Can Dogs Eat Plums and Prunes?
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Dogs are omnivores, which means they can eat certain carbohydrate-rich foods like fruit. In this sense, it is safe to feed plums to dogs, but certain precautions should be taken. For example, there are parts of the plant that contain toxic substances from the group of cyanogenic glycosides, which can cause great harm to your dog in terms of cellular respiration and cause anoxia. Plum pits also contain cyanide and, since there are so small, it is easier for your dog to ingest them without you noticing.
Continue reading this AnimalWised article if you want to know if dogs can eat plums and prunes and how to give them to them safely.
Are plums and prunes safe for dogs?
Ripe plums are safe for dogs, as the pulp is usually not poisonous. Nevertheless, there are other parts of the plant, such as the roots, stem, or flowers, that contain toxins. These include:
Amygdalin, which gives a bitter taste.
Prunasin, contained in the green parts.
Cyanide, which is found mainly in the seeds of plums and can cause issues even in small quantities.
Despite the fact that dogs are omnivores, you must be careful and well-informed before serving them any new foods. You should always give your dogs the complete food designed for their species, which we can find in pet food stores.
Prunes are not toxic to our dogs, but they are poorly digestible and can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. They also contain too much sugar, which is not recommended for dogs, especially those who are overweight or prone to obesity.
Benefits of plums in dogs
Apart from these toxic compounds of plums, these fruits contain numerous health benefits for our dogs, such as:
Vitamin A: is important for the health of the eyes, mucous membranes and limbs.
Vitamin K: prevents blood clotting.
Vitamin C: serves as an antioxidant that prevents premature aging and the formation of free radicals. In addition, they strengthen the immune system.
Dietary fiber: is important for good digestion and promotes intestinal transit, which prevents constipation.
Copper: plums are rich in this mineral, which is good for the skin and bones.
Potassium: promotes good nerve, muscle, and enzyme function.
Continue reading this other article if you want to learn more about what other fruits and vegetables are good for your dog.
How to give plums to my dog?
If your dog likes the taste of plums, you can give it occasionally as a treat, but never as part of their usual diet. Depending on the dog's size and lifestyle, fruit and other treats should not exceed 10% of the dog's daily food intake. Keep in mind that certain human foods can cause adverse reactions in dogs. Therefore, always ask your veterinarian if it is safe to include these foods in your pet's diet.
It is best to give your dog plums without bones or seeds to avoid cyanogenic glycosides, which can cause oxygen deficiency in the tissues and suffocation. Also, seeds are especially risky for dogs, as the small seeds can easily get lodged in your dog's digestive tract
Also, always remove the skin and wash the fruit before peeling and cutting to avoid dirt and toxic compounds such as pesticides.
It is best to avoid giving prunes to your dog, as they contain a lot of sugar and fiber, which can be problematic for your dog's digestive system. Preparation of prunes usually involves removing plum pits. However, not all dried plum varieties are pitted. If consumed in large quantities, plum pits can cause cyanide poisoning.
Side effects of plums in dogs
As we have already highlighted, giving dogs can be dangerous because the seeds, pits, green parts and roots contain dangerous glycosides that interfere with proper cellular respiration in the dog and cause side effects in the dog's body, including:
Relaxation of sphincter
In addition, the sugars they contain, especially in dry or dehydrated plums, compromise the dog's cardiovascular health and glycemic balance, promoting:
Overweight and obesity
Metabolic diseases (diabetes or insulin resistance)
Due to their high fiber content, prunes can also have a laxative effect, causing symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.
If your dog suffers from constipation, continue reading this other article, where we explain what laxatives can be used to help with gastrointestinal passage.
Contraindications of plums for dogs
As mentioned above, feeding plums with bones, seeds, peel, or other parts of the plant to dogs is contraindicated due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides.
Consumption of this fruit should not be offered to dogs with a more sensitive gastrointestinal system or dogs suffering from a disease that causes accelerated intestinal transit or diarrhea
Neither plums nor prunes should be offered to dogs that are overweight or prone to obesity. This is due to their high sugar content and the fact that it can affect their metabolism.
Continue reading this other article if you want to know what fruits and vegetables are forbidden for dogs.
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- Escalona, C. Augusto, Y. Martínez. Veterinary toxicology. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yordan-Martinez/publication/318323199_Toxicologia_Veterinaria/links/5b19589245851587f29886ab/Toxicologia-Veterinaria.pdf