We all know how beneficial it is for humans to eat fruit. They are a vital part of any person’s diet, and without them, we lack the necessary vitamins we need for our bodies to function properly.
What about fruit? Are there fruits that we can share with our pets, and is durian one of them?
Fortunately for dogs and dog owners across the globe, some fruits are perfectly safe for dogs. Not only that, but there are fruits with many beneficial properties for our four-legged friends.
We are happy to inform you that durian fruit is actually safe for our dogs. However, before you introduce this people-dividing fruit to your dog’s dish, there are some things you should know.
In this article, we will go over everything there is to know about dogs and durians, as well as some other fruits you might want to feed your pup.
To begin, let’s have a look at what this prickly fruit really is and why some people love it, while others hate the sight of it.
What is durian?
The first and most obvious thing we have to discuss is what this fruit really is.
If you live in the western world, the chances are that you have never encountered a durian before. On the other hand, if you come from Asia or Australia, this might just be your favorite fruit of them all.
Durian fruit is grown in Southeast Asia and is particularly popular in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. This fruit is famous for its rich and creamy texture; hence it is often referred to as the king of fruits in Asia.
The durian fruit is hard and spiky on the outside, but when you cut it open, you’ll find soft meat with seeds. The seeds should be separated from the flesh before eating.
The odor is probably the main thing that divides people’s opinions on this plant. Some find it repelling and claim it smells like poop, while others swear it has a rich smell and sweet taste. It pretty much depends on whether or not you are used to eating durian.
Can dogs eat durian?
Photo from: @paddys_cobra_loki
As a loving and responsible owner, we know that you will do the right thing and always do extensive research before introducing a new food into your pup’s life.
Now, to get to the matter at hand, the answer is – yes. Dogs can have durian, but there are some things you should keep in mind.
Durian fruit isn’t unhealthy or toxic to dogs as long as:
• They like the taste.
• They are given durian in small quantities.
• You give them only the soft flesh of the fruit.
Don’t be alarmed if your dog starts barking at a durian fruit the first time they see it. This can happen sometimes, and it is simply because of the smell we mentioned earlier.
You will quickly see if your dog likes durian or not. If your pooch likes the taste and smell of this fruit, you can safely give it as a treat occasionally. But, be on the lookout for symptoms that may indicate that your pup’s digestive system is not responding well to this plant.
Health benefits of durian for dogs
If not given in excessive amounts, fruits such as durian can bring valuable nutrition to your dog’s diet. According to some nutritional data, durian fruits are high in:
• vitamin A
• vitamin B
• folic acid
They also contain zinc and iron.
Fiber promotes the regular functioning of a dog’s digestive system. Meanwhile, protein is used by your dog’s body to build and repair muscle tissue.
The minerals and vitamins found in durian can help improve healthy nerves, support immunity, and fight diseases.
On top of all these benefits, durian fruits also contain powerful antioxidants that can help fight harmful free radicals.
Are there any concerns?
Even though it is completely okay for your doggie to eat the flesh of the durian fruit, there are a few concerns that you should be aware of so that you can feed your pup durian safely.
First of all, you should never feed your pup the spiky outer rind of the durian fruit. This outer part is very hard and has sharp points all over it, which can cause injuries to your pup’s mouth or throat.
Another key thing to remember is that your pup should never be allowed to eat the durian seeds. The seeds of a durian fruit contain cyanide which is a toxic chemical compound.
Consuming these seeds will have rapid and potentially lethal effects on your pup. The same goes for the stem and leaves of durian fruits. All of these parts of the plant can lead to cyanide poisoning, which can ultimately lead to death.
There are also some concerns related to portion size. In the next section, we cover what they are and what amount of durian fruit is safe to give to your pup.
How much durian can your dog eat?
The important thing to note is that there are three reasons to limit your dog’s durian consumption.
To begin with, this fruit is rich in natural sugars, just like other fruits. Too much sugar is known to cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels and can even lead to diabetes. It is crucial not to let your pup overindulge in any sugary foods.
Secondly, just as it contains significant amounts of sugar, durian fruit is also surprisingly high in fat. You should never feed your dog too many fattening foods because it may lead to obesity. This should be common sense; just think about it.
If you eat fatty, sugary foods all day, what happens? You get fat. The same goes for our furry companions.
But, there is an upside to this. If you have an underweight dog that could benefit from plumping up a little, you might be able to give it durian fruit more frequently. Just make sure not to overdo it and tilt the scale in the opposite direction.
The third reason why you should be cautious when giving your pup durian fruit has something to do with cardiovascular health.
Studies suggest that eating a large amount of durian fruit can speed up the heart rate of your pup. This condition is not only tied to our pets but can be observed in humans too.
It is also reasonable to assume that it would take much less durian to produce this effect in a dog than in a human. This is why you should always feed your pup only very small quantities of this fruit.
So, the best thing you can do is keep this fruit at a treat level, rather than making it a full meal. The general recommendation is that no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories come from treats and snacks.
However, this doesn’t mean that this percentage of your dog’s calories should only come from durian. That would be too much sugar and fat.
You should aim to feed your dog with no more than a few bites of durian per serving. Also, keep in mind that durian should not be a daily treat but rather something you give your pup a couple of times a week.
Can a dog be allergic to durian?
When you feed your pooch durian for the first time, be aware of the signs of an allergic reaction. Even though most dogs should not be allergic to this fruit, some might be.
Infections of the ears and paws, swelling in the face, itching, hives, or indigestion may indicate an allergic reaction. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should contact a vet for further instruction.
Additionally, some dogs that are not flat-out allergic to durian can still be sensitive to it. Let’s see how that might look.
Is your dog reacting badly to durian?
We’ve seen some of the signs that might be present if your pup has an allergic reaction to durian. But that isn’t all you need to be worried about.
Some other signs can be behavior-related. For example, if your dog doesn’t like durian or is bothered by it somehow, your pooch might behave differently than normal.
This can be either by sitting around listlessly or by becoming hyper in some cases. These can also be signs that your pup ate too much durian. If that is the case, you might even notice whimpering, panting, overall weakness, or ears sticking up.
Keep in mind that durian fruit is not supposed to be a meal or daily fruit for your pup. If you suspect that your dog has eaten too much of this fruit, you should take it to a vet and adhere to professional medical advice.
How to feed your dog durian
If you want to feed your dog any kind of new food, you should do it properly. Now, when it comes to durian, you should start by cutting open the spiky rind and scooping out the flesh inside.
Once you get the flesh of the fruit out, make sure to dispose of the rind somewhere where your pup will not be able to find it.
After that, carefully remove all the seeds, safely throwing them away as well. The important thing to note is that if the leaves or stem of the plant were still attached to the fruit when you removed the rind, you need to get rid of them as well.
If you do all of these steps correctly, you should be left with only the fleshy part of the fruit. Now it is time to cautiously try giving it to your pup. Always start with a very small piece of durian and watch how your dog reacts.
If your pooch seems to enjoy it and doesn’t react badly, it is safe to make a habit out of it. By making a habit out of it, we mean giving your pup only a small piece of durian as an occasional treat or snack.
This is all there is to know about feeding durian to your pup from a safety perspective.
Now, when it comes to keeping your home odor-free, we recommend that you do all of this outside since you might be shocked at how much a durian fruit stinks.
What if your dog eats the seeds of a durian fruit?
As we stated above, the seeds of this and many other fruits are poisonous. They contain cyanide, a chemical that is highly toxic to humans, let alone our furry companions.
If your dog has eaten the seeds, leaves, stems, or the hard outer covering in a large quantity, it might experience cyanide poisoning. This is not only detrimental to a dog’s health but can even be fatal.
The symptoms of cyanide poisoning you should be on the lookout for are:
• dilated pupils
• expression of shock
• vomiting and stomach ache
• convulsions or even paralysis
As a responsible pet owner, it is your job to make sure that this never happens. Never leave a durian fruit in places where your dog can reach it and consume it in large amounts.
Always offer your dog only small pieces of the fruit, and be sure to remove all the harmful stuff like the seeds, stems, and leaves.
Signs your dog likes durian
If your pup doesn’t experience any issues with durian, and in fact, likes its taste, it might feel tempted to have durian all the time. This might mean that your dog simply loves this fruit.
However, you shouldn’t overindulge your dog, and durian should not be a part of all the meals your pup gets. Just a few pieces every couple of days is more than enough for your pup’s needs.
So, how can you be sure your dog likes this fruit? Here are some things that might show your pup’s love of durian:
• Your dog will drool and lick its lips at the sight of this fruit.
• It will eat the fruit quickly and impatiently.
• Your pup begs for it and always wants more.
• The ears of your furry friend prick up when he sees or smells durian.
Remember that even if your dog likes durian very much, you must not exceed the limit. Too much of this fruit can have long-lasting effects on your pup’s health.
Signs your dog doesn’t like durian
If one or more dogs like durian, it doesn’t mean that all of them do. Like humans, dogs also have individual preferences when it comes to different foods.
Your pups’ taste buds might not be developed to have durian, or they might be offended by its smell.
Whatever the case may be, there are some things that your dog might show when he doesn’t like durian:
• He will refuse to eat it, no matter how many times you try.
• The smell of durian makes your dog feel nauseous.
• After eating a piece, your pup feels lazy and heavy.
• Your dog won’t eat its favorite food if it contains even a hint of durian.
Never try to force-feed your dog anything. If your pup doesn’t like something, simply let it be.
This is especially the case with durian as it is not a must-have for your canine companion’s proper growth and development.
When is durian unhealthy for your dog?
Durian fruit is high in sugar content and also contains a large amount of calories, fat, vitamins, and minerals.
Because of this, some dogs shouldn’t be given durian even if they like it. Let’s go over certain situations when your dog doesn’t need durian at all:
• If your dog is prone to obesity or is already overweight, durian will just make him more lethargic and fat due to the high calories and presence of fat.
• If your dog experiences stomach upset or has trouble digesting the fruit every time you feed it durian.
• If your pup is allergic to durian or fruit in general. You should always check with your vet for any allergies your dog might have before feeding him any kind of fruit.
• If your doggie isn’t very active and energetic. This is because a pup should take a walk or do some other form of physical activity after eating durian. This fruit is rich and fatty, so it must digest properly. To accomplish this, your pup must move around.
Other fruits that are healthier for your dog
It shouldn’t come as a surprise if your dog doesn’t like durian. It simply doesn’t fit every dog, and you should not force it on them.
Instead, you can consider giving your pup other fruits that are always a healthy treat option.
Cantaloupe contains minerals, vitamins, fiber, and water. It is recommended that you feed your pup some cantaloupe, especially during hot summer days.
This fruit prevents dehydration and provides nourishment for your dog’s daily needs.
Apples are a great choice to give to your pooch. They are high in antioxidants and low in calories. Just remember to remove the seeds as they also contain cyanide, which is poisonous to your pup.
Bananas are always a healthy snack for your pup. They are a great source of potassium as well as vitamins and fiber. Aside from this, bananas are very low in calories.
Potassium and vitamins will ensure the normal functioning of your dog’s body, while fiber keeps their stomachs healthy and prevents bloating. Peel off the skin of the banana and give the fruit to your pup as a treat.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries are perfectly safe for your pup. In fact, they can be beneficial for your dog’s health in multiple ways.
Berries are rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Due to these nutrients, berries help repair damaged cells and keep your dog’s body in a healthy condition.
Mango is also a fruit that you should consider giving your pooch from time to time. It is rich in vitamins and is a great summer treat.
Just make sure to peel the skin off and remove the pit.
This fruit provides a sufficient amount of minerals, vitamin C, and most of all, water to your dog. A piece of orange on a hot summer day can do wonders for your pup.
However, some dogs don’t actually like the strong citrus smell and taste of oranges. If your dog is one of them, don’t force it.
Peaches and pears
Peaches are a healthy option because they are rich in fiber and vitamins. Also, they can be a great source of vitamin C for your pup.
Pears, on the other hand, contain vitamin K, potassium, and also fiber.
That’s right. Dogs can eat watermelon. Not only is it safe for them, but it can also give your pup’s health a boost as well.
It is good to offer this fruit to your dog on hot days to prevent dehydration. And while the seeds of this fruit are not toxic to dogs, they can cause intestinal blockage, so you should remove them.
In short, fruits that are rich in vitamins and minerals and have a high water content make for great treats for our canine companions. On the other hand, fruits that are high in calories are not so good for our pups.
Now, let’s take a look at some fruits that shouldn’t be given to our furry friends.
Fruits that are unhealthy for your dog
As we mentioned before, not all fruits are healthy for our little furry companions. Moreover, some can be harmful or even lethal if consumed in large quantities.
Here are some of the fruits you should avoid giving to your pet:
Grapes are quite bad for dogs of any breed. It has been proven that grapes are toxic to dogs and can cause sudden kidney failure.
If you or someone in your household loves eating grapes, make sure you keep them out of your dog’s reach.
Cherries can also be poisonous to dogs. Even though the fleshy part around the seeds can be okay, it is not worth the risk.
This fruit contains cyanide, and eating just a few cherries can cause cyanide poisoning right away.
If your dog eats cherries and you notice any of the symptoms discussed above, such as trembling or gasping for air, you should immediately rush it to a vet.
Avocado is yet another addition to our list of fruits that are poisonous to dogs. Avocado plants contain persin, which is a chemical that causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Although the fleshy part of this fruit contains very little of this chemical, why take any chances?
The green part of tomatoes contains a chemical called solanine which is poisonous to canines. Even though the red, ripened fruit has much less solanine, and it requires a lot of tomatoes to make your dog sick, you should avoid it.
Dogs and durian – yay or nay?
Most dog lovers think that our four-legged friends are carnivores, but that is not entirely true. Dogs are, in fact, omnivores.
This means that even though their diet should consist mostly of meat, they should be given plants from time to time.
That being said, durian is completely safe for your pup to ingest. Not only that, but it can have numerous health benefits for your dog’s body if given in moderation.
Stick to the recommended ways of serving this fruit to your pup, and you will have a healthy and happy dog by your side.