Available all year-round and loaded with more vitamin C than an orange and more potassium than a banana, kiwi is a sweet fruit that tastes good and provides an abundance of nutritious benefits. But, can dogs eat kiwi? If you’re snacking on a kiwi, it’s perfectly fine to share with your dog. Just be mindful of a few concerns before you do.
Is Kiwi Good for Dogs?
Because they are somewhat small in size, you should never feed your dog a whole kiwi. While smaller breeds, such as the Havanese, won’t be able to get a whole kiwi into their mouths, a larger breed, like the Golden Retriever, could potentially devour it in just one bite. If that happens, the fruit could get lodged in your dog’s throat and block his airways. To avoid a hazardous situation, cut the kiwi into small pieces or slices and feed your dog a little bit at a time.
When introducing anything new, especially human food, start off gradually to see how your dog reacts. “Some dogs just don’t tolerate things other than their own food,” says Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a staff doctor at New York City’s Animal Medical Center. While canines have evolved to be better at eating the foods we eat, not all are able to readily digest the snacks we love to share with them.
Kiwis have a tough, outer skin, which in conjunction with the flesh contains high levels of insoluble fiber, commonly known as “roughage.” This stimulates the intestines, making food pass through more quickly. High amounts of fiber in a dog’s diet can result in an upset stomach or a bad case of diarrhea. Although the skin is safe to eat, it’s best to remove it before feeding kiwi to your dog.
If you’re wondering whether your dog’s going to reap all of the health benefits that you do from eating kiwi, the answer is no. “Dogs don’t have the same nutritional requirements as humans,” explains Dr. Hohenhaus. That’s not to say a kiwi isn’t good for your dog, but this fruit does benefit humans more than it does canines.
Feeding your dog kiwi should be considered a treat, and not a substitute for foods that are more nutritious for pups. As always, it’s best to consult your veterinarian before giving your dog anything new.
Here at the AKC, we field many queries from anxious dog owners about what is and isn’t safe for their canine companions to eat. Questions range from the obvious (“Can dogs eat cheese?”) to the trendy (“Can dogs eat kale?”) Check out more “Can dogs eat…” articles on AKC.org to see which foods are harmful to your pup.