You likely remember your grandmother eating prunes or drinking prune juice to avoid constipation so you might be wondering whether prunes are bad for dogs. Prunes are essentially just dried plums, which are OK for dogs to eat in heavy moderation as long as the pits are removed.
However, you may want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for a safe laxative for dogs. The problem with prunes is that the pits are highly toxic to dogs, as they contain cyanide, and also present a choking hazard. In addition, they are generally difficult for your dog to digest.
Will Prunes Help Dogs That Are Constipated?
Because prunes are known to help relieve constipation in humans, it only stands to reason that they would do the same for your dog, right? Actually, feeding prunes to your dog can have the opposite effect, and cause more digestive problems than they fix.
To begin with, dogs don’t easily digest prunes, and this can lead to diarrhea. It probably won’t hurt to give your dog one or two prunes now and again, but this is not something that they should be fed regularly.
Dangers of Prunes For Dogs
We can’t stress enough how dangerous it is for dogs to eat prune pits. If you think that your dog has ingested a pit, contact your vet immediately, and watch for the following symptoms of cyanide poisoning:
- Muscle cramps
- Abdominal pain
In severe cases, cyanide poisoning can cause dogs to have seizures and it can even lead to death. It is best to be safe and not give prunes to your dog at all.
Unless it is an ongoing thing, you really don’t have to worry if your dog is occasionally constipated. It happens to humans and animals all the time, and usually there are no serious, underlying causes.
Dogs do tend to have faster metabolisms than humans, and in most cases, any constipation will go away on its own. If your dog is often constipated, give them plain cooked rice, which is good for digestive troubles and helps to keep their bowels functioning properly.
Is Prune Juice Safe For Dogs?
Since prunes can actually cause more harm than good for dogs, you should also not give your dogs prune juice. Your dogs only need to drink plain water, which will also help keep them properly hydrated. This added hydration will help prevent constipation in the first place since water helps food move throughout your dogs’ bodies and bowels.
No, Dogs Can’t Eat Prunes
There likely isn’t anything to worry about if your dog has occasional constipation. However, you may want to have them examined by your veterinarian if they are constipated often since it may be due to an underlying health condition. Oftentimes, this will likely be due to their diets.
Since prunes can actually cause more digestive issues than it can fix, you should avoid giving them to your dog. As mentioned, it won’t hurt to add some plain rice to their diets, and make sure that they have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Talk to your vet about various foods that can help prevent constipation.