The sweet, soft flesh of this tropical fruit usually appeals to dogs.
Your Boxer will benefit not just from the vitamins and minerals in mangoes, but also from the phytochemicals which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on many parts of the body, from the gut to the heart and eyes.
This post is for general informational and educational purposes only. I encourage readers to see my full disclaimer here.
What Is In A Mango?
Mangoes contain plenty of nutrients including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
But a lot of the magic of mangoes comes from the fact they are also:
- high in fiber
- rich in phytochemicals (plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power)
Benefits of Mango for Your Boxer Dog
Mangoes help keep your Boxer in good shape from nose to tail, by:
- supporting digestion
- cultivating a good balance of gut microflora
- warding off conditions like ulcerative colitis
- protecting against the cell damage that can lead to cancer
- helping wound healing
- slowing ageing
- developing and maintaining collagen
- encouraging iron absorption
- nourishing skin and coat
- lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
- promoting eye health (thanks to the antioxidant zeaxanthin)
- boosting the immune system (courtesy of the antioxidant beta-carotene)
Should Dogs Really Eat Fruit?
Dogs are carnivores, yes. But not strict carnivores.
The technical description is “facultative” carnivore. This means dogs prefer meat as their primary food. However, they can survive on a secondary food when meat is scarce. For the dog’s closest free-living relative, the wolf, this secondary food is fruit, often berries.
Emulating natural feeding behavior wherever possible is good practice. The beauty of using nature as a guide is that it transcends the limitations of human understanding: we don’t always know why the natural world does what it does, but from what we do understand, it’s clear intelligent design is at play.
Even with its limitations, current scientific knowledge allows us to break down several reasons why feeding fruit to your dog (as part of a raw meaty bone-based diet) is a good idea.
Hydration is essential for health. A hydrated body is better able to move out cellular waste via the lymphatic system, helping maintain a pristine internal environment.
Being 83 per cent water, mangoes are a great way to keep up your Boxer’s fluid intake.
It’s perfect timing that mangoes are most plentiful in Summer.
Break From Meat Digestion
As carnivores, dogs are built to digest meat. But breaking down protein and fat takes quite a bit of work. Digestion involves not just the stomach and intestines but organs like the pancreas, gall bladder and kidneys.
Add to this the fact that pet dogs are fed daily (compared to perhaps three meals a week for a wolf) and you can end up in a constant state of digestion, which can result in some overtaxed organs.
Mangoes provide nutrition without the labor-intensive digestive process.
As one of the more calorie-dense fruits (after dates and banana), they contain 60 calories per 100g. This means mangoes can give your Boxer a decent hit of energy.
Fruit is so easy and fast to digest that incorporating occasional fruit-only days into your Boxer’s diet can provide almost as much benefit as fasting.
Dependent on natural cycles of abundance and scarcity, fasting is a regular part of a wild dog’s life. As such, it’s how a dog — including your Boxer — is evolutionarily adapted to eat.
Science is just catching up, recognizing that fasting promotes healing through a process called “autophagy” and supports detoxification in both dogs and humans.
Pet dogs generally consume diets far higher in fat than their wild counterparts.
This is due to the fact they usually eat fatty farmed meats like chicken and beef, rather than lean game meats like rabbit.
Fruit days help lower your Boxer’s fat consumption.
Proponents of alkaline diets believe disease results, in part, from too much acidity in the body.
The products of meat digestion are acidic.
So are metabolic wastes.
Fruit digestion, however, produces alkaline by-products.
How To Feed Mango To Your Boxer
When preparing mango for your Boxer, be sure to:
- remove the skin
- take out the pit
- feed when very ripe
- feed separately to meat
It’s not a disaster if your Boxer eats some of the peel, as it’s non toxic but it can be difficult to digest.
The pit, however, is a choking hazard. Worse, mango seeds can cause bowel obstruction, since they’re large and highly indigestible.
When ready to eat, mangoes should feel firm but soft with a sweet scent. Wait a little longer than humans generally prefer to eat them but not so long that the skin develops dark spots.
Because fruit contains mostly sugars and carbohydrate, it digests much faster than meat with all its protein and fat. Plant material also requires different digestive enzymes: amylase instead of lipase and protease for meat.
For most efficient digestion, it’s best to feed mango and meat separately. This is also how dogs consume fruit in nature — never at the same time as meat, but only when prey is unavailable.
If you feed mangoes on the same day as a meat meal, make sure the fruit is fed first and at least a few hours earlier. This will avoid digestive conflict.
How Much Mango Should A Boxer Dog Eat?
Most websites written by dog food companies or conventional vets will tell you to feed mango only as a treat because it contains sugar.
However these same sources recommend feeding a diet of highly processed kibble.
The truth is dogs in nature will feast on fruit when meat is unavailable and your Boxer can too.
The average Boxer can happily eat half a dozen or more large mangoes in a day.
This will not lead to diarrhea. In fact, the high fiber content in mangoes soothes the gut and fruit makes a great first food after a fast due to digestive upset.
“Mono” meals of just mango are most easily digested. Alternately you can offer mango with no problems alongside other fruits like banana and dates.
A Note On Pee And Poop
To get into the nitty gritty, you will notice fruit day poops are much more voluminous compared to the small, hard poops of a raw fed dog on meat days. Both types of poop ensure the anal glands are naturally expressed by the act of defecation.
The dramatically different appearance of fruit poops versus meat poops allow you to clearly observe how long fruit takes to transit your dog’s digestive system, compared to meat. Your dog will need to poop sooner after eating fruit than he does after meat.
Keep in mind, too, that the high water content of fruit will necessitate more peeing. It can be a good idea to feed fruit meals earlier in the day than you normally do meat, so that your night is not interrupted by potty breaks.
Be sure to accommodate your dog’s needs and adjust your schedule accordingly to avoid accidents in the house. Fruit can take your Boxer by surprise if he’s not used to eating it. Things will soon normalize.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Mango?
However, commercially-made dried mango usually contains preservatives which you don’t want your dog to ingest.
So, if it’s mango you’ve dehyradated yourself, go for it.
But avoid the store-bought product.
Depending where you live, mangoes are not necessarily the most affordable fruit. They are generally only readily available in the warmer months.
But, when you can get your hands on them, they are worth including in your Boxer’s diet.
The benefits of mangoes extend beyond their vitamins and minerals to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Just be sure to remove the peel and the large seed.
Looking for another fruit to feed your Boxer?