FoodFact: Are Mangoes Safe for Pet Dogs or Cats?
Ask an Indian what they think of when they hear ‘Mango’ and you’ll immediately know that Mangoes are anything but ‘just a fruit’ to us. They are the fond memories of childhood, summer vacations, trips to native places, the sweet sweet smell, hands dripping with syrup right up to the elbows, no care about the mess it made, and the taste of pure satisfaction! Such a shame we don’t have mangoes all year ‘round. We understand if you want to have your pet taste the deliciousness of mangoes too. But are mangoes even safe for dogs and cats?
Yes, you can give mangoes to your pet, but with some precautions
The only part of the mango that your pet can safely eat is the flesh. No seed, skin or leaves. Also, moderation is key. Feeding your pet too much mango at once can lead to short term and long term health effects. To know how much is too much, keep reading.
History and Widespread of Mangoes
The word ‘Mango’ comes from the Malayalam word ‘Māṅṅa’, literally meaning the highest fruit. The fruit is native to India and South Asia. The earliest evidence of mango cultivation can be traced back to 2000 BCE in India. The juicy stone-fruit with genes belonging to the Cashew family was later taken to East Asia, Philippines, Africa, and Brazil by Portuguese explorers.
Loved all over the world, today mango is the most widely cultivated fruit in the tropics. Nearly half of the world’s mango is cultivated in India, followed by China. Mango is the National Fruit of India and Pakistan, the unofficial National Fruit of Phillippines and the National Tree of Bangladesh.
No surprises, it’s so close to Indian hearts. If you’re an Indian, you’ve consumed mangoes in their many varieties, forms and preparations. Raw, ripe, shakes, aam ras, jams, candies, cakes, lassi, ice-creams or lip-smacking achaars.
What about Mangoes for Dogs and Cats? Are they any good?
Well, this has been a subject of debate for quite some time now. Mangoes are safe and not toxic to your pet. However, one whole mango has about 46 grams of sugar. That’s a lot more sugar than your pet should be having. While natural sugars are considered to be fine in moderation, regular consumption in such high amounts can lead to health problems like diabetes later in your pet’s life.
On the positive side, mangoes are a nutritionally power-packed fruit. They are a great source of vitamins.
- Vitamin A – Maintains skin, coat, muscles, nerve function. Aids bone growth, vision and boosts immunity. Found in other foods like apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, watermelon, and pumpkin.
- Vitamin B6 – Stabilizes blood sugar, regulates weight and balances hormones. Helps pets with diabetes, insulin resistance, and Cushing’s disease. Found in other foods like watermelon, carrots, spinach, bananas, potatoes, and broccoli.
- Vitamin C – Antioxidant, boosts immunity, aids joint health. Great for sick or stressed pets. Watermelons, broccoli, spinach, papaya, strawberries are other sources of Vitamin C.
- Vitamin E – Helps muscles, circulatory system, and speeds injury healing. Also boosts immunity, aids digestion, improves cardiovascular and respiratory health and delays the process of aging. Eggs, salmon, spinach, sunflower oil, and soybean oil are also good sources of Vitamin E.
- Potassium – Keeps the heart, muscles, and nerves functioning well. Kidney disease, prolonged starvation and stress cause deficiency of Potassium. Watermelon, apple, bananas, potatoes, carrots, beans, and peas can be included in your pet’s diet as a good source of Potassium.
- Pectin – Helps prevent dehydration, relieves constipation and diarrhea. Bananas, strawberries, cherries, peaches are other natural sources of Pectin.
- Flavonoids (Alpha-Carotene and Beta-Carotene) – Strengthens the immune system, improves hair, skin, and vision. Counteracts oxidative damage in the body, helping prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer. Carrots, sweet potato, spinach, cantaloupe, are other sources of flavonoids.
- Anti-Oxidants – Boosts your pet’s immune system and prevents cancer. Lowers the risk of infections and improves heart health. Apples, cabbage, broccoli, beans, and berries are other healthy foods you can include in your pet’s diet for the benefits of antioxidants.
How should I serve my pet Mangoes?
You don’t have to completely outlaw the goodness of mangoes because of its sugar. Exercising moderation in servings is the best way to let your pet safely consume the fruit.
Assuming the mangoes you bring home will be bought from farmer’s market or stores, give them a thorough wash to get rid of any insecticides or pesticides sitting on them. The pit or seed of the mango and skin are two things that you must remove before feeding them to your pet. They are too hard for your pet to chew and will cause fatal intestinal blockages. Of course, no leaves either.
NOTE: If your pet has swallowed a mango pit or seed and is coughing, belching or refusing to eat or drink anything, contact your vet immediately. They will be equipped to safely remove the pit from your pet’s esophagus, stomach or intestine. Do not try ways to get it out yourself.
Another important thing to note is that mangoes aren’t the most commonly fed fruit to canines. If you are serving your pet mango for the first time, start really small. Some pets are allergic to mangoes while in others, the digestive system could react badly. Feed them a very small portion and observe how they take it.
If your pet isn’t allergic to mangoes, you can serve them a few small pieces a day. Overfeeding mangoes is most likely to cause diarrhea or stomach ache. Consider the few pieces a treat and serve them infrequently.
If you are feeling extra creative, you can make some healthy and nutritious homemade treats for your pet using mangoes mixed with other ingredients. Like bananas, strawberries, coconut water or even chicken. You could make some easy frozen pupsicles, sorbets or icy treats for hotter days or make some delicious chicken and mango cookies! We’re sure your pet would love these, and they wouldn’t leave you feeling as guilty either. The perfect replacement for store-bought treats!
NOTE: Keep your pet’s size and how much mango they can safely consume in mind even when you try out recipes. Remember to make alterations to the recipe if you feel the quantity of mango mentioned could be too much for your pet.
Needless to mention, the only kind of mango safe for your pet is the flesh of the fruit itself. Steer clear of store-bought preparations (juices, jams, ice creams) that contain mango or mango flavor. Homemade preparations containing added spices or sugar are not safe for consumption by your pet either.
Mangoes can bless your pet with a boost of nutrients and energy when needed. Serve them guilt-free occasionally as a replacement to traditional unhealthy treats. But remember – no pit, no skin and the line between overfeeding and moderation is thin!
Looking for a diet that you can feed your pet guilt-free too? Check out our meals today! No preservatives, no by-products, no MSG. Just real food and real love.
FOR INFORMATION ONLY – NOT VETERINARY CARE
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