Can Dogs Eat Lychee – Understanding the Details

can dogs eat lychee

If you’ve enjoyed fresh lychees at home, you might have wondered about whether you can share the summer treat with your dog. So, can dogs eat lychee? The answer is yes! Dogs can safely eat small amounts of the flesh of lychee fruits you may be surprised to know.

However, caution is recommended when giving your dog lychee. Not much is known about the quantity of lychee that dogs can safely tolerate per kilogram body weight.

Although lychee fruits are a highly popular tropical fruit, how much of these dogs can eat and not suffer any side effects which has not been researched. Therefore, it’s okay to let your dog have a little bit of the fresh juicy pulp, but not too much either.

It’s also important to know which part of the fruit your dogs can actually eat. Lychee is an ideal snack, both sweet and refreshing, with high water and fiber content. However, it shouldn’t make its way to your doggy’s plate without some consideration.

Are Lychee Seeds Poisonous for Dogs?

No, lychee seeds are not poisonous, per se. However, under no circumstances should you give your dog a lychee seed.

Lychee seeds are small, oval to cylindrical seeds, approximately 1 to 2 cm long. An over enthusiastic dog may wolf down a whole lychee and as a result, choke on the seed within a matter of minutes. If you are not around to help your dog, this could have fatal consequences.

The size of the seed makes lychee seeds dangerous for dogs. Lychee seeds also contain glycoside compounds called Saponins which are toxic to dogs as well as to humans.

Consumption of these compounds in large amounts can give your dog muscle spasms, altered kidney function, drooling, darkened urine, and even lead to renal failure and have systemic consequences. For dogs with kidney failure, small amounts can provoke symptoms too.

Are Lychee Seeds Edible?

On their own, lychee seeds are definitely not edible. There have been some anecdotal narrations of powdered lychee seeds being used for medicine or purposes.

However, neither the so-called pain relieving properties or the purported anti intestinal worm action have ever been proven scientifically. So, we can safely assume that lychee seeds are not edible- neither for dogs, nor for humans.

Under no circumstances is it advised that the lychee seeds be used to prepare traditional medicines for dogs. There are several enzymes and compounds in lychee seeds that can have immediate and severely toxic effects on dogs’ cardiovascular and nervous systems, and even cause permanent damage.

What Are the Effects of Digesting Lychee Pits?

The seed of a lychee fruit is not a nut but rather a pit. Much like any other stone fruits, lychee seeds cannot be digested by the human or the canine digestive tract.

So, if your dog accidentally eats a couple of lychee seeds, you don’t have to declare an emergency. However, if it’s a small dog and he has eaten more than a couple of lychee seeds, you should take him to the vet.

Lychees -the fruit as well as the seeds- contain a lot of biologically active enzymes. There are also a lot of toxins present in the fruit. Some, like hypoglycin, can trigger a rapid fall in blood glucose. For a small dog, this can be lethal.

Your dog won’t escape the consequences of eating a couple of lychee seeds completely either. Eating one or two lychee seeds will definitely leave your dog with a stomach ache, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea and strained stools till the seeds are passed out.

In fact, the seeds can even get stuck inside a dog’s intestines and cause impaction and obstruction. Luckily, the seeds taste terrible, so dogs are not particularly tempted to eat them in the first place.

Can Lychee Peel Be Harmful?

Yes, eating lychee peel can actually have harmful effects. The peel of lychee fruit is not edible, but rather a leathery, tough, bumpy, and almost prickly covering. It ranges from pink to red and color and is covered by small spines.

The peel of the lychee fruit is too tough to eat and has no nutritional value at all. In fact, it doesn’t even serve as fiber in the food because of its inability to draw water into the intestines. So, if your dog eats lychee peels out of the trash, he may end up with intestinal obstruction and severe intestinal cramps.

If you suspect that your dog may have eaten a large quantity of lychee peels, you should take him to the vet. In a worst-case scenario, he may require manual evacuation or laxatives to help him excrete the impacted peels.

Just as a side note: dried lychee peel has been used historically in some traditional medicines for throat aches and management of diarrhea. However, these effects have never been proven in dogs.

What Are the Health Benefits Of Eating Lychee?

Although originally cultivated only in China, lychee fruits are now popular all over the world. They are cultivated throughout most of southeast Asia and southeast Asia karma and even in South Africa.

Their health and medicine benefits include a high concentration of antioxidants, along with nutrients like vitamin B6, niacin, folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin c, etc. The mineral content includes manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, calcium, zinc, selenium, and iron.

The presence of antioxidants like Oligonols lends lychee fruits their immunoprotective and anti-aging properties. This effect is preserved from a cellular to a tissue level, and along with proanthocyanidins and polyphenolic compounds.also is responsible for the soothing effect lychee pulp has on the digestive tract, even for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

The protective effects also extend to actively countering glaucoma progress in aging dogs, as well as helping against respiratory tract infections and boosting the health and longevity of muscles, blood vessels, and bones and joints.

Additionally, lychee is a very high fiber fruit and provides a high amount of free sugars and carbohydrates. Lychees are surprisingly protein-rich and even have a mild natural diuretic effect when consumed in moderation.

Can Dogs Eat Lychee Fruit Regularly?

Unfortunately, no. Because of their high sugar content, lychees are not recommended as a regular treat for dogs. This also applies to fruits similar to lychees like Rambutan and Longan fruit.

Foods that have such high sugar concentrations can cause very large blood sugar spikes in dogs. The size of the dog, his weight and general health decide how much he’s affected by the spike in blood sugar. What merely causes a sugar rush for a large dog can be the beginner of kidney damage for a tiny dog.

Also, lychees contain enzymes that. If not ripened enough, can cause a large drop in available sugar in blood for the brain. This effect is magnified if your dog hasn’t eaten anything else. So, if you want to give you a dog lychee, a couple of pieces of the sweet pulp are enough as a treat. And that too, preferably after a meal.

Can Lychee Fruits Ever Be Poisonous to Dogs?

Yes. They’re have been several documented cases where the consumption of unripe or partially ripe lychee has resulted in poisoning.

Unripe lychees contain enzymes like Hypoglycin C and methylene cyclopropyl glycine, which cause a rapid and irreversible drop in blood sugar. They’ve even been known to cause brain inflammation in young children. Dogs are similarly affected.

This drop in blood sugar can affect the brain and cause delirium, seizures, loss of consciousness, confusion, coma and even death.


Which fruits are poisonous to dogs?

Certain fruits are straight up poisonous for dogs. These include grapes, raisins, citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, mandarins, and avocados. Pit fruits like cherries, apricots, and peaches are best avoided as well.

Is lychee fruit poisonous?

The lychee fruit is not poisonous for dogs. However, it should be fed to dogs in small quantities because of the sugar content. Care should also be taken that the fruit is ripe, and that there is no seed or peel still in the pulp.

What animals eat lychee fruit?

Some animals like bats, lorises, as well as some monkeys and birds can safely eat lychees as a staple food.

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