We view our dogs as family members. It’s natural to want to share our favorite foods with them. After all, eating is one way both humans and dogs bond. Before you share your snack with your dog, you should know if it’s safe for them. Some human foods are great for dogs too. However, some human foods can be bad or even toxic to dogs.
Can dogs drink prune juice?
The human that drinks prune juice because they enjoy it is rare. Most of us drink it because we know it’s good for us. Most often, we drink it because it relieves constipation, which is an issue often shared by humans and dogs.
Since it’s good for us, otherwise why torture ourselves with a glass, we may assume it’s good for our canine companions as well. But is it healthy for them?
Is Prune Juice Toxic?
The good news is, no, prune juice isn’t toxic to dogs. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a great choice for your dog.
The Problem With Prune Juice
Sure, prune juice is a healthy choice for humans, but this doesn’t transfer to dogs. The main problem with prune juice is its high sugar content. Sugar can have a range of bad effects on your dog’s health.
Any fruit juice contains a high amount of sugar. The fructose from the fruit is contained in the juice, but much of the fiber is removed. This allows the sugar to enter the bloodstream quickly, which can cause health issues.
The high sugar content of prune juice leads to an increased risk of diabetes. One glass of prune juice won’t increase your pooch’s risk of becoming diabetic. However, if they consistently have a high sugar diet, they can develop the condition.
Diabetes is linked to many other health conditions, including obesity and a shortened life span.
Not Easily Digestable
Your dog’s system isn’t designed to digest prune juice. It can lead to gastrointestinal upset, including gas, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. If your pooch is already having stomach issues, prune juice can make the condition worse instead of better.
Never Give Prunes
Since prune juice isn’t great for dogs, you may think that whole prunes are a better option. While prune juice isn’t toxic, the prunes themselves can be. The pit of a prune contains cyanide, which is highly toxic.
Humans do not eat the pit. Dogs, however, are not as discriminating. It’s normal for them to eat fruit, including prunes, whole. They will not bother to spit out the pit, which puts them at risk for cyanide poisoning.
Prunes also have many of the same issues as prune juice. It’s difficult for your dog to digest, and they have a high sugar content.
Can Dogs Drink Other Types of Juice?
Really, there’s no reason to give your dog juice. They all have a high sugar content, and little nutritional value. Unless it’s a blend with fruit and vegetables, which can be good for your dog in small quantities.
Apple and orange juice are not good for your dog, but won’t harm them in small amounts. Lemon juice or lemonade can cause stomach upset. Grape juice is highly toxic to dogs, and should never be given to them.
Vegetable juice is ok for dogs in moderation, but make sure it doesn’t have added sodium. Dogs have a much lower sodium need than humans, so extra salt can be unhealthy, or even dangerous.
Can dogs drink prune juice for constipation?
Prune juice is frequently used to relieve constipation in humans, but does it work for dogs? Prune juice can get your pooch’s bowels going, just as it can in humans. However, this doesn’t mean that you should use it for constipation.
In short, no, dogs shouldn’t drink prune juice for constipation. The good news is there are better ways to get your canine companion moving again.
Signs Your Dog is Constipated
First, let’s take a look at how to know if your pooch is constipated. Dogs should poop at least once or twice each day. In fact, up to 5 times a day is considered normal. If your dog isn’t pooping at least once each day, they are probably constipated.
There are some other signs to look out for as well. The most obvious is painful poops. If your pooch is straining or appears to be in pain when pooping, they are likely constipated.
You can also look at the poop itself. Hard or dry poop usually indicates constipation. Very small amounts of poo are another indication your dog is having difficulty.
Treating Canine Constipation at Home
First, be sure your pooch is getting enough water. You can switch them from dry dog food to canned, or blend the two, if you suspect dehydration is behind your dog’s tummy woes. Just like humans, dogs need water to form soft poops. If they don’t have enough water in their system, their poop will be dry and hard, which makes it difficult to pass.
The best and simplest treatment for constipation is often canned pumpkin. Be sure to get plain canned pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar, and spices that can harm your dog.
Feed them 1-4 tablespoons of pumpkin a few times a day. Smaller dogs should be given 1 tablespoon, while large dogs may have 2 to 4. Too much pumpkin can cause diarrhea, so start slow and up the dosage if things aren’t moving after 12-24 hours.
You can give them pumpkin on its own, or blend it with their dog food. The fiber in the pumpkin should loosen your dog’s digestive tract, and allow them to poop.
Lastly, your dog may simply need more exercise. Exercise stimulates the digestive tract, which is why dogs often prefer to poop on walks. If your dog doesn’t have a regular exercise routine, this may be all the treatment they need.
When to See the Vet
Mild constipation can be treated at home, but it can be a sign of a serious health issue. If upping your dog’s water intake and feeding pumpkin doesn’t work, your pooch needs a check up. If it’s been more than 72 hours since your dog pooped, it’s best to call the vet.
You should also visit the vet if your pooch is having other symptoms. These include vomiting, bloating, gagging or retching, lethargy, bloody stool, and fever. These symptoms can be caused by many things, from a stomach virus to an intestinal blockage.
You should also contact your vet if your pooch has chronic constipation. Occasional constipation is easily treated at home, but chronic constipation can indicate an issue like mega colon, which requires veterinary treatment.
What happens if a dog drinks prune juice?
The good news is that prune juice is unlikely to cause your pooch any serious issues. However, there can be some short term effects.
Every mammal has its own unique microbiome which contains good bacteria that help break down our food. When your pooch gets a high dose of sugar from prune juice or any other source, ti can upset their microbiome. This can lead to an upset stomach.
Diarrhea is the most common side effect. In some cases, it can be explosive or even bloody, which alarms their owners. It can also cause vomiting.
If your dog consistently gets too many calories from juice, weight gain becomes an issue. Juice makes it easy to ingest more calories than needed. Prune juice also contains a lot of empty calories where your dog is concerned.
Dogs need a high amount of protein, along with fiber and healthy carbs. The high sugar content of prune juice means they are getting a lot of calories, without a lot of nutrition.
Unfortunately, over 50% of dogs today are overweight or obese. Obesity leads to a risk of many chronic diseases and conditions, including heart disease and joint problems.
What to do if my dog drinks prune juice?
If your dog drinks prune juice, you don’t have to worry. They will be fine. Prune juice isn’t toxic to dogs, but it isn’t healthy for them either. Drinking prune juice once will not cause any lasting problems, but you do need to be prepared for some short-term issues.
These suggestions will focus on managing the potential side effects of your pooch drinking prune juice.
Location, Location, Location
First, you’ll want to consider where your pooch should ride things out. If they only consumed a small amount of juice, they should be fine. However, if they consumed a large amount, be prepared for stomach upset.
Explosive diarrhea is a well known side effect of prune juice for dogs. So, it’s best to confine your pooch to an area that is easy to clean up. This may mean putting them outdoors, or in the bathroom.
Within a few hours, you’ll know if your pooch will experience stomach upset from prune juice. You should be in the clear after 6-12 hours.
Treating Stomach Upset
Of course, you don’t want to just lock your dog away and forget them in their time of need. You can also treat any stomach upset they experience. Canned pumpkin can help relieve diarrhea.
Small dogs should get about 1 teaspoon. Larger dogs can have 2 to 3 teaspoons. You can feed them pumpkin twice a day. Pumpkin in higher amounts can cause diarrhea, so use it sparingly.
You can also give your dog Pepto Bismal. It can help settle an upset stomach, including mild diarrhea and vomiting. Give your dog one teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. You can repeat the dosage in 4-8 hours if needed.