Can dogs eat bitter gourd? You may be asking this because you want to feed your furry friend a new snack. Humans can eat bitter gourd, so is it also safe for dogs to eat?
The short answer is yes, bitter gourd is safe for dogs to eat. This gourd, sometimes called bitter melon, can be a crunchy treat for your pup. However some dogs, like those with diabetes, should avoid it, and the veggie requires some preparation and moderation.
As always, you must consult your vet before feeding human food like bitter gourd to your dog. Here’s what you should know about feeding bitter gourd to your dog.
How Is Bitter Gourd Good For Dogs?
Bitter gourd is high in folic acid, which is essential for dogs’ cell growth, including skin, coat, and muscles.
It’s important to note that the bitter flavor of the bitter gourd may be off-putting to some dogs, so your pup may turn their nose at first. As with all new foods, you should give your furry friend a chance to sniff and otherwise become acquainted with the interesting veggie.
If they turn down the snack after several attempts, you might try giving your dog a similar veggie, like okra or eggplant.
One of the most interesting things about the nutritional content of bitter gourd is that it is high in what is known as polypeptide-P, which naturally lowers the body’s blood sugar level. It is also high in Charantin, which increases glucose uptake.
The combination of polypeptide-P and Charantin in bitter gourd can be good for some dogs, but dogs with diabetes should avoid this vegetable because it may lower their blood sugar to a dangerous level.
However, feeding your dog bitter gourd in moderation may decrease the risk of your pup’s development of diabetes in the future.
How Can I Safely Give Bitter Gourd To My Dog?
Photo taken in Hiroshima-Shi, Japan
You can give your dog bitter gourd both raw and cooked; make sure to cut it into smaller pieces to reduce the chance of your dog choking.
Many dogs enjoy crunching, so leaving the bitter gourd raw may be a good option for those pups that like to chow down. The rind of the bitter gourd may be too bitter for your pup, so you might consider peeling the veggie if this is the case.
You should also make sure to remove the seeds, as these can block your doggo’s digestive system and cause discomfort.
Bitter gourds can be blanched, boiled, or roasted before feeding them to your dog. If you choose to do this, leave them plain! Oil and spices, as well as salt, are not good for pups.