Love indulging in jackfruit, and wondering if you can share this delicious treat with your dog? The short answer to this question appears to be, "Probably."
We did not find any evidence that the jackfruit's flesh is toxic to dogs. But we also did not find a lot of evidence that jackfruit is something dogs can eat safely with no ill effects.
Because there is so little data, we would urge caution. Let's go into more detail about what jackfruit is, what its nutritional benefits are, and what concerns there might be if you want to feed jackfruit to your dog.
What is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is the fruit from the tree that goes by the same name. Sometimes, you might also hear the jackfruit tree referred to simply as the "jack tree."
Jackfruits are native to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and India. Close relatives of jackfruit include fig, breadfruit and mulberry, all of which are members of the same family. The fruit's rind has a rough texture, and the flesh is yellowish.
What does jackfruit taste like? Well, you might expect judging from the color, that it would taste a little bit like a banana—and you'd be right. You might also expect it to taste a bit like a pineapple. Well, you would be right about that too. The sweet tropical flavor makes jackfruit a popular ingredient in desserts.
Is Jackfruit Safe For Dogs?
The rind of the jackfruit is not safe for dogs. The seeds of the jackfruit are also not safe for dogs. The flesh of the fruit itself may be okay for a dog to eat.
Again, there is not a lot of data available on this topic. It is essential to know that each of these fruits can contain up to 500 or so seeds! You cannot leave any seeds in the portion of fruit you try feeding your dog.
Health Benefits of Jackfruit for Dogs
Jackfruit is nutritious, offering lots of fiber along with some vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) writes, "Vitamin B6 is especially vital. This vitamin is responsible for glucose generation, red blood cell and nervous system function, hormone regulation, immune response, niacin synthesis, and gene activation."
As for vitamin C, it's an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation throughout your pet's body. AKC mentions that it might also help to combat age-related cognitive issues.
Potassium is an important electrolyte. Fiber helps with digestion.
Are There Concerns?
There are a few potential concerns with dogs and jackfruit:
Lack of data. Our biggest concern with jackfruit is that we simply cannot find much information about its safety. As a result, it is difficult to say much that is conclusive about it.
Sugar content. The effect of too much sugar on a dog is similar to the impact of too much sugar on a human. It can damage oral health and promote obesity. Like other fruits, jackfruit contains a significant amount of sugar.
Laxative effects. Some people report that jackfruit has a laxative effect. In small quantities, that effect could potentially be beneficial for a dog suffering constipation. But in large amounts, it could simply lead to digestive discomfort.
Allergies. It is possible for your dog to be allergic to jackfruit. This concern exists anytime you have a new food you introduce to your pet.
Toxic rind and seeds. Finally, the rind and seeds of jackfruit are toxic to dogs. Indeed, you may be aware that this is the case with many other fruits as well. But it is potentially more problematic with jackfruit than many other fruits because there are so many seeds that you need to discard to keep your pets safe. It would be all too easy to miss one or more of them.
How Much Jackfruit Can Your Dog Eat?
No more than 10% of your dog's calories each day should come from snacks and treats. But you should limit your dog's consumption of jackfruit far below that threshold. The reason has to do largely with moderating your pet's sugar and fiber intake.
Plus, you want to ensure that your dog is not reacting negatively to jackfruit. Keeping the test piece very small is wise. In the future, a couple of small pieces a couple of times weekly should be okay.
Can a Dog Be Allergic to Jackfruit?
Yes, a dog can hypothetically be allergic to anything, potentially. So you should watch for allergy signs when you first try feeding your pet jackfruit. Indigestion, hives, facial swelling, itching, paw or ear infections can indicate an allergic reaction.
How to Feed Your Dog Jackfruit
1. First, cut open the jackfruit. The easiest way to do this is to cut it in half, and then cut each half in half to form quarters.
2. If you see rotten areas, remove those and throw them away somewhere your dog will not be able to reach them.
3. Get rid of the core. Your dog should not be eating this either (and neither should you).
4. As you might with citrus fruit, you should grab hold of the ends of each quarter and bend them apart. This will make it easier to get at the fleshy sections inside, which are called "arils."
5. Remove the arils. Now you can discard the rind.
6. Open up the arils and remove the seeds. You can either throw the seeds away or cook them up and eat them yourself. Either way, your dog should not be eating them.
7. Give your dog a tiny piece of jackfruit. Watch to see if there are any adverse effects. If there are not, that means your dog can have jackfruit again.
8. The next time you eat jackfruit, you can give your dog a little more than you did on the first serving.
Conclusion: Jackfruit is Probably Safe for Dogs
Now you know more about jackfruit and its possible benefits and health concerns for dogs. Usually, we can easily give a firm "yes" or "no" answer to these questions about what pets can eat. But based on our research, there is not much data concerning jackfruit safety for canines—mostly just various sources saying it should be safe.
So, you will need to decide whether you feel comfortable feeding your dog small amounts of jackfruit flesh. Either way, do not allow your dog to eat the rind or seeds of the jackfruit.