You probably know that pomegranates are incredibly nutritious for humans. But if you own a dog who loves sharing snacks, it is understandable that you hesitate before giving them a taste of this gorgeous fruit. As a dog owner, have you ever stopped to wonder “Can dogs eat pomegranates?”
It turns out, pomegranates fall in the middle of the scale from nutritious to deadly to our canine friends. In order to keep your dog safe and healthy, it’s important to know all there is to know about pomegranates and what role they can (and should) play in your dog’s diet. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about whether or not dogs can eat pomegranates.
Health Benefits of Pomegranates For Dogs
Pomegranates are loaded with vitamins and minerals that are important for both humans and canines. These beautiful, jewel-like fruits have been eaten in the Mediterranean and Middle East for thousands of years. Today, they are enjoyed around the world.
Some of the top nutrients in pomegranates include vitamin C, folate, fiber, and vitamin K.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it is a cell that fights free radicals, which can cause diseases like cancer. In this way, vitamin C helps your dog fight diseases, especially those related to aging. Vitamin C can also improve brain function in old age.
Folate is a B vitamin that helps regulate tissue growth, blood production, and immune system function. A folate deficiency may cause your dog’s body to be unable to absorb and use nutrients, so ensuring they have good levels is a must!
Fiber helps dogs’ digestive systems process food and break it down, just as it does for humans. Dogs benefit from a varied diet that includes fruits and vegetables, though it is important not to let them consume too much insoluble fiber.
Vitamin K is an essential vitamin for both dogs and humans. It helps regulate the body’s ability to clot, reducing the risk of hemorrhaging from injuries. Most vitamin K is synthesized through food, which is one reason why it is so important to help your dog enjoy a varied diet full of nutrients.
Can Eating Pomegranates Harm My Dog?
Technically speaking, the answer to “can dogs eat pomegranates” is “yes.” Pomegranates do not harm your dog. The flesh and juice of the pomegranate is fine for dogs to eat. But can dogs eat pomegranate seeds? The answer is also “yes,” but with a caveat.
For a reason scientists don’t exactly understand, eating an excessive amount of pomegranate seeds and peel can cause severe gastric upset in dogs. We aren’t sure if it has to do with the tannin levels in these components or if the extra fiber is just too difficult to digest.
So, while eating pomegranates isn’t an emergency for a dog, don’t be surprised if your pup has a day or two of vomiting or diarrhea. The best way to avoid these issues is to make sure that your dog only has a small amount of pomegranates, if any.
How To Get Your Dog To Eat Pomegranates
While there are some good nutrients in pomegranates, it is really not necessary to push them on your dog. Your furry friend can get those same nutrients from other fruits that are tastier and safer for them. In fact, you might find that your dog throws up as soon as they have eaten the pomegranate fruit.
(For some safe dog treat recipes containing fruit, visit this link.)
However, if you really want to (or your dog just loves the fruit), there are a few ways that you can share it.
Are Pomegranate Seeds Poisonous For My Dog?
Pomegranate seeds are not poisonous. It is not a medical emergency if your dog eats pomegranate, even pomegranate seeds. However, they can cause vomiting and diarrhea, as we mentioned above.
The more serious concern with dogs and pomegranate seeds is the possibility of a bowel obstruction. If your canine friend eats a large number of seeds, they may get stuck in their stomach or intestinal tract. Since high amounts of fiber like that found in pomegranates is hard for dogs to digest, they have a higher-than-average risk of an obstruction.
Can My Dog Drink Pomegranate Juice?
If you want your dog to get the health benefits of pomegranate (or if they just love having a share of whatever you’re eating or drinking) pomegranate juice could be a better choice. Since it doesn’t have pits or peel, it doesn’t pose the same dangers as whole fruit.
However, that doesn’t mean that pomegranate juice is a substance you should give your dog in large quantities. Remember that fruit juice of any kind is extremely high in sugar (even just natural sugars). This makes it a poor dietary option for dogs, especially dogs who are diabetic or overweight. If you decide to share some pomegranate juice with your dog, keep it to modest quantities and avoid letting your dog consume too much sugar.
Can Dogs Eat Pomegranate Skin?
Dogs should not eat pomegranate skin. This, along with the seeds, is the most concerning part of the fruit when it comes to canines. The skin has huge amounts of fiber, which makes it difficult for dogs to digest. Additionally, the pomegranate’s thick skin can easily cause bowel obstruction or be a choking hazard. Even if your dog enjoys eating pomegranate fruit, make sure they avoid consuming the skin.
If you give your dog pomegranate, remove the skin first and only give them the arils.
Five Ways To Add Pomegranates To Your Dog’s Diet
If you want to add pomegranates to your dog’s diet, there are a few good ways to do it. Only do these if your dog shows interest and has been able to eat pomegranate without becoming ill in the past. If they really want to get their paws on some pomegranate, here are a few delicious ways to incorporate them.
Fruit juice in moderation can be a good choice for a dog, especially since it helps with constipation and other gastric issues. You can incorporate pomegranate juice into kibble or wet food or mix it into another table scrap. To make your own pomegranate juice, follow this link to learn how to make an easy and healthy juice from pomegranates.
Make sure not to give your dog fruit juice of any kind too often. Juice is extremely high in sugar and loses out on some of the nutritional benefits that whole fruit has to offer. Never give a diabetic dog juice unless you have been instructed to do so by your veterinarian.
Pomegranate is a great choice for smoothies, and your dog may well appreciate them, too! The next time you blend up a fruit smoothie, feel free to share a bit with your dog — provided each of the individual ingredients is pup-friendly, of course.
Your dog will likely love pomegranates blended with other safe fruits like apples, bananas, apricots, and blueberries, as well as yogurt. This is also a great treat for a hot day! As usual, keep the sharing to a minimum to reduce the risk of weight gain or blood sugar irregularities.
Dogs love frozen treats, and there is nothing easier than frozen fruit. Letting your canine friend enjoy a “pupsicle” is the perfect way to keep them cool on a hot summer day. You can incorporate all kinds of dog-safe fruits into treats like this, and they’re incredibly simple. All it takes is popping some fresh fruit in the freezer so it is at the ready!
Sprinkled on Food
If you want to share some of the benefits of pomegranates with your dog, you can always sprinkle a few pips on their kibble. This lets you monitor how much they are eating so that they don’t eat too many and make themselves sick.
On Their Own
If your dog just can’t get enough of pomegranate seeds, you can always simply give them a handful on their own. There is no reason they can’t enjoy a few pomegranate seeds just as they are!
Can Pomegranate Seeds Kill Dogs?
In general, no — pomegranate seeds are not likely to kill your dog. The biggest concern is not with the pomegranate fruit itself, but rather with the peel and seeds, which can cause choking or even an intestinal obstruction. Monitor your dog carefully when they eat pomegranate and always make sure to call your vet if you notice any concerning symptoms.
Can Dogs Have Pomegranate Juice?
Yes — as we mentioned above, pomegranate juice is safe for dogs. In fact, it might be the safest way to give your dogs pomegranate, as it removes all the concerns of how the seeds and peel can affect their digestive tract. You can safely give your dog pomegranate juice in treats, kibble, or on its own. As with all fruit juice, give it only sparingly to avoid increasing your dog’s risk of obesity and type II diabetes.
So…Can Dogs Eat Pomegranates?
Dogs aren’t usually interested in eating pomegranates, and even a little bit often makes them sick. However, if your dog loves the one-of-a-kind fruit, feel free to let them try a bit.
Take it easy as you start and only let them have small amounts, monitoring for signs of gastric distress. And of course, make sure they never eat the peel, which can cause them to choke or develop intestinal issues. With the right conditions, there is no reason why your dog can’t try a few pomegranate seeds.
Do you have a dog that loves pomegranates? Let us know in the comments!
Curious about what other fruits dogs can and can’t eat? Click here to read more dog-related fruit articles on our site.
Want to learn more about pomegranates? Then check out our pomegranate trees page for information on pomegranate planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and more!