Plums are delicious, healthy and a fruit many of us enjoy in.
Rich in vitamin C, iron and antioxidants – just to mention a few of the benefits plums have to offer.
However, not everything that’s beneficial to us is beneficial to dogs. What about plums? Are they safe for dogs to eat?
Dogs love to eat and try new things. Especially if they see us, their dog owners, eating something that seems interesting. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to know what’s safe to share with our pets, so we don’t end up giving them something that’s bad for them.
Can I Give My Dog Plums?
Both yes and no! Yes, the plum itself is safe to eat and is even healthy. No, the plum pit is definitely off-limits, as are pits of other fruit, such as apples. Pits are in fact very dangerous to dogs and even toxic. But more about that later in the text!
However, if you make sure to remove the pit, the plum can be beneficial to your dog as it’s rich in vitamin C, iron and antioxidants. As other antioxidant fruits, it reduces the risk of diseases such as cancer. So, this could be a good occasional treat IF you take all the precautions necessary.
We’ll explore this matter in depth as we continue. But before you continue reading, check out this video where the danger of dogs eating pits and seed is explained.
Are Plums Dangerous To Dogs?
As mentioned, the plum itself isn’t dangerous to dogs, but the pit and the plant are. The plum pit contains cyanide, a compound toxic to dogs. Even though it would take a lot of crushed pits for the cyanide to actually “kick in”, you shouldn’t risk it.
Another problem that could come from eating the whole plum, with the pit, is that it could become a possible choking hazard. The pit can be sharp and cause damage to the esophagus, stomach and intestines. On top of that, it could cause an intestinal blockage. These are all reasons why you shouldn’t let your dog have access to plums, without controlling which part he or she should eat.
What Can Happen If A Dog Swallows The Pit?
The problem with plums is that they’re rather accessible to your dog. Plum trees are frequent and, depending on the season, a lot of plums may be on the ground – making it easy for dogs to consume them. If you have plum trees in your garden, putting a fence around them could be a good idea.
However, if your dog were to swallow an entire plum, with the pit and the plant, you should watch out for cyanide poisoning and intestinal obstruction. Even though it’s highly unlikable that the cyanide poisoning will occur from small amounts, there’s no harm in knowing the symptoms of this kind of toxicity. They include the following:
- Muscle tremors or seizures
- Difficulty walking and standing
- Death, in the worst case scenario
While this is unlikely to happen, the risk of intestinal obstruction is much bigger. If the swallowed pit is too big for the dog’s intestines, it will get lodged there and prevent food from passing. If not removed surgically, this can be fatal. Signs to look out for are the following:
- Dog refusing to eat
- Diarrhea progressing to no bowel movements
- Vomiting after eating and drinking
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Pale gums
What Do I Do If My Dog Eats A Plum?
By this, we obviously mean eating a plum with its pit and plant. If you think, or know, that your dog has swallowed a pit don’t panic and take your dog to the vet. Don’t induce vomiting on your own, as the pit could obstruct the airway when it comes back up. This is something your vet should take care of and determine if induced vomiting is appropriate or not. Besides inducing vomiting, your vet will determine the right way to handle this situation and help you and your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Prunes?
Prunes are dried plums, and as such we wanted to answer this question while we’re on this topic. For us people, prunes have the reputation of being good in keeping bowel movements regular. But is it the same for dogs?
No, prunes are not recommended for dogs. That doesn’t mean that one or two prunes are dangerous for dogs, but it simply means that prunes don’t have that much to offer to dogs. As you know, prunes don’t “occur” naturally and dogs don’t exactly have the need for prunes.
They don’t keep their bowel movement in check – on the contrary. Eating prunes could lead to constipation in one moment, diarrhea in the next one. The same goes for prune juice. Stick to water, which is always a good solution for keeping the bowel movement regular.
Plums, as you can see, are not dangerous per se and can even be beneficial and delicious to dogs. Being rich in vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants they can be a perfect occasional treat, if your dog likes them.
However, the pit and the plant are dangerous, and even toxic, to dogs. On top of that, the pit is a potential choking hazard and can lead to intestinal obstruction or cause internal damage. This is why you have to remove these “risky parts” if you want to serve plums to your dog.
The bottom line is – plums are fine for dogs to eat as long as you’re controlling which parts of the fruit he or she’s having.