Luscious, ripe and delicious fruits full of vitamins and antioxidants to help us feel energized and alert – there’s lots to be said for getting lots of goodness into our diets.
Yet as people look all the more to getting healthy dieting habits under their belts, many pet owners also are keen to see those advantages move into their beloved furry friends’ systems too.
So with that in hand, can dogs eat pomegranates? Find out below.
Are pomegranates good for dogs?
There is a lot of debate regarding if dogs can eat pomegranates, but the general consensus from experts and vets is that they don’t come altogether recommended.
Yet at the same time, pomegranates are mercifully not full of anything altogether toxic to dogs, as many surprising fruits and vegetables can be.
Dogs have vastly different digestive systems when compared with their human masters, and even the most experienced and loving of dog owners can often be surprised by what their furry family members can and can’t eat.
More than this, those foods that are the healthiest for human beings often have far less nutritional value for dogs. This is, unfortunately, the case of the humble pomegranate for dogs too.
While for human beings, these exotic treats are densely packed with vitamins and goodness – bordering on superfood status in many nutritionists’ eyes – dogs have a much harder time dealing with pomegranates, and fruit in general.
It’s tempting to get the goodness present in pomegranates into dogs though.
For example, dogs who eat more in the way of vitamins and antioxidants see lots of lovely health benefits, so even if you choose to give your dogs something other than pomegranates for those, there are gains to be enjoyed for sure.
Vitamins help give your dog a glossy fur coat, shiny eyes and teeth, and a very welcome boost to their immune system.
If your dog is unwell, those vitamins can help kick start their systems and hasten the road to recovery – and of course, a healthy dog just has more potential to withstand germs and the risk of falling ill altogether.
Nonetheless, the fact that pomegranates are so rich in seeds within is what often causes many of the issues for canine consumption.
While human beings can pick the seeds out, or spit them out when we eat a pomegranate, dogs don’t have that option.
Indeed, given how enthusiastically dogs eat, even if your pooch did have the capacity to be pickier, he or she likely would gobble down those seeds regardless!
Dangers of pomegranates for dogs
Despite so many of the health benefits that pomegranates can offer, the overall make up of the fruit and how the canine digestive system takes in and processes fruit flesh and plant-based material means it’s far more a complex issue.
The seeds, as we have touched on, are a big part of what’s so dangerous about pomegranates for dogs.
Although a great amount of nutrition and those all-important antioxidants can be derived from here, the seeds are also where the highest concentration of tannin is found in pomegranates.
You’re likely to find that your dog gets an upset tummy after eating pomegranates for this and related reasons, which is why they’re not recommended for dogs at all.
Again, it’s not a question of the fruit being toxic to dogs in any way, but rather the fact that dogs cannot digest pomegranates effectively enough for their body to make use of them.
The seeds are especially bad for this, and that’s before you also consider the fact that they can be quite the tricky thing for dogs to eat overall.
That isn’t just a case of them getting stuck in your pet’s teeth – it is also related to the choking hazard overall they can represent or even intestinal blockage.
Young dogs and puppies are often quite enthusiastic eaters, and that means that they tend to tear through their food without stopping for breath or chewing things into smaller pieces.
That can be a bit of a disaster for pomegranate seeds.
What happens when a dog eats a pomegranate
Put simply, despite any health benefits you might be hoping to get into your dog’s system, a dog who eats a pomegranate is likely to be sick – especially if he or she also eats the seeds.
The tannin content in these fruits is far above what even the most robust canine digestive system is equipped to take down.
Although dogs are widely regarded as omnivorous in modern thinking, they would have little reason in the wild to approach fruits and vegetables of their own free will.
Their bodies don’t derive much nutrition from the majority of these things, and fruit has the kind of inbuilt fiber content that we as human beings find easy enough to deal with, but dogs do not.
But of course, dogs who grow up and lead happy lives around people come to grow fond of the same things that their masters eat, and they certainly always are interested when they see and smell you consuming something new.
Nonetheless, those tannins in pomegranates are going to make your dog rather unwell. It isn’t life threatening, we are happy to confirm, but at the same time, it’s certainly a big reason why dogs can’t eat pomegranates.
What to do if your dog eats a pomegranate
Even the most well-behaved pets have an endearing – if occasionally frustrating – way of getting themselves into mischief and eating those things they’re not supposed to.
As such, dogs of all ages may well be caught eating pomegranates. If you’re already aware of how pomegranates make dogs sick, you might be concerned.
The first order of business here is to make sure that your dog isn’t putting him or herself at risk of choking.
It’s likely that a dog caught in the act of eating a pomegranate, or anything they really ought to know better than to be stealing, will try and gulp down the evidence before you can snatch it away from them.
Naturally, that means bigger chunks of fruit going down the throat, and plenty of seeds at the same time.
All of these can block your dog’s airways and cause severe respiratory discomfort, so keep an eye out for that and have some fresh water handy.
Likewise, fill the bowl with some water for the fact that your dog is indeed likely to suffer an upset tummy after eating pomegranates – especially if your dog has eaten lots of them.
A small piece of this fruit does no harm, and even a whole one could be dealt with by your dog’s digestive system easily enough at a push – but beyond that, it’s going to be gurgles and aches for a few hours.
Naturally, if these symptoms go on for a day or so, it could be indicative of something a touch more serious, and you’re therefore advised to seek the attention of a vet to identify if your dog’s tummy has been aggravated by this sudden influx of fruit – or if this is all symptomatic of a much bigger condition.
It’s highly likely that your dog is going to want to head outside for a toilet break far more often while their stomach is doing aching flip-flops inside of them.
There’ll be some nasty diarrhea, no doubt, but also keep an eye out for your dog throwing up.
Your canine companion’s got a bit of an uncomfortable battle raging within, especially with the pomegranate seeds, and it’s likely that their body wants to be rid of all this as fast and efficiently as possible.
Again, if your dog is subsequently vomiting up any other more regular food after this, especially days or more after eating pomegranates, you’re advised to check with your vet if there’s a more underlying issue in play.
Furthermore, please don’t panic at all of this – there’s a possibility your dog will have no sickly reaction to eating pomegranates at all.
However, that does nothing to diminish the fact that these fruits simply aren’t recommended for your animal, so certainly don’t feel as though your furry family member ought to indulge in pomegranates any further.
Fruits and vegetables often have some extra vitamins and minerals to offer our dogs, as well as antioxidants and a decent bit of fiber.
However, many of them are toxic to dogs, and others still are far too difficult for dogs to effectively digest to be of any reasonable use to them as a regular part of what they eat.
Because of that, pomegranates are not toxic to dogs but are also not recommended to be fed to your pet at all.
The seeds especially as nasty to digest, and more liable to make your pet ill than convey any vitamin benefits into your animal.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.