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Should I feed my dog dehydrated fruit?

Updated: Jan 16, 2023



There are several key differences between fresh and dehydrated fruit, firstly is the removal of water which allows the fruit to be preserved without refrigeration for much longer than fresh fruit without removing any of the other nutrients (2). With the water content removed dehydrated fruit becomes much denser than fresh fruit; this can be beneficial in cases where a small amount of food can be fed to provide concentrated nutrients such as when appetites or energy levels are low.


Secondly, dehydrated fruits have a natural laxative property (1); this too can be beneficial in certain situations and may even be preferable to a less natural laxative solution, but for the healthy dog the resulting loose stools is unlikely to be considered helpful by most pet parents.


Thirdly, and possibly the most important consideration, is the way a fruit is dehydrated. Commercial dehydration processes sometimes involve sulfites or other additives to preserve the ‘appeal’ of the dried fruit; these additives can be harmful and should be avoided (2). A careful check of the commercially packaged product will reveal any additives; on the other hand, dehydrators suitable for home use can be purchased for under $100 meaning anyone can create their own dehydrated treats with confidence in the quality of the product.


So, for a dog needing a treat of concentrated nutritional value or a laxative aid then dehydrated fruit free of additives can be useful, However, for a healthy active dog the feeding of dehydrated fruit with its high sugar content and laxative properties is likely to create unwanted health issues. Therefore the feeding of ripe, fresh fruit, suitably pulverized to break down cellulose walls, is the preferred option in most cases.



 

Sources

  1. Billinghurst, I. (1993). Give Your Dog a Bone. Bathurst, New South Wales: Warrigal Publishing.

  2. Bjarnadottir, A. (2017, June 4th). Dried Fruit: Good or Bad? Retrieved August 20th, 2020, from Healthline web site: www.healthline.com/nutrition/dried-fruit-good-or-bad

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