You bring home a bag of groceries filled with tropical goodies. You sit at the dinner table and fetch longan. As soon as you take a bite, you start wondering “Can my dog eat this as well?”
Can dogs eat longan? The answer to this question cannot be a simple “Yes” or “No”. Although there are not many studies on the subject, giving your dog a little longan won’t hurt anyone.
But, before you give all your longans to your four-legged friend, it is important that you understand what longan actually is, what can it do to your dog, how much of it you should feed your pup, and more.
What is longan?
Longan is a tropical fruit native to China and other warmer regions of Asia. Similar to lychee, it has a hard shell covering a white flesh that has a mildly sweet and musky flavor.
At the center of the longan, just like lychee, is a hard and dark pit (seed).
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Can dogs eat longan?
The truth of the matter is that there is hardly any study related to the benefits of longan in humans. Therefore, as you can guess, there is no such study for dogs, at all.
Therefore, longan falls in a grey area when discussing if it’s edible for dogs or not.
People have fed their dog longan without facing any adverse symptoms. But, that does not mean you should blindly feed your dog longan without first looking into the matter.
How to feed longan to dogs?
If you want to feed your dog longan, there are some things you need to be aware of:
Remove the shell
Never let your dog eat the outside shell of longan. Even though there is no evidence saying that it is toxic to dogs, its shell can break into large pieces that can choke your dog.
Unlike humans, dogs cannot chew hard chunks into smaller ones. What they do instead is try to swallow a whole piece. Therefore, choking is a big issue when it comes to longans shells.
And even if your dog is able to swallow the shell, it poses a risk of intestinal obstruction. These hard shells are not digestible. Therefore, they do not break and get stuck inside your pup’s intestine.
This ultimately leads to intestinal blockage which is an extremely serious health hazard in dogs. Intestinal blockage can also be fatal in certain cases.
Remove the seed
Although there is not much evidence categorizing longan seeds as toxic to dogs, there are still certain health concerns related to it.
Some seeds contain cyanide that is poisonous and fatal. Longan seeds, however, contain saponin that causes irritation in the dog’s stomach and ultimately leads to diarrhea.
Apart from that, logan seeds, like logan shells, pose a risk of choking your dog or of causing intestinal obstruction or blockage.
Make sure it’s ripe
Unripe fruits are toxic to dogs and can cause stomach issues.
Make sure you are feeding your dog fresh and ripe longan fruit with its shell and seed removed.
Not too much
If you plan on feeding your dog longan, make sure it is in little amounts. The main reason for this is that longan contains a lot of vitamin C. In fact, it is known to have 80% of the vitamin C dosage that doctors recommend for humans.
However, dogs produce their own vitamin C. Therefore, they do not require a diet with vitamin C included in it. In fact, dogs can become ill if too much vitamin C is added to their diet.
In certain cases, however, dogs that have weak immune systems require vitamin C in their diet, upon veterinarian recommendation.
Furthermore, longan is high in sugar. To give you an idea, 3 to 4 longans contain more sugar than a dog requires in a day.
Therefore, feeding too much can lead to obesity or, in certain cases, diabetes.
Benefits of Longan
As mentioned earlier, no proper research has been done on longan, the following benefits are based upon anecdotal evidence:
Improved Immunity: The presence of vitamin C strengthens the immune system.
Better Skin: Longan is abundant in vitamin C which also helps in skin health and iron absorption. There are several other nutrients in logan that slow down the signs of aging, making you look younger and healthier.
Prevention against Anemia: The iron content of longan is 15 times greater than spinach and 20 times higher than grapes. This abundance of iron ensures better blood circulation and prevents anemia.
Improved heart condition: Longan ensures optimal blood circulation which has several added advantages such as better cardiovascular health and stress release. Apart from that, it also prevents heart problems such as cardiac arrest or stroke.
However, all of these benefits are for humans and there is no evidence if these benefits are also for dogs. Even for humans, it is not scientifically confirmed that these benefits are accurate.
A word of advice
Keeping under consideration all that has been mentioned in this article, it is safe to say that although there is no solid evidence that longan is harmful to dogs, there is also nothing that proves it is beneficial.
Therefore, the best course of action is not to take any risk. Avoid feeding your dog longan and just stick to the FDA approved dog foods.
Can I give my dog a Banana?
Dogs can be given bananas as a treat. However, bananas do not provide all the nutritional benefits to dogs as they do to humans.
And if you are wondering, banana peels are not dangerous to dogs as well. However, if your dog ate a banana with the peel, it might throw up or get diarrhea.
Moreover, it should be noted that too many bananas can lead to obesity in dogs because of the sugar they contain. Therefore, if you plan on giving your do bananas, make sure it is not too much.
As a general rule of thumb, make sure that 90% of the daily nutrients your dog is getting comes from his diet and the remaining 10% from the treats.
Can I give my dog ice-cream?
Dogs love ice-cream but it is not good for them. Here’s why:
Sugar: Ice-creams contain a lot of sugar. Too much of it can cause weight gain which can lead to other health problems.
Milk: Ice-cream is a milk-based product. After being weaned as pups, dogs are unable to digest milk. Therefore, giving your dog ice-cream will cause digestive problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, gas, bloating, etc.
Flavors: Certain ice-cream flavors are harmful to dogs. For example, chocolate ice-creams contain chocolate that contains theobromine, a substance that dogs find hard to digest.
What fruits can be given to dogs?
If you want to treat your dog, fruits are the best. However, one should be mindful as not all fruits are beneficial to dogs and some might even harm them.
Here are some fruits that are great for dogs:
Watermelon: It’s 92% water. So, it is good for keeping your dog hydrated.
Strawberries: Strawberries contain nutrients that help dogs stay healthy and young.
Pineapple: Pineapples are packed with vitamins and minerals that aid dogs in digestion and improve their immune system. However, pineapple should be given in smaller quantities because of its high sugar content.