Can Dogs Eat Lychee? Is Lychee Safe For Dogs?

Seasonal lychee.

(Photo Credit: MelindaChan/Getty Images)

Lychee is a beautiful looking fruit with a bright red and pointed exterior and a fleshy interior that many people enjoy, but can dogs eat lychee? Is this fruit, which tastes like a pear or a grape, safe for dogs?

Technically the short answer is yes, but our recommendation is no† lychee has only a small amount of pulp and that is the only edible part of the fruit. In addition, the fruit has an unfortunate history of being poisonous to both humans and animals when unripe.

Our general rule is this: If the risk is too high, the preparation too great, and the benefit too small, it’s just not worth introducing a food into a dog’s diet.

But the last word on this should always come from your vet† If you want to introduce your dog to a new food item, have him come over first.

Why is lychee bad for dogs?

While lychee has nutritional benefits, it can also be quite unhealthy for us humans. If the fruit is unripe, it is quite poisonous. Ripe lychee is reddish brown in color while unripe lychee is green.

In 2014, a number of children died after eating large amounts of unripe lychee. It was later deduced that the fruit of the soapberry family contains a specific amino acid that has a drastic and negative impact on blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately, with lychee, this is just one of the few concerns. In addition, there is also the skin and the seed to worry about.

Lychee skin is rough and difficult to digest. Aside from a choking hazard for dogs, it can also cause intestinal blockages if ingested.

The same goes for the seed, which is quite large and contains saponin – a substance that is toxic to humans and animals. Some plants produce this substance to protect themselves from insects, and it is often used to make soaps and detergents.

We all know how unhealthy ingesting soap and detergent is!

What should I do if my dog ​​eats lychee?

Hands of holding Lychee

(Photo credit: Ziyi Zhuang/Getty Images)

If your dog ingests unripe litchis it is a major cause for concern – enough to warrant a trip to an emergency vet as it has been documented to kill people when eaten unripe.

It is known to be good to give a little ripe lychee flesh, free of the skin and seeds, but is still very underdocumented. It’s really not worth the risk. If you really want to give your dog a tropical treat, the dragon fruit is a much safer and highly nutritious option.

If you suspect that your dog may have gotten into a lychee kept in your home, here are some signs to look out for:

  • dark urine
  • Extreme drooling
  • twitching
  • epileptic attacks
  • abdominal cramps
  • vomit

If you see something similar with your dog, seek veterinary help immediately. Dogs can recover from lychee poisoning, but it depends on how quickly you act and how much they’ve consumed.

Have you had negative experiences with lychee and your dog? What Safer Fruits Are You Sharing With Your Dog? Let us know in the comments below.

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