If you’ve just discovered the many health benefits of eating guava and wonder whether this tropical fruit might be good for your furry pet, we’ve got good news for you.
Guava is a healthy treat for dogs, especially the pink juicy flesh.
However, you should exercise caution when feeding other parts of this fruit to your dog, at least the first time.
In this article we’ll talk about the various types of guava, which of them are safe for your dog and what health benefits your dog could derive from it.
Also, we’ll have a look at guava paste, which is a delicious dessert, but, unfortunately, not suitable for dogs.
What is guava?
The most popular type of guava, the so-called red guava, originates in Central America and the northern parts of South America, but at present it is cultivated in many tropical and subtropical countries around the world.
In the US it was introduced in the 18th century and it is cultivated in many Southern states.
Although native to Central America, the world’s largest guava producer is now India.
While many eat it raw, guava has many culinary uses.
It can be used to make fruit salads, jams and marmalades, sauces, dips, or even an alcoholic beverage called Pulque, very popular in Mexico and the surrounding countries.
No, your dog definitely cannot have Pulque, but you might appreciate its sour yeast-like taste.
Red guavas are either round or pear-shaped, and can be 4-12cm long. They have a green skin and pink flesh, containing small seeds.
If you want to give guava to your dog, make sure it is ripe.
The skin of a ripe fruit is light green or even yellow.
You can test if the fruit is ripe by giving it a light squeeze, just as you do with an avocado.
If it gives, it’s ripe.
Can my dog eat guava?
Guava is generally safe for dogs, unless your pet turns out to be allergic to it.
Such cases are extremely rare even among humans, but it’s worth being careful and introducing this yummy fruit to your dog slowly.
If you’re just preparing to sink your teeth into a guava, be a sport and cut a few slices for your dog, too.
This doesn’t mean that anything that’s made with guava is good for your dog.
For instance, guava yogurt is a nice, if messy treat for dogs, but only if it has no added sugars.
The fruit itself contains enough sugar so your dog doesn’t need more.
The same goes for guava paste, also known as goiabada in Portuguese-speaking countries or pasta de guayaba in Spanish.
This is a very popular dessert in Brazil and other Latin American countries.
It’s so good, many say it’s addictive.
You definitely don’t want your dog addicted to this type of treat as guava paste is loaded with sugar.
The recipe calls for 4-5 cups of sugar for 2.2 pounds of fruit.
In some countries you might also find guava ice cream.
Can my dog eat guava ice cream?
Well, it’s certainly not toxic, but it’s high on sugar and might cause problems if your dog is lactose intolerant.
What are the nutritional benefits of guava for dogs?
Guava is packed with vitamins, contains several important minerals, and is a good source of protein and dietary fiber.
In terms of calories, you have to watch how much guava your dog eats as 1 cup serving (165) provides 122 calories.
The main benefit refers to the high content of vitamin C.
Guavas have four times as much vitamin C than an orange.
A typical serving has 628% DV of vitamin C, and that’s in human terms.
For a dog it’s a massive amount of vitamin C which will boost his immune system.
At the same time, vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants out there.
It fights against the free radicals and may help prevent cancer.
Guava is also rich in vitamin A (21% RDV), which supports eye health and new blood cell growth.
A serving of guava also provides a decent amount of vitamin K (6% RDV).
Vitamin K helps prevent blood clots so it’s particularly useful for senior dogs.
Another important nutrient is folate or vitamin B9, which is necessary to make white and red cells in the bone marrow, and to convert food into energy.
One guava serving has 20% the DV recommended for humans.
As for minerals, one cup of guava provides 20% RDV for potassium, which supports bone and teeth health.
At the same time, the same serving offers 9% RDV for magnesium, a key mineral for dogs suffering with arthritic pains.
Guavas also contain copper and manganese in decent amounts, as well as calcium and iron, but in lower amounts.
Is guava toxic to dogs?
The flesh of the guava fruit is most certainly not toxic to dogs, as for other parts of it, the jury is still out.
Is guava skin bad for dogs?
Many people eat guava just like an apple, and this includes the skin.
The skin of the guava fruit is not known to be toxic in any way.
You should however wash the fruit thoroughly to get rid of any contaminants, such as pesticides or preservatives used to keep the fruit fresh while they’re shipped over thousands of miles.
To avoid such dangers, try to buy fruits that are cultivated locally whenever possible.
The debate over guava skin is whether or not it is too rich in fiber.
Adding some fiber to your dog’s regular diet is recommended if your dog is constipated as dietary fiber adds bulk to the stool and increases the frequency of bowel movements.
Guava can help if your dog has diarrhea as well.
The problem is that too much fiber might cause constipation.
All in all, you should try to give your dog a bit of skin together with the flesh.
See what effects it has on the dog’s BM, if any. If your dog tolerates it well there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have guava skin.
Are guava seeds dangerous for dogs?
There are conflicting opinions on this topic. Like many other fruit pips or stones, guava seeds contain a compound called amygdalin, which is partially converted into cyanide during the digestive process.
Now, the amount of cyanide in guava seeds is negligible as far as humans are concerned. For a dog, especially a small one, even that amount might be dangerous, so it’s best to avoid giving guava seeds to your dog.
On the other hand, if your dog happens to tear into a guava and eat it all, don’t freak out. It is highly unlikely that he’ll get poisoned.
Are guava leaves good for dogs?
Many people drink guava leaves tea to treat diarrhea.
The guava leaf extract has been shown to have antimicrobial properties so it is useful against infectious diarrhea.
There are no studies on its efficiency in dog diarrhea.
If your dog is struggling with diarrhea, you could add a bit of guava leaf tea to his water.
There’s a chance it will help alleviate the symptoms, but even if it doesn’t, it won’t cause any issues since it’s not toxic to dogs.
How much guava should I feed my dog?
Although it’s a healthy fruit, guava should be fed in moderation as it’s a highly-calorific treat and has 14.7 g of sugar per serving.
A few slices of red guava 2 or 3 times a week should provide plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Because guava can easily be cut into small pieces it makes an excellent treat to reward pets during training sessions.
Your dog will surely appreciate the taste, but don’t overfeed him.
As a rule, treats or any kind should not account for more than 10% of your dog’s food.
No matter how healthy a snack may be, too many of them can lead to nutritional imbalances.
Sure, vitamin C is important, but a dog’s diet should rely on protein of animal origin.
What other types of guava are safe for dogs?
If you cannot find guava at your local Walmart or Target, don’t buy canned fruit as they often have loads of added sugar and preservatives.
Try a Mexican or Caribbean delicacies store instead. Don’t be surprised if you find guavas which don’t look exactly like what you were expecting.
There are many other types of guavas, but they’re all just as safe for dogs.
Pineapple guava is an oval fruit with a yellow fresh, and, just as the name says, has a flavor that resembles pineapple.
White guava looks much like a green apple.
Its flesh is white and has a creamy texture.
Go easy on it, though, as it’s extra sweet, which means lots of sugar.
Apple guava also looks like a small apple and has white flesh.
Thai guava has white flesh as well, but it’s rind is more bumpy than that of red guava.
Can dogs eat guava? They sure can.
If you’re having some, share it with your dog as this tropical fruit is a very healthy treat.
It is a great source of dietary fiber, so it can help fix digestive issues, such as diarrhea or constipation.
Also the flesh and rind of the guava fruit are loaded with vitamins and quite a few minerals.
When you offer your dog some guava slices, best remove the seeds, as they might be toxic.
Avoid any sweets made with guava as they probably have added sugars.