Are Mangos Safe for Dogs?
Mango has a mixed reputation among fruit lovers. Some people declare it’s the perfect treat to make you feel like you’re locked away on a tropical island, while others say it’s reminiscent of what they’d imagine a pine tree would taste like. No matter what your opinion of mangos is, you should be careful if you decide to share this brightly colored fruit with your canine family member.
Are Mangos Safe for Dogs?
The flesh of mangos isn’t dangerous for dogs, but they should always be fed in moderation. Mangos are very dense in nutrients, providing a wide range of nutrients that aren’t found in a lot of other foods. Mangos are primarily known for their high level of enzymes that assist in breaking down protein. As carnivores, dogs require a constant supply of protein, but if they don’t effectively break that protein down, they don’t get all of the nutrition they need. The enzymes in mangos help whittle protein down until the body is able to squeeze every last bit of nutrition from it.
Mangos are also very rich in fiber. Dietary fiber has a couple effects on the body. If you watch television, you’ve seen the various commercials telling you how important it is to have enough fiber in your diet. We’re omnivores, so our nutritional needs are different than our dog’s needs are. Fiber isn’t as big of a necessity in your dog’s diet, but it can be beneficial in small amounts. Mostly, fiber is responsible for regulating the digestive system. When the digestive system is regular, it basically means your dog has more frequent and regular bowel movements. Fiber is also very helpful in helping overweight dogs lose weight. The fiber makes them feel full longer, so this helps your dog avoid those pesky hunger pains they experience on a new diet.
The Dangers of the Mango Pit
While too much mango is going to give your dog diarrhea or neon-colored poo, the real danger lies deep in the fruit: the pit. There are two very real concerns if your dog consumes the pit.
First, the seeds of many fruits have cyanide, mangos included. Cyanide is extremely toxic and dangerous to all living animals. If your dog chews the pit up, they release the cyanide into their system and risk experiencing cyanide poisoning. Symptoms typically occur within 15 to 20 minutes of ingestion, and it’s very unlikely your dog will survive without treatment if they’re showing symptoms. These symptoms include vomiting, excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth, muscle tremors, seizures, the inability to control their bladder and bowels, and difficulty breathing. If you think your pet has eaten a pit or you see evidence of them chewing on it, get to your vet immediately.
The other danger is an intestinal obstruction. The pits of mangos are fairly large, and they’re certainly too big for your dog to be able to pass naturally. When objects get lodged into the intestine, your dog isn’t able to defecate, which is quite dangerous. Signs of a foreign body obstruction begin innocently enough with vomiting or diarrhea. The longer the object sits, however, the more aggressive the symptoms become. It doesn’t take very long (about 48 hours) for your dog to immediately vomit after eating or drinking and their bowel movements gradually decrease until they’re not producing any feces. Their stomach will be painful and they may cry out in pain when touched. They will be extremely lethargic and have no appetite or interest in anything. The only treatment for an intestinal obstruction is surgery. If your dog isn’t treated, they won’t survive.
If your dog has a love of mangos, you should dispose of the pits where they aren’t accessible. While too much mango is just going to give them diarrhea, the pits are the real danger and should be treated as the enemy.