Can Dogs Eat Peaches and Plums?
Are peaches poisonous to your dog? Yes. Are apricots, cherries and plums poisonous to your dog? Yes! All these fruits have something called cyanogenic glycosides (amygdalin) inside of their pit. This is a form of cyanide.
But how does this affect your dog? Amygdalin poisoning slows down the enzymes in your dog's body that transport oxygen in the blood. Too much of this toxin is dangerous, possibly fatal.
Realistically, if your dog eats a small amount of the flesh, the toxin probably won't do much damage. An upset stomach at most. However, the peach and plum stones are poisonous to dogs and will cause severe side effects.
- Abdominal pain
- Bright red gums and mucous membranes
- Cardiac arrest
- Convulsions (seizures)
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Gastrointestinal irritation
- Skin irritation
- Swollen abdomen
The most significant risk for dogs with peaches and plums are the pits. It's a sharp stone in the middle of the fruit.
Firstly, it's a choking hazard. Secondly, it's pointed at both ends. If swallowed, this can cause damage to the stomach, the oesophagus or the intestines.
So you remove the pit and voila! Problem solved, right? Sort of. The flesh by itself is safe for dogs; however, this doesn't solve related issues, for example:
Splintering - Apricot and plums pits (any pit really) can break up and splinter. This could mean there are still trace amounts that could damage your dog's digestive system.
Overripe = toxic - In plums especially, if the fruit becomes overripe, fermented or mouldy, the pit can transfer some of this cyanide into the flesh. This can make it a lot more toxic to dogs.
Is that all? No! Whilst Fruits like plums and fresh peaches have health benefits (a great source of vitamins) in human food, they are high in sugar. Feeding your dog too much can cause severe short and long term problems.
Too much sugar could be fatal. It could also cause issues like diabetes since the body will stop producing insulin in response to the sugar. Not to mention if your dog has plums, the sugar might make them hyperactive.
- Be careful of the stems and leaves of these trees as they are also toxic. Any part of these plants is dangerous to dogs, particularly in large amounts.
- There are two types of pit poisoning - acute and chronic. The symptoms are similar; however, the effects of chronic poisoning are much milder and develop slowly. This makes it harder to diagnose.
With your description of their symptoms, what you believe they ate and your dog's medical history, your vet will treat your dog accordingly.
They will complete a physical examination, including heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, body temperature, height, weight and reflexes.
On arrival, your vet will ask questions about changes in your dog's behaviour or appetite, any previous illnesses or injuries and possibly what happened leading up to the symptoms appearing.
Other tests your vet might decide to include are a complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile, blood gas, and a urine test.
In some cases, a liver and kidney function test might be necessary, along with some x-rays. Sometimes a liver and kidney biopsy is required.