Can Dogs Eat Prunes (Or Have Prune Juice)?
Maybe, in small quantities but it's not recommendable. Prunes (dried plums) may not affect your dog if consumed in tiny quantities. However, the high fiber and sugar content present in prunes pose serious risks to dogs. Plant foods aren't highly recommendable to dogs. A dog's digestive system isn't designed for a plant diet.
You shouldn't feel tempted to share your prunes with your dog. There are many negative side effects of prunes that will be discussed below.
Let’s first cover the nutritional benefits of prunes.
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Health Benefits Of Prunes
Prunes may contain nutrients beneficial to dogs. However, that shouldn't be translated to mean you should give your dog prunes. Let's focus on the benefits of individual nutrients found in prunes
1. Potassium Benefits
Prunes are rich in potassium. Dogs need potassium for numerous functions ranging from controlling nerve impulses and brain function to health benefits like improved heart function and muscle activity.
Potassium is a critical electrolyte to both humans and dogs. In dogs, potassium deficiency can cause hypokalemia, a condition known to cause kidney disease, vomiting, muscle paralysis, lethargy, weight loss, and many other severe side effects.
2. Digestive System Benefits
Prunes contain fiber which is good for digestion and other related stomach disorders. However, too much fiber isn't good for dogs.
3. Iron Benefits
Prunes are rich in iron, which is great for preventing anemia in dogs.
4. Vitamin A Benefits
Prunes also contain vitamin A known to boost muscle health, nerve health, coating, and eye health in dogs
5. Phytochemical Benefits
Prunes are also packed with phytochemicals known to have immune system health benefits. Phytochemicals can keep your dog safe from cancer and many other diseases.
Important: The nutrients found in prunes are present in larger quantities in plant foods that are recommendable to dogs. We don't recommend prunes to dogs!
Health Risks Posed By Prune To Dogs
1. Fiber Risks
While some fiber is good for your canine friend, too much fiber isn’t good for dogs.
According to the AKC, too much fiber can cause diarrhea and gas problems in dogs. This side effect is common when fiber is introduced suddenly in large quantities in a dog’s diet. To avoid these side effects, you should introduce fiber to your dog’s diet in very small doses.
Besides introducing digestive system risks, too much fiber can affect the absorption and utilization of minerals in your dog's diet resulting in other side effects like weight loss, vomiting, flatulence, and diarrhea.
We don't recommend that you feed prunes to your dog. However, there are fewer health risks for dogs that have eaten a few pieces on their own (one or two). Anything more than that can introduce serious risks associated with too much fiber in dogs.
2. Sugar Risks
Prunes are packed with sugar, which can do more harm than good. While sugar can boost your dog's energy levels, it can also cause weight problems. Excess sugar can make your dog overweight and increase diabetes risk. It can also cause cavities. A pitted prune has approximately 4 grams of sugar.
3. Cyanide Poisoning
The pit, stem, and leaves of plumes contain a natural toxin known as cyanogenic glycoside. While the presence of this toxin isn’t dangerous, the toxin can degenerate into a toxic dose of hydrogen cyanide when prune pits, stems and leaves are chewed in large quantities.
Cyanide poisoning in dogs can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, unexplained aggression, dehydration, unrestrained salivation, seizures, and death in extreme cases. You must get rid of the pit, leaves, and stems of prunes to avoid cyanide poisoning just in case your dog feasts on prunes in your absence.
4. Intestinal Obstruction
Besides introducing cyanide risks, prune pits can cause intestinal blockage in dogs. If your dog swallows prune pits, visit a vet immediately if they don’t vomit or poop the pits.
Can Dogs Eat Prunes Safely?
It's not advisable to give your dog prunes. However, if your dog eats one or two by mistake, there should be no cause for concern. If they feast on more, visit a vet.
Prunes pose serious safety risks to dogs ranging from choking and digestive system problems to cyanide poisoning.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Too Many Prunes?
If your dog suffers any of the side effects discussed above after feasting on a lot of prunes, visit a vet immediately.
Prunes can cause minor to severe side effects in dogs depending on the consumed quantity. If your dog doesn’t poop or vomit the prunes, call or visit your vet immediately.
Can Dogs Drink Prune Juice?
Since prunes come with some notable health risks to dogs, is prune juice better?
No. Your dog can enjoy good health simply by eating healthy dog food and water. Any other liquids, including fruit juices, can come with some health risks. For instance, too much sugar in fruit juices can cause an increase in obesity and diabetes risks.
Instead of giving your dog prunes or prune juice, there are some alternative dog treats you can consider that are better and safe for dogs. Some fresh fruits or pieces of vegetables come highly recommended, although you must observe unique precautions depending on the vegetables or fruits in question.
Watermelon is a great dog treat to consider given its high water content coupled with natural sugars. Oranges are also great given their high Vitamin C content. However, you must be cautious because too much citric acid can cause stomach problems in dogs.
There are great alternative dog treats to consider from apples to bananas; however, consider the fact that there is a good and bad way to feed your dog each of these foods.
Can They Eat Prune Pits?
Prunes that retain their stones (pits) are more dangerous to dogs than pitted prunes. This is because the stone of the plum fruit is hard, sharp, and undigestible.
It also contains cyanide a toxic compound with no nutritional value which can cause severe health problems when consumed in large doses over time or in one sitting as it does not break down easily within an animal’s stomach lining.
While there may be enough poison on each individual pit for serious harm if ingested all at once - several pits add up quickly and create significant risks given how easy they are to eat off trees where many people let them fall unharvested.
Prune pits can cause a number of unpleasant side effects in your dog. The rough texture scratches and damages the lining of their guts, causing diarrhea, discomfort, bleeding from the mouth or rectum, as well as potentially fatal blockages if left untreated.
Dogs who eat prunes with the pits still inside may need emergency vet care. For further advice we recommend contacting your nearest open veterinarian.
It is important to know how many of these fruit your dog has eaten, as well as their size and weight in order for a veterinarian to give you advice on what should be done next.
Summary: Can Dogs Eat Prunes?
Prunes are not toxic like certain nuts and chocolate however we do not recommend any dog owners give their dog prunes. There are better occasional dog treats to consider that pose very little to no harm to your dog.
Given the risk and reward nature of plant-based foods, you should ask yourself what you plan to achieve by feeding your dog specific plant foods.
Prune pits can cause cyanide poisoning and intestinal obstruction in dogs. The nutrients present in prunes can also be gotten from healthy dog food and alternative plant foods. Unlike humans, dogs don’t stand to gain from prunes.
The information on this page is not a substitute for veterinary help. Please contact a vet for help with any concerns that you have.
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