Dogs should not eat prunes for constipation. Although prunes may help humans with constipation, they can have the opposite effect on dogs. Your dog may go from having constipation to diarrhea. Instead of prunes, talk to your vet about stool softeners for dogs.
You hear it all the time: dogs are man’s best friend. So when you see your pup in pain or discomfort, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and upset, fearing the worst.
While it’s always important to see a veterinarian for any type of health issue, you often end up spending your time and money to go to an appointment just to be told your dog has an upset tummy or some other minor, treatable ailment.
At-home remedies are a great way to help alleviate your dog’s discomfort, but you must get the right information before giving your dog any type of food or medicine.
Dogs, like humans, can suffer from occasional diarrhea or constipation. While usually not harmful, it can be uncomfortable for the dog. There are things you can do to help them with any digestive issues such as constipation.
Without doing proper research, though, you may assume the things that work for us – such as prunes, laxatives, or fiber – will be perfectly fine for your dog. However, that’s not always the case. It’s always important to make sure what you’re giving your dog is safe by checking with a reliable source, such as a veterinarian, before trying any at-home remedies.
It is important to note that if your dog suffers from digestive issues, always consult with your vet to get them checked out.
Prunes Are Effective For Humans – But What About Dogs?
Many people assume dogs can eat prunes because humans can. Prunes are dehydrated plums, usually pitted. They are touted as a natural and safe remedy for constipation for humans.
This reputation is due to the fact that prunes contain many ingredients, such as insoluble fiber and sorbitol, which aid in digestion.
Prunes can be used for constipation just as they are, but many reach for prune juice due to its convenience.
Since prune juice is filtered, it doesn’t contain the same amount of fiber. However, it still contains sorbitol, a natural laxative.
Studies show prunes may also aid in preventing colon cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Despite all these health benefits, the question remains: are these superfoods okay for dogs to consume?
Are Prunes Safe For Dogs?
Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in pets. Before reaching for some prunes or prune juice to help your dog with their digestion, it’s important to know if it’s effective and safe for them.
While experts say one prune will not hurt your dog, prunes are not a recommended way to aid digestive issues in dogs, nor are they recommended for dogs to eat regularly.
They are not toxic to your dog like other fruits, such as raisins and grapes, but they are ineffective for constipation.
Although prunes help humans cure digestive problems, they may actually have the opposite effect on our four-legged friends and cause digestive issues for them. Since humans are omnivores and dogs are carnivores, we have vastly different diets. Therefore, what works for us may not work for them.
Too Much Sugar
Prunes are plums that have been dried out, giving them a higher fiber and sugar content than a fresh plum. Too much fiber or sugar can upset and shock a dog’s digestive system. A diet high in sugar can also cause other problems for dogs. High-sugar diets can lead to weight gain, cavities, or diabetes.
Also, because prunes are fruits that have been dehydrated, they would not be a food your dog would encounter in the wild. Therefore, your dog’s body may not be accustomed to them and may have an adverse reaction.
Dogs can eat fresh plums and other fresh fruit. However, make sure the plum has its pit removed. Plum pits contain amygdalin, which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide when ingested. This can, in rare cases, cause cyanide poisoning. If you suspect your dog may have cyanide poisoning or shows any signs of pain or discomfort, take them to the vet immediately.
What If My Dog Eats a Prune?
You don’t need to worry if your dog swipes one prune off the kitchen table. But consumption of prunes in larger quantities can cause health issues and discomfort.
These effects may include digestive upset, such as diarrhea or vomiting. Your dog may lose its appetite, bloat, and have cramps. These issues will usually clear up in a day or two, but it’s a good idea to call the vet and let them know if your dog shows any signs of digestive discomfort.
What Causes Dog Constipation?
Before you find the perfect home remedy for your dog’s tummy troubles, it’s important to know what caused the constipation to understand how to treat it. In rare cases, constipation may be a side effect of a severe illness and may require a visit to your vet.
Some common causes for constipation in dogs are diet, exercise level, and age. Constipation may be caused by a simple lack of fiber, which is also a constipation cause for humans. Some research links less-active pooches with a higher risk of constipation. As a dog grows older, you may also notice more instances of constipation.
If your dog is constipated due to diet or exercise, this is usually no cause for immediate concern. However, sometimes more severe issues like hypothyroidism or digestive tract tumors can cause constipation.
If you notice severe or frequent constipation that doesn’t resolve itself, make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any health issues. If your dog’s constipation is left untreated for too long, it can cause other issues, such as fecal matter getting trapped in the colon.
Constipation Cures For Dogs
Although prunes aren’t recommended for dogs, there are many simple remedies you can do to help alleviate this issue. If your dog simply isn’t receiving enough fiber, one popular remedy is canned pumpkin.
Canned pumpkin is easy to mix in with food, totally safe for dogs, and most dogs enjoy the flavor, meaning they’ll eat it right up. Pumpkin also contains a lot of moisture, which can help with constipation as well.
Other ways to get in fiber include whole grains or leafy greens, like spinach. If you see your veterinarian, they may prescribe Metamucil, a fiber supplement, for your dog. This is safe for dogs at the proper dosage.
Increasing Activity Levels
If your dog’s constipation results from too little exercise, even short walks a few days a week can help. You can also go outside a few days a week to play fetch or hire a dog walker to help get in that exercise. Raising the activity level for a sedentary dog has many proven benefits beyond healthy digestion, such as energy levels and maintaining a healthy weight.
As mentioned with canned pumpkin, moisture can aid in digestion. Giving your dog access to more fluids throughout the day or giving them the occasional wet food may help keep their digestion healthy.
If at-home remedies don’t work, your veterinarian may suggest a stool softener or laxative. This can help get things going for your furry friend and speed up the process of getting their digestive system back on track.
It’s important to check with your veterinarian first before putting your dog on any type of medication to make sure it’s safe and recommended as a treatment.
Whether your dog has an underlying medical issue or simply ate something that its stomach didn’t agree with, seeing your dog in pain or uncomfortable is always a hard experience. It’s important to remember what works for humans will not always work for dogs.
Prunes, while a natural remedy for constipation for humans, is not suitable for dogs and may end up causing other problems. Instead, opt for other home remedies that are tried-and-true or call your veterinarian to give your pup the best care.
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