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Can dogs eat plums?

Dog sniffing berries on a tree

Dog owners everywhere know that their doggos love to eat—in fact, doggos are quite happy to eat anything and everything! Some dogs seem to be hungry all the time and think nothing of sampling whatever they come across in their adventures. You may not even notice when your dog has eaten something he has never encountered before.

Unfortunately, this means that she might be quick to eat something that isn’t good for her. It's also not uncommon for humans to feed their dogs something that they think is ok but turns out to be harmful.

There are lots of ‘human’ foods out there dogs eat that actually have loads of nutritional benefits for them—and some that are a big no-no. You might be surprised to find just how many seemingly innocuous foods can be quite toxic to dogs.

Fruit is a good example. There are many fruits that are great for dogs. Fruits are rich in many different vitamins and antioxidants, and dogs love the sweet taste. But what about stone fruits? Can dogs eat plums?

Plums are a delicious seasonal fruit grown and enjoyed all over the world. But before adding them to your dog’s diet, read this!

Are plums safe for dogs to eat?

This is a tricky one. A small amount of sliced-up plum is unlikely to cause any harm to your dog. But if he’s eaten an entire plum, stone and all, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on him for the next couple of days.

The flesh of a plum is quite harmless in small amounts and packs a good punch of vitamin C; however, it has a high sugar content, so it should be fed sparingly, if at all.

The dangers of giving your dog plums

The main problem with plums is the stone, or plum pit. Plum pits are very hard—so hard, in fact, they are quite indigestible and pose a choking hazard. If your dog swallows the pit, it can get stuck in his intestines and cause an obstruction. That could mean a trip to the vet—or worse. The pit itself also has a rather sharp point at one end which may cause damage to the sensitive tissues lining the gut.

But most concerning is the fact that the pits of stone fruits like plums, apricots, cherries, and peaches contain cyanide. More specifically, they contain a compound called amygdalin, which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide when ingested. And, yes, this is very toxic to dogs. If your dog has chewed the pit and crushed it with his teeth, there’s a risk he’ll be affected.

Can plums be bad for dogs?

As explained above, a small morsel of plum flesh shouldn’t be any cause for concern. If your dog eats the entire fruit, though, stay calm and keep him where you monitor his movements for the next couple of days. Look for any remnants of the plum so you can see which parts he might have ingested. If you find the pit and it’s still whole, your dog is likely to be fine.

If your dog has wolfed down the stone and all, look out for these symptoms:

  • Bloating or signs of stomach pain
  • Poor appetite
  • Low energy levels
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin irritation

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to take him straight to the vet.

Fruits you can give your dog instead of plums

Because of the dangers that plum stones can cause in dogs, it’s a good idea to keep this fruit out of reach. Keep them in a fruit bowl that your dog can’t get to, or store them in the refrigerator. If you have a plum tree at your home, try to pick up the plums off the ground or at least fence off the area so your dog won’t be tempted to try them out.

While stone fruits aren’t the best option for your dog, there are plenty of fruits that are just fine. Just like humans, dogs benefit from the many vitamins, minerals, and fiber in different fruits.

Remember, of course, that dogs are omnivores, so they can eat both meat- and plant-based food. In fact, a great way to enrich your dog’s diet is by adding extra fruits and vegetables on top of their daily protein source. This can be especially helpful for dogs who are prone to weight gain or need to lose a few pounds.

Your best friend can enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits of a wide variety of different fruits and vegetables. Some of the healthiest fruits and veggies for dogs include:

  • Apples and pears: These two delicious fruits are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C. They also have loads of healthy fiber to keep your dog’s digestive system working efficiently. Just remember to remove the core and seeds before feeding him an apple.
  • Bananas: Packed with potassium and a host of other vitamins and minerals, bananas are a fantastic treat for dogs. They’re naturally sweet and a much healthier alternative to processed dog treats. They are quite high in sugar depending on their ripeness, so try to give them only occasionally.
  • Blueberries: Definitely one of the most beneficial fruits on earth, blueberries are rich in both antioxidants and fiber. These valuable components can go a long way in protecting your dog from harmful free radicals and inflammation.

Learn about more human foods that dogs can or can't eat

    The article was written by Katie Stone on August 28, 2020.

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