Can Dogs Eat Prunes – Yay or Nay?

The short answer to the question, “Can dogs eat prunes?” is no. Prunes can be used occasionally if you or a family member becomes constipated because the high fiber content can help keep bowel movements regular, but they are not recommended for dogs.

Prunes are not naturally found in the wild so they shouldn’t be in your dog’s diet, like most of the processed foods that we consume. Although prunes are relatively healthy for humans to eat and are known for giving us energy, they can be toxic to dogs are high in fructose, which is also not good for dogs. A little bit probably won’t harm a dog but too much could give dogs diarrhea or worse.

Typically, these problems solve themselves after a while, so owners should start by keeping their dog hydrated and see if they are back to normal in a day or so. Owners have to be careful when giving constipation remedies to their dogs because it could be other things, like empty bowels after having diarrhea or a health issue.

Bowl of freshly picked prunes

What About Plums?

Prunes’ fresh counterpart, plums, are more acceptable for dogs to eat but with a strong precaution. Fresh fruit is safer for dogs than processed food and will be easier on your dog’s digestion than dried prunes.

The thing that owners should be cautious about if they choose to feed their dog plums as an occasional snack to help keep them regular is that pit is highly toxic to dogs and can pose a choking hazard. The pit should absolutely be removed if you are going to feed a plum to your dog.

The reason that the plum’s pit, stem, and leaves are toxic to dogs is because they contain cyanide. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning in dogs vary depending on how much they eat. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive salivation
  • Aggression
  • Bloody stools
  • Bodily spasms
  • Generalized weakness
  • Seizures
  • Incontinence
  • Death

Keep in mind that when feeding dogs and type of raw food like fruits and vegetables, moderation is best. Since high quality dog food is made to give dogs complete nutrition giving them too much of anything, like this high fiber fruit, can throw off their nutrition easily.

If you choose to give your dog plums be responsible and make sure you only give your dog the fruit. Don’t do so more than every once in a while and make sure you are giving an amount that is appropriate to your dog’s size. For example, you probably shouldn’t give a whole pitted plum to a small breed dog in one sitting.

What About Prune Juice?

Prune juice is not recommended as a solution to your dog’s constipation because juice would lead to dehydration and make the problem worse. Prune juice often contains added sugar and other ingredients that are not good for dogs.

As a concerned owner, the best thing to do is make sure your dog drinks fresh, cool water. This will help your dog’s insides stay lubricated and hydrated.

Alternatives to Prunes to Safely Relieve Dog Constipation

  • Mashed fresh or canned pumpkin: Not only is pumpkin a super-food that is healthy in a dog’s diet and often included in premium dry dog food recipes, it is also high in fiber and can help stimulate a constipated dog’s digestive system.
  • Feed your dog quality high-fiber dog food like Taste of the Wild and Wilderness and try to keep them on a regular diet.

Avoid

  • Prunes and prune juice, which have no real health benefits for dogs and can be toxic if the pit, seeds, and stems are not fully removed. Prune juice and prunes also have added ingredients that are not good for dogs either.
  • Over the counter remedies that are unnatural or made for humans should not be used on dogs to relieve constipation. If constipation persists, dogs should be taken to a vet who is properly trained to diagnose the problem and offer a safe solution.

Conclusion

If you believe you dog has swallowed something, take them to the vet. If your vet recommends prunes you may use them as a temporary solution, but do so with extreme caution. Seeded fruit contains cyanide, which is toxic to dogs and other pets even in small quantities. Owners must always remember to remove the seeds first if they choose to give their dog fruit.

Symptoms of too much cyanide include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, abnormal behavior, and possible seizure. Take your dog to the vet if you see these symptoms and suspect that they might have cyanide poisoning.

Usually if a dog is constipated it is recommended that you make sure they stay hydrated and see if it will pass on its own. Dogs are resilient and home remedies can sometimes backfire and cause the opposite problem rather than getting your dog back to normal like you intended.

Do you feed your dog prunes? What are your thoughts or experiences?