Can Dogs Eat Prunes?
I work as a senior account manager for a reputable brand activation agency. My job description asks me to handle brands and properties, and also bridge the gap between clients and the creative team.
Often, I have to tolerate rude behavior from some short-tempered clients, and I don’t blame them for they are the ones putting in money. After a strenuous and tiring day at work, the only thing that cheers me up is Nora, My dog.
Nora is an American Pitbull; I bought from a pet store in North Carolina 3 years ago. She is affectionate, sweet, and funny. No matter how stressed I am, she is the one who cracks me up, whenever I’m feeling down.
Just like all dogs, Nora has a hard time resisting food. A year ago, I realized how much she loves prunes. Seeing her craving for the dark fruit, I would toss her a prune or two quite often.
Soon, I realized she was beginning to experience an upset stomach. This got me thinking, can dogs eat prunes?
Let’s find out.
Are Prunes Safe for Dogs?
Can dog eat prunes? Are they safe to eat for dogs?
There are several conflicting views on whether human foods are suitable for dogs or not. Some people argue that most foods are safe for humans, so they must be safe for dogs as well. On the flip side, another group of people thinks that some human foods are toxic and unsuitable for dogs.
Prunes are a heated topic of debate when it comes to feeding them to dogs. They are indeed remedying for constipation in humans, so what’s wrong with feeding them to dogs? This fruit helps us ensure the regularity in bowel movement, so does it have the same effect on dogs? After all, humans and dogs are both mammals.
No matter how much you deny it, some remedies that work wonders for you might not be just as suitable for your canine buddy. Carnivores and omnivores require an entirely different set of nutrition. If you like to eat fruits, your four-legged buddy doesn’t necessarily have to like them too.
Constipation is not an uncommon health condition in dogs and can occur for several different reasons. Constipation is identified by the unusual defecation and strain a dog goes through, every time it tries to take a dump. As a result, the stool is harder and firmer than it should be under normal circumstances.
When your dog gets constipated, you try to experiment with all the concoctions you can, to relieve them of the stress they go through, when using the litter bin. Prunes are one of the remedies dog owners make use of when their dogs are constipated,
Dogs are carnivores and do not enjoy eating fruits. While some dogs ignore fruits, some of them have a go at anything that comes their way. Prunes must not be fed to dogs, for they might not benefit a dog in the same way they benefit humans.
Whether dried or fresh, prunes have in them a significant amount of fiber. Fiber is good for dogs, but too much of it has its downsides. Too much fiber is unhealthy for dogs as it leads to diarrhea and loose stools, which is a rather unpleasant experience for the dog owner. So, instead of helping them, prunes can damage their metabolism.
The pits found inside prunes contain cyanide, which is poisonous for dogs. For those of you who don’t know, a pit is a hard seed found inside prunes and dates.
Now that the question “can dogs eat prunes?” has been answered, let’s move forward.
Can I Give Prune Juice to My Dog?
Dog owners often ask, whether or not prune juice is safe for dogs. The answer is no; prune juice can be just as harmful to your dog as the fruit itself.
Despite being free of fiber, prune juice contains a lot of sugar, which has adverse effects upon a dog’s health. Whether its dried prunes, stewed prunes, or prune juice, all of them are equally detrimental to your dog’s health.
Any sane dog owner in his right senses would refrain from feeding such a thing to their dog, which can jeopardize its health.
Dog owners usually feed prunes to their dogs, for they feel that doing so, will relive their dog of chronic constipation. As a responsible dog owner, you must keep an eye upon the symptoms of chronic constipation.
If the signs are detected, you must book an appointment with the vet immediately. To keep your dog hydrated, don’t forget to give it lots of clean drinking water and canned food. Doing so, you will restore the water level in your dog’s system.
As a result, the chances of constipation will reduce, and you won’t have to experiment with things like prunes.
Are Prunes Good or Bad for Dogs?
Despite having some unfavorable features, prunes aren’t completely bad for dogs. If you want to feed prunes to your dog, make sure they are fresh, and the pit is removed.
As discussed in the previous paragraphs, pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous for dogs. Also, refrain from giving prune juice to your dog, for the sugar in it is dangerous for dogs.
Before feeding prunes to your dog, seek advice from your vet as to how much prunes must be fed to your dog.
Also, notice your dog’s reaction the first time it eats prunes. If the response is right might as well add a small number of prunes to your dog’s diet.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of prunes for dogs.
Prunes contain just a little over 69% potassium, which is beneficial to a dog’s nervous system and muscles.
The macro minerals found in prunes strengthens your dog’s muscles, helps them retain strength, and also protects them from nervous disorders.
A small quantity of prunes helps a dog fight indigestion and similar stomach disorders.
If fed in moderation, the fiber in prunes helps your dog in healthy colon retention.
The iron found in prunes helps your dog battle anemia.
The iron in prunes also contributes to the formation of red blood cells.
Now that we have discussed the benefits let’s take a look at some of the downsides of feeding prunes to your dog.
If consumed excessively, the insoluble fiber in prunes can result in diarrhea. Prunes are natural laxatives, which can give your dog loose stools. An unhealthy bowel activity in dogs is an unpleasant and messy experience for a dog owner more than it is to the dog itself.
The high sugar content in prunes makes your dog gain a lot of weight, thus making it obese and lazy. An over-weight dog is slow and less playful. Also, it increases the level of blood sugar in dogs, which isn’t a healthy thing to have.
Prunes can give a dog bloating and gassiness, which, although it cannot be seen through the eyes, can surely be smelt through the nose.
Another side effect of feeding too many prunes to your dog is a laxative dependency. If fed too many prunes for a long time, a dog becomes laxative dependent and has a hard time passing stools, until some form of laxative enters its system.
Despite benefitting your dog’s health in so many ways, the high iron content in prunes makes your dog have dark-colored stools. Therefore, it is essential to observe moderation when feeding prunes to your canine.
What Are the Nutrients Found in Prunes?
Let’s discuss in detail the nutrients found in prunes and how exactly are they beneficial or detrimental to dogs.
As discussed in the previous paragraphs, prunes are a rich source of iron. Iron helps make up for blood deficiency, which allows your dog to fight anemia. Iron also contributes to the formation of red blood cells in dogs.
However, feeding too much of prunes can mess up its stomach badly. As a result, your dog gets dark-colored stools, which are harder and much smellier than normal stools.
Therefore it is better to feed prunes to your dogs in moderation, and not as a substitute for dog food.
Another critical nutrient found in prunes is fiber. Prunes contain nearly 1 gram of fiber.
Fiber allows your dog to have healthy digestion and metabolism. Also, it enables your dog to battle constipation and have a healthy bowel movement.
However, just like anything else, excessively feeding prunes to your dog can allow the insoluble fibers to mess up your dog’s stomach.
Consequently, your dog starts to experience loose stools and diarrhea, which is messy and unpleasant to get rid of.
As discussed earlier, prunes are a rich source of sugar, containing 11 grams of it per ounce. If fed in moderation, the sugar found in prunes allows your dog to stay healthy and energetic.
An energetic dog is lively and playful, and those are two most sought after characteristics in pet dogs. On the flip side, too many prunes can increase the level of blood sugar in a dog’s system.
As a result, your dog becomes obese and lazy, and also loses its playfulness.
Prunes contain nearly 2% (RDI) of copper. Copper contributes to the production of melanin, which allows your dog to have the right color of fur. Also, copper contributes to the formation of bones collagens and connective tissues.
Copper also facilitates the absorption of calcium and iron. It also helps your dog fight aging, and appear young and fresh for an extended period. Just like iron, copper also plays a crucial role in the formation of red blood cells.
Prunes contain nearly 3% (RDI) of magnesium. Magnesium strengthens a dog’s muscles, which add to its energy and playfulness. Also, the right combination of magnesium and calcium gives your dogs healthier and stronger bones.
Interestingly, magnesium has a calming effect on dogs when they feel jittery and restless. It also provides dogs with mental and emotional stability.
Magnesium improves the health of a dog’s organs and facilitates several body functions. It also contributes to muscle relaxation, contraction, and regeneration.
How Many Prunes Are Safe for Dogs If Eaten Regularly?
Dogs are born carnivores; which is why their teeth and digestive systems are not built in a way that is conducive for fruits and vegetables.
As far as prunes are concerned, just like any other vegetable, feeding too many prunes to your dog can have its downsides. However, there is a variety of nutrients in prunes that are safe for your dog, but if eaten, excessively can make their health suffer.
For example, prunes are rich in fiber, but if taken excessively can give your dog loose stools and diarrhea. Similarly, the iron content in prunes, if taken moderately, contributes to the formation of red blood cells and helps fight anemia. However, excessive iron intake can make your dog have darker and harder stools, which are smelly and unpleasant.
Sugar is another vital nutrient contained in prunes. Sugar gives your dog a boost of energy and adds to its playfulness. However, too much sugar makes a dog obese and lazy, thus depriving it of its energy and playfulness. Also, the pit found inside prunes contains cyanide, which acts as a slow poison for dogs and other living beings.
If your dog has a taste for prunes, you shouldn’t deny them a prune either. Only make sure they are eating the right amount of prunes at the right time.
Before feeding them prunes, make sure to remove the pit, because of its poisonous properties. Instead of giving them raw prunes, try to incorporate small amounts of it in their daily meal.
If they respond well, you can give them some of this dark sweet fruit once in a while, but not frequently. Feeding small portions of prunes to your dog, once a week is more than enough
What Are Some Alternative Treats to Prunes for Dogs?
Often, we are tempted to treat our good boy, every time they exhibit some positive behavior. The next time it happens, try to substitute the traditional dog treats or prunes with some fresh fruits or pieces of vegetables.
Watermelon is an excellent treat for dogs because it contains 100 percent water. Therefore, there is no harm in feeding some of that to your fuzzy pet.
Oranges, if fed in moderation, can serve as a healthy dog treat. The reason why oranges need to be fed in moderation is that the citric acid found in them can harm your dog’s stomach.
Here are some fruits and vegetables which can serve as dog treats.
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
Signs Your Dog Likes Prunes
While some dogs would go crazy at a mere glance, some might not be as tempted to try prunes. Here are a few signs your dog enjoys eating prunes.
You find them snooping around the dining table or the kitchen area if they see or smell prunes.
If they get a hold of some prunes, they will eat if quickly and impatiently.
A mere glance at it makes their ears rise.
They lick their lips, pant, and also drool.
Signs Your Dog Dislikes Prunes
Here are a few signs your dog doesn’t enjoy prunes as much as it enjoys other things.
No matter how hard you try to feed it to them, they won’t eat it.
Only a small amount of prunes gets your dog sick.
They chew extremely slowly if they are forced into eating prunes.
They drop more than they eat.
My Dog Just Ate Some Prunes, What Do I Do Now?
First of all, it is vital to keep prunes and similar fruits away from a dog’s reach. If you have caught your canine munching on prunes, you need to calm down.
If your dog hasn’t eaten a more considerable amount, there is nothing to worry about.
However, if your dog has eaten too many prunes along with the pits, its chances of getting sick are somewhat increased. It might result in diarrhea, gassiness, loose or dark-colored stools, or bloating.
When that happens, the best thing you can do is take your dog to the vet right away. After the medication is administered, try to make your dog lie down and relax as much as possible.
By now, you must have received the answer to the question, “can dogs eat prunes?” Prunes aren’t completely good or bad for dogs. They have their health benefits and at the same time, some downsides.
Therefore, please mix them up within your dog’s everyday meal and keep it moderate. A small number of prunes now and then is fine, but if made a habit can make your dog experience the health conditions which are mentioned earlier in this article.
Paul Cook is an avid pet and animal enthusiast. He spent much of her childhood on a small farm in rural Iowa. When in high school, Paul nursed an entire box of newborn, and recently dumped, kittens back to health, and successfully found homes for all of them. He’s presently the dog-dad of nine beautiful dogs, Bruno, Lester, Sandy, Bailey, Dio, Pat, Max, Brutus, and Nora. In his career life, Paul has 20+ years of writing experience as a content writer and content collaborator across a host of verticals. When he is not writing, he is spending time with his dogs.