Can Dogs Eat Kiwi?

Kiwi fruit cut in half

Getty Images/ Joff Lee

Kiwis are small fruits that pack a lot of flavor and they are sweet and tangy. This little fruit is packed full of nutrients for humans like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, and potassium, but what about for dogs? Read on to find out if you can share your kiwi with your pup?

Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Kiwi?

While it may seem like a straightforward answer as to whether your dog can enjoy kiwi with you, it can get a little tricky. The short answer is yes, kiwi is a relatively safe fruit for dogs to consume. It is recommended to remove the skin and seeds prior to feeding it as a treat to your dog.  

As with any new food, it is always wise to introduce kiwi to your dog slowly, so you can easily determine if your dog has an allergy, intolerance or any trouble digesting them.

Although there are many benefits to eating kiwi for humans, the benefits that may be touted are not really fully understood for dogs and feeding it to them does not come without some level of care and discretion.

Potential Health Concerns For Dogs Eating Kiwi

Although the inside of the fruit is a safe snack for your dog, you should avoid feeding your pet any portion of the skin. Although it is not toxic, kiwi skin is tough to chew and can possibly pose a choking risk for small dogs and if swallowed whole. It could also potentially block the digestive tract causing severe health issues. The tough skin is also just generally more difficult to digest, and this means it is more likely to cause gastrointestinal upset.

Because kiwis are small in size, you should never feed your dog a whole kiwi. While smaller breeds, such as a Chihuahua, won’t be able to get a whole kiwi into their mouths, a larger breed, like a Labrador Retriever, could potentially devour it in just one bite. To help prevent a hazardous situation such as a kiwi getting lodged in your dog’s throat, cut the kiwi into small pieces and feed your dog small amounts at a time.

Too much kiwi can also lead to stomach upset. If your dog experiences any of the following after eating a kiwi, consult with your veterinarian:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Painful or distended belly
  • Lethargy 

As with all food types, moderation is key. A few pieces of kiwi are safe for dogs to eat. Even though doggy-safe fruit and veg are generally considered healthy and low-fat treat options, feeding too much can lead to upset stomachs.

Too many treats in general, on top of a healthy diet, can lead to canine obesity, which can wreak havoc on your dog's body, especially if your dog is prone to joint issues like hip dysplasia

Always Select A Ripe Kiwi for Your Dog

Kiwi’s are available year-round. Picking a good, ripe kiwi can also make the treat that much better for your dog. A ripe kiwi fruit should be firm, brown, and fuzzy, have no bruises, dark spots, mold, or wrinkles. If the kiwi is bruised, shriveled, or has mold, then the fruit is not good for eating and is probably overripe.

How to Serve Kiwi to Your Dog 

As with all fruit, it is important to wash and scrub the outer surface thoroughly prior to preparation. Remove the skin and slice the kiwi into small, bite-sized pieces, depending on the size of your dog.

Feed kiwi to your dog as a special treat and not part of their regular diet. It can be used as part of a healthy stuffing for a treat toy like a Kong. This is a great way to provide mental exercise for your dog without overfeeding.

It can even be combined in a healthy frozen fruit or veg popsicle for helping to keep your dog cool on a hot day.

In summary, kiwi can be given to dogs as a rare treat, provided that the skin is removed and the fruit is not fed whole.