Can Dogs Eat Jackfruit Safely?

Can dogs eat jackfruit safely

According to Statista and the American Pet Products Association, 63.4 million American households have one or more pet dogs, making up a total of 89.7 million dogs. Almost all those dogs are likely members of households where they are treated as family members. Caring is sharing, and pet owners find it difficult not to share everything they enjoy eating with the rest of their families. But what if it is a new food, like Jackfruit? Can dogs eat jackfruit safely?

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What is Jackfruit, and Where Does it Come From?

Jackfruits grow on Artocarpus heterophyllus trees in tropical and subtropical parts of the world such as India, Malaysia, Central and Eastern Africa, the Caribbean, Florida, Brazil, Australia, Puerto Rico and many Pacific Islands. In 1782, plants from a captured French ship destined for Martinique were taken to Jamaica where the tree is now common, and about 100 years later, the jackfruit made its appearance in Florida.

Jackfruit belongs to the Moraceae family, which includes figs, mulberries, and breadfruits. A single jackfruit can weigh as much as 110 pounds. It is the largest fruit to grow on a tree. Today this exotic fruit from Southeast Asia is common in countries where other tropical fruits grow, like Myanmar, Malaysia, Brazil, and even Florida in the United States.

Young jackfruit has a mild taste and meaty texture, and when the unripe jackfruit is cooked, the flavor resembles pulled pork. However, the ripe jackfruit has a sweet and pungent flavor, with a taste compared to a blend of pineapple and banana. Due to these dual properties, jackfruit is now featured on menus in most cities, popular in curries, desserts, and even as a vegetarian pulled-pork meat substitute.

So, Can You Share Your Jackfruit With Your K9 Companion?

Jackfruit is still relatively new to the US and most of the western world, so limited information is available about whether dogs can eat it. Owners must exercise caution before giving a piece of this unusual fruit to their pooches. Starting with small pieces should be safe, but, if your dog eats any jackfruit, keep a close eye on your precious pooch for any red flags that could indicate adverse reactions.

What are the Different Parts of the Jackfruit?

The Jackfruit tree is a versatile marvel. Every part of the tree is useable. Humans can eat the Jackfruit as food or fruit. One large fruit can feed an entire family. Livestock like sheep, cattle, sheep, horses, and pigs can eat the nutritious leaves. The Artocarpus heterophyllus tree’s root has medicinal qualities, and the trees and branches can be used as high-quality wood.

Can Dogs Eat Jackfruit Flesh?

Ripe jackfruit is fruity in taste and very sweet. But beware, this superfruit has a foul smell. Jackfruit pulp or flesh is the familiar part of the fruit. It is the interior of the jackfruit, and it can be used as a meat substitute when unripe, with a texture similar to pulled pork. It can be eaten raw or cooked. No scientific toxicity studies suggest whether jackfruit is safe for dogs. There are also no case reports of toxicity.

Can Dogs Eat Jackfruit Seeds?

Beware! One jackfruit can have between 300 and 500 seeds, each about the size of a grape. Jackfruit seeds contain high levels of thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus-trace nutrients that your doggy dude needs for good health. They’re known to be non-toxic to humans and have been eaten for centuries, in countries like Brazil, where jackfruit is an important addition to the diet.

It is yet uncertain whether jackfruit seeds are toxic to dogs, but we do know that they pose other dangers. They can present choking hazards, and they’re also very hard, and a real challenge to the dog’s digestive system. It’s likely that eating jackfruit seeds will end up upsetting the dog’s stomach, or even blockages. Despite the wonderful nutrients in jackfruit seeds, it’s probably best to avoid giving them to your dog. However, roasted and ground might be a safe additive to your furry friend’s food—after testing a small amount first.

Can Dogs Eat Jackfruit Rind?

The skin of jackfruit is bumpy and very tough. Your doggy dude might fancy a piece of jackfruit skin as a chewing toy. However, the danger is in swallowing a piece of torn-off skin, which is considered to be indigestible and this could cause a problem for your dog. The jackfruit’s fibrous, pitted, and thick skin could cause irritation in your furry friend’s mouth, gullet, stomach, and guts. Although tiny pieces of jackfruit skin might pass safely through the guts, larger bits may form blockages.

Quickly, your dog will experience abdominal pain and vomiting because his system will be unable to digest any food. The rough texture of the jackfruit rind can even cause lacerations through your pup’s guts at the location of the blockage. If that happens, dangerous gut contents could leak into the abdomen–a potentially fatal condition. It is vital to call your vet if you know your dog ingested jackfruit skin.

The 3 Known Risks Jackfruit Pose to Your Dog’s Wellbeing

Although no studies show that jackfruit is toxic to dogs, there are known risks to keep in mind. Whenever you have a jackfruit in your house, keep it out of your curious pooch’s reach. Consider the following risks:

  1. Choking hazard: The spiky, tough rind and the seeds are certain choking hazards, and they can cause life-threatening intestinal blockages.
  2. Toxicity: Raw jackfruit seeds contain compounds that can be toxic to dogs. The fruit also excretes a sap-like substance that contains latex. Be sure only to feed the jackfruit flesh to your dog. One case of a human with a latex allergy dying from anaphylaxis after eating jackfruit is noteworthy. Keep in mind that your dog might have an allergic reaction to any of the jackfruit parts.
  3. Stomach upset: Overfeeding your canine companion with jackfruit can cause an upset tummy, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

One additional concern is the high sugar content of jackfruit. A dog’s system reacts similarly to that of humans when they ingest too much sugar. It can damage oral health and promote obesity.

What Nutrients Can Your Dog Get from eating Jackfruit?

Jackfruit may be higher in some vitamins and minerals than apricots, apples, avocados, and bananas. Along with vitamin B6 and vitamin B1 (thiamine), jackfruit contains the following valuable nutrients:

  • Vitamin A includes support for healthy eyes (including night vision) and skin, the formation of organs and structures in growing animals, and immune function.
  • Vitamin C is an important amino acid that can help reduce inflammation and cognitive aging. Dogs can actually synthesize vitamin C on their own in their livers, but supplementation may offer health benefits in some cases. Jackfruit lacks only one essential amino acid, making it one of the highest quality sources of plant-based proteins you can include in your doggy dude’s diet.
  • Calcium is an important part of your dog’s diet and contributes to their growth, healthy bone and teeth maintenance, proper muscle building and function, a strong heart, and a healthy nervous system
  • Potassium is vital to your dog’s health to aid in functioning electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles, and in blood pressure maintenance.
  • Magnesium helps control a dog’s blood sugar levels.
  • Antioxidants in jackfruit are powerful and help neutralize harmful free radical compounds, reduce inflammation in the dog’s body, boost the immune system, and help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  • The fiber in jackfruit can aid your dog’s digestive system, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote a healthy heart.
  • The water content in jackfruit flesh and jackfruit pulp is significant, which is good for hydration. The fruit’s high water content is one of the benefits of jackfruit that also promotes healthy digestion and the absorption of nutrients.

Related Article: Can Dogs Eat Avocados?

Tips for Feeding Your Dog Jackfruit

The best idea before feeding your dog new food is to check with your vet. If you then consider sharing jackfruit with your K9 companion, you might want to keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Remove the seeds from the jackfruit. Jackfruit seeds contain compounds that could cause irritation, choking, or intestinal blockages. Moreover, jackfruit seeds can be toxic to your dog.
  2. Remove the rind. Removing the tough, spiny, jackfruit rind is essential because swallowing even a small piece can cause intestinal blockage.
  3. Remove the inedible latex layer between the individual fleshy parts of the fruit. It is inedible and can be hazardous to dogs. Dogs with eczema are at a significantly higher risk.
  4. Cut the jackfruit meat into small pieces. When feeding your dog jackfruit for the first time, keep a close eye on your pooch and monitor its reactions to the fruit.
  5. Baked or steamed or cooked jackfruit will make be easier digestible. However, avoid adding oils, seasonings, or other additives and ingredients that could harm your precious pooch.
  6. Dried jackfruit and jackfruit chips might be a special treat or tasty snack for you and the other human household members, but it is not a treat to share with your doggy dude. Such snacks often contain seasonings or flavorings that could cause your doggo harm. Furthermore, jackfruit’s high sugar content will be even more concentrated in dehydrated jackfruit chips, risking unhealthy blood glucose levels in your dog.

The Bottom Line

You know your furry friend best, and you will be the first one to notice any adverse reaction, should the two of you share a small piece of jackfruit. Therefore, until there are definitive guidelines about is jackfruit safe for dogs, it is up to withhold it or share it responsibly.

Many love using Jackfruit in their dishes. People eat this tropical fruit in various ways including cooked, dried, fried, canned, and candied. You can find Jackfruit in dishes such as sandwiches, desserts, noodles, and curries.  Some use Jackfruit in recipes such as jams, sauces, flour, chips, or beverages.

However, dog owners should not be tempted to share jackfruit in any way, but plain. When it comes to the amount to share, once you have established that your dog can safely eat jackfruit, use the human recommendations as your guideline. An average person weighing 180 pounds should not have more than half a cup (90 Cal) occasionally. Do not make jackfruit a part of your dog’s diet.

Hopefully, we answered your questions about the safety of sharing your jackfruit with your K9 companion.

Jackfruit tastes like a blend of Banana and Pineapple. Follow these links to see whether bananas and pineapples are safe for your furry friends, and get recipes for easy-to-make treats.

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Mari Serfontein