Prunes, or dried plums, are considered healthy food. Even doctors state that prunes help with constipation and reduce the effects of osteoporosis. Besides this, they are high in vitamins and minerals! But given that they are so healthy for us, are they healthy for dogs too? The question is, can dogs eat prunes, are they safe?
Dogs want to eat whatever we’re having, no matter if its fruit, chips, vegetables. Seems like our canine friends would like to try every human food.
With some foods, for example, apples, we can let that happen. Apples are a safe option and can be a great treat. But let’s take a look at whether or not we can share prunes with our dogs.
Can dogs eat prunes?
There is no short answer to this question. generally speaking, it’s not recommended that you let your dog eat prunes. However, one prune won’t harm your dog either.
The reason for this is that prunes are very high in sugar and fiber. Neither are toxic, but given how much fiber and sugar prunes contain, they could lead to severe health problems.
Prunes can cause stomach upset in dogs, including vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain, and inappetence.
Another danger is the cyanide that can be found in the pits of prunes. While sugar and fiber aren’t toxic, cyanide definitely is.
Side effects of eating prunes
If one or two prunes are okay for dogs to eat (but not recommended), what can happen if your dog eats too many prunes?
We’ve already mentioned these symptoms, but it won’t hurt to repeat them one more time.
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The symptoms your dog might experience if they eat too many prunes are:
- Loss of appetite
Generally speaking, neither of these symptoms is that serious and they should go away after a few days. However, you should still call your veterinarian to let them know what happened. Your vet might also give you some advice on how to care for your dog.
Can dogs eat plums?
While we’re talking about dried plums, let’s also answer can dogs eat plums? Unline prunes, your dog can eat plums. But, you need to know how to prepare plums for your dog.
Firstly, you have to thoroughly wash the plums. Make sure you’re removing all the dirt, bacteria, and chemicals.
Secondly, cut the plum and remove the pit. The pit of plum is dangerous for many reasons. It’s a choking hazard. Meaning it can get stuck in your dog’s throat and they could choke on it.
Another reason why plum pits aren’t safe is that they contain amygdalin. When ingested this substance breaks down into hydrogen cyanide. And, as you probably already know, cyanide is toxic. But it’s not only the pit that contains this substance. The foliage, roots, stems aren’t safe either.
Thirdly, cut the plum into slices or small pieces. Half a plum can be a choking hazard too, not just the pit.
If you want to learn more about plums and how safe they are for dogs you can check out our article “Can dogs eat plums? The answer isn’t that simple.”
Treating constipation in dogs
The most probable reason why you might want to give your dog prunes is probably in order to treat constipation. Prunes are a great remedy for constipation but in humans, not dogs!
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Please, never give your dog prunes in hopes to solve their constipation problem.
There are so many better, and still, natural ways to treat constipation in dogs. For example, stead of giving your dog prunes, your can give your pooch some pumpkin puree!
Besides this, pumpkin puree contains a lot less sugar and will help with your dog’s constipation!
How to make pumpkin puree
Pumpkin puree is not only great to treat constipation, it’s also super easy to make!
What you’ll need:
2 whole small pumpkins
1 baking sheet
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First, wash the pumpkin and cut it in half and remove the seeds. Then, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While your oven is heating up, cut the pumpkin in bigger pieces. Place the pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes. Basically, the pumpkin pieces should be nice and light golden brown when done.
When done, peel the skin from the pumpkin and cut it into smaller pieces. The pumpkin will be soft, so it shouldn’t be a problem to mash it.
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You can use a food processor, a blender, or you can simply mash it up with a potato masher, or move it through a potato ricer, or process it through a food mill. If the consisteny of the pumpkin puree is too thick, you can add a little bit of water to it too.
You can use the puree immediately (not only for your dog!). You can also store the puree in the fridge for up to one week, or you could freeze it for up to 3 months for some later use.
Prunes are definitely not safe for dogs. Even if your intention is to help your dog with constipation, you shouldn’t let them eat prunes. There are much better ways to help your dog do its business.
Your dog can even enjoy plums, but just don’t let them eat prunes or dried fruit in general. It’s not safe.