Have you considered feeding your dog a damson or two? Wondering whether it is safe, or even a good idea to do so.
Well, you’ll be pleased you stopped by.
I spent some time researching the properties of this sweet stone fruit and will be sharing all that you need to know here today.
So, can dogs eat damsons? Dogs can eat damsons, so long as they are ripe and the stone is removed prior to feeding. Due to high sugar content, damsons should only be given in limited quantities and sparingly to avoid an upset stomach and potential weight management issues.
Chances are you still have questions; including whether or not they pose any risk of poisoning, are their health benefits of feeding, and how much to feed and when.
That’s what we will now get into!
Are Damsons Poisonous To Dogs?
The damson fruit (the flesh) is not poisonous to dogs, but their stones/pits contain cyanide, which can be harmful and released if chewed or broken.
If your dog were to ingest a damson pit, they could present with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, or excessive salivation.
These are all early signs of cyanide poisoning.
If such symptoms were to occur, you would need to contact a veterinarian at the earliest of opportunities.
Can Damsons Provide Health Benefits For Dogs?
Damsons can offer health benefits for dogs (via specific nutrients and minerals) if offered appropriately.
Vitamin A for Eye Health
This vitamin helps to maintain the health of the retina, supporting good vision in dogs.
Fiber for Digestive Health
Fiber adds bulk to the diet, aiding in regular bowel movements and promoting overall gut health.
Antioxidants for Disease Prevention
Damsons contain antioxidants that can help fight off harmful free radicals in a dog’s body, potentially preventing various diseases and boosting the immune system.
Vitamin C for General Health
While dogs naturally produce Vitamin C, the additional amount in damsons can contribute to overall health by boosting the immune system and enhancing iron absorption.
How Many Damsons Can A Dog Eat?
Dogs should be given a small damson here and there, and relatively infrequently. Though the exact number of damsons a dog can eat will depend on their size, activity level and general health status.
Damsons should be given to dogs in moderation due to their high sugar content, which can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and dental issues if consumed excessively.
As with any new addition to the diet, it’s recommended to offer a very small amount to begin with and see how your dog responds.
Better yet would be to consult a vet before introducing it into your dog’s diet to ensure it’s suitable for their individual health needs.
Generally, larger, more active and healthier dogs will respond to damsons better.
How Often Can Dogs Eat Damsons?
Dogs should be given damsons sparingly, like other fruits. Consider them a treat to offer once in a while, such as every now and again, or every other week.
More appropriate treats for your dog should be focused around lower-sugar, lower-fat options.
Carrots, apples (without seeds), and dog-specific, low-calorie treats are best.
Other optimal, lower sugar fruits which should be favored include:
- Watermelon (seeds and rind removed)
- Peaches (pits removed)
- Pears (seeds removed)
How To Feed Your Dog Damsons
Select Fresh Damsons
Always choose fresh, ripe damsons for your dog.
Avoid any that are overripe, bruised, or spoiled as these can upset your dog’s stomach.
Before feeding damsons to your dog, thoroughly wash the fruit under running water to remove any pesticides or harmful substances that could have collected on their surface.
Remove the Pit
The pit of the damson contains cyanide, which can be harmful to dogs if ingested.
Always remove the pit before feeding damsons to your dog.
Cut Up the Damsons
Cut the damsons into small, manageable pieces for your dog.
This will not only make it easier for them to eat, but also reduce the risk of choking.
Consider Mixing In With Other Treats
You can mix these small damson pieces in with your dog’s other treats or food.
This can be an effective way of introducing a new flavor and texture to your dog’s diet.
It’s all about the discretion and moderation when feeding damsons to dogs.
While damsons are not a ‘necessary’ addition to a dog’s diet, they do contain several nutrients that can be beneficial if you did want to offer them.
You could be feeding them something a lot worse!
Still, the high sugar content still means they should be given sparingly.
It’s also important to remember that their suitability does depend on the dog, and not all dogs will react the same way to them,
So the only thing you can really do is offer a small bit and see how your dog gets on.
Just ensure its a fully ripe damson and of course, you remove the pit!
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.