Can Dogs Eat Prunes?

Written by Shanti Ryle
Published: November 28, 2022
Share on:

Advertisement


Prunes are a nutritious snack that serves as an excellent source of fiber and vitamins for humans. However, are these dried snacks a good food option for our furry companions? Those wondering whether or not dogs can eat prunes may be surprised to learn that their high fiber content makes them a risky snack for dogs that are better avoided

Read on to learn why prunes aren’t a good snack choice for dogs and how to respond if your dog accidentally eats a few bites.

three akita inu pups eating, two of which have their muzzles in the stainless steel feeding bowls. A third pup is seen between them trying to get in non the action. Bowls are on white laminate floor, indistinct white/ light grey background.

Feeding your dog prunes is not recommended.

©New Africa/Shutterstock.com

What are Prunes?

Prunes are pitted, dried plums that have been soaked in water. They’re often eaten as a snack or added to other recipes for a kick of sweet flavor. Prunes contain plenty of antioxidants and are high in fiber and natural sugars, providing a healthy source of sweetness for humans who need to avoid added sugar. Thanks to their nutritional content, prunes help supplement iron, vitamin A, and other minerals involved in healthy human bowel movements and also alleviate diarrhea or vomiting.

Six purple/blue plums on a plum tree. The fruits are egg-shape / size, growing close together, but not in clusters. The leaves are mostly green. Background out-of-focus lu trees.

Prunes start out as plums!

©MNStudio/Shutterstock.com

Prunes are either prepared fresh or eaten dehydrated, usually coated with extra sugar to help retain their moisture.

Can Dogs Eat prunes? 

Despite all the health benefits they offer humans, prunes are a less-than-ideal choice for our dog companions. Their high sugar content can cause severe gastrointestinal problems such as flatulence, upset stomach, and diarrhea. If your dog gets into some prunes and develops an upset stomach, immediately contact your veterinarian for the next steps.

Can I feed my dog prunes for constipation?

Prunes are not a good choice for addressing constipation issues in dogs, even though they’re beneficial in this regard for humans. Prunes aren’t as toxic as grapes or raisins to pups, but it’s still difficult for canines to digest their high sugar and fiber content. Look elsewhere if you’re looking to help your dog achieve healthy bowel movements.

jack russell terrier, sitting on a toilet seat with digestion problems or constipation reading the gossip magazine or newspaper

Prunes are not a good choice for addressing constipation in dogs.

©Javier Brosch/Shutterstock.com

Risks of Feeding Dogs Prunes

While prunes aren’t inherently toxic to dogs, they present various health risks and should generally be avoided. Here are some key considerations to know before feeding your dog any prunes.

Choking hazard

Prunes are just large enough to block the esophageal passage in small dogs and cause them to choke. Their sugar content can cause prunes to clump together, making it easy for them to lodge in a dog’s windpipe, no matter their size. This same factor presents a risk of gastrointestinal blockage as well. A prune lodged in your dog’s digestive pathways, can lead to painful cramping, loss of appetite, and bloat.

High sugar content

The high sugar levels in prunes quickly add up. Too much sugar in your pup’s diet can lead to digestive and weight-related health issues such as obesity, diabetes, hyperglycemia, joint problems, and more. Even a small amount of prunes can cause diarrhea or flatulence in your dog, so it’s best to avoid them.

a 4 pound paper bag of sugar. The bag is white on the top quarter (1/4) with a blue (rimmed in pink) oval-shaped logo with white C&H. The bottom three quarters of the bag is pink with "CANE SUGAR" in all capital letters. against white isolate.

Too much sugar in your pup’s diet can lead to digestive and weight-related health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and joint problems.

©Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock.com

Pits are toxic

Plum pits contain trace levels of cyanide in them. Consumed at high levels, prune pits can lead to cyanide poisoning, presenting a deadly threat to our canine companions. While most pits are removed during the pruning process, not all dried prunes are pitless. Err on the side of caution by keeping pit-free prunes in your house, especially if your dog is liable to sneak treats off the countertop.

Seven and one half purple/blue plums arranger in a semi-circle around the edge of the frame. In the center frame are are 20 fresh plum pits. The pits are light brown.gold. All on white washed wood.

Consumed at high levels ,prune pits can lead to cyanide poisoning, presenting a deadly threat to our canine companions.

©IchBinJeffee/Shutterstock.com

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Prunes

If your dog accidentally gets into some prunes, monitor your pup for the next day or two to see how they respond. Some dogs will successfully pass the food without incident. However, if your pet shows symptoms of an upset stomach, call your vet to determine your next steps. It’s always a good idea to keep fresh water available, so your dog can stay hydrated while sick.

In the case of eating prune pits, immediately call your vet and monitor your dog’s behavior. If your dog doesn’t vomit within 12 hours after eating, they’ve likely avoided prune poisoning, which is rare but does occur. Signs of poisoning include rapid breathing, lethargy, seizures, and even unconsciousness, so it’s best to react with an abundance of caution. 

black and tan dachshund rummaging in a home bin, scattering wastes and food leftovers overwhere. Indoors.

If your dog accidentally gets into some prunes, monitor your pup for the next day or two to see how they respond.

©Masarik/Shutterstock.com

What Can Dogs Eat for Constipation?

Rather than eating prunes, many alternate options exist for helping your dog overcome constipation. A home remedy is just as good as a vet-approved supplement, but be sure to consult your vet in case the constipation is a sign of a more serious health concern.

Common home remedies for constipation in dogs include:

While prunes bestow many health benefits on human, dogs would do better to avoid them. The fruit’s high levels of sugar, fiber and potential ability to poison pooches all pose risks to your pup. All in all, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog prunes and opt for a healthier, safer snack.

Up Next

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Nataly Studio/Shutterstock.com

Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?

How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.

What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?

X-Small
Small
Medium
Large
Xtra-Large

If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Kids
Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

Yes
No
How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?

Share on:
About the Author

Shanti Ryle is a content marketer with nearly a decade's experience writing about science, real estate, business, and culture. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Global Finance and Banking, Weedmaps News/Marijuana.com, and other publications. Her favorite animal (by far) is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. researchgate.net, Available here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/15203514_Effect_of_Level_and_Source_of_Dietary_Fiber_on_Food_Intake_in_the_Dog
  2. a-z-animals, Available here: https://a-z-animals.com/blog/what-foods-can-dogs-eat-safely-and-which-are-dangerous/
  3. aka.org, Available here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-constipation/
  4. permd.com, Available here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/endocrine/c_dg_high_blood_sugar