Can your dog eat prunes?

Did your dog recently get hold of some prunes? Are you unsure whether it is healthy for them or do you need to rush to a vet?

Were you eating prunes and had the urge to throw one at your dog who’s eyeing you eagerly, but are unsure whether it’s safe or not?

If these questions have crossed your mind, then you are at the right place.

Prunes are categorized as a healthy diet for humans, they’re supposed to help with constipation and reduce the effects of osteoporosis, as well as being high in vitamins and minerals. However, the case is not the same for dogs. Read more to find out, can your dog eat prunes?

And what to do if it has already consumed a particular amount of prunes or you wish you to be notified for any such future occurrence.

What are prunes?

Prunes collection

Prunes are dried plums. They are categorized as a very healthy diet for humans. They often come packaged in can or tins and sometimes also in plastic bags.

Prunes are usually kept without the pit or stones, though you can find the ones with stones too, called ‘pitted-prunes’. Some plums are grown especially for turning into prunes as the stone is particularly easy to remove.

Prunes are very rich in their minerals and vitamins composition, with a high content of sugar, fibers, potassium and Vitamin K.

Is it okay for dogs to eat prunes?

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Most people carry the thinking that food that is safe for humans to eat must be safe for dogs too, after all, humans and dogs are both mammals.

This condition, in many cases, is true. On the flip side, however, it is also believed that not all food suitable for humans is categorized similarly for dogs.

This can be very confusing and misleading. So the question must arise in your mind, can you dog eat prunes?

No, purposefully feeding your dog prunes is not a wise choice.

Even though prunes are not as toxic and grapes or raisins, due to their high fiber content, they can be difficult to digest in dogs, causing digestive problems.

Where sometimes prunes are used to heal digestive problems, eating a large amount of prunes means taking in a lot of fiber which can cause problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain, and inappetence.

Prunes have a high amount of sugar as compared to other fruits. They are essentially dry plums and so sugar is stored in large amounts.

As known by many, high sugar content is harmful for dogs, readily making prunes a no-no diet for dogs.

The real danger is cyanide which can come from the pits of prunes. Even though the pits are sometimes removed before dehydration, prunes should be avoided altogether. Other dog-toxic fruits containing cyanide are cherries.

Can I give prune juice to my dog?

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Some dog owners often inquire if prune juice is harmful for the dogs that like prunes? The answer is yes, prune juice is as inadequate for the dogs as the fruit itself.

Even though prune juice has no fiber, it is still rich in its sugar content which itself is very harmful for your dog’s health. Whether it is dried prunes, stewed prunes or prune juice, no matter what the form, are equally damaging to your dog’s health.

Wise thinking would refrain any dog owner from feeding their dog prunes. Some people give their dogs prunes in hopes of relieving them from chronic constipation. Keeping a strict eye on the symptoms of chronic pains in dogs, if any signs are detected, it is time for you to book your next trip to the vet.

For instant measures keep your dog hydrated, make sure to give it a lot of clean water and canned food. It will help restore the water levels in your dog reducing the chances of constipation. Also try serving cooked, mashed pumpkin instead to treat your dog’s constipation so you won’t have to try risky things like feeding pruned to your dogs.

Are prunes toxic for dogs? And other FAQs

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Despite having some unpleasant features, prunes aren’t completely bad for dogs. It’s the pits, leaves, and stems that contain trace amounts of cyanide, and can be life-threatening if your dog eats them. If you want to feed your dog prunes, make sure the pit is removed and they are fresh.

Make sure to receive professional advice from your vet on the adequate amount of prunes that your dog can intake. After feeding prunes, if your dog’s reaction is positive, adding a few prunes to his diet won’t be a problem.

Prunes have both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at both the benefits and downside of feeding this fruit to your dog.

Advantages:

  • Prunes are rich in vitamins and minerals, and where they benefit humans largely, dogs enjoy a number of those advantages too. Prunes contain over 68% of potassium, which is beneficial to a dog’s nervous system and muscles.
  • The macro minerals found in prunes help strengthen your dog’s muscles, increases their strength and prevents them from going through nervous disorders.
  • Prunes have a good amount of fibers so feeding dogs a small amount helps fighting indigestion and similar stomach illnesses and helps in healthy colon retention.
  • The iron found in prunes helps your dog fight anemia and contributes to the formation of red blood cells.

Disadvantage

Where there are advantages to feeding prunes, they are dominated by the disadvantages that makes it preferable to refrain from feeding prunes to your dogs.

  • Prunes have a high amount of insoluble fibers, which if consumed excessively can result in diarrhea.
  • Prunes are natural laxatives that can give your dog loose stools, which is undoubtedly an unpleasant sight for dog owners.
  • The high amount of sugar in prunes is unhealthy for dogs. It makes them gain a lot of weight, thus making it obese and lazy. An overweight dog is also less playful. High sugar levels are very unhealthy for dogs.
  • Prunes can give dogs bloating or gassiness which won’t be a pleasant experience for your nose.
  • Laxative dependency is another side-effect of prunes. If fed prunes for a long time, your dog becomes laxative dependent and has a hard time passing stools until some of the laxative enters its system.
  • The high iron content makes your dog pass dark-colored stools. Hence it is important to be careful in moderation regarding the amount of prunes you are feeding the canine.

How many prunes are safe for dogs if eaten regularly?

Dogs are born carnivores, hence their teeth and digestive system are structured in a way that is not as conductive to fruits and vegetables. Just like any other vegetable, feeding your dog prunes can have its downsides. Even though there are a lot of healthy nutrients in prunes, feeding excessively can cause health issues.

If your dog develops a liking from prunes, make sure to remove the pit because of its poisonous properties. Instead of giving them the raw fruit, incorporating small amounts in your dog’s daily diet is a better approach.

Even if the response is positive, moderation should be practiced. Prunes shouldn’t be fed frequently, however giving your dog prunes once in a week will be enough.

What are some alternative treats to prunes for dogs?

Has your dog been at its best behavior recently? It definitely deserves a treat. Try to substitute traditional dog snacks or prunes with some fresh pieces of fruits or vegetables.

An excellent example is watermelon. As it is a hundred percent water, it is not harmful if you feed it to your furry buddy. Oranges, if served in moderation, prove to be a good dog treat. The amount of oranges fed should be kept moderate as it has citric acid that can harm your dog’s stomach.

Some fruits and vegetables that can serve as dog treats are:

Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, pineapples, strawberries, pear, blueberries, etc.

What to do if your dog has eaten prunes?

If your dog has eaten prunes in a considerable amount, there is nothing to worry about. However, if your dog has eaten a lot of prunes along with the pits, you should look for the following symptoms it may be experiencing; diarrhea, vomiting, cramping, bloating and loss of appetite.

You should contact your nearest vet for advice. They will need to know the amount of pits your dog has eaten as well as the size of your dog to recommend the appropriate treatment.

Final thoughts

Prunes may have many advantages for your dog but they are still a risky diet to be fed on a daily basis. If your dog has eaten a moderate amount of prunes, there’s nothing to worry but if any mishaps occur, visit the vet as soon as possible. They will give the appropriate treatment and will further guide you to prevent any misfortunes in the future