Can Dogs Taste Dragon Fruit?

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Introduction

Sometimes it is fun and interesting to add new and exotic fruits to your diet, and it can be just as fun to add them to your dog's diet as well. Maybe you want to introduce them to new flavors, provide their body with different nutrients, and perhaps you have been searching for a sweet and low-calorie snack for them to enjoy without gaining any weight. 

Whatever your reasons may be, knowing if an uncommon and exotic fruit is safe for your dog to eat is challenging. Giving your dog star fruit or dragon fruit is not widely done or talked about! So, can your dog enjoy dragon fruit, a spiky pink fruit with white flesh and black speckles?

Signs of a Dog Liking Dragon Fruit

In short, your pooch can safely eat dragon fruit as it is completely non-toxic to dogs! This is great news for your dog, because it is sweet, yummy, and packed full of nutrients. Dragon fruit is also known as pitaya. Dragon fruit has some great health benefits for your dog, as well as humans, so you can enjoy this snack together. 

You do want to make sure you are preparing the dragon fruit in the proper way - you just want to eat the flesh and not consume the pink, spiky, and leathery skin. The skin is tough to eat and is hard to digest. You also don't want to give them too much at a time, otherwise, it can upset their stomach and give them loose stools - which we know is not fun for both human and dog!

Many dogs may not enjoy the taste and the texture of the dragon fruit flesh itself because it is very soft and almost has a mushy texture. Some dogs are not thrilled by softer textures. Therefore, whether your dog likes this tropical fruit or not will either be a hit or miss.

Dragon fruit is naturally sweet, meaning most dogs should really enjoy this special fruit after a little bit of time to get used to it. You know your pup the best, so it will likely be easy for you to tell if your dog is enjoying their first experience with dragon fruit. When giving your dog dragon fruit for the first time, watch if they eat the fruit with excitement, if they wag their tail, or keep their tail upright the whole time. Maybe they will seem alert, raise their ears as they beg for more fruit, or even bark or whine at your for more pieces.

Body Language

Here are some signs you may notice if your dog likes dragon fruit:
  • Staring
  • Alert
  • Whining
  • Wag tail
  • Raise ears
  • Lip licking
  • Drooling
  • Whale eye

Other Signs

These are some other signs you might notice if your dog likes dragon fruit:
  • Staring at You/the Food
  • Pawing at Your Leg
  • Licking their Lips
  • Begging for More

History of Dragon Fruit and Dogs

Dragon fruit's origin is generally unknown, but it's believed the fruit originated somewhere in Central America. The French are the ones who began to distribute this tropical fruit around the world. They first brought it over to Vietnam more than 100 years ago. 

However, there are some other versions of the story that say the French took dragon fruit from Nicaragua and Columbia or that the French brought it with them from South America in the 1870's. Whether or not dragon fruit was given to dogs as a food or snack is unknown, and it is likely we may never know the answer. That being said, it is possible the fruit was shared with man's best friend while an owner was snacking on this refreshing treat. 

Over the years, Dragon fruit has become most widely grown in Vietnamese and Asian countries. Dragon fruit is generally used as food or for its medicinal benefits. Dragon fruit is best when enjoyed cold, in a sorbet, or when it is juiced. People also use the pink-fleshed version of the dragon fruit to naturally dye clothing and foods or pastries. 

In medicine, dragon fruit is used to help people improve their eyesight and to help the symptoms of hypertension. Furthermore, the small and soft black seeds in the dragon fruit are believed to help with blood sugar levels in people who suffer from diabetes. 

Science Behind Dogs and Dragon Fruit

This wacky fruit looks dramatic on both the inside and the outside, which matches perfectly with powerful health benefits for humans and dogs. Dragon fruit contains a very high amount of antioxidants and lots of vitamin C. Antioxidants and vitamin C are a great way to naturally boost your dog's immune system to keep them healthy. It will also help to prevent a variety of diseases, such as heart disease, and cancers.

Dragon fruit also contains essential vitamins and minerals along with micronutrients that help to ward off cancer, prevent disease, and help give the immune system an even heftier boost. 

Dragon fruit's high fiber content will help keep your dog's digestive tract healthy and functioning properly. This means your dog will go number two regularly and clean out their digestive tract by removing harmful toxins. 

Omega 3 also makes an appearance in this tropical fruit, which can help protect your dog's skin and coat, make their fur strong and shiny, boost the immune system, help to decrease inflammation, and more. Finally, dragon fruit has high levels of calcium and iron which will help keep your dog's bones strong and super-healthy.

Training Dogs to Like Dragon Fruit

There are a few things to keep in mind when feeding your dog dragon fruit. Although it is non-toxic to dogs and is very healthy, you must give it to them in moderation - too much of a good thing always has the potential to be harmful to your dog's health. Most dogs will only need a few smaller spoon fulls for them to reap the fruit's health benefits.

Generally, the rule of thumb is that dogs should never eat fruits and veggies that have seeds because they can harm them and get stuck in their bodies, but with dragon fruit, the seeds are so small and soft, you do not have to worry about removing those itty bitty seeds. Remember not to give your dog the thick, leathery skin of the dragon fruit. This can be tough for them to chew and digest. 

Your dog can eat the dragon fruit raw and in a variety of ways. You can put it in with their breakfast and dinner, you can give it to them plain, freeze small pieces for a cold and refreshing snack, or include it in another one of their favorite foods. Get creative and experiement with different ways to include this unusual tropical superfruit into your dog's diet!

Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog Dragon Fruit:

  • Don't give more if it upsets their stomach.
  • Limit to 1-2 spoonfuls at a time.
  • Don't give them the skin.