Can dogs eat pomegranate?

Written by Dr Andrew Miller MRCVSDr Andrew Miller MRCVS is an expert veterinary working in the field for over 10 years after graduating from Bristol University. Andy fact checks and writes for Pure Pet Food while also working as a full time veterinarian. Pure Pet FoodPure Pet Food are the experts in healthy dog food and healthy dogs featured in media outlets such as BBC, Good Housekeeping and The Telegraph. Working with high profile veterinary professionals and nutritionists, Pure Pet Food are changing dog food for the better. - Our editorial process

Admittedly, I don’t eat pomegranate very often. Despite how healthy I know the fruit is and its status as a superfood, peeling it and popping all the seeds out always seems like a hassle.

But, I love the juice and have pondered if dogs can eat pomegranate and whether or not this amazing fruit is worth feeding them.

After all, pomegranate has been credited with some brilliant benefits for us humans, ranging from reducing inflammation to protecting our bodies from cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.

But will these benefits transfer to our furry friends, and are pomegranates safe for Fido to eat?

Can dogs eat pomegranate?

Yes, dogs can eat pomegranate but it comes with a hefty amount of caution.

Pomegranate is not toxic to dogs, and they can eat the fruit safely in small amounts. By the fruit, I mean the pretty pink flesh surrounding the seeds, called “arils”. The jewel-like fruit isn’t just a pretty garnish, they are jam-packed with sweet juices and super nutrients that could benefit your dog.

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However, the high amount of fibre and antioxidants in the fruit and seeds can irritate your dog’s gut, and as with many foods, eating too much of this juicy fruit can cause your dog to suffer from a sore stomach, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

Although your pup can eat a little pomegranate with caution, there is one part of this fruit your pooch definitely can’t munch, and that’s the skin.

We humans don’t eat pomegranate skin because it’s very tough and it tastes pretty bad. It’s not only unappetising for you and your pooch, but it’s hard to chew and almost impossible to digest.

It’s so hard to break down that your dog could choke on a chunk of the skin or suffer from intestinal blockage if they eat a lot of it. So while your pup might be able to munch some pomegranate with you, don’t toss them the unwanted skins.

Can dogs eat pomegranate seeds?

Dogs can technically eat pomegranate seeds because they are non-toxic. That’s a good thing too since your pooch isn’t exactly going to stop munching the fruit to spit the seeds out!

The problem is that pomegranate seeds are hard and a dog’s digestive system isn’t adapted to break them down. In fact, you’ll probably notice the seeds come out whole almost exactly as they went in!

Because these seeds don’t digest, it’s possible that eating lots of pomegranate seeds will irritate your dog’s gut. Like many things, the best thing to do is to make sure your pup doesn’t eat a lot so they stay happy and healthy.

Can dogs eat pomegranate juice?

It’s a tricky one because although pomegranate juice is safe for dogs to eat and isn’t going to poison them, it is packed with sugar. About 14g of sugar per 100ml of juice, in fact.

While a lot of sugar isn’t going to immediately hurt your pooch, eating too much of it can cause problems over time. Just like us humans, your dog can suffer from tooth decay and poor oral health if they eat too much sugar, especially if they aren’t having their teeth brushed regularly. Dogs can also suffer from diabetes, which can be caused by having too much sugar in their diet.

The stacks of sugar in pomegranate juice will also trigger spikes in your dog’s blood sugar, which can cause hyperactivity. That also means it’s not suitable for diabetic dogs to drink.

Some owners might want to try supplementing their dog’s diet with a little juice to add a boost of nutrients, but I think there are better ways to provide those nutrients in your dog’s dinner.

For instance, although pomegranates are famed for being incredibly rich in antioxidants, blueberries actually contain more! Blueberries are perfectly safe for dogs to eat, and they don’t have as much of a risk of causing your dog stomach upset.

You can use some as little treats or toppings for your dog’s dinner, or smash them with some yoghurt for a delicious treat in their Kong.

Can dogs eat pomegranate flowers?

Whether or not pomegranate flowers are edible or not is a murky subject, and because of that, it’s best to make sure your dog doesn’t eat pomegranate flowers or any part of the plant. Even if it isn’t strictly poisonous, munching away on plant matter can irritate their gut and cause gastrointestinal distress.

Is pomegranate good for dogs?

Looking at it nutritionally, pomegranate can be good for dogs. For starters, they’re packed full of fibre, which helps to keep their gut healthy by regulating their bowel movements and keeping their poos a proper consistency.

Secondly, pomegranates are considered a super food because they are packed full of more antioxidants than most other fruits.

Antioxidants are great for your pooch because they help to protect your dog’s cells from free radicals and reverse oxidative damage to the DNA and cells in their body. Oxidative damage is known to speed up the ageing process, and free radicals have been linked to certain cancers and heart disease. Dogs with heart failure are more likely to suffer from oxidative damage, and antioxidants in their diet can help to prevent this damage from occurring.

So far, studies on feeding dogs supplementary Pomegranate Peel Extract has potenial to reduce the onset and severity of oxidative damage in dogs. In another limited study, Pomegranate Peel Extract has been shown to benefit dog’s digestive health. However, more research is needed to prove that pomegranate is worth using as a supplement for our furry friends.

Antioxidants also have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and can help to reduce chronic inflammation in dogs. They’ve been used to help improve the wellbeing of pups suffering from allergies or arthritis. There are many conditions that cause chronic inflammation that eating more antioxidants might help to relieve, such as inflammation in the gut caused by IBS or ulcerative colitis.

Because of this, a little pomegranate might seem a tempting supplement to feed your pooch to help their creaky joints. It is safe, but they probably can’t eat enough to help their joints without getting a stomach ache or diarrhoea.

Pomegranates do also have some vitamin C and K in there, but not tons. Vitamin C is great for supporting your dog’s immune system and is itself an antioxidant. Meanwhile, vitamin K is responsible for your dog’s blood function, and it allows their blood to clot properly. However, dog’s naturally produce some vitamin C and K within their body, so they don’t need huge amounts from their diet.

Can pomegranate make dogs sick?

Although pomegranates are positively packed full of healthy nutrients, you can have too much of a good thing. The high fibre and sugar content can upset your dog’s gut if they eat too much and might cause vomiting and diarrhoea if they scoff too many pomegranate seeds.

The hard, indigestible seeds from pomegranates also have the potential to irritate your dog’s digestive system since they can’t be broken down. Again, this might cause some stomach upset if they eat a lot, but generally nothing too serious.

Your dog should be perfectly fine if they eat pomegranate occasionally and in small amounts.

Recap: Can dogs have pomegranate?

Yes, dogs can have pomegranate and this super food does have some positive nutritional benefits for your furry friend. But, the hard seeds can cause sickness if they eat too many.

If you want to share some pomegranate with your pooch, you can put a spoonful of arils on their dinner to make a beautiful and nutritional topping. But keep it to just a spoonful, and don’t give it to your pup every day.

There are other fruits and vegetables that provide your pooch with loads of nutrition without the same risk of sickness as pomegranate. For example, most kinds of berries are packed full of awesome antioxidants and are perfectly safe for dogs to eat.

If you want your dog to get a the perfect amount of fruit and veggies in their daily diet, give them a complete and balanced meal like Pure. Pure is packed with real meat, fruit and veggies, for good honest nutrition and happy, healthy dogs.