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Can Dogs Eat Hearts of Palm? Vet Reviewed Facts & Safety Guide

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

heart of palm or palmetto

Vet approved

Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Hearts of palm are a delicious vegetable that is regarded for its high fiber content and excellent nutritional profile. It’s a mild food that is ideal for serving on salads, tossing into stir fries, and eating directly from the jar. Fortunately, hearts of palm are not toxic to dogs, so they are safe to let your dog eat. However, there is very little information about the safety and benefits when it comes to dogs eating hearts of palm, and there are some safety concerns that should be addressed.

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What Are Hearts of Palm?

Hearts of palm are the inner core of multiple species of palm trees, including the coconut, palmetto, and peach palm. Although it can be eaten raw, it is usually boiled and sold in jars or cans. This gives it a soft, slightly crunchy texture. Hearts of palm are a good source of dietary fiber, protein, potassium, zinc, and calcium. They are low in calories and fat.

Are Hearts of Palm Safe for Dogs?

The hearts of palm that are sold on grocery store shelves are not toxic to dogs, but there are some considerations you should take before giving this to your dog as a snack.

Although the high fiber content may support healthy digestion, too much fiber can lead to abdominal cramping and stomach upset, so hearts of palm should only be offered in small amounts. Due to their shape, hearts of palm can also pose a choking hazard for your dog. Although they are soft, the narrow, long shape makes them perfect for accidentally being swallowed whole, so it’s best to only offer chopped pieces.

You should also check the sodium content on the package before giving hearts of palm to your dog. Because they are a preserved food when sold on grocery store shelves, there is a risk of high sodium levels, which can cause problems for your dog. Whenever possible, purchase salt-free or low-sodium hearts of palm.

heart of palm or palmetto
Photo Credit: diogoppr, Shutterstock

Can Hearts of Palm be Toxic?

While the hearts of palm that are packaged for consumption are from species that are safe for dogs, this is not true of all palm hearts. All palm trees have a soft “heart” core, but palms like the sago palm can be deadly for dogs. Never attempt to harvest palm hearts on your own and feed them to your dog unless you are absolutely certain that you are offering your dog palm hearts from a safe, non-toxic species.

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In Conclusion

While packaged palm hearts are non-toxic to dogs, there is little information about their potential effects. They do contain excellent nutrition, so they can be healthy, low-calorie treats for your dog if fed in moderation. However, since little is known, you should only offer hearts of palm in small quantities on occasion as a treat and consult your veterinarian before giving any to your dog. This should not be a part of your dog’s daily diet due to the lack of information about the potential long-term impacts of the consumption of this food.

Featured Photo Credit: CPimagens, Shutterstock

Brooke Billingsley

Authored by

Brooke Billingsley spent nine years as a veterinary assistant before becoming a human nurse in 2013. She resides in Arkansas with her boyfriend of five years. She loves all animals and currently shares a home with three dogs, two cats, five fish, and two snails. She has a soft spot for special needs animals and has a three-legged senior dog and an internet famous cat with acromegaly and cerebellar hypoplasia. Fish keeping...Read more

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