Since many people like to share what they are eating with their canine companions, it's important to know what is and is not safe before giving it to a dog as a treat.
Thankfully mangos are usually safe, as long as they are prepared a certain way and only fed in moderation. In fact, they may even offer some healthy nutritional benefits. That being said, mango should only be used as an occasional treat, rather than a regular part of your dog's diet.
The Benefits of Mangos for Dogs
Mangos are a type of sweet fruit that is native to South Asia. They have bright yellow-orange flesh that can be eaten raw, juiced, or cooked in a variety of ways and are popular around the world.
In India and Pakistan, the mango is the national fruit and in Bangladesh, it is the national tree. This is in part due to the versatility and popularity of the sweet fruit with leathery skin. Popular dishes using mango include chutney, various drinks, salsas, preserves, and salads. They are widely available in grocery stores and will have mostly yellow skin when ripe.
Like many fruits, mangos contain a variety of nutrients. One mango contains only around 60 calories, but it is packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals. It is especially high in vitamin C. This is good for supporting the bodies immune system and promoting healthy growth and repair functions.
The pulp of the mango also contains various carotenoids including beta-carotene which may act as an antioxidant and it is high in vitamin B9 (folate) too.
This fruit is also high in water and dietary fiber, so, fed in moderation, this could help support a healthy digestive system in your dog.
Potential Health Concerns of Mangos for Dogs
Allergies to mangos occur on occasion in humans but in dogs, they are extremely rare. There is not usually any concern if you were to give your dog a piece of mango fruit, but if the mango is not peeled or your dog ingests the pit of the fruit there may be cause for concern.
Mangos are referred to as drupe or stone fruits, and they have a large stone in their center. This pit contains small amounts of cyanide which is toxic so this should, of course, be avoided.
Excessive amounts of mango can cause vomiting and diarrhea, just like any food would do in large enough quantities. So, this fruit should always be introduced gradually and fed in moderation. Since they are naturally high in sugar, diabetic and overweight dogs should receive very small amounts. A large majority of companion canines are considered overweight these days, and if this is true for your pet, its better to find an alternative low calorie treat. If you are unsure if your dog is overweight, ask your veterinarian, or consider checking one of the following resources:
Can Dogs Eat Mango Skin?
Mango peels are extremely tough and may not break down inside your dog's stomach, and the pit or stone of a mango can cause an obstruction or pose a choking hazard to your dog.
If your dog accidentally gets some mango skin or the mango pit, they may pass through your dog's digestive tract without any issues, but you should monitor them for any changes in behavior. If lethargy, a decrease in appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea occurs, contact your veterinarian.
Suggested Ways to Feed Mango to Your Dog
If your dog is a huge fan of mango, you could dehydrate the fruit to offer a more chewy, chopped up, longer-lasting (albiet higher calorie) treat that could be used during training sessions. When dried like this it means they can be kept in your pocket without making a mess or becoming smushy. You can also freeze strips of mango or blend it into a smoothy type popsicle using an ice cube tray. This is a perfect option as a cooling, hydrating, and refreshing treat on a hot day.
Ripe mango can also be added as part of the ingredient combo for a stuffed Kong, or other treat-dispensing toys. It can be smushed up and mixed in with other pet-friendly stuffings like peanut butter (make sure it is a variety without Xylitol) or added to the ingredients for dog-friendly cookies.
Providing you peel your ripe mango and remove the pit, you can safely share a small piece of this delicious and nutritious fruit with your dog.
It's not just mango that can be a healthy and nutritious treat for dogs. There are lots of other fruits and vegetables that can sometimes be fed to your dog in moderation, but avoid feeding a lot of treats or topping dog food regularly. Balanced dog food diets should be fully formulated to contain all of the necessary vitamins and minerals your dog needs. Adding in too many treats can throw off that important nutritional balance. Additionally, there are some vegetables and fruit that should be avoided altogether. Onion, garlic, avocado, and grapes are just a few examples of fruits and veggies that are toxic foods for dogs. If you are unsure, check with your veterinarian before feeding your dog something new.