The furry brown fruit known today as the kiwi belongs in the genus Actinidia, a group of woody plants that originate from north-central and eastern Asia. Growing as vines or shrubs, these plants produce several types of edible berries that are have been exported worldwide. The most well-known of the 60 or so edible species is A. deliciosa, more commonly known as the Yang Tao or the kiwi. Like many of the species in this genus, Yang Tao is part of traditional Chinese medicine. It is given to children as a dietary supplement and to help women recover from childbirth.
Kiwi – The Fruit With Many names
The Yang Tao had its name changed to “Chinese gooseberry” after being introduced to New Zealand by missionaries in the early 1900s. Enterprising fruit growers changed the gooseberry’s name again in 1962, this time to “kiwi” to honor the interesting native bird species of New Zealand. This move made the scruffy hen’s egg sized berry more intriguing to American buyers and it is now a staple in the produce departments of most grocery stores. By 1976, New Zealand was exporting more kiwifruits than were being eaten by people in the entire country.
Can I feed my dog kiwi and kiwifruit?
There are several varieties of vegetables and fruits that dogs can eat, including apples, carrots, and watermelon. Oddly, kiwi is often left off of most lists of “ok” garden treats for dogs. It is perfectly safe for dogs to eat kiwifruit as long as a couple of simple rules are followed. Kiwi should only be used as a treat and not part of the dog’s regular diet. The flesh of the kiwi should only be fed to a dog in small portions and must be introduced slowly. Kiwi has been known to cause stomach upset and its high fiber content may have a laxative effect on the dog. Dogs should not eat the seeds or the skin of the kiwi, as the skin may be a choking hazard and the seeds are toxic.
How can I feed my dog kiwi?
Kiwi fruit may be purchased fresh or dried. Your dog may eat it raw or cooked; take care that if you choose dried kiwi for your dog that you purchase a brand with the smallest amount of added sugar.
If you choose to feed your dog some fresh or cooked kiwi , remember to completely peel the rough skin from the softer flesh on the inside. Make sure to remove all the seeds and dice the green flesh into bite-sized pieces. A dog should never be fed an entire kiwi fruit, no matter the size of the animal, because it could choke on it. Caution should always be taken when introducing new foods to dogs, especially foods like the kiwi that may, albeit rarely, cause an allergic reaction in humans.
Are there any benefits to feeding kiwi to dogs?
Kiwi is known to be more than 100% of the generally recommended minimum daily allowance of Vitamin C, which is great news for people, but dogs’ bodies naturally produce the vitamin. It is low in sodium, has no cholesterol, and has a decent amount of potassium. These are excellent reasons why people should eat them, though it is uncertain if dogs’ bodies process the fruit in the same way humans do. Not much is known about the actual benefits of kiwi to dogs, though it is believed that the its anti-inflammatory properties may ease the pain and discomfort of hip dysplasia, arthritis and spinal issues.
Kiwis are a safe treat for dogs
As dogs evolved from ancient carnivorous predators, it should be noted that domestic canines have no real need to eat fruit. If they are fed an adequate diet of mostly meat and a few vegetables they are receiving all of the vitamins, proteins and other nutrients that their bodies need. Dogs seem to prefer food and treats that look and taste like meat, so a dog owner should not feel they are doing something wrong if their pet flat-out refuses to eat a kiwi fruit. Some dogs may relish the treat while others may turn up their noses at it. Go ahead and give your pet a chance to taste the unusual little fruit that has had so many names. It may even prove to be not only tasty, but beneficial.