Plums are a very popular fruit, known for their deep purple color, sharp but sweet taste, and large pit in the middle. But can dogs eat plums? The answer is… Yes, but only the flesh. Let’s get into it to learn more!
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Can dogs eat plums?
The flesh of plums can be safe for dogs to eat, so long as the stem, leaves, and most importantly, the pit, are removed first and they are safely prepared and portioned. They are full of nutritious fiber which does have health benefits, but there are much healthier and safer fruits that you can give your dog.
Are plum pits toxic to dogs?
Plum pits are toxic to dogs because they contain cyanide, a chemical that is extremely poisonous to mammals. The scariest thing about plum pits is that your dog doesn’t even need to swallow them for it to be dangerous, as simply chewing the pit can release cyanide into their systems.
They’re also a choking hazard, especially to smaller dogs, and could even cause an intestinal blockage if swallowed. Not only that, but the pit’s sharp edges can damage or tear the lining of your dog’s mouth, throat, and/or stomach if chewed or swallowed.
As mentioned above, it’s important to note that the stems and leaves of plums also contain cyanide, and the stem could pose a potential choking hazard, too. So, it’s really, really important that they’re removed before giving your dog any plum.
Can puppies eat plums?
Puppies over 12 weeks old can eat little bite-sized slices of the flesh of a plum as the odd treat in addition to a healthy, balanced, age-appropriate diet.
How much plum can I give my dog?
If you want to give your dog a plum, you should only give them one or two small slices of the fruit’s flesh, depending on the size of your dog. Too much of any fruit can give your dog an upset tummy, so don’t go overboard!
How often can my dog eat plums?
If your dog is particularly fond of plums, you can give them a couple of slices every other day in place of a regular dog treat, or, a couple of times a week in addition to regular doggy treats. However, there are safer and healthier options if your dog is a fruit fan, such as apples, bananas, and strawberries.
How to feed your dog plum
As mentioned above, you cannot just give your dog a whole plum. It’s very hazardous, as well as too big a portion. It’s best to give your dog small slices and be sure to cut from the edge to avoid getting any of the pit.
You can also give your dog a few small spoonfuls of stewed plums, a popular winter-time treat, just so long as you don’t add any sugar.
Plum benefits for dogs
As well as being a tasty treat, plums are chock full of vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system and fight free radicals, reduce inflammation in the body, and support healthy aging. They are also high in polyphenols, a nutrient that promotes bone health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
A closer look at the risks of plums for dogs
As we mentioned above, there are a few risks of eating plums for dogs. Let’s take a closer look at the risks and what to do if they occur.
Cyanide poisoning is lethal. You should take your dog to their closest emergency vet as soon as possible if they exhibit signs of cyanide poisoning, or call the Pet Poison Helpline if you’re unsure. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning in dogs include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
If your dog starts to choke on a plum pit, you should open their mouth without tilting their head back and remove the pit if you can see it. If you can’t, you’ll need to perform the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge it.
To perform the Heimlich maneuver on a smaller breed, gently pick them up, put them onto your lap, and lay them on their back. Apply pressure beneath the ribcage using the palm of your hand and push firmly upwards and inwards five times. Next, roll the dog onto their side and open their mouth to see if the pit is visible, and repeat if necessary.
For medium or large-sized dogs, try to get them to stand or sit up and put your arms around them from behind as you would a human. Clasp your hands together to make a fist underneath their ribcage and push upwards and inwards five times before checking the mouth.
Need a visual guide? Check out the video below.
If your dog is lying down and can’t get up, put one of your hands on their back and use the other one to push upwards and inwards on their stomach. Signs of choking in dogs include:
- Struggling to breathe
- Pawing at the mouth
An intestinal blockage is when something gets stuck inside the intestines and obstructs the digestive system. It is very painful and dangerous and almost always requires surgery to remove. Signs of internal blockages in dogs include:
- Diarrhea or inability to poop
- Rapid breathing
- Appetite loss
- Thirst & dehydration
- Lip licking
- Intense discomfort & pain
If your dog swallows the pit of a plum, it can scratch the inside of their mouth, throat, or digestive tract. This can be very painful and in severe cases lead to infection or damage to the stomach lining.
Depending on the location and severity of the scratches, they may get better on their own but are best checked out by a vet in case medication or other treatment is needed. Signs of internal scratching include:
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Excessive swallowing
- Blood in poop
- Pain or discomfort
Can dogs be allergic to plums?
Dogs can have allergies to pretty much anything, including plums, but it’s pretty uncommon. That said, signs of food allergies in dogs include excessive shedding of fur, poor coat quality or smelly fur, lethargy, and vomiting or diarrhea.
If you think your dog could be allergic to plums, don’t give them to your dog, and look at other fruity alternatives for tasty treats.
Can my dog have prunes or prune juice?
Prunes are just dried plums, but they are much higher in sugar and fiber. While prunes and prune juice are not toxic to dogs, they are commonly used as a natural laxative in humans because of their high fiber content and can hurt your dog’s digestive system, causing painful stomach upsets.
If your dog is suffering from constipation, vets typically recommend cooked, canned, or pureed pumpkin, not prunes or prune juice.
Alternatives to plums
If you can’t or don’t fancy giving your dog apples, consider some of these safe fruity alternatives!
Apricots are a tasty alternative to plums and similar in taste and texture. They’re also known to improve digestion and lower blood pressure. Just be sure to remove the pit, stem, and leaves, first.
Peaches are another similar fruit to plums. They’re a great source of vitamin A for dogs, which contributes to healthy vision, reproduction, cell health, and immunity, as well as fiber. However, they should be given to dogs in small portions, and of course, the stone must be removed and avoided.
Pumpkin is a terrific alternative and is a common ingredient in commercial dog foods because of its digestive benefits. They’re also a vet-recommended remedy for upset stomachs. Just remember to cook it first, or use plain canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree.
Pears are a great snack for dogs, so long as the pips and stones are removed. They’re high in copper, which helps to make red blood cells and supports iron absorption, as well as vitamins C and K, which fight free radicals and support blood health respectively.
Nectarines are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber which regulates your dog’s weight and digestion. They’re also dense in potassium and magnesium which are key to healthy bones, muscles, and immune health.
Other fruits you can give your dog
Fruits to avoid giving your dog
Is your dog a fan of plums? Let us know in the comments below! If you want to give your dog plum, just remember to remove the pit, stem, and leaves first and only give them a few small slices!