Mangoes are a sweet and creamy tropical fruit found in abundance during the summer months, and used as a luscious ingredient in many salads, desserts, and fruit bowls. Are you ever tempted to share this tasty fruit with your canine companion, but not sure if they’re safe?
Let’s find out!
Mangoes are one of the safer fruits for your pooch. Rich in important vitamins and minerals—plus high in water content—these fruits are a nutritious, hydrating snack on hot summer days for both dog parents and their dogs.
But like any human food, the 90/10 treat rule (treats only comprising 10% of your dog’s daily calories) is important. This is especially true for mangoes. Because of their high sugar and fiber content, this fruit should only be offered occasionally.
But let’s look deeper into the nutritional benefits of the mango.
Mangoes are a member of the pistachio and cashew family and known as “The King of Fruit”. They contain over 20 vitamins and minerals, and beneficial enzymes, earning them the distinction of a “Super Fruit.”
Mangoes are free from fat, sodium, and cholesterol. They’re packed with powerful antioxidants, and a ¾ cup of mango contains 70 calories. That number seems fine for humans, but it’s too high for dogs, so moderation is important when offering this fruit as a healthy snack.
Mangoes provide benefits for a dog’s health.
The bulk of a dog’s diet should be nutritionally balanced dog food, but treats can comprise 10% of their daily calories. Offering fresh fruits and veggies is a wonderful way to add motivation to training sessions, create a nutritional boost, and increase the bond you have with your dog.
Who can resist the guilt-inducing stare we get from our tail-waggers if we don’t share our snack? Or when we don’t allow them the “complimentary” piece dropped on the floor when preparing food?
Mangoes are healthy additions to your dog’s treat menu. Here’s why:
- Potassium: This important mineral keeps your dog’s kidneys functioning well. It also supports efficient heart function, muscle function, and a healthy digestive system.
- Magnesium: This micro-mineral supports the metabolizing of proteins and fatty acids. It also supports energy production and the role of ligament and bone maintenance.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Supports red blood cell generation, nervous system function, hormone regulation, and immune response.
- Folate (Vitamin B9 or folic acid): This is important for DNA synthesis and red blood cell production.
- Vitamin C: This powerful antioxidant searches out and destroys free-radical molecules that can damage cells. It also supports the immune system by reducing inflammation, fighting some cancers, and reducing cognitive aging.
- Vitamin A: This fat-soluble vitamin supports your dog’s immune response, bone growth, reproductive system, and healthy vision.
- Vitamin E: This is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it binds to fats in your dog’s system. It’s beneficial for healthy skin and coat, and offers benefits for dogs with dry or itchy skin and ear infections.
- Antioxidants: Rich in Beta-carotene, Alpha-carotene, and cryptoxanthin antioxidants that protect against free-radical cell damage and support good vision.
- Dietary Fiber: Fiber moves food through a dog’s digestive system and improves stool quality. It’s also believed to support sugar levels in the blood and add an extended feeling of fullness for dogs that are overweight.
Keep in mind that mango skin or peel is not digestible. The soluble fiber comes from the meat of this fruit. Soluble fiber absorbs water that helps carry the food through the digestive system efficiently.
Is eating mango safe for my dog?
Yes, mangoes are safe for your dog if prepared correctly and given in small quantities. We always suggest talking with your veterinarian before letting your dog eat new foods.
- Sugar: Mangoes have high sugar content. If given freely to your dog, you could risk dental decay, obesity, or high blood sugar if your dog is diabetic.
- Carbohydrates: Carbs turn to sugar in your dog’s body. Mangoes have 25 grams of sugar per fruit, making them too high for anything but an occasional snack for diabetic dogs.
- Mango peel or skin: Mangoes are in the same botanical family as Poison Ivy. The oil from both the tree and the skin of the mango contain Urushiol, an oil that can irritate the skin. For this reason, it is not wise to give your dog the peel of the mango.
Symptoms of Urushiol contact:
- Swelling of the lips, tongue or face, hives, or excessive drooling.
The skin of the mango is thick and fibrous. Your dog’s digestive system can’t process it, risking an intestinal blockage or choking hazard. This is especially true for small breed dogs.
- Mango pit: Known as a stone fruit (Drupe), the pit or stone of the mango contains amygdalin. This substance turns to cyanide when chewed and ingested and could give your dog a tummy ache or even poison them if they eat too much.
- Fiber: Mango fruit has beneficial fiber to help with your dog’s immune system and digestive tract. However, too much fiber in a dog’s diet can cause constipation, diarrhea, gas, or a stomach upset. For this reason, only offer small amounts of mango as a treat.
As you can see, even with the many health benefits of this tropical fruit, there are a few important precautions to consider.
What are the best ways to give your dog mango?
The first tip when offering your pooch this healthy treat is moderation, moderation, moderation!
Fresh ripe mango
Mangoes should always be ripe if you want to offer it to your dog.
Peel and cube or slice into bite-sized pieces for a dog-safe way to serve this fruit.
The mango flesh is soft and doesn’t present much of a choking hazard. Just make sure the pieces are size appropriate for your pooch.
Try throwing a cube or two into your dog’s daily kibble for some extra hydration.
The water content is not present in this form of mango, but the nutrients will still be there and benefit your pup.
Mango ice cream or sorbet
The safety and benefit of this popular mango treat depend on how you prepare it for your dog. If you use plain yogurt with no sweeteners (especially artificial sweeteners like Xylitol, which is highly toxic to your dog), mango ice cream is a cool slurpy treat for a hot summer day.
Sorbet, or frozen pureed mango, if prepared with no sweeteners or added ingredients other than additional fruits like blueberries, watermelon, bananas, or even cucumbers, is another refreshing way to serve this fruit.
In the canning process, mangoes lose some nutrients. You also risk additions of sugars, or artificial flavors, or colorings.
If the canned mangoes have no additional ingredients other than 100% mango juice and water, it will be safe for your dog.
This is a wonderful way to serve mango on a hot summer day. The fruit still has its hydration properties, its nutritional benefits, and dogs love this frozen snack.
Puppies’ immune systems are still developing. They are susceptible to gastrointestinal upsets when offered new foods. Always check with your vet and offer small amounts to rule out any intolerances for new foods.
When offering mango to puppies, watch for gas, upset stomach, constipation. This is true for adult dogs as well. If symptoms of an intolerance are present, don’t offer any more mango and check with your vet.
When your pup is fully weaned and well established on solid food, frozen mango spears could be a suitable alternative to teething biscuits and chews which are available commercially. The commercial treats can contain high fats and artificial flavorings. Just be sure to offer the mango in small quantities.
Can all dogs eat mango?
All healthy dogs can safely eat mango. However, if your dog has diabetes, or is overweight, take care when offering this sweet fruit. Consult with your vet prior to offering it to your dog.
- Diabetic dogs risk blood sugar spikes from the mango’s high sugar content. Your veterinarian can advise you on the appropriate amount of mango for your dog’s specific health needs.
- Overweight dogs don’t need a boost of sugar. With only 70 calories in ¾ cup of mango, it’s not that high for humans, but for a dog, it’s a lot. Again, your vet can advise you on the correct amount to offer.
- Dogs with kidney disease can eat mango in moderation because it doesn’t contain starches or phosphorus. But check with your vet about how much is appropriate for your dog.
Snack Time! Ideas for offering your dog a mango snack.
There are hundreds of wonderful mango recipes for dogs on the internet. We’ve already talked about a few ways to prepare the mango for your pooch, but here are a few other ideas:
Frozen mango pops from pureed mango and any safe fruit, like cantaloupe or blueberries, are also a great treat. Just put the mixture into ice cube trays for a sweet, hydrating snack for your pup. You can even add some healthy veggies!
Dehydrated mangoes make a quick on the go tasty treat for both you and your dog if you’re off for a day of activities.
So, if you want to offer your dog mangoes, they’re a nutritious, safe choice. If prepared properly, and introduced slowly, this super fruit may become a summer day favorite for both you and your furry friend!