Can Dogs Eat Pomegranates?

The pomegranate is the fleshy fruit of the pomegranate, a tree of the Punicaceae family native to South Asia, Persia, and Afghanistan. It is a low-calorie fruit with astringent and anti-inflammatory properties that people usually include in their diet, especially as part of purifying and slimming diets. Some of its properties are also beneficial for dogs, however, raw fruit can have some undesirable consequences for your pet.

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If you are wondering if dogs can eat a pomegranate, don’t hesitate to join us in the following Best Pets Lover article, in which we explain everything you need to know about this fruit.

Is it good for dogs to eat pomegranates?

Pomegranate is not a toxic fruit for dogs. It is not part of the list of toxic plants for dogs published by the ASPCA ( American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ). Proof of this is the existence of various snacks and commercial feeds for dogs that include this fruit in their list of ingredients.

Since it is not a toxic fruit for dogs, you are likely thinking that it is a fruit suitable for dogs. However, it is not so. The administration of natural pomegranate can produce some unwanted effects in dogs that we will explain later. For this reason, it is preferable to discard the pomegranate from the dog’s diet and opt for other suitable fruits such as apple, pear, blackberry, raspberry, or melon.

However, although natural fruit is not recommended for dogs, pomegranate peel extract is a nutraceutical product that can be used as a supplement in the diet of dogs, always under veterinary prescription.

Properties and benefits of pomegranate

The pomegranate is a low-calorie fruit, which stands out for its high potassium content and for providing small amounts of vitamin C and B vitamins. However, its main benefits do not derive so much from its nutritional contribution, but from the presence of other compounds such as polyphenols (tannins) and alkaloids. These compounds are characterized by having properties :

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidants
  • astringents
  • antibacterial
  • Anthelmintics
  • anticancerous

However, we must emphasize that these compounds are found mainly in the shell and the membranous sheets and partitions, rather than in the grains (or arils) of the pomegranate. The polyphenol content of the pomegranate peel is 10 times higher than that of its pulp.

The effect of these compounds present in the peel of the pomegranate has been evaluated in several studies. Specifically, pomegranate bark extract has been shown to have benefits such as:

  1. Reduce the load of gastrointestinal helminths: applied in adult dogs. The anthelmintic properties found in pomegranate bark extract can have a residual effect of up to 30 days post-treatment when administered orally.
  2. Reduce bacterial plaque: in dogs affected by external otitis and diarrhea, pomegranate extract showed a good antibacterial effect, especially against Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella. Similarly, the incorporation of pomegranate extract in dog biscuits showed a reduction in bacterial plaque and dental tartar characteristic of periodontal disease in dogs. Do not hesitate to take a look at Periodontal disease in dogs: causes, treatment, and consequences, here.
  3. Increase antioxidant enzymes: Pomegranate bark extract supplementation in dogs was shown to increase antioxidant enzymes, such as catalase, glutathione peroxidase, or glutathione transferase.
  4. Anticancer effect: Dietary supplementation with pomegranate bark extract had a positive impact on fermentation at the large intestine level in dogs. Specifically, it increased the production of short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, which improves the health of the colorectal epithelium and helps prevent colorectal cancer.

Why is pomegranate not good for dogs?

As we have already explained in the previous section, pomegranate is a fruit that provides various health benefits and is also not toxic to dogs. However, it is not a suitable fruit for our pets.

This is because the grains or arils of the pomegranate are difficult for dogs to digest, and can cause:

  • Stomach ache
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

For this reason, it is preferable to keep this fruit away from our dogs and, whenever we want to take advantage of its benefits, do so through food supplements that incorporate pomegranate extract since these will not produce any negative effects on our pets.

Is pomegranate toxic to dogs? 

Pomegranate contains Tannin, a type of antioxidant naturally present in plants that can cause damage to your dog’s health. Some dogs do not tolerate this antioxidant or the allergic acids and high doses of anthocyanins are also present in the composition of this fruit. 

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The reaction produced by the consumption of pomegranate in some dogs is intense stomach pain. It should be remembered that these animals are very sensitive to acidic juices, the same ones that cause grapes. 

Are pomegranate seeds poisonous to dogs?

As we have already mentioned, pomegranates (including their seeds) are not toxic to dogs. They are not on the list of toxic plants for dogs published by the ASPCA. However, although its seeds are not poisonous, they are difficult for dogs to digest, so it is preferable not to include them in their diet.

Dogs do not digest pomegranate seeds well and if they eat them in large quantities, they can suffer from an intestinal obstruction.

What to do if my dog ​​eats a pomegranate?

Throughout the article, we have explained the reasons why this fruit is not suitable for dogs. However, if your dog has eaten a pomegranate, you should not be alarmed. The consumption of this fruit can produce mild signs, such as vomiting or abdominal pain, but these are generally self-limiting symptoms that resolve in a short period.

However, whenever your dog has consumed pomegranate and presents more serious or prolonged signs, do not hesitate to go to your trusted veterinarian to carry out an adequate examination and establish the appropriate treatment.

To avoid any unwanted effects associated with pomegranate consumption, remember to keep this and other fruits not suitable for your dog out of their reach. This will be the easiest way to prevent your dog from accidentally ingesting this fruit.

Why pomegranates can be bad for dogs

If your pup got into a grenade, there’s no need to panic. They are not poisonous, contrary to the evidence.

It is likely that you will experience a brief episode of stomach problems and vomiting. Dogs aren’t meant to eat a fruit-based diet, and they’re also not capable of processing seeds very effectively, making the pomegranate in their fruit a one-two punch for their digestive system.

Dangers of feeding pure pomegranate to dogs

As much as we want our canine friends to be just like us, the fact is that they are not. Dogs have unique digestive needs, and it turns out that the high amount of antioxidants in pomegranates is not the best combination for your pup’s stomach. Pomegranate contains a lot of tannins, ellagic acid, and anthocyanins. These potent antioxidants may not be digestible by your dog in concentrated form.

Also, keep in mind that pomegranates are full of seeds that contain sweet but tart juice. Of course, we know that we should chew the seeds to release the juice, but dogs are such bloodhounds that they would probably swallow them whole.

The hard outer part, called the aril, can be difficult for dogs to digest, which is another factor that can lead to digestive problems.

How should you give pomegranate to your dog?

Now that we know that dogs tend to have trouble eating pomegranates in fruit form, we wanted to provide you with other ways to incorporate pomegranates into your dog’s diet. With these methods, your furry friend can get his antioxidant boost without any digestive issues – it’s a win-win! However, always remember to consult your veterinarian before adding anything new to your pet’s diet.

  • Pomegranate Extract – Recent studies from the team at Mercola have shown that pomegranate extract is effective in reducing heart disease in your dog. And since heart disease is one of the most common causes of canine death, this is great news! A “multidimensional dietary strategy to minimize the development and progression of oxidative stress-induced canine illness” may be successful if it includes pomegranate extract.

For an antioxidant boost, ask your veterinarian if you can add a teaspoon of pomegranate extract to your dog’s dry food.

  • Pomegranate Dog Treats – Another way to add pomegranate to your dog’s diet, especially if he loves the taste of sweet, juicy fruit, is to give him high-quality treats that contain pomegranate.

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