Can Dogs Eat Kiwi? Is It Safe For Dogs?

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can dogs eat kiwi

Can dogs eat kiwi? Yes, we can feed our dogs kiwi. Kiwis are 80% water, providing a hydration boost for your pup. 

There are specific ways to prepare a kiwi in order for it to be completely safe. So make sure you read further to learn more about how to feed your dog kiwi in a safe way.

How To Properly Prepare Kiwi

Since kiwis are quite safe for our pups, there isn’t a lot of preparation needed. 

The skin and seeds must be removed prior.  

Seeds are practically never okay for a dog to eat. There is too much risk of toxicity or choking. 

Another choking hazard about the kiwi is the whole kiwi. Be sure to slice it up into small enough pieces after removing the skin and seeds.  

The whole kiwi with seeds and skinNo seeds or skin 
whole kiwikiwi with no seeds

Why Is Kiwi Skin Dangerous?

The skin of a kiwi possesses a unique texture. It is fuzzy and kind of “rough.” Although there are nutrients in the skin, the texture can be uncomfortable or even irritating for your dog to eat and digest. 

Additionally, kiwi skin also contains amounts of calcium oxalate crystals, otherwise known as bladder stones, which can be extremely painful. 

The reason why so many dogs struggle with bladder stones is not fully understood yet, but it tends to become a chronic issue once it starts. 

According to VCA hospital, recent studies have shown diets that cause high urine acidity (meaning urine pH less than 6.5) may possibly predispose dogs to develop this type of bladder stone [1].  

Breeds Most Commonly Diagnosed with Bladder Stones [2

Miniature SchnauzerDalmatianYorkshire Terrier
Lhasa ApsoShih TzuBichon Frise

The two most prominent signs of bladder stones that your pet may exhibit are 

  • Dysuria
    • Difficulty urinating
    • If your dog seems to be in pain while trying to urinate, or the stream seems interrupted, call your local vet! 
    • Obstructions can be fatal  
  • Hematuria
    • This is blood in the urine 
    • You will be able to tell that the color is darker than usual and your pet might express discomfort 
    • This requires immediate medical attention as well! 

What Are The Nutritional Benefits? 

Now that we know what parts of the kiwi are safe, let’s discuss the benefits they bring to the table! 

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Antioxidants
  • Potassium 
  • Water 
  • Additional Vitamins

Benefits of Fiber

Why is fiber so good for digestion? It’s great for getting the gut moving, or stopping. If your dog chronically struggles with constipation or diarrhea, you’ll want to assess its fiber intake. 

Every creature’s metabolism works differently, you can read more about it here if you feel that your dog struggles: How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Digest Food? 

Too much can cause diarrhea and flatulence, and too little can cause blockage. 

Types Of Fiber

Insoluble Fiber  Soluble Fiber 
Absorbs water as it goes through the gastrointestinal tract regulates intestinal transit time, meaning it will speed up the digestive tract in times of constipation and slow it down when there’s diarrhea [3]. 
Too much can lead to a decline in overall health by leading to weight loss, worsening coat quality, vomiting, and diarrhea
Adding soluble fiber to the diet can be healthy for dogs, especially those that develop secondary bacterial overgrowth.
Too much can cause gas and diarrhea Slows digestion 

Fiber also has properties that reduce the risk of colon cancer, obesity, and diabetes! 

Fiber can help with weight control because even a small amount can keep your dog full for longer than normal. They are also low in calories and can speed up the intestinal tract. If your pet struggles with weight management, check out this helpful article: How To Help My Dog Lose Weight.  

We know that fiber also has the ability to slow the intestinal tract. This can keep blood pressure at an equilibrium which is very helpful when regulating diabetes [4].   

The daily intake for a dog is dependent on their weight and individualized health panel so discussing the proper amount with your veterinarian would provide the most accurate dosage.  

Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C holds so many wonderful properties for our pets and ourselves!  

  • Production of collagen
    • Great for the muscles, organs, nail and coat quality 
  • Antioxidant 
    • Vitamin C is an antioxidant 
    • Its role is to remove molecules that cause oxidative stress
    • Oxidative stress can lead to cell damage, heart disease, and cancer [5
    • Antioxidants can greatly reduce inflammation in the body 
  • Good for the brain
    • Can strengthen or maintain cognitive function  
  • Immune System Booster

Benefits of Potassium 

We discussed earlier how kiwi skin can lead to bladder stones. Well, kiwis also provide a source of potassium.

Ironically, quality potassium levels can prevent kidney or bladder stones from forming.  

Potassium is an electrolyte, which is electrically charged minerals and compounds that play a significant role in sending those signals to the heart, nerves, and muscles [6]. 

Electrolytes also massively contribute to producing energy. They give strength to the muscles, bones, and organs. 

Potassium also boosts cognitive function! It directly reinforces the neural paths from the brain to the rest of the body [7].  

It is an essential part of the diet for animals (and humans!) 

Benefits of a Water Source 

If you have a pet that never seems to drink water, or can’t get enough of it, incorporating foods like kiwis can be a helpful outlet.  

Helpful Tip: If your dog rarely drinks water, always make sure to add some into his meals and he will lick the bowl dry! 

What Other Vitamins Do Kiwis Have? 

While Vitamin C holds a large component in the health benefits of a kiwi, there are a few more that we should be aware of: 

Vitamin A

  • This vitamin is most popularly known for its positive effects on vision
  • It is extremely important in aiding in night vision
  • Vitamin A supports the production of pigment in the eye that is responsible for adjusting to changes in the light[8
  • Night blindness is a symptom of Vitamin A deficiency 
  • It largely aids in fetal development 
  • Vitamin A is prominent in a mother’s milk that puppies largely benefit from. It is extremely relevant to their growth and overall development. 
  • Vitamin A deficiency in a puppy can lead to poor growth, nervous system disorders, poor skin and coat quality, and muscle weakness [9
  • Vitamin A deficiency in adult dogs can cause sterility issues in males and abnormal ovulation in females 
  • Vitamin A produces white blood cells that fight off bacterias and infections and strengthens our immune system
  • Other food with Vitamin A would be carrots, spinach, sweet potato and salmon

Vitamin K

  • This vitamin plays a major role in blood clotting and bone building 
  • It creates four out of the thirteen proteins necessary for blood to clot [10]
  • Dogs with a Vitamin K deficiency tend to have major problems because it makes it harder for their blood to clot. If they were to get cut or injured, it would take an extremely long time for those wounds to stop bleeding or to even heal.
  • Vitamin K deficiencies can be highly fatal 
  • Symptoms: Prolonged bleeding from wounds, weakness, possible fainting episodes, bruising easily, “random” bruises popping up on the abdomen, vomiting blood, blood in urine (hematuria), black stool (melena), and very pale to white gums
  • Other foods with Vitamin K would be milk, cabbage, legumes, fish, cheese, and most leafy vegetables

Vitamin E 

  • As discussed earlier, antioxidants are a powerful source that removes free radicals from the body, slowing down overall cell damage. 
  • Preventative for cell disease, cancer, and heart disease 
  • Aids greatly for general inflammation in the body 
  • Increases immune system 
  • Widens blood vessels 
    • This is also referred to as vasodilation 
    • When blood vessels dilate, there is more room for blood to move throughout the body and a much less likely chance of forming a blood clot  
  • RBC production 
    • Vitamin E actually helps the body to use Vitamin K 
  • While plenty of foods naturally have this vitamin, it is often added to pet food already in order for them to receive a complete balanced diet
    • It will be referred to as “alpha-tocopherol” on the pet food label, which is identified as the most effective type of Vitamin E to support cell function and structure [11
  • Symptoms of Vitamin E deficiency: reproductive problems for males and females, reduced vision, muscle weakness, weight loss, skin issues, and irregular neurological behaviors 
  • Other foods with Vitamin E would be dark leafy greens, like kale, and green beans, butternut squash, and certain types of nuts     

Fun And Easy Kiwi Recipes 

  • Frozen kiwi with peanut butter
    • First, remove the seeds and skin from kiwi 
    • Slice into quarter sized pieces and smear some peanut butter on top 
    • Pop into the freezer for 6-12 hours and you’ve got a fun, refreshing treat 
    • Frozen treats add mental enrichment for dogs  
  • Kiwi Sandwich
    • Slice up a banana into small chunks 
    • Properly prepare kiwi
    • Place small kiwi chunks between two pieces of banana
    • Optional: adding a smidge of peanut butter to make the sandwich stick together
  • Meal Topper
    • Dice up some kiwis, carrots, zucchinis, and bell peppers to make a colorful additive to your dog’s meal
    • You do not need a lot of each (example: chop less than one fourth of each ingredient) since it is simply a meal additive, it just needs to be enough to add some excitement and new taste 

Can Pregnant Dogs Have Kiwis?

Yes! Kiwi actually contains folate or folic acid.  

In fact, the yellow (or gold) kiwis contain roughly 30% more folate than green kiwis [12]. 

Folate is a B-vitamin that can be found in many foods. Our body needs folate in order to make DNA, cell production, and division [13].  

Folic acid is a commonly known dietary requirement when pregnant. Feeding your dog foods with high levels of folate can greatly prevent birth defects, especially regarding the brain and spinal cord.  

There are folic acid supplements that can also provide these benefits to your pet, however, supplementation of any kind must be discussed with your veterinarian first. Typically, only pregnant dogs and ones with specific deficiencies would need a supplement. 

Other foods that provide folate:

Are There Different Types Of Kiwi? 

Yes! And this list is not inclusive to all of them. Some types are not safe for dogs and it’s vital to know which ones. 

Can Dogs Eat Kiwi Skin? Can Dogs Eat Kiwi Seeds? Can Dogs Eat Yellow Kiwis? Can Dogs Eat Purple Kiwis? Can Dogs Eat Hardy Kiwis?  Can Dogs Eat Hot Pepper Silver Vine Kiwis? Can Dogs Eat Raw Kiwis? 
No! As discussed, due to the texture, amount of insoluble fiber, and crystals inside, the skin should be avoided.  No! Seeds are always a choking hazard as well as a direct route to vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly worse if your dog is allergic.   Yes! These are even more nutrient-dense than the kiwis we are used to seeing. They have fewer seeds, smoother hair, and are less acidic than the green ones.  Yes! These ones have an extremely short shelf life. So make sure they are still fresh  Yes! These are actually the most typical kind you would find in a grocery store. Once the skin and seeds are removed, they are good to feed.  No! This variation has a spice to it that is comparable to chili peppers, which are way too hot for dogs. They are not equipped to digest spicy foods and they can cause major indigestion, irritation, and mouth, and stomach ulcers.  Yes! As long as the seeds and skin is removed and the kiwi is sliced into small pieces, it is good to go 

The Bottom Line 

Kiwis are a safe and nutritional snack for your pet. Make sure they are always skinless and seedless before serving.  

Remember that kiwis are meant to be a treat, not a meal substitute. You should also feed them in moderation.

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Rachel Wood

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