Breadfruit is a nutritious fruit with many health benefits for humans, but it can cause digestive issues if your dog eats a lot of it. If your pet consumed a piece by accident, don’t panic, though, as breadfruit isn’t toxic to dogs. Keep reading for the pros and cons of this food for canines and for some fruit alternatives for when you want to treat your dog.
What Is Breadfruit?
Breadfruit, or Artocarpus altilis, is a tropical fruit that originated in New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Maluku Islands before being shared with other parts of the world. The trees can grow to 85 feet tall and have large, beautiful leaves that have made it popular as a decorative tree. The lightweight wood is often used in the construction of canoes because it is resistant to termites and shipworms. Manufacturers also use it to make paper and insect repellants.
Breadfruit is a green fruit with a bumpy rind that gets smoother and yellower as it ripens. The flesh will be white or pale yellow and most resembles the flavor of a potato. The fruit is a staple food in many areas, where people consume it in all stages of ripeness.
Health Concerns of Feeding Breadfruit to Dogs
Breadfruit is definitely not a necessity in a dog’s diet. And even though it’s not toxic, eating a lot of breadfruit may cause some health issues in dogs including:
Canines have digestive tracts designed for a diet primarily composed of meat. Introducing high fiber foods like breadfruit might lead to gastrointestinal distress, including bloating and diarrhea, as it is more difficult for their digestive system to break down fibrous products.
Breadfruit contains oxalates and oxalate crystals, both of which can be irritating to the digestive tract, including the mouth and throat. This irritation can lead to drooling, swelling, difficulty swallowing and pain. It can also cause diarrhea. When eaten in large amounts for the long-term, oxalates can contribute to the formation of bladder and kidney stones.
Breadfruit contains natural sugars, which if eaten in high amounts can cause digestive upset in your dog. You may see vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain if your dog eats more than a couple of bites of breadfruit. Also, eating an excess of sugars over time can contribute to weight gain and diabetes in your dog.
Like humans, dogs can be intolerant or allergic to different foods, so there is always a risk of a reaction when introducing something new to their diet. If they take a bite, you’ll need to watch them closely for several days for signs that can include vomiting, diarrhea, and skin itching. Discontinue feeding breadfruit and contact a vet if you notice these.
Are There Any Benefits to Giving Breadfruit to Dogs?
Breadfruit has many healthy nutrients, including fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. However, more research is required to learn about its effects on dogs. Since it contains digestive irritants and can cause issues with the digestive tract in canines, it’s better to choose another treat option for your dog.
Healthy Alternatives to Breadfruit
Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamins. Remove the seeds and core, and slice them into small pieces before serving them to your dog.
Carrots are crunchy, low in calories, excellent for dental health, and a good source of vitamins. Clean them well, and cut them into small pieces before serving. You can also cook them first without losing too many of the nutrients.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Cooked and unseasoned sweet potatoes provide vitamins, fiber, and natural sweetness, making healthy and tasty treats.
Remove the seeds and rind, and offer small pieces as hydrating treats. Many dogs enjoy this fruit, especially during the warmer summer months.
5. Cooked Lean Meats
A small amount of cooked, lean meat like chicken or turkey can be a healthy and protein-rich treat that helps boost energy and promotes muscle development.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Breadfruit?
Breadfruit is not a recommended food for dogs. While a small piece of properly cooked breadfruit might not be immediately harmful, its high fiber content and potential digestive concerns make it less suitable for dogs than many other options.
Is Breadfruit Toxic to Dogs?
Breadfruit itself is not considered toxic to dogs, but it does contain compounds that might be harmful in large amounts. Feeding small quantities infrequently can help reduce potential risks.
What Should I Do If My Dog Accidentally Ate Breadfruit?
If your dog accidentally consumes a small piece of cooked breadfruit, monitor them for any signs of digestive upset like vomiting or diarrhea. If the signs are severe or persist for more than a day, contact your veterinarian.
How Do I Know What Foods Are Safe for My Dog to Eat?
It’s important to consult your veterinarian before introducing a new food into your dog’s diet, as they can offer advice based on your pet’s specific health conditions and needs.
While considered non-toxic, breadfruit is not a preferred food for your dog. The high fiber and sugars in breadfruit can be difficult for your dog to digest, leading to bloating and other digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea. Let’s not forget the oxalates and other digestive irritants that could potentially lead to digestive issues and even long-term effects, like bladder stones, if your dog eats a lot of breadfruit. Better options for healthy treats include apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, and watermelon.
If your dog ate a piece of breadfruit by accident, they will likely be fine but might suffer from a bit of digestive discomfort, depending on how much they ate. Contact the vet immediately if you see signs of a reaction including severe vomiting or diarrhea or difficulty swallowing.