Pomegranates and dogs have a rocky relationship. When the fruit is measured out and cooked into high-quality dog food by professionals, it’s totally fine for canines. But, if your dog snatches a raw pomegranate from the counter and devours it, seeds and all, get ready for some vomit and diarrhea clean up.
You can definitely find articles on the internet that break down a pomegranate’s health benefits, but many of these are referring to people, not canines. Our bodies do not break down nutrients the same way; therefore, what’s beneficial to one isn’t necessarily beneficial to the other. Will you die if you eat your dog’s Purina? Probably not. Will you feel queasy? Probably…and vice versa.
So, can dogs eat pomegranate?
Our verdict: Avoid feeding your dog raw pomegranate. Pomegranates come from the Lythraceae plant family which is not toxic to dogs, according to the ASPCA. Still, consumption of the superfruit may upset your pup’s tummy. Pomegranate season in North America begins around October and runs through February (just like citrus fruits), which means they’re often incorporated into tablescapes and recipes. The fruit is known for its juicy seeds and superfruit status. It’s full of vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber.
Is Pomegranate fatal for dogs?
Technically, the seeds of a pomegranate are not poisonous to dogs the way some other foods are. It would be highly unlikely for your dog to experience organ failure or death after ingesting this fruit. Unlike raisins or grapes, which could lead to kidney failure if eaten in large quantities, pomegranates will usually only cause digestive issues. Chances are your dog will throw up the pomegranate on his own.
Similar to acorns, pomegranate seeds contain tannins, which can cause stomach issues in canines that tend to result in vomit and diarrhea. A pomegranate peel is also a choking hazard, so if you’re whipping up a pomegranate banana beauty booster smoothie, be sure to toss those peels straight into the garbage.
Are pomegranates included in some dog food products?
Some dog food brands, like Farmina, incorporate pomegranate into their recipes. Farmina’s Natural and Delicious Grain-Free Pumpkin Chicken and Pomegranate dog food contains dried pomegranate. The Italian company clearly does their research—you can read tons of scientific studies on their website regarding their ingredient choices.
In a study not associated with Farmina, pomegranate peel extract was found to promote healthy gut bacteria and digestion in dogs. However, that study only looked at six dogs, hardly a large enough sample size to determine any real data on the fruit’s effect on canines in general. Another study conducted by the Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine found that the effects of pomegranate extract (alone and in combination with other substances such as L-carnitine, taurine, soy isoflavone extract) “…could be of interest when developing a multi-dimensional dietary strategy to reduce the onset and progression of oxidative stress-induced canine disease…” Translation: When mixed with other substances, pomegranate extract can be used to prevent diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular conditions in dogs.
Again, if professionals have formulated a dog food recipe with pomegranates that your pup enjoys and benefits from, go for it! If not, we recommend avoiding the fruit.
Signs your dog has eaten pomegranate
If you suspect your pup stole some pomegranate off your fancy charcuterie board, watch him closely for a few hours. Make sure he has plenty of water (and encourage him to drink it). Chances are he’ll throw up the forbidden fruit on his own. Keep in mind, every dog’s constitution is different. Similar to the way some humans respond well to lactose and others have trouble processing it, some dogs may develop upset tummies after ingesting pomegranate, while others will not.
When to call the vet
If you catch your pup red-handed gobbling down an entire raw pomegranate, it’s a good idea to call your vet or Animal Poison Control. They’ll be able to offer the best advice on next steps based on your dog’s size, age, breed and current or past health issues.