Can Dogs Eat Plums?
Are plums safe for your dog?
Not all fruits are safe for dogs to eat, so you’ll need to know which ones are OK before sharing any with your pup. Plums, for example, are a tasty fruit for humans, but are they healthy for dogs — or are they toxic?
We spoke to Dr. Sara Ochoa, a small- and exotic-animal veterinarian in Texas, to get the answer to the question: Can dogs eat plums?
How can dogs eat plums safely?
Plums have some health benefits, like fiber, antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and water (for hydration), that can make them a healthy treat when given in moderation and prepared properly. Before giving your pup some of a plum, you should wash the fruit, cut it up into pieces, and remove the pit, leaves and stems.
It’s especially important to remove the pit, leaves and stems. “The pits and seeds of plums can be toxic to dogs,” Dr. Ochoa told The Dodo. “It is best to avoid feeding this part to your dog.”
When giving your pup plums, stick to the fresh fruit and avoid dried and canned plums. These varieties contain a lot of sugar, which isn’t good for your dog.
Dangers of plums for dogs
While the flesh of plums is OK, the pit, leaves and stems of plums are poisonous to dogs, so you’ll have to remove them before giving some plum to your pup. These parts of the fruit contain cyanide (and same for peaches, apricots, cherries and other stone fruit). The highest concentration is in the pit (aka the stone), so make sure it stays far away from your dog.
Symptoms of cyanide poisoning in dogs can show up within a few minutes (up to a few hours) of eating something with cyanide and include:
If you notice any of these symptoms, or if your pup gets a hold of a plum that still has the pit, take him to the vet immediately, since cyanide poisoning can quickly become fatal.
The hard pit can also be a choking hazard, cause an intestinal obstruction, or hurt your dog’s teeth and mouth.
Another thing to be wary of is the sugar content. Plums are high in sugar, which can lead to weight gain or diabetes if you give them to your dog all the time.
But while they’re super sugary, they’re actually low on the glycemic index, meaning plums don’t significantly raise blood sugar. So it’s OK to feed plums to dogs with diabetes as long as it’s only an occasional treat.
How many plums can dogs eat?
According to Dr. Ochoa, plums aren’t really the best snack. “While plums are a good source of vitamins and minerals, the risk of cyanide exposure from eating the non-fleshy part outweighs the benefits,” Dr. Ochoa said. “It is best to not feed your dog plums.”
However, if you really want to give your pup some of a plum, just make sure you only give a little bit. As with all treats, vets recommend that only around 10 percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake comes from treats, including fruits like plums.
As long as you wash it, cut it up, and remove the pit, stems and leaves, some plum on occasion is OK for your dog. Just be extra careful to get rid of all the toxic parts, and only give your dog the fleshy part of the fruit.