If you’re dog’s been backed up lately, you might be considering giving them prunes to get things moving again. Prunes are effective in humans for keeping bowel movements regular, but should they be given to dogs? And how about prune juice?
Dogs are known to get into pretty much anything, and they’re not very discerning about what goes into their mouths. They can’t really touch and feel things to get an idea of what they are, so a dog’s primary way of figuring out the world is my sniffing, licking, and eating stuff. If it can go into the mouth, it’s fair game, unless it’s something that doesn’t taste good.
So when your dog eats something they shouldn’t, and they’re showing signs of straining to go, it’s normal to be concerned and try to help. Constipation can also occur in dogs if you’ve changed their dog food brand, or started to change up their normal eating times. That’s why it’s important to feed them the same brand food at the same time every day.
Can I Give My Dog Prunes? Answer: Not Recommended
Prunes as we know them don’t really occur naturally, and therefore a dog would not eat them if they were on their own in the wild. Therefore, their bodies aren’t really ready to take on the effects of eating a prune or drinking prune juice. It could take the situation from one extreme to another, making them go from constipated to having diarrhea. That being said, it’s not as if it will harm them if they eat one dried prune or so.
The best method to deal with a dog’s digestion problems is patience. They have a quick metabolism, so most any problem they are experiencing, especially constipation, will resolve itself soon enough. Adding things like prunes or other laxative type solutions only adds confusion to their otherwise simple digestive process. It’s hard to be patient when your dog is suffering, but most times it’s best just to turn a blind eye and let nature run its course.
Prunes and Plums
Prunes and plums are not the same thing, although they are closely related. The plums they use to make prunes with are easier to dry out, and contain more fiber than other varieties of plum, which gives prunes their reputation as something to take if you’re constipated. Feeding your dog a fresh plum is different then giving them dried prunes. When fruits get dried out like that, the flavors get concentrated, and the effects of the fiber are more pronounced. Fresh fruit is something that dogs can have, for the most part.
Prune Juice is not something you should give your dog either. Just stick to water. Water will help them stay regular because it keeps all of their internal organs well lubricated, and it helps the food they eat move through their body and out the other end. Any other liquid besides water will only dehydrate your dog, and lead to further constipation, even with the added fiber.
Other Constipation Remedies
So if prunes and prune juice isn’t really the best thing for a constipated dog, what else can you give them. You don’t want to go the over the counter route because this is even worse than something all natural like prunes. Some owners give their dog cooked rice to help move things along, and this seems like one of the better options out there. As was stated, most of the time the best action to take is to take no action, but if you are bent on giving them something, cooked rice or mashed up pumpkin seem to be the remedy of choice.
If you feel something is obstructing your dog’s bowels you’ll need to contact the vet so you don’t want to be treating your dog for constipation if you suspect they’ve swallowed something that is now lodged in their system. You can also follow your vet’s advice if they are recommending prunes or prune juice for your dog. We have to speak in generalities here, but your vet will know your dog’s medical history, specific breed, size, and you’ll be able to fill them in on the details of what symptoms your dog is exhibiting.