The tamarind is a sour and slightly sweet fruit.
East Asian cultures use it a lot in their local medicines.
It also contains a lot of wonderful nutrients.
But the question is…
Can dogs eat tamarinds, too?
Keep reading to discover:
- 3 easy ways to prepare it for them.
- 7 benefits of giving tamarind to your dog.
- 3 dangers of giving tamarind to your dog.
- PROVEN: a recent discovery reveals why too much tamarind is dangerous.
- And many, many more…
Table of contents
- Can dogs eat tamarind?
- Can dogs eat tamarind pulp?
- Can dogs eat tamarind seeds?
- How much tamarind can dogs eat?
- How to prepare tamarind for dogs?
- 7 benefits of giving tamarind to your dog
- 3 dangers of giving tamarind to your dog
Can dogs eat tamarind?
Dogs can eat tamarind but in small amounts. It’s rich in amino acids, prevents chronic inflammation, and aids in weight loss. It also has essential minerals, helps with constipation, and fluoride poisoning. But it has too many calories. And causes gallstones and renal failure if they eat too much.
Can dogs eat tamarind pulp?
Dogs can eat tamarind pulp. It contains many essential vitamins and minerals for your dog’s health.
But it does have a high-calorie count per cup. So it’s best to use it as a tasty treat. Or an occasional addition to their meal.
Can dogs eat tamarind seeds?
Don’t let your dog eat tamarind seeds. Just to be safe.
Because there aren’t dog-specific studies on the toxicity of tamarind seeds. Or its effects on dogs.
But some studies prove the seed extract is very effective for humans.
It has the following functions:
- Helps with obesity.
- Prevention of urinary crystals.
- Reduction of blood sugar levels.
This doesn’t mean that it will do the same for your pooch.
How much tamarind can dogs eat?
Dogs can eat 1 tamarind no more than 3x a week.
Yes, the fruit has a lot of nutritional benefits. But it has a lot of calories.
And there aren’t enough studies to support its use on dogs.
There’s one that you can read in benefit #7. That shows the effectiveness of its antioxidants.
But other than that, studies are either done on rats or humans.
And a new discovery has linked tamarinds to grape toxicity.
Want to find out why?
Then keep reading till the end!
So stay on the safe side. And always consult with your vet before giving this to your dog.
How to prepare tamarind for dogs?
Choose ripe tamarinds for your pooch.
Peel off the skin and take out the seeds.
You can then:
- Feed the pulp as is to your pooch.
- Mix with their meal no more than 3x a week.
- Blitz it in a blender with some water and freeze in a popsicle mold for the summer.
7 benefits of giving tamarind to your dog
#1: Rich in amino acids
Dogs need amino acids in their diet because their body only produces 12 of the 22 required.
The remaining 10 amino acids must come from the food that they eat.
“What is the function of amino acids?”
As your dog’s digestive system breaks down the protein, it releases amino acids.
Their body absorbs this. It uses amino acids for the repair and maintenance of tissue.
Tamarinds contain 3 of the essential amino acids:
- Lysine .00589 oz (.167 g).
- Methionine .00059 oz (.017 g).
- Tryptophan .00076 oz (.022 g).
#2: Rich in antioxidants
VCA tells us that antioxidants protect the cells from cellular damage.
This comes from:
- Free radicals.
- Hydrogen peroxide.
- Single oxygen atoms.
“Why are antioxidants important for dogs?”
All things have to experience the oxidation process every day.
Dogs experience this when their metabolism process produces free radicals.
According to Vetericyn, it damages their cells. Especially if in excessive amounts.
But antioxidants help to kick them out of your dog’s body.
“What happens if dogs don’t have enough antioxidants?”
These substances are essential for keeping your dog’s immune system healthy.
So if there’s a deficiency your dog can have:
- Skin allergies.
- Eye problems.
- Heart disease.
- Respiratory diseases.
- Autoimmune disorders.
- Arthritis and joint problems.
“What are the antioxidants in tamarinds?”
Tamarinds are fruits high in antioxidants.
AAFCO requires at least 7.93 oz (2.25 mg) of thiamine per to 2.20 lbs (1 kg) of dog food.
The tamarind fruit contains 1.81 oz (0.514 mg) of thiamine.
Which makes it a very rich source of this nutrient.
This is a very important antioxidant for dogs. They can’t make it on their own.
This is why thiamine has to come from their food.
It’s used by their body to process carbohydrates. Without it, the brain and other big organs are in danger.
And a deficiency can mean serious problems for your pooch.
NASC says that they will start with these symptoms:
- Weight loss.
- Lack of appetite.
- Gastrointestinal upset.
But as it continues the deficiency will lead to:
- Heart problems.
- Unequal pupil sizes.
- Neuromuscular weakness.
- Pupils unresponsive to light.
“What do vets use to treat thiamine deficiency?”
According to this study, tests are not readily available.
Most vets will diagnose based on the signs present in your pooch.
And will ask questions about their food. As most thiamine deficiencies stem from a diet that lacks this vitamin.
Vets will prescribe a thiamine supplement. Which you can give to your dog in medicine form. Or in enriched dog food.
And don’t get discouraged if your dog has this.
Most symptoms begin to fade even after a few hours of feeding your dog supplements.
Note: Always get your thiamine supplements from your vet. Over-the-counter medicines often aren’t good for dogs.
The next antioxidant in tamarinds is…
Tamarinds contain about 8.20 oz (2.326 mg) per 0.26 lbs (120 g) of niacin.
And the AAFCO states that dog food has to have .00047 oz (13.6 mg) per 2.20 lbs (1 kg).
Niacin is a very important vitamin for your dog’s body.
Aside from acting as an antioxidant, PetMD says that it helps enzyme function.
“What are enzymes?”
According to the VCA, enzymes regulate chemical reactions in the body.
These are essential for the body functions that your dog needs to live.
One example that niacin helps to regulate is digestive enzymes.
This vitamin helps your dog’s body to break down food and store energy.
Which means that it helps them with their metabolism process.
#3: Prevents chronic inflammation
When dogs are continually attacked by infection, their body responds.
Their immune system is at constant war with foreign invaders.
This manifests through inflammation.
Which is what happens in these conditions:
- Chronic gastritis.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Chronic gastrointestinal problems.
If it always happens, the immune system gets exhausted.
And if it’s not supported, then the oxidation process can damage healthy cells in their body.
This is where the humble tamarind comes in.
I talked about antioxidants present in the fruit.
Now, these will also help your dog’s body to recover from the inflammation.
And in many cases, even lessen the effects.
Note: It’s important to remember that antioxidants are supplementary. Your vet will prescribe medical treatment for your dog’s chronic illnesses.
For veterinarian-approved anti-inflammatory remedies,
Watch this video:
#4: Aids in weight loss
East Asian societies use tamarind as a way to manage weight for humans.
It suppresses the appetite by targeting serotonin production. Which is the social reward hormone. That we can get by eating food.
And research has pointed to antiobesity effects from eating it.
There aren’t a lot of studies that confirm this. But those that do point to this as something the fruit can do for your dog’s body.
This one study done on rats has found positive results in 10 weeks.
It lowered levels of bad cholesterol in their blood. And increased levels of good cholesterol.
The tamarind also improved the antioxidant defense system of the rat’s body.
And most importantly, it showed a significant lowering of the rat’s weight.
The researchers fed these rats diets that would make them obese.
And the markers for obesity reversed when they studied the rat’s plasma in the end.
Note: Dog-focused studies are still needed to confirm these results. But if you want to add tamarinds to your dog’s diet, do so at the advice of your vet.
#5: May help with constipation
Did you know that tamarinds have a mild laxative effect?
The USDA says there’s 5.1 g of dietary fiber per 100 g of pulp. It helps with digestion.
In fact, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health supports using fresh tamarind pulp as a laxative.
A study done in their country backs their claim.
The researchers found 3 acids found tamarind pulp that promote smooth intestinal activity.
- Citric acid.
- Malic acid.
- Tartaric acid.
They experimented on rats. And they found that after the rats ate the fruit, they had elevated peristalsis.
This is the constriction and relaxation of muscles in the intestines. It’s like a wave that pushes things towards the anus.
Research has yet to test it on dogs, but it works on smaller animals.
But given that it has this effect on the digestive system, it’s best to give only controlled amounts to your dog.
Warning: Don’t give tamarinds to dogs who already have diarrhea. Or loose stools. This fruit has the potential to cause further irritation to their intestines.
You might also want to check out: 5 Easy Ways To Massage A Dog To Poop (How-To Guide)
#6: Supplies essential minerals
Minerals are an important part of your dog’s diet.
It helps their body perform its functions. Minerals are also crucial for the proper development of your pooch.
PetMD says it’s why dog food manufacturers are careful of the minerals they use.
Is it enough for your dog?
Will it withstand the whole process of making the food?
How will long can it stay stable in storage?
Will the minerals in the dog food go bad in certain conditions?
These questions ensure your dog has a supply of the essential minerals their body needs.
Essential minerals for dogs
Your dog needs 2 types of minerals in their body.
They need a greater supply of macrominerals:
While trace minerals aren’t needed in large quantities:
“What minerals are in the tamarind?”
According to the USDA, in 0.22 lbs (100 g), the fruit has:
- Iron 9.87 oz (2.8 mg).
- Zinc 3.52 oz (.01 mg).
- Sodium .000987 oz (28 mg).
- Calcium .00261 oz (74 mg).
- Copper 3.03 oz (.086 mg).
- Selenium 4.58 oz (1.3 mg).
- Magnesium .00324 oz (92 mg).
- Potassium .02215 oz (628 mg).
- Phosphorus .00398 oz (113 mg).
This means that there are 9 macro and trace minerals found in this fruit.
Calcium and phosphorus help primarily with bone development.
Magnesium helps their body to absorb calcium. It’s also important for muscle growth.
Sodium aids their body in its fluid balance. And without potassium, a dog’s heart will have difficulty pumping blood.
The trace minerals help with:
- Protein digestion.
- RBC oxygenation.
- Skin & coat health.
- Energy production.
- Vitamin absorption.
- Immune system maintenance.
#7: Helps with fluoride poisoning
MerckVet Manual says that fluoride is a chemical found in:
- Rat poisons.
- Human dental products.
- Ascaricides (hook & roundworm treatment).
If your dog eats any of these, they’ll display the following signs:
- Stiff body.
- Weak muscles.
- Lack of appetite.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Severe gastroenteritis.
- Abnormal heart rhythm.
Without treatment, dogs will die from fluoride poisoning.
The signs will appear within 2 hours.
“How do tamarinds help a dog with fluoride poisoning?”
Let me explain it with this study.
The researchers had 3 groups of dogs:
- Control (Group 1).
- Fluoride-supplemented (Group 2).
- Fluoride and tamarind – supplemented diets (Group 3).
They found a big difference in the fluoride retention between Groups 2 and 3.
Group 3 had lower levels of fluoride.
And this was what they were looking for. It showed that the tamarind helps with flushing fluoride out of their system.
This is very important to note.
Because if it accumulates in their body, it will result in fluoride poisoning.
3 dangers of giving tamarind to your dog
#1: It has too many calories
Tamarinds are best given to your dog in small doses.
According to Healthline, 1 cup contains 287 calories.
Most of that comes from natural sugars found in the fruit.
So with that calorie count, don’t make it the only food source for your pooch. Or give it to them daily.
Too much can contribute to weight gain. Which you want to avoid in your dog.
VCA warns us that at least 5 lbs over their ideal weight is enough to risk obesity-related disorders.
- Joint injuries.
- Heart disease.
- Some cancers.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- High blood pressure.
#2: Can promote gallstone formation
There is research linking gallstones to tamarind consumption in humans.
In one study, researchers from India wanted to find the risk factors of gallstones. Because it’s common among the people there.
They did the study on 346 patients from a local hospital.
And one of the factors they found was a risk of gallstone formation. If the tamarind consumption was more than 3x per week.
In another study, they examined 71 patients with gallstones.
The results showed that eating tamarind more than 4x a week puts one at risk for this condition.
But remember that these only link tamarind to the gallstones.
And the researchers formed conclusions based on patient diet and lifestyle.
So there’s a possibility it could happen in dogs, though not yet proven.
Just on the safe side, feed tamarinds to your dog less than 3x a week.
#3: Large amounts can cause renal failure
This is a very new discovery that linked tamarinds to grape toxicity in dogs.
Up to then, there was no explanation as to why dogs couldn’t eat grapes and raisins.
It happened in April 2021.
Dr. Colette Wegenast published a letter to the editor. This is a section of the Journal of the American Veterinary Association.
In it, she says that she and 2 of her colleagues made a discovery to solve this mystery.
They were on the case of a dog who ate homemade playdough.
They suspected that the cream of tartar ingredient was the cause of the poisoning. And tests confirmed it.
This contains tartaric acid and potassium bitrate. Which in large amounts can cause:
- Excessive thirst.
- Possible renal failure.
She said in an interview that it was a “lightbulb moment” for her.
When she realized that these 2 substances are also in grapes. In high concentrations.
And guess what fruit also has it?
Tamarinds also have high amounts of tartaric acid and potassium bitartrate.
And then she adds that the Animal Poison Control Center has reported the signs. Especially when animals ate lots of tamarinds in one sitting.
This is a solid reason why dog parents should be cautious in feeding tamarinds to their doggos.