Pomegranate is a delicious fruit, perfect in its balance of being both sweet and tart. While they are a pain to dissect, once you get to the juicy seeds in the middle, all of the work will be worth it. Pomegranates are some of the most nutritionally dense foods available for humans, but the conclusion is definitive on how good they are for dogs.
Can Your Dog Have Pomegranates?
Most veterinary experts say you should not feed your dog pomegranate in any form. This isn’t just based on research; most dogs who eat pomegranate seeds end up sick shortly afterwards. Veterinarians’ best guess is dogs aren’t able to handle the type or amounts of antioxidants that make pomegranates so healthy to humans.
Dogs absolutely require antioxidants in their diet, but tannins, the types found in plants, aren’t necessary for a dog’s overall health. Pomegranates are bursting with tannins, as well as anthocyanins and ellagic acids. The canine body tries to break these down, but the digestive tract is unable to, resulting in a stomach ache or vomiting and diarrhea.
The seeds are the part of the fruit that’s most commonly eaten. If you’ve never had a pomegranate, the seeds are the part of the fruit filled with the sweet juices. To extract the juice, you have to crush the seed in your mouth. The seed can be eaten or it can be spit out if you don’t like it.
Unfortunately, dogs can’t–or won’t–spit the seed out, and too many of them can cause diarrhea because their stomach and intestines aren’t designed to digest seeds. It’s not uncommon to see the seeds pass through the entire body undigested.
What to Do If Your Dog Eats Pomegranate
There’s always that one dog that will stop at nothing to taste what you’re eating or steal whatever you don’t want him to have. If your dog somehow gets into a pomegranate, don’t panic. His stomach might become rumbly, his bathroom breaks might increase in frequency, and he might vomit, but it’s unlikely to result in anything fatal.
Vomiting is normal, and you don’t need to be alarmed or seek veterinary attention unless it continues for more than 24 hours or they become extremely weak and lethargic. Vomiting is good in some cases because it’s the body’s way of getting rid of things that are making it ill.
If your dog has eaten pomegranates, simply watch them for excessive vomiting or diarrhea, especially if they’re unable to keep anything down. It’s best to withhold food for about six hours until the vomiting stops, and then start feeding small amounts of their regular food again.
Unfortunately, pomegranates are one of those foods that are best left unshared with your dog. Ignoring those sweet puppy eyes can be difficult, but giving in isn’t worth it if your dog is going to suffer from a pomegranite induced sour stomach afterwards. A taste here or there probably won’t cause any issues, but don’t make a habit of sharing this fruity treat with them.