Can Dogs Eat Plums?

Sharing food with pets is something that many of us are tempted to do on a regular basis. It’s hard not to when they’re sitting under the table looking up at us with those puppy dog eyes! If we’re enjoying the food, surely it can’t hurt to give them just a little taste of whatever it is that we’re enjoying?

Well, this of course depends very much on what it is that you happen to be eating at the time! And while some of the fruits and vegetables you eat normally might make healthy and tasty snacks for your canine companion, others aren’t so good.

So: can dogs eat plums? Unfortunately, these are fruits that fall into that latter category. That is to say that no, dogs should not eat plums.

There are a few reasons for this and while it might be possible to let your dog get away with a slight nibble, it is generally safer to avoid plums.

Why Dogs Should Not Eat Plums

Okay, so why precisely should dogs be kept away from plums when it’s largely safe for them to eat apples, blueberries, and various other types of fruit?

The main risk here has to do with the pit. The pit is the sharp stone that is kept inside the plum in the middle. This is of course a choking hazard, but what is more is that it is pointed at both ends. That means that if swallowed, it can sometimes cause damage to the stomach, the esophagus, or the intestines.

Of course, you could always just remove the pit and this way enjoy giving your dog the plum. But unfortunately, that does not solve all of the associated issues…

For one, this is because plum pits can sometimes break up and splinter. This means that even though you might think that you managed to remove the pit, there could be a little pit (a bit of pit if you will) remaining. This in turn could then cause issues.

At the same time, it’s also important to recognize the other way in which plum pits can be dangerous. That’s because they contain cyanide which is toxic to dogs. This is also found in some other pits – such as apricots – but it can be more of an issue when present in plums.

Like those other fruits, the amount of cyanide in plums is not generally enough to cause serious issues. However, if the plum becomes overripe, fermented, or moldy, then the flesh can have some of this cyanide transferred into it.

Again, it’s might not be a big issue if you just give your dog a small amount… but then again why risk it?

Sugar and Fiber

There are two other issues present when it comes to plums. One is that they are rich in sugar, which is a problem for dogs. Again, we see this issue with bananas and other fruits too where it is less of a problem – but plums are particularly sweet and thus it can be more serious.

Sugar is not harmful in small quantities and is in fact useful in a doggy diet. But the issue is that dogs are much smaller than us, and what to us is a small and healthy amount of sugar, can actually be a serious overdose for a canine.

This is a big problem because it means that your dog can end up eating too much sugar and this can cause serious short and long term problems. In the short term, eating too many plums might be fatal due to this large sugar content!

In the long term, repeatedly consuming large amounts of sugar can cause diabetes. This happens because the dog is repeatedly eating those large amounts of sugar and that can eventually cause the body to stop responding with the production of insulin – it adapts.

That can then cause weight gain, vision loss, and numerous other, more significant problems.

The same thing is true with fiber. A little fiber is good for Fido, but too much can cause issues with their digestion, which will often lead to constipation and diarrhea. This can be a problem for you in the short term as your dog needs to keep going outside or keeps getting stuck outside. It can also be a big problem in the long term though if it means that your dog doesn’t absorb nutrients properly, or if it leads to dehydration.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Plum

If a plum falls under the table and your dog gets to it, then you don’t need to worry. While it’s not ideal, it’s also not likely to be immediately life threatening. If possible, try to get the pit off of them. If they manage to eat the pit though, a quick trip to the vet might be in order!

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