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Can Dogs Eat Tamarind?

Can Dogs Eat Tamarind?

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Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) is a sour-sweet fruit pod that is commonly used in Indian and African cuisines.

Its unripened pulp is also used to make savory dishes in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Latin America, the Pacific Islands, and the United States.

Tamarind extract has been extensively used in ancient medicine as a remedy for snake bites, diabetes, malaria, constipation, and a wide range of chronic conditions.

Today, it has become more popular across the globe due to its several therapeutic properties, including potent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

It is also an excellent remedy for swollen joints, sore throat, hemorrhoids, joint pain, and conjunctivitis.

But, Can Dogs Eat Tamarind? Is Tamarind Safe for Dogs?  

Yes. Tamarind can be fed to dogs. In particular, it MIGHT be beneficial to your dog in the following ways:  

1. May boost your dog’s immunity

Tamarind has high amounts of antioxidants and vitamin C, so giving your dog this fruit may boost his immune system and help him stave off microbial and fungal infections.

2. May reduce joint pain and inflammation in dogs

According to this study, Tamarind has Lupeol, which possesses powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Therefore, giving Tamarind to your dog may reduce inflammation, joint pain, arthritis, and canine gout.  

3. May relieve constipation in dogs

Constipation in dogs can be caused by a wide range of factors, including ingestion of indigestible substances, change in diet, pelvic injuries, hormonal diseases, and fear/anxiety among others.

Tamarind may relieve constipation in dogs because it has been used as a laxative agent due to its potent malic and tartaric acid content.

It also contains potassium bitartrate, which is believed to relieve constipation in humans.

Tamarind’s laxative properties can also be extended to stool-softening solutions in dogs…

You can use this fruit as mild stool softener (emollient laxative) to prevent potential strain in your dog when he is passing stool.

You may also want to check out: 12+ Dog Stool Softeners for Dogs that Struggle to Defecate

4. May aid weight management in dogs

In this study carried on rats, Tamarind was found to increase the level of good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol content (LDL) content in plasma.

Tamarind has also been shown to suppress appetite in humans by boosting the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

While there are still no dog-specific studies, tamarind extract shows promising signs of being used as a weight-loss aid in dogs.

5. May prevent hardening and blockage of arteries in dogs

Animal studies have shown that Tamarind has the potential to lower atherosclerosis in animals and humans.  

6. May help manage diabetes in dogs

In this study, Tamarind lowered blood sugar levels in diabetic rats.

The seeds of the fruit have also been shown to boost the neogenesis of pancreatic beta cells in humans.

Therefore, giving your diabetic dog Tamarind may restore his ability to produce the required amounts of insulin.

7. May help your dog detoxify fluorides

A past study done on 35 people indicated that eating Tamarind paste increases fluoride excretion in the urine by about 40 percent.

Another study carried on dogs found that Tamarind could protect dogs from the damaging effects of fluoride exposure by increasing the amount of fluoride excretion in their urine.

Giving your dog Tamarind pulp can, therefore, help him detoxify fluoride while preventing the potential loss of vital minerals.

Important Caveats to Remember

While tamarind may be beneficial to your dog in many ways, there are a couple of caveats that you should always keep in mind when you decide to give your Fido this amazing fruit:

I. Tamarind has tannins which may be harmful to your dog

Although there isn’t a lot of information on the toxicity of Tamarind in dogs, we know that it contains tannins that can be harmful to your dog in high doses.

For starters, tannins are naturally occurring polyphenols found mainly in plants, seeds, barks, leaves, wood, and fruit skin.

 They have a unique ability to combine with other molecules like protein, making them to precipitate.

Their main role in seeds, fruits, leaves, barks, etc is to make these parts of plants unpalatable, thus warding off other animals from eating them.

In dogs, tannins can cause fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, and rapid heart rate among other health issues.

II. High-calorie Counts

Tamarind also contains a lot of calories in comparison to most fruits.

According to USDA, one cup (or 120g) of tamarind pup packs approximately 287 calories.

This is too much calories for dogs considering that most dogs only need about 25-30 calories per pound

Too much tamarind can, therefore, be problematic if you are seeking to control your dog’s calorie intake.

III. May worsen GI symptoms

While tamarind may relieve constipation in dogs due to its potent, natural laxative properties, it may worsen your pup’s gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.

So, avoid giving your dog tamarind if he has diarrhea.

V. Don’t feed tamarind to dogs with sore throats

Avoid giving tamarind (or any other sour food) to your dog if he has a sore throat, cough, or upper respiratory tract infection.

Ingestion of sour substances may worsen your dog’s condition by irritating his already inflamed throat, causing him more pain.  

VI. Tamarind may exacerbate gum sensitivity

Avoid giving your dog tamarind if he has tooth issues as it can aggravate gum sensitivities and toothache symptoms.

As aforementioned, tamarind has lauric and tartaric acid, which can erode your dog’s enamel, worsening any problems that they already have.   

VII. May interact with other drugs

Because of the many therapeutically active compounds in tamarind, it has the potential to interact with a wide range of drugs, including diabetes medications, antiplatelet drugs, blood pressure, and heart medications.

Avoid giving tamarind to your dog if he is on these medications.

VIII. Tamarind seeds are potential choking hazards

If you decide to allow your Fido to sample some tamarind, consider removing the seeds as they can choke your dog.

Remove the veins as well and only feed your dog the pulp.

Alternatively, add tamarind juice to your dog’s food or water.

You can also blend it and make some Popsicle to keep your dog cool during the summer heat.

Related Post: Can Dogs Eat Popsicles?

IX. Some dogs may be allergic to tamarind

Just like us humans, some dogs can be allergic to some fruits (or foods in general).

So, the first time you share tamarind with your dog, be sure to watch him closely for any signs of abnormalities.

If your pup has consumed some tamarind and is manifesting abnormal symptoms, take him to your vet or the nearest animal emergency clinic for proper medical intervention.

For your dog’s safety, it is prudent to consult your vet before introducing him to tamarind.

XI. Tamarind candy isn’t safe for your dog

Can dogs eat tamarind candy? The short answer is: NOT RECOMMENDED. And here is why:

  • It exposes your dog to a lot of sugar, which can be detrimental to his health. In particular, granulated sugar is known to cause gastrointestinal issues and an imbalance of bacteria in dogs’ guts. Although tamarind has its natural sugars, a lot of artificial sugars are added during the preparation process of tamarind candy.

 XII. Moderation is Key

It is not a secret that dogs love treats, and as dog parents, we get a bit of satisfaction out of sharing with them treats or foods that we eat.

(Sure… As you can see in the video below, it is oddly gratifying to share human treats like Tamarind with our pups).

However, giving your pup copious amounts of any treat (or any human food) can be detrimental to his overall health and lifespan.

If you don’t want to expose your fur baby to the above-highlighted potential issues, consider giving him tamarind in moderation.

Moderation here refers to about 20-40 grams of this legume per serving—and not more than 3 times a week.

If you have a smaller dog breed, it is advisable to even go on the lower side.  

Final Thoughts

Tamarind can be a potentially healthy fruit for dogs if consumed in moderate amounts.

It is particularly useful when consumed in its most natural state.

Some dogs may react differently to Tamarind, so if you see any abnormal symptoms after giving your dog this legume, it is best to avoid it going forward.

You can also consult your vet for more professional input on whether or not you can give your dog breed Tamarind.  

Most importantly, before purchasing any Tamarind-related product for your dog, ensure that it is FDA-approved.