Can dogs eat plums? If you’re trying to give your dog a more nutritionally complete diet, you may have wondered what fruits are safest for them as an occasional snack. Plums, a common stone fruit, may have crossed your mind. You have probably asked whether your pup would enjoy a plum snack.
The answer is no, most parts of a plum plant are not safe for dogs at all. While dogs can eat very small parts of the flesh of the fruit, the leaves, stems, pits, and roots all contain a number of toxic compounds. These toxins work very quickly and can lead to death in less than an hour. The grave risks of eating plums outweigh any nutritional benefits of this fruit for your dog.
Let’s find out more about plums and why they’re not safe for your pooch.
The Toxins In A Plum Pit
Many stone fruits have pits which contain high levels of toxic compounds related to cyanide. Plum pits, roots, stems, and leaves, have all four of these toxins:
Amygdalin, prunasin, and cyanogen are all converted into the very poisonous hydrogen cyanide in your dog’s body. Cyanide poisons the body by destroying blood cells and stopping cell respiration.
You may think a plum pit is too hard for any person or animal to digest. However, if your dog eats the pit, the acid in their stomach is capable of dissolving its top layer. This is enough to release the four toxins into your pup’s bloodstream, causing plum poisoning.
If your dog has eaten any toxic part of a plum, check for these symptoms:
- Labored Breathing or Panting
- Dilated Pupils
- Foaming at the mouth
These are all symptoms of plum poisoning, a result of cyanide from a plum entering the bloodstream. If not treated, this condition could be fatal in as little as an hour.
Any of these symptoms requires immediate veterinary attention. Take your dog to your nearest emergency vet hospital.
From there, treatment will involve getting any toxins out of your dog’s system immediately. Extended toxicity can cause permanent liver damage, permanent brain damage, and possibly death. After that, your vet will want to keep your dog in hospital for the next 24 hours to observe them.
What About The Fruit Part?
You’ll notice we haven’t mentioned the fruit flesh when talking about toxic parts of the plum plant. This is because plum flesh is the one part of a plum which does not contain any toxic compounds. While plum flesh may be safe for your dog in small amounts, this still doesn’t make it a great fruit snack.
Plums have a high amount of sugar. Any food with a high amount of sugar is not good for a dog’s health. Short-term, high sugar consumption could cause hyperactivity and excessive thirst. Repeated and long term sugar consumption can cause health issues like diabetes, pancreatitis, weight gain, and heart issues. If your dog is already diabetic or overweight, it’s best to avoid giving them plums entirely.
Offering Plum To Your Pup
If you still want to try offering plum to your dog, you will need to prepare it carefully. To prevent the risk of plum poisoning, you will want to make sure any part of the pit is absolutely gone before offering bits of the fruit. The same goes for stems, leaves, and roots. Make sure the fruit is cut into bite-size pieces for easy digestion. Do not feed too much plum at once. Keep all plums with pits out of your dog’s reach.
As with any fruit or vegetable, watch for digestive effects. Too much of any new food can cause digestive upset for your dog. Start with a very small amount.
Since plums have extremely toxic parts, most experts agree the risk of plum poisoning outweighs any potential benefit the fruit may have. We recommend you stick with known, safe fruits, like apples, pears, watermelon, and blueberries.
Plums Are Not Safe For Your Dog
Now you know the answer to the question, can dogs eat plums? The answer, for the most part, is no, they cannot. Parts of the plum plant contain extremely toxic compounds related to cyanide. These parts include the pit, stems, leaves, and roots. If your dog eats any of these parts, they risk plum poisoning. Cyanide poisoning of any kind will require immediate and emergency veterinary attention.
Although the flesh is not poisonous, it does contain a lot of sugar. The sugar content doesn’t make it a great regular fruit snack for your pooch. Additionally, the toxic parts of the plants, and the serious nature of plum poisoning, make it a risky fruit to offer.
So can dogs eat plums? The simple answer is…no.
Anna has a passion for keeping pets healthy and happy. She grew up with a Great Pyrenees as a family dog. Currently and currently has an orange tabby. She worked at a dog grooming and bathing salon where she learnt more about canine behavior and bathing. She lives in Wisconsin, in the United States. When she is not writing, she helps her partner run their small business, knitting, and enjoying local parks.