with Dr. Jamie Richardson, head of veterinary medicine at Small Door Veterinary based in New York City, about kiwi and its health benefits (and risks). We’re pleased to report that the fruit is not only OK to give to your dog, but it’s healthy and beneficial as an occasional sweet treat. Another bonus: it’s a much better option than fatty, sugary and syrupy sweets.
And even though kiwi is generally safe for your pet, always consult your vet before introducing a new food item to their diet.
The main reason why kiwi is an acceptable treat for dogs is that the fruit is loaded with nutrients (however, your pup likely won’t eat enough to make a huge difference in their overall health). Kiwi is low in calories and fat while full of flavor, making it an appealing treat.
Like other berry fruits (kiwi is a larger berry that grows on large vines) which are famously brimming with vitamins and antioxidants, kiwi is a veritable food — and not just for humans. Naturally sweet, juicy and a little tart, kiwi is a tasty snack that's easy to eat.
Although small, kiwi has a ton of nutrients and vitamins, including more immune-strengthening vitamin C than oranges, antioxidants, vitamin K (which helps with healthy blood function), fiber and potassium. There’s also folate, aka folate acid, that aids in stabilizing healthy metabolism and bolstering red blood cell count.
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While kiwi makes for a safe snack for dogs, the vital thing to keep in mind before giving it as a treat is to remove the skin, cut it up into smaller pieces and introduce it slowly into your pup’s diet (with your vet's permission, of course!).
The size of the kiwi, which can easily be chomped down in one bite by a larger dog breed, makes it a choking hazard if not properly ingested — and by that, we mean in small slices that won’t pose a risk. Kiwi skin isn’t toxic, but it’s got a tougher texture that can easily get stuck in a dog’s throat, so it should be avoided.
As Dr. Richardson reminds us, just like any new snack or ingredient, it’s essential to ease your dog into it. So rather than slice up a whole kiwi for your pup, start slow by incorporating a small piece or two into their food and see how they like it. Gradually introducing kiwi to your dog also allows you to watch for any signs of an allergic reaction or other gastrointestinal side effects like vomiting or diarrhea.
Is your dog crazy for kiwi? How tropical! As long as you make kiwi an occasional treat in small amounts (it does have plenty of natural sugars, after all), and you’re removing the skin and cutting the fruit into safe portion sizes, this is another berry that’s safe for your dog to eat.
We’re confident that kiwi isn’t the only human food your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Check out our series “Can dogs eat … ?” to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what’s fair game.
The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo.
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