Pomegranate is an amazing fruit for humans, but is it dangerous for dogs?
By Guest Blogger, Alice Green
Food concerns are the biggest issue for a pet owner, and if you have a dog in your home, you need to be super careful about your dog’s diet. Dogs are omnivorous, so they eat almost everything – from vegetables and fruits to meat and fish, but not everything is considered healthy.
Most of the time, owners serve their dogs food that they eat which seems to be the worst practice because our digestive structure is different from that of a dog. Dogs cannot always digest what we can digest, so complications start appearing.
Some food is considered a superfood for humans. Pet owners assume that that food might be beneficial for dogs. One such food is pomegranate which is amazing for humans but is it dangerous for dogs?
Can dogs eat pomegranates? Pomegranates consist of several different components, so the answer to this question is not always easy to find.
According to notes from Dr. Cristine Hayes, a medical director at ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, “The leaves are not edible for dogs and can contain high levels of toxins.” She adds, “The fruit has a hard skin, also called a peel, and a spongy flesh organized into chambers that contain the seeds. Although they are technically edible, the skin and flesh are poorly digestible and pose a risk for a digestive tract obstruction.”
Lets continue and learn more about the pomegranate and the health of our dogs.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate for Humans
There are so many benefits of having a pomegranate. For example, it is filled with loads of vitamins, and at the same time, it is also packed with healthy antioxidants. Pomegranate is a sweet fruit with juicy red beads. Each bead has a small seed that is also edible.
If a human had pomegranate regularly, they might never face iron deficiency. Pomegranate provides us with a sufficient amount of vitamin C, which has amazing health benefits of its own.
Pomegranate fruit and other tropical citrus fruit like mangos and kiwis are also great sources of folate. One pomegranate alone contains approximately 27 percent of your daily value of folic acid.
Pomegranates for dogs
It is clear pomegranate is amazing for humans, but what does it do for dogs? Some research studies do show the benefits of pomegranate for dogs. For this reason, it is not uncommon to find pomegranate extract in dog foods, treats, and dietary supplements for dogs for overall wellness and joint health.
Pet food products containing pomegranate take advantage of its antioxidant properties and can reduce the normally occurring oxidative damage often associated with some diseases. Extracts have also been used for dog oral health issues. The antioxidants in pomegranate have also been used to reduce the spoilage of some dog food.
Risk of Pomegranate for Dogs
While there is evidence that pomegranates can be a healthy fruit for dogs on some level, it isn’t without their risks. The pomegranate seeds and skin should never be fed to a dog. Although pomegranate extract is derived from these parts, they are not digestible on their own and can cause digestive upset for your pup due to the tannin these parts contain.
Tannin is a naturally occurring compound that exists inside the skin, stems, and seeds of some fruit. The tannin in plants deters animals from eating the plant’s fruit or seeds before it is ripe.
If you want to feed pomegranate to your dog, make sure it is fresh, has a balanced sugar content, and is not spoiled. And again, never feed them the seeds or pomegranate peel because it can cause a stomach ache.
Whether pomegranate is good food for a dog or not is still a hot topic for debate, and different people have different assumptions about this issue. Some pet owners cannot stress enough how good pomegranate can be for dogs. Other pet lovers or dog owners think feeding your dog pomegranates can be against their natural food habits, so it can be quite dangerous for dogs.
To complicate matters, even dogs have different opinions of pomegranates. Some dogs love having pomegranate in general, but some dogs absolutely hate having this fruit. Of course, some dogs have never tasted pomegranate in their life.
It is important to know your dog’s taste in pomegranates, and secondly, you should know why you even want your dog to eat or not eat a pomegranate. In some cases, it has been seen that people themselves love pomegranates, so they eagerly wait to share them with their paw buddy. Others feel that sticking to their favorite dog treat is better.
In some cases, people get stunned by the benefits of pomegranate, so they try to include that in their dog’s diet so that even their dog can get that punch of antioxidant in their life.
Signs your dog has eaten pomegranates
Raw pomegranate fruit isn’t considered toxic for dogs, but it can ultimately make them sick. Eating the pomegranate seeds or any pomegranate peel can cause serious digestive upset, including vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
If you notice any of these signs and there are pomegranates around, then your dog may be experiencing a negative effect to the fruit.
If the vomiting and diarrhea are not prolonged or serious, it may not be necessary to take your furry friend to the vet after reacting this way to a pomegranate.
Pomegranates and dogs: feeding tips
If you have consulted with your vet and have decided you want to try introducing pomegranate into your dog’s diet, then here are a few feeding tips to keep in mind.
First of all, there is no known amount recommended for your dog. So, consider their size and if they have a history that includes digestive tract disease or similar digestive upset. Secondly, pomegranate fruit should only be fed in very small amounts. Avoid dehydrated or dried pomegranate because it has minimal water content, which can cause a blockage. Give them raw pomegranate.
Pomegranate juice is safe in small quantities as long as you don’t add any additional ingredients. Never add sugar, xylitol, or any other kind of flavoring or additive to the pomegranate juice you plan on feeding your dog. Always check the label of the juice beforehand.
After giving your dog a small amount, be sure to monitor them very closely in case there are any negative side effects resulting from the fruit. Some side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, an upset stomach, and other kinds of digestive upset.
And again, before starting your furry friend on any new food, it is best to consult with them. They are better positioned to make more specific recommendations for your dog.