Can Dogs Have Mango?

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Unlike cats who are obligate carnivores that really only benefit from eating meat, as omnivores, our canine companions can derive nutrition from a much wider range of foods, from fish and beef to apples and carrots. In particular, there are many fruits that not only supplement a dog’s diet with essential vitamins and minerals but dogs also enjoy the taste of. During the summer, as you hide away from the blazing sun and enjoy tropical fruits in the comfort of your own air-conditioned home, you may have wondered: Can dogs have mango?

Yes, dogs can have mango. Mangos are non-toxic to dogs and many dogs are fond of their sweet and tangy flavor. However, like any additional treat outside of their regular well-balanced diet, you should err on the side of caution when feeding your dog mango. Too much of a good thing can be bad, especially since mangos contain large amounts of sugar that can contribute to health issues such as obesity and even diabetes. 

No matter how much our dogs beg and plead, it is our responsibility as pet parents to restrict their intake of excess sugar, salt, fat, and calories for their health and well-being. If you want to learn more about the benefits and risks of feeding your dog mango and how to safely treat your dog to some delicious mango, keep reading this article. We will discuss these topics in depth in addition to what other fruits dogs can eat to make sure you can make the best food choices for your pup.

Is Mango Good For Dogs?

Mangos are delicious and their soft, pulpy texture is very easy for dogs to consume. In terms of nutrition, they are considered to be quite beneficial for dogs as well. Mangos are high in fiber which aids digestion, preventing the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the colon and reducing the risk of colon cancer.1 Mangos contain many vitamins and minerals that are valuable for dogs as well, including:

  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is a fat-soluble essential vitamin that can be found in mangos. Stored in the fat cells of dogs, it predominantly supports vision, skin health, and immune response. Dogs that are Vitamin A deficient will often seem weak and have scaly skin or sores.2 
  • Vitamin B6: Mangos also contain vitamin B6, which keeps the nervous system and immune system healthy in addition to promoting normal brain development. If a dog’s body is low on vitamin B6, they are likely to develop anemia. Anemic dogs can experience a variety of negative health effects such as vomiting, difficulty breathing, weight loss, and lethargy. 
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that can be found in mangos. Unlike humans, dogs can produce vitamin C on their own with the help of their liver. However, they may still benefit from supplementation if they are often stressed. Vitamin C can improve a dog’s joint health and energy levels and reduce inflammation and cognitive decline. 
  • Vitamin E: Another antioxidant, vitamin E can help dogs metabolize fat and maintain a healthy heart, immune system, and liver. Like vitamin C, it can neutralize free radicals, or unstable atoms that can damage cells, in the bodies of dogs.3

Risks Of Feeding Your Dog Mango

While there are many benefits to feeding your dog mango, there are a handful of critical risks as well. It is important to take these factors into consideration when deciding on whether or not to give your pup mango as a treat. 

Like with any new food you introduce into your dog’s diet, mango has the potential to cause an upset stomach. It is always a good idea to trial mango first, giving your dog a small amount to see how their body reacts. If they won’t eat and are drinking less water, they may be experiencing abdominal discomfort. Other signs to look out for include a bloated stomach, fatigue, frequent stretching, excess lip licking, and swallowing to suppress reflux.4

It is also important to note that while the skin of mangos is technically safe for dogs to eat, it does contain trace amounts of urushiol, a toxin that can also be found in poison ivy. Mango skin is also difficult to digest for dogs and its waxy and bitter taste can be unappealing as well. Overall, it is best to completely peel and cut a mango before feeding it to your dog.

Another part of the mango that can pose a threat to your dog’s health is the seed. Not only does it contain cyanide, but it can also be a choking hazard. Although it’s difficult to be poisoned by the amount of cyanide in a mango seed, cyanide poisoning is a dangerous and life-threatening issue for dogs that always calls for veterinary attention. Cyanide kills tissues by lowering their ability to utilize oxygen, causing dogs to drool, vomit, diarrhea, and even have muscle spasms.5 

If your dog does not choke on the mango seed and instead swallows it, they could be at risk of bowel obstruction. With a mango seed being as big as 3 inches long and 1.5 inches wide, it could easily block a dog’s intestines and even cause a perforation.

The last thing to consider is the sugar content of mangos. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, 90 percent of a mango’s total calories come from sugar. Too much sugar can result in dental problems for your dog and cause them to become overweight and even develop diabetes. 

90 percent of a mango’s calories come from sugar

If your dog really enjoys the taste of mango, it is crucial for you to learn how to safely feed them mango and how much mango is healthy for them to consume.

How Much Mango Can Dogs Eat?

If you aren’t sure how much mango you should be feeding your dog, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist. Every dog is different, depending on their breed, age and general health, so a professional can come up with a plan that suits your dog’s particular situation. 

However, the general rule of thumb is that treats should only take up a small portion of your dog’s daily caloric intake, 10 percent to be exact. For example, a neutered adult dog of healthy weight that is around 20 pounds requires about 400 calories per day, so their daily treat consumption should be no more than 40 calories. With a typical mango being approximately 200 calories, this dog could theoretically eat a fifth of a mango. However, even if your dog can eat quite a bit of mango based on calories, you should always be thinking about how much sugar that amount of mango equates to. 

Always feed your dog mango in moderation. A few bite-sized chunks should be enough. What dogs actually need to eat in order to stay in good shape is complete and balanced food especially manufactured for them.6 

How To Feed Your Dog Mango

If you want to give your dog mango as a treat from time to time, here are the steps you should take to guarantee their safety:

  1. Peel the mango and discard the seed: The skin and seeds of mangos can be dangerous for dogs if consumed, mainly because they are choking hazards. Mango skin is also hard to digest, containing trace amounts of urushiol, while mango seeds can cause bowel obstruction and contain cyanide.
  2. Cut the mango into small pieces: While ripe mangos can be quite soft and squishy, the best practice is still to cut them up for your dog when feeding. This way, there is no chance of choking and you can gauge any reactions.
  3. Feed small amounts of mango to start: This is especially important if it is your first time giving your dog mango. You don’t know if mango will sit well with their stomach, and your dog may dislike the taste of mango. Look out for signs of an upset stomach after a few small pieces of mango. 
  4. Keep track of how much mango you are feeding: Because of its calories and high amount of sugar, you need to know how much mango your dog has already eaten. No matter how much your dog enjoys having mango, as their owner, you must care for their health first and foremost.

Freezing small chunks of mango along with plain, low-fat yogurt that is free of any sweeteners in ice cube trays can be a good way of treating your dog to some delicious mango, especially in hot summer weather. It will help them cool down and even promote hydration. Yogurt also contains probiotics that are beneficial to dogs that can aid digestion and help your pup’s gut microbiome.

What Other Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

Other common fruits safe for dogs to consume

While there are plenty of foods toxic to dogs, in addition to mango, there are also other fruits dogs can eat and benefit from. Some common ones include:

  • Apples: Apples can provide your dog a boost of vitamin A and C. Low in protein and fat, they are especially good for dogs that are put on strict diets either due to their age or weight. Always remember to core the apple and remove any seeds before giving some to your dog. 
  • Bananas: Instead of fatty, salty treats, you can give your dog some pieces of banana. Bananas contain a lot of potassium, an electrolyte essential to the health of dogs. Due to their high sugar content, however, it is important to feed bananas in moderation.
  • Oranges: Oranges contain a lot of vitamin C. As long as you do not feed the peel, they will help your dog with inflammation and reduce cognitive decline. 
  • Pears: Like apples, remember to core pears and get rid of their seeds before feeding them to your dog. Never feed canned pears to dogs as they contain too much sugar.
  • Pineapple: Another tropical fruit, pineapples are high in vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Your dog may really enjoy their sweet and sour taste, but do not feed more than a few small pieces.7 

Can Dogs Have Mango?: FAQs

Can dogs eat dried mango?

It is not recommended for dogs to eat dried mango. Not only is dried mango tough and chewy, but it is also way too sugary for dogs. The size and texture of dried mango pieces can be a choking hazard and even block the intestines of dogs. The extra sugar often added to dried mango can exacerbate health problems such as dental issues, obesity, and even diabetes. If your dog is a few pounds overweight, it might be a good idea to look into weight management dog food

Can dogs eat frozen mango?

Yes, dogs can eat frozen mango. In fact, it may be a very refreshing treat for them in the summer, providing both hydration and a nice chill. Just keep in mind that like with any other treat, it is important to feed dogs mango in moderation.

Can dogs eat mango skin?

No, dogs should not eat mango skin. The skin of mangos is a choking hazard and hard to digest. It is also waxy in texture and bitter depending on the ripeness of the mango, which may not appeal to dogs.

Can dogs eat mango seeds?

No, dogs should absolutely not eat mango seeds. Mango seeds are very large compared to the seeds of other fruits and can be a choking hazard for dogs. If swallowed whole, they can also cause bowel obstruction, which can lead to serious health issues and even puncture the intestinal wall of dogs. 

Dog sniffing a pineapple on a couch

Final Notes

Dogs benefit the most from eating their nutritionally balanced and complete food formulated especially for them. Fruits like mango and other human foods such as carrots and dairy should always be fed in moderation, never taking up more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

If you have any other questions about your dog’s diet or how to properly feed a puppy you just welcomed home, or even if you are wondering what the best dog food is, Dutch is here to help. Together with a Dutch-affiliated vet, you can come up with a meal plan for your pup and receive frequent check-ins to track their progress. Get started with Dutch today. 

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References

  1. Finlay, Katie. "Benefits of High-Fiber Dog Foods." American Kennel Club, 16 Jan. 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/benefits-high-fiber-dog-foods/.

  2. Morris, Penelope J. et al. "Safety evaluation of vitamin A in growing dogs." The British Journal of Nutrition, 28 Nov. 2012, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3513714/.

  3. Burke, Anna. "7 Vitamins Your Dog Needs for a Healthy Life." American Kennel Club, 4 May 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/vitamins-dogs-need-healthy-lifestyle/.

  4. Smith, Katherine. "3 Remedies for Upset Stomach in Dogs." PetMD, 3 Aug. 2020, https://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_remedies-for-upset-stomach-in-dogs.

  5. Cope, Rhian B. "Cyanide Poisoning." Merck Veterinary Manual, Oct 2020, https://www.merckvetmanual.com/special-pet-topics/poisoning/cyanide-poisoning.

  6. Tupler, Tiffany. "Dog Nutrition: Guide to Dog Food Nutrients." PetMD, 1 Feb. 2021, https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_whats_in_a_balanced_dog_food.

  7. "What Are Safe Fruits for Dogs to Eat?" WebMD, 5 Dec. 2021, https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/what-are-safe-fruits-for-dogs-to-eat.

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