What Is Litchi?
CAN DOGS EAT LITCHI? Exotic tropical fruit from southern China, the lychee (also spelled Litchi or Lichi) grows on an evergreen litchi tree. From Hawaii to the Indian subcontinent, different cultivators of this fruit exist all over the world.
Upon peeling away the reddish, fibrous, and scaly outer shell, you’ll find a soft, tart fruit surrounding a single large seed. Litchis grow in clusters, with anywhere from three to fifty fruits per bunch.
Can Dogs Eat Litchi?
Yes, they can. Peel off the outer skin and after removing the seed you can give your dog the flesh of ripe lychee fruits in small portions.
Make sure that you only give your pet ripe lychee fruit, as unripe lychee can cause a dangerous drop in blood glucose levels.
Always remove the outer skin and the lychee seed to prevent a choking hazard.
Always go for fresh lychee fruit. Do not feed your dog lychee jelly or canned lychee as they are full of added sugar.
Is Litchi Safe for Dogs? 3 Risks of Feeding Dogs Lychee
While litchi can be a healthy snack for your dog, when given in moderation, there are risks to consider before adding it to homemade food or offering it as a treat. Litchi fruits are:
- A choking hazard: The litchi peel and seed can be choking hazards for your dog. Eating whole litchi fruit can cause an intestinal blockage, so always feed your dog a peeled and pitted lychee.
- High in sugar: Litchi consists of a high amount of sugar, which can be harmful to your dog’s health. If your pet consumes too much sugar, it may gain excess weight or have digestive problems.
- Toxic when unripe: An unripe litchi fruit contains methylene cyclopropyl-glycine (MCPG), which causes your dog’s blood sugar levels to drop, leading to hypoglycemia or, in severe cases, encephalopathy, a type of brain dysfunction. Unripe litchi also contains the toxic compound saponin, which causes stomach upset. Consuming a large quantity of unripe litchi can lead to serious health problems. Symptoms of litchi poisoning include muscle spasms, dark urine, or excessive drooling.
Is Litchi Good for Dogs? 3 Health Benefits of Litchi for Dogs
Small amounts of litchi can be a healthy treat for your pet. Litchi is:
- High in fiber: You can add litchi fruits to your dog’s diet to help increase their fiber intake. In moderation, fiber can help keep your dog’s digestive system healthy and prevent issues like constipation or diarrhea.
- Low in calories: Litchi fruits are a low-calorie snack, so you can offer them to your pet in small quantities.
- Rich in nutrients: Litchi is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support your pet’s immune system. The fruit is full of nutrients like phosphorus, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C.
How to Safely Feed Litchi to Dogs
Only feed your dog ripe litchi. Unripe litchi or green litchi contains dangerous toxins. Remove the outer litchi skin and litchi pit before feeding your dog litchi fruit. Serve the flesh of the litchi to your pet in moderation; do not feed your dog large amounts of litchi fruit, as this can lead to stomach cramps or other health issues.
Is it possible for dogs to eat Litchi? A Summary
- Before giving your dog litchi, consult your veterinarian to determine the appropriate serving portion which will be based on the dog type.
- Ensure the litchi is ripe before removing the outer skin and seeds. Only give your dog a small amount of the fleshy part occasionally, as too much can be extremely harmful to him due to the high sugar content.
- The outer skin of the Litchi fruit can be toxic and the seed poses a choking hazard. It is important to contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog has eaten a litchi seed or an unripe litchi fruit and is showing even slight symptoms of uneasiness.