Can Dogs Eat Durian? The Seeds Are Toxic!

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It seems like no matter what we eat, our pets are always by our side ready to pick up any scraps left behind or whatever we are willing to spare. It’s always nice when we can feed our pets a little piece of whatever we are eating, especially if we know it will be good for them. There are many common fruits that dogs can eat like pineapple, papaya, kiwi, plantains, and bananas, but what about more exotic, tropical fruits, like durians?

two durians cut open with the flesh and seeds showing

What Are Durians?

Durians are a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia. Although they can be difficult to come across in the United States because of their high shipping cost, it is recommended everyone tries this “King of Fruits”. 

They are large, round and have spikes around the outside. They can be difficult to cultivate, needing a particular medium to grow properly, and dangerous when the watermelon-sized spiked ball falls from high trees. 

When cut into, the durian reveals an edible, squishy fruit which can vary in color but is most often yellow or red. The Durian is most notable for its unique and rather unpleasant smell, however, its unique taste is celebrated and loved among its natural region of Southeast Asia, as well as by people that visit.

There are many health benefits to these unique fruits, and they are renowned for being the most nutritious fruit worldwide. It contains a good serving of protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, riboflavin, iron, and folate. It’s also packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that have a variety of health benefits. 

Do Dogs Like The Smell Of Durians?

The smell of a durian is one of the most notable features of the fruit. It is sometimes said to be “indescribable” while other times it is described as a mixture of garlic and rubber. 

If you are ever eating one of these fruits, your pup may start to get in your personal space trying to get a taste. Though the smell may not be very pleasant to humans, the smell the fruit emits when it falls from a tree in the wild attracts a wide variety of animals like Asian rhinos, monkeys, elepants, wild boar, tigers, leopards, and many more animals. 

Animals are naturally drawn to foods that will benefit them, and the intense smell may increase the animals interest. Some pups may not care at all, and may agree with your human nose that it smells odd!

whole durians stacked on each other

How Much Durian Fruit Can A Dog Eat?

When feeding anything to your dog from the table, it is important that you use caution and always serve in moderation. However, with the durian fruit this is especially true. The outer shell of the fruit, as well as the seed, are toxic to your dog’s body.

Many people have a misunderstanding that dogs are carnivores and, therefore, do not need fruits in their diet. In reality, dogs are omnivores, and need a variety of food in their diet, especially a good source of protein. This makes the durian a great food for your pup, being that it has so many health benefits in one serving.

To serve a durian to your dog, cut the fruit open and carefully remove all the seeds. A gummy flesh, most commonly yellow, will be all that’s left. Take a small amount out, a few bite sized pieces, and give it to your dog. 

When disposing of the rind and the seed trash, it is important to make sure it is in a location where the dog will not be able to reach it. The pungent smell could attract the dog’s attention to the trash where they can eat it.

What If My Dog Swallowed A Durian Seed?

The seed is the part of this fruit that should be avoided at all costs, especially by dogs. It is high in cyanide, which can cause poisoning in the dog’s body. This can even lead to death because of the high toxicity of the compound. This can happen in humans as well, from a variety of fruits containing seeds high in cyanide such as peaches and cherries.

If your dog does accidentally swallows a seed, you should go to the vet right away. Cyanide poisoning is a medical emergency for humans and dogs, and one that should be treated right away. The vet will be able to perform scans that can show how big it is and where the seed is in the body, or give treatment depending on how badly the symptoms are affecting your pup. Some animals will be able to pass the seed in their stool naturally. In more severe cases, where cyanide poisoning symptoms are occurring, or where the animal is in discomfort, the seed must be surgically removed and treatment must be administered.

There are some things you can do to attempt to push the seed out naturally.

Pumpkin puree is a good remedy for many digestive issues and can help push the seed out. Foods easy on the stomach, such as rice and peas, are also suggested. Digestive enzymes, or things high in acidity like pineapple juice, can potentially break down the seed, making it easier to pass. If the seed is stuck, and you are attempting to push it out naturally, make sure to look out for cyanide poisoning symptoms, or general signs of discomfort. It is also suggested that you do this with the supervision of a vet, given that death is common with cyanide poisoning.

close up of a durian that has been cut open

Signs of Cyanide Poisoning in Pups

 Signs of cyanide poisoning include:

  • Salivation
  • Rapid/difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Discomfort
  • Convulsions
  • Gums turning bright, cherry red

According to Ped, M.D, your dog’s gums turning red is an indication that oxygen is not being released into your pups cells, essentially suffocating them.

Can Dogs Be Allergic To Durians?

Similar to any food, it is possible for your dog to have an adverse reaction, although highly unlikely. Your dog is in more danger of swallowing seeds than having an allergic reaction to this fruit.


  • Durians are an exotic tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia
  • It is okay for dogs to eat durians in small amounts
  • It is crucial that the dogs do not consume durian seeds (these are toxic)
  • Consumption of fruit seeds could result in cyanide poisoning which is fatal to dogs

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