If you like making your dog’s food at home, you might be wondering: can dogs eat Tamarind, for a little extra flavor? If you are using tamarind pulp or juice, then yes, your dog can safely eat and enjoy tamarind without having to worry about any negative effects or downsides.
Tamarind is from the region of the Indian subcontinent, is derived from the fruit of the tamarind tree. The fruit looks a little like a peanut, with seeds inside the pod. The pulp of the fruit is used in cooking, for its typical and unique sweet and sour tangy flavor.
For your doggo, this means that you can season his food with tamarind and offer him a wide variety of flavors in his food. Because you can be sure, his sensitive nose will appreciate the aromas far more than even we do.
Is Tamarind Good for Dogs?
Yes, tamarind is indeed good for dogs in moderate quantities. Dogs who have digestive issues derive even more benefits from having tamarind in their diet.
Tamarind naturally has a mild laxative effect, so can help dogs with constipation in regularizing their go-times. The effect also extends to being a mild stool softener, so your dog will not have to strain while passing stool.
Both tamarind pulp and tamarind juice contain lauric acid and tartaric acid. These acids are partly responsible for the sourness in the flavor. But they are also excellent for improving oral health, as they help keep the surface of your dog’s teeth clean, and prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque.
The acid content in tamarind also helps remove yellowish stains from teeth, and keeps your dog’s teeth clean, shiny, and pearly white.
When Should Dogs Not Be Given Tamarind?
Although tamarind is great for dogs, there are some special circumstances where you should avoid adding it to their food.
Dogs who have diarrhea, for example, as tamarinds natural laxative effect can worsen their GI symptoms and make their diarrhea much worse. This in turn may lead to more serious issues because of electrolyte and water loss, electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, irritation of the intestinal lining, etc.
Also, dogs who have a sore throat, cough, or an upper respiratory tract infection should also not be given tamarind, as it can irritate an already inflamed throat and cause throat pain.
Additionally, dogs who have had tooth issues in the past can develop gum sensitivity and toothaches from eating too much tamarind. The acidic nature of tamarind because of its lauric acid and tartaric acid content can in turn cause erosions of tooth enamel in dogs and worsen any problems they already have.
How Much Tamarind Should I Give My Dog?
Tamarind is not a nutritionally dense food, and its taste prevents overusing it in food accidentally anyway. A serving of 20-40g is a good example of what you should limit the tamarind pulp content in your dog’s food. For smaller dogs, it’s better to keep this on the lower side as it is.
Tamarind provides about 239kcal per 100g serving of tamarind pulp. It is not a significant source of carbohydrates, proteins, or fats, but it is a powerhouse of micronutrients. Tamarind is rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, Riboflavin, Thiamine, and minerals like iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium. It also has significant immunity boosting properties.
Can Tamarind Be Poisonous to Dogs?
Yes, both the shell of the tamarind fruit and the seed coats of the seeds are poisonous to both dogs and humans. Humans can sometimes consume the seeds after extensive processing to remove the seed coat covering and change the chemical content. But dogs should not be given tamarind seeds or the fruits in any circumstances.
So how do you eat tamarind? Add the juice to dishes, or the pulp. The juice can also be used to make a sweet summer drink.
Does Tamarind Have Side Effects?
Tamarind should also be avoided in dogs who are on heart medication or blood pressure medication. Tamarind influences the action of drugs like Warfarin which affect blood clotting and blood thinners, as well as have interactions with antiplatelet drugs.
Tamarind also has an unusual side effect, that it promotes the formation of gallstones. So, dogs who have liver disease should not be given tamarind without getting advice from your vet first. It could otherwise be responsible for decreasing bile motility, impairing digestion instead of aiding it, and even cause cramping and jaundice because of obstruction.
The laxative effects of tamarind can also adversely affect dogs who have loose stools. Tamarind also interacts with antibiotics, so in case your dog is on any antibiotics, it’s best to avoid giving him tamarind at the same time.
Is Tamarind Candy Good for Dogs?
Not particularly. Tamarind candy is soft, chewy candy made from a mixture of brown sugar, tamarind juice, fruit, or pulp, chili powder, and confectioners’ sugar. Tamarind candy has a lot of sugar in it, which is bad for your dog. In addition, chili powder also causes gastric irritation in dogs, and can give them upset stomachs.
At the same time, it is not poisonous, either. So, while your dog could get away with eating a few pieces of tamarind candy, giving him tamarind candy repeatedly is not recommended.
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