Can dogs eat plums? The answer is yes and no. Plums are loaded with fiber which is beneficial for your dog’s digestive system and blood sugar levels. However, there are dangers that largely lie on the fruit’s pits. They are choking hazards and are also toxic to dogs.
Thus, plums should be carefully prepared to keep dogs safe from these risks. Know how to safely feed your dog plums as you read on.
5 Nutritional Benefits of Plums to Dogs
Are plums good for dogs? Yes, they are. If you’re wondering what makes plums great treats for dogs, here are the five health perks that pooches can reap from these juicy fruits.
- Plums promote good digestion.
Plums are full of soluble and insoluble fiber. These are essential to your dog’s digestive system as they support good gut health. Moreover, they aid in preventing various digestive problems and diseases. These include constipation and colon cancer.
- Plums lower cholesterol.
Soluble fiber does not only promote a well-functioning gastrointestinal tract. It is also helpful in reducing the creation of enzymatic acids, which are involved in cholesterol production in the liver, thereby lowering cholesterol levels.
- Plums support proper bone growth.
Plums contain calcium, which is vital in improving your dog’s bone growth and development. It also prevents bone problems in canines, such as arthritis. Calcium also plays a big role in keeping teeth and gum diseases at bay.
- Plums aid in weight loss.
The fiber in plums helps in normalizing blood sugar levels. It is done by slowing down the absorption of glucose in your dog’s body. Since plums are rich in fiber, they give your dog a feeling of fullness, leading him to consume lesser food.
- Plums strengthen the immune system.
Plums are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that encourages lymphocytes’ production in the blood. Lymphocytes are white blood cells that are responsible for immune system function. Vitamin C is also vital in protecting your dog from various diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.
Warning: Don’t Thoughtlessly Share Plums With Your Dog
Unlike cats, dogs can taste sweetness just like us. There’s no wonder Fido loves munching on a ripe plum. Its sweet taste is enough to excite his taste buds.
However, dog owners, beware, as there are several health dangers plums may pose if they aren’t served to dogs the correct way. Here are the most common problems with this tasty fruit:
Full of Sugar
Plum is considered a low-calorie treat for dogs. However, this advantage will be undermined if you feed it to your pooch excessively. That’s because plum is packed with sugar, especially the very ripe ones.
Allowing your dog to eat too much plum can lead to weight gain. It can also cause other long-term effects such as teeth decay and diabetes.
Whilst reading this, you may be asking yourself: ‘Can dogs have dried plums then? What about canned plums?‘ Dogs can eat these foods, but it is not recommended. Dried and canned plums contain higher concentrations of sugar. Thus, it is not a suitable dog treat for your pooch.
Can dogs eat plums? Yes, so long as the plum pits are removed. Plum pits have a hard exterior, which is difficult to chew.
If your dog accidentally swallows it, he is at risk of choking. The sharp-pointed ends of the pits can scratch and damage his mouth, esophagus, and stomach. Without medical care, this situation can become life-threatening to your pet.
The hard plum pit is extremely indigestible. Even if your dog manages to swallow it without choking, he is still at risk of impaction. This means it becomes lodged in his digestive tract, blocking the transportation of waste.
As a result, it causes waste build-up and leads your dog to suffer from stomach pain, vomiting, dehydration, and bloat. Intestinal blockage requires immediate medical attention, or else; it can lead to fatal consequences.
May Cause Plum Poisoning
Whilst the answer for “can dogs eat plums” is yes, know that this fruit is not entirely free from toxins. Although the plum’s flesh is free from toxic substances, its pit contains cyanide toxic to dogs. If the pit is crushed, the chemical will be released and may cause plum poisoning.
This condition will disrupt the transportation of oxygen to the blood cells. Lack of appropriate treatment can result in blood cell damage, respiratory collapse, and death.
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from plum poisoning, watch out for the following symptoms:
Plum poisoning symptoms
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Redness of mouth, gums, and tongue
- Heavy panting
If your dog shows any of these signs, take him to the vet right away. Diagnosing plum poisoning will require your pet to undergo several laboratory tests. These include blood urea nitrogen, packed cell volume, and complete blood count.
Treatment for plum poisoning involves detoxification. This will be done by administering medication in your dog’s intravenous fluids.
Once the plum poisoning is under control, the vet will closely monitor him for around 24 hours. They will check his fluids, oxygen, and other aftercare needed for your dog’s quick recovery.
Can dogs eat plums’ roots, leaves, and stems?
No, dog owners must know the fruit’s leaves, roots, and stems all contain cyanide that can cause plum poisoning. So, if you have a plum tree in your garden, it should be fenced to keep your dog away from it.
Be sure to pick up fallen plums and supervise your dog when he is frolicking in the garden too.
Some may wonder if the effects of plum poisoning are the same as grapes and raisins. No, as each of them has different side effects on dogs. Grapes and raisins cause stomach upset and kidney failure if ingested even in small amounts.
Meanwhile, large amounts of the fruit’s pits need to be ingested to induce plum poisoning.
How Do You Make Plum Safe for Dogs?
- Choose organic plums
Organic plums have low exposure to chemicals. Always wash the fruits thoroughly when preparing them for your dog.
- Remove the pit when preparing the fruit.
Make it a habit to remove the pit when preparing the fruit. Doing so will make the fruit safe for dogs to eat.
- Be sure to cut up the pitted fruit into small pieces.
Never feed whole plums to your dog, or he may end up choking. You can also turn it into a puree and spread it on his dog food to make it easier for him to eat it.
How often can dogs have plums, and how much can they have?
Can dogs eat plums even if it’s high in sugar content? Yes, but it should be given sparsely and in small amounts. Hence, serving a maximum of half a plum twice a week should be okay.
If your dog consumes large amounts of plum, he will likely develop several health issues. If you have a diabetic dog, do not give him plums without the vet’s permission.
Keep in mind that our canine companions have a sensitive digestive system. Sudden additions to their food may cause them to have gastric problems. They may cause vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and gas.
Therefore, if it’s your furry friend’s first time to eat a plum, only offer it in small quantities. A slice or two will do. Doing so will keep him from experiencing digestive upset.
Is Plum a Safe Treat for All Dogs?
What is the bottom line to the question: Can dogs eat plums? Each of our canine companions has different nutritional needs. Plum may be a good treat for some pooches, but not for others.