Can Dogs Eat That

Can Dogs Eat Plums? No—Here’s Why

fresh plums stack

While there are plenty of fruits that dogs can enjoy in moderation, such as blueberries, bananas, apples, and watermelon, plums are unfortunately not on the list. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the reasons why plums should be kept off your pup’s menu and what to do if your dog accidentally ingests one.

Why Are Plums Bad for Dogs?

1. Cyanide Poisoning

The primary reason plums are dangerous for dogs is that the pits, stems, and leaves contain a chemical called amygdalin. When chewed, amygdalin converts to hydrogen cyanide, which is extremely toxic to dogs. The true seed, or kernel, located in the center of the pit, is where the amygdalin is found. For cyanide to be released, dogs must chew the pit or ingest pieces of a broken pit.

high angle dog making mess inside

2. Digestive Damage and Choking Hazard

In addition to the risk of cyanide poisoning, plum pits can also cause physical damage to your dog’s digestive system. The pointy shape of the pit can harm the esophagus, stomach, or intestines if swallowed. Moreover, plum pits are a choking hazard and can cause an intestinal blockage, especially in smaller dogs.

whole sliced black cherry plums white table

3. High Sugar Content

While the flesh of an intact plum is generally safe for dogs in small amounts, it’s best to avoid feeding them too much due to the high sugar content. Consuming excessive amounts of sugar from fruit or sweet treats over an extended period can lead to health issues such as upset stomach, obesity, and diabetes in dogs.

dog vet consultation

What Should You Do if Your Dog Eats a Plum

If your dog has only had a few bites of sliced plum flesh, there’s likely no cause for concern. However, if your dog has eaten a whole plum (including the pit) or chewed on the pit, it’s essential to take action:

ripe whole half cut plums wooden board

1. Look for any plum remnants to determine which parts your dog ingested. If the pit is still intact, your dog is probably okay.

2. If the pit appears broken or in pieces, your dog chewed on the pit, you can’t find the pit, or you’re unsure how much or which parts of the plum they consumed, take your dog to a veterinarian or the nearest pet emergency clinic immediately.

3. Watch for signs of plum poisoning, such as difficulty breathing, red gums, dilated pupils, loss of appetite, panting, drooling, watery eyes, vomiting, tremors, and shock (confusion, weakness).

4. Be alert for symptoms of an intestinal blockage, including loss of appetite, bloating, and straining to poop, especially in small dog breeds.

5. If you need advice, contact an animal poison helpline, such as the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.

medium shot doctor checking cute dog

Plums vs. Grapes and Raisins: Which is More Dangerous?

While both plums and grapes (including raisins) can be harmful to dogs, the risks they pose are different. Plum flesh is generally safe for dogs in small quantities, but the pit can cause cyanide poisoning or an intestinal blockage. On the other hand, grapes and raisins are harmful in their entirety and can lead to potentially fatal kidney failure when ingested.

flat lay plums apple wooden background

Although plums might seem less dangerous because the flesh is edible for dogs, both plums (specifically their pits) and grapes or raisins carry significant risks and should be kept out of reach from your furry friends.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Plums

To ensure your dog’s safety, it’s essential to take steps to prevent them from consuming plums:

cute little dog

1. Store plums safely: Keep plums and other potentially harmful foods out of your dog’s reach, such as on a high shelf or in a closed cabinet.

2. Dispose of the pit promptly: When eating a plum, make sure your dog can’t access it, especially the pit. Dispose of the pit promptly in a secure trash bin.

3. Teach your dog the “leave it” command: This is a valuable skill for any situation where your dog may encounter something they shouldn’t eat.

4. Practice outdoor vigilance: If you have plum trees in your area or yard, closely supervise your dog when they’re outside to ensure they don’t eat any fallen plums. Be proactive about picking up any dropped fruit in your own yard.

5. Consider dog-safe alternatives: If you want to treat your dog to a plum-flavored snack, opt for specially formulated dog treats like Nulo Freestyle Duck Recipe with Plum.

6. Educate family and friends: Make sure everyone in your household, as well as any visitors, understands the importance of keeping plums away from your dog. This includes not feeding them plums as treats and being mindful of where they dispose of plum pits.

7. Keep an emergency contact list: Have your veterinarian’s phone number and the contact information for the nearest pet emergency clinic easily accessible, just in case your dog does ingest a plum pit or any other potentially harmful substance.

cute dog consultation

Other Fruits Dogs Can Safely Enjoy

If you’re feeling a bit disappointed that plums are a no-go for your furry friend, don’t worry! There’s a whole world of delicious and nutritious fruits out there that your pup can safely enjoy. While it’s important to remember that fruits should be given in moderation and as a treat rather than a staple of your dog’s diet, the following options are generally considered safe for our canine companions:

person arranging sliced banana on a wooden bowl

Apples (without seeds/core): Slice up a crisp apple for your pooch, but make sure to remove the seeds and core first. Apples are a great source of fiber and vitamin C.

Bananas: This potassium-packed fruit is a great low-calorie treat for dogs. Just remember to peel it first and cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Berries like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries: These colorful little gems are packed with antioxidants and make a great addition to your dog’s diet. They’re also a perfect size for training treats!

Cantaloupe: This sweet melon is a refreshing summer treat for dogs. Just make sure to remove the rind and seeds before sharing.

Cherries (without pits): Cherries are safe for dogs as long as you remove the pits first. They contain antioxidants and can be a tasty addition to your pup’s menu.

Mango: This tropical fruit is high in fiber and vitamin A, making it a nutritious choice for dogs. Just be sure to remove the pit and peel before serving.

Oranges: Believe it or not, many dogs enjoy the tangy taste of oranges. They’re a good source of vitamin C, but be sure to remove the seeds and peel first.

Peaches: Another stone fruit that’s safe for dogs, as long as you remove the pit. Peaches are high in fiber and vitamin A.

Pears: This sweet and juicy fruit is a great source of fiber for dogs. Just make sure to remove the seeds and core before sharing.

Pineapple: This tropical treat is high in fiber and contains enzymes that can aid in digestion. Just be sure to remove the tough, spiky skin first.

Watermelon (without rind or seeds): This summer staple is a great way to keep your dog hydrated and refreshed. Just make sure to remove the rind and seeds before sharing.

adorable chihuahua dog with female owner

FAQs

Q: Can dogs have a little bit of plum?

A: While the flesh and skin of the plum are not toxic to dogs and could be consumed in small quantities, it’s generally safer to avoid feeding plums to your pooch altogether due to the risk associated with the pit. Fortunately, there are several other dog-safe fruits, like blueberries and bananas, that pet parents can give their dogs in moderation.

Q: Can dogs have purple plums?

A: The color of the plum doesn’t change the risk it poses to dogs. Whether it’s purple, red, or yellow, all plums contain a pit that can be harmful if ingested.

Q: What type of plum is best for dogs?

A: Regardless of the type or variety, no plum is truly safe or recommended for dogs.

Q: When can I give my dog a plum?

A: It’s not recommended to give your dog a plum at any time due to the potential risks associated with the pit.

Q: Can dogs eat prunes?

A: No, it’s not recommended for dogs to eat prunes, which are dried plums. Although the pits are often removed during the dehydration process, the high fiber and sugar levels in prunes can cause stomach upset, blood sugar issues, and weight gain in dogs.

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About Judith D. Swan

With a passion for pooch health and nutrition, I've dedicated myself to exploring every "Can dogs eat...?" scenario you can imagine. With a background in veterinary science and years of experience in the pet care industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. From the common to the curious, I've researched it all to ensure that your canine companion gets the best possible care. But hey, I'm not just about facts and figures. As a proud dog parent myself, I understand the bond between humans and their four-legged pals. That's why I'm committed to providing trustworthy, practical advice that keeps both tails wagging.

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