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Can Dogs Eat Prunes? Risks & Safety Guide

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By Emma Braby

fresh prunes

Aww, prunes, the go-to solution for anyone struggling with constipation. So, when Fido struggles to do his business, it’s only natural to think that what’s right for us is right for Fido.

Until he gets an upset tummy and then you find yourself asking, ‘can dogs eat prunes?’ The answer, in short, is no. Although no immediate harm will come to him from a prune or two, there is also no benefit for him either.

With this in mind, it is best if you leave prunes out of his diet altogether. There are plenty of other healthy and snacks you can choose from.

If you’re looking for a remedy for your pup’s poor poop performance, there are plenty of alternatives that will do just as well without the risk of an upset tummy.

In this guide, we are going to run you through what prunes are, what to do if Fido eats one too many prunes, and the alternatives. So, let’s jump straight in.

Divider 8Dogs and Prunes

To lay it out in simple terms, prunes are specially selected varieties of plums that are dried to remove some of the water. As a result, they have high sugar content, and the effects of the high fiber content are magnified through the drying process.

If used as a remedy for constipation, they could very quickly take your pooches problem from one extreme to another. From bunged up to empty in a matter of hours. And every dog owner knows that chasing around a sick pup with explosive diarrhea is no fun for anyone, not even Fido, who normally relishes a game of chase.

Image Credit: Pxfuel

What to Look for If Your Dog Eats Prunes

If you found your way here because you gave your pup a helping hand with half a can of prunes, and he now he’s messing up your house, fear not. Too many prunes might upset his stomach for a couple of days at the maximum, but then he will more than likely recalibrate and go back to normal.

The following are typical symptoms to look out for if Fido has eaten too many prunes:
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite

If, after 48 hours, your pup is still suffering and not drinking much water, he could become dehydrated. So it’s best to take him to the vet for a check over. They will tell you the best course of action to restore his body’s balance.

Little white maltese_Monikaa Wisniewska_shutterstock
Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

When Are Prunes Bad for Dogs?

As mentioned, one or two shouldn’t cause any problems. However, when looked at closely, there is no justification for offering prunes to your dog. They have a very high fiber content (9%), and very high sugar content (23%), both of which offer no health benefits for him.

Fiber, although found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, and being very beneficial to Fido’s diet, isn’t good in high doses. Never feed dogs too much fiber.

High fiber diets are a known method for overweight dogs as it can help to reduce appetite by satisfying hunger. But even with this diet, the fiber intake is only marginally higher than a balanced diet. So unless instructed to do so, stick to a regular, well-balanced diet.

High sugar diets can result in weight gain and diabetes. With each prune having an average of 3.9 grams of sugar, they should not be given as a treat.

What About Prune Juice?

The only fluid your dog should be sipping is water, and anything else can dehydrate your pup. Also bear in mind that fruit juices are ultimately the water and sugar content of the fruit, so again, this will only contribute to giving your pup diabetes.

Should I Give My Dog Prunes?

Quite simply, no. There are better, more nutritious, beneficial fruits, and snacks that can be given to your dog that carry no risk. All of which is just as much of a treat for him than prunes.

Fresh fruit is something that dogs can enjoy in most instances, even plums, when in their natural form. They are still high in sugar. But, unlike dried fruit, the prune, the flavor, and fiber effects are not concentrated and are therefore less pronounced.

prune with raspberry
Image Credit: Peakpx

Alternatives to Prunes

Like humans, dogs will suffer from constipation now and then. Most likely caused by a dry diet and lack of hydration, there are a few organic ways that it can be helped.

The best and most common go-to for Fido is mashed pumpkin, full of both fiber strands and moisture, it is a great help in relieving your pup of their poop.

Other remedies that are tried, tested, and recommended by those in the know, namely the AKC, are canned wet food due to its higher moisture content compared with dry kibble.

Also, food and herbs such as ginger, wheat bran, powdered psyllium seeds, and olive oil can help to bulk out and lubricate your doggos digestive tract. Making things work a little smoother for him, and much easier for you as pooper scooper.

Divider 7Summary

For humans, water is vitally important for us to function correctly and regularly. The same goes for Fido – proper hydration is the key to preventing constipation.

One of the constipation mistakes you should never make is feeding him prunes to make him feel better. Because it won’t, and it could just make him worse. Instead, reach for some canned wet food or some mashed pumpkin, and he’ll be back to greased lightning in no time.

If you’re thinking about feeding him prunes as a healthy snack, feed him plums, banana, apples, or blueberries instead. He’ll get a sweet fix without overloading on sugar and fiber.

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Featured Image Credit: Krasula, Shutterstock

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