Can Dogs Eat Mango? (Nutrition Guide)
Yes, mangoes are great treats for pet dogs. As long as you do not give your dog the seed or pit, then this tropical fruit can be a delicious human-food treat for your pet. While it is okay for canines to eat the skin of the fruit, it is better to peel it as well to help avoid any problems in the dog’s tummy. This tropical fruit has a certain sweetness to it that dogs will love. Not only that, it is rich in fiber and vitamins that can provide a number of health benefits to the dog.
Nutrition Profile of Mangoes
Mangoes are one of the human foods that are safe to feed to dogs. However, safety should never be confused with nutrition. There are nutritious food items out there that are not safe for pets to eat. Likewise, there are also very safe food items that may not have the nutrient profile to warrant giving it to our pets on a regular basis. Mangoes strike a balance between safety and nutrition. In this section, we will look at the nutrient profile of mangoes to better understand the benefits that our dogs can get from such a tropical fruit.
- Moderately-Low Calories
A cup of ripe mangoes with its skin and seeds removed can provide a total of 107 calories. This is almost equivalent to about two and a half pieces of your favorite commercially-available dog treat. As such, it can be a great way to lose weight, if one only looks at the calorie content of this tropical fruit.
- Moderate Levels of Fiber
An ounce of mango contains about half a gram of dietary fiber. It isn’t much. However, if you choose to give a cup of this ripe tropical fruit to your dog, then you are giving it 3 grams of dietary fiber. This can help sweep the digestive tract of the animal and aid in the more effective passage of undigested material. The fiber can also contribute to overall health.
- High Sugar Content
There is one thing that can be quite disconcerting about mangoes. A cup of ripe mango contains 24.4 grams of sugar. As such, it may be a concern for pet parents who have dogs that are at risk of diabetes. What many do not realize is that the sugar in mango is not glucose, but rather fructose. There are also certain varieties of mangoes that have a higher sucrose concentration than either fructose or glucose. The good thing about fructose is that it has the least impact on blood sugar levels compared to glucose or sucrose.
The reason is that fructose gets absorbed into the blood in a gentler or more gradual manner than glucose. Because of this gradual absorption, it does not lead to abnormal spikes in insulin. Moreover, the cells cannot use fructose as fuel. The liver will have to convert it first into glucose for cells to use it. As such, the length of time from absorption to glucose conversion is long enough that it will not lead to abnormal spikes in blood sugar. This will also not increase the dog’s risk of developing diabetes.
- Negligible Fat and Protein Content
The amount of fat and protein present in mango is almost negligible. A cup of this tropical fruit provides only 0.8 grams of protein and 0.4 grams of fat.
- Essential Fatty Acids
One serving size (one cup) of mango contains 61.1 milligrams of the omega-3 fatty acid, ALA. It also contains 23.1 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acid. Take note of the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. It is 2.6:1. This is way better than the traditional 1:10 omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in many foods today. The ideal is a 1:1 ratio. However, if one food has more omega-3 fatty acids, then it is better.
- Vitamins A, C, and B6
Mangoes contain almost every other vitamin known to man except Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and betaine. This tropical fruit is rich in Vitamins A, C, and B6 plus moderate amounts of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamine, Folate, Niacin, and Riboflavin. Everyone knows the importance of Vitamin C in the maintenance of cellular integrity and immune function. Vitamin A can also have a similar effect by exerting its antioxidant activities.
- Copper, Potassium, and Magnesium
Mangoes are good sources of potassium, magnesium, and copper. These are important in the promotion and maintenance of various physiologic processes in the dog’s body. The other minerals found in mango include calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, selenium, and manganese. If you’re worried about sodium, a cup of mangoes only contains 3.3 milligrams of sodium.
- Moderately-High Water Content
Because of the fruit’s high fiber content, it doesn’t contain that much water compared to cucumbers, apples, and watermelons. However, it does contain about 82 percent of its weight. This makes the fruit a good alternative to water as a means of hydrating your pet during hot days.
Benefits of Mangoes for Dogs
Because mangoes should never comprise the bulk of a dog’s meal, the benefits that it may provide can be very minimal. Regardless, this fruit can provide the following health benefits:
- Assists in the maintenance of adequate hydration in the dog.
- Supports healthier digestion by allowing for the easier passage of fecal matter through the gastrointestinal tract.
- Promotes overall health by supplying the dog’s body with the necessary vitamins and minerals for various physiologic processes.
- Aids in the control of weight issues in susceptible dogs.
Mangoes are safe to feed to dogs. However, this does not give you the right to go on ahead and start loading your pet’s tummy with this delicious tropical fruit. Everything that a dog takes should always be in moderation. Having said that, it is wise to stick to the 10-percent rule of canine treating or snacking. What this means is that the amount of non-meal foods you give the pet should not comprise more than 10 percent of its meal for the day. In other words, it is important to look at the calories of the food items you are giving the dog. If the animal needs 1,000 calories per day, then 10% of this is 100 calories. That means, you cannot give more than a cup of ripe mangoes to the pet.
It is also best to check first with the veterinarian if it is okay to give mangoes to your pet. Some dogs may not be able to digest the fruit that well because of some underlying medical problem. He will also be able to advise you on the amount of mango that you can give to the animal as well as the frequency of feeding.
As a matter of rule, you’re not supposed to give the seed or pit of the fruit. This can be large for the animal that the seed can block its esophagus and choke the pet. There are mangoes with smaller seeds. However, it is still not advisable to give the animal the flesh and seed. It can get lodged in the small intestines and cause more problems for your pet.
As for the skin of the fruit, it is up to you whether you want to give it or not. Some dogs can eat the skin of mangoes without any untoward incidents. However, there are also those that can suffer from upset stomachs because of the skin. If you’re unsure, better skip this part of the fruit.
There is another concern that you should be wary about. Mangoes are rich in fructose, which is the sweetest among the different types of sugars. As such, it is important to brush your dog’s teeth right after consuming mangoes to help prevent tooth decay.
It is also rich in fiber. Some dogs can have loose, watery stools if they consume too many mangoes. Hence, moderation is a must.
How to Give Mango to Pet Dogs
It is best to give ripe mangoes than unripe ones. It is also better to go for fresh fruits than preserved varieties. Canned or bottled mangoes can sometimes be laced with preservatives as well as artificial sweeteners that can be harmful to the animal.
Slice mangoes into bite-sized pieces. It is soft so the animal should not have issues chewing and swallowing it. Turn it into a puree and pour into an ice cube mold tray. Freeze and add in the dog’s water. This will add a new flavor dimension to its water like a fruit juice. You can also turn it into a fruity popsicle for the dog to lick.
Some may also find mashing mangoes and stuffing it in food dispensing toys to be fun and more engaging for the pet. Other pet parents like to chop up or dice mangoes and mix them in the dog’s regular meal. Do take note that the fruit can impart a fruity sweetness to the dog food. Some dogs may like it, others may not.
Dogs can eat mangoes but only when you observe a few cardinal rules of canine treating. It’s a fruit that’s rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and fiber that can bring a host of benefits to the animal.
- Can Dogs Eat Mango? – AKC
- Mangoes, Raw, Nutrition Facts & Calories – Nutrition Data
- Can Dogs Eat Mango? What to Know About Mango for Dogs – Dogster