It is a common misconception that dates are related to raisins. Because of this, people might assume that because raisins are poisonous for dogs, they cannot feed their dogs dates, either.
In reality, dates are safe for dogs to eat! Owners will feed their dogs dates as a healthy and tasty reward, as well as the nutritional benefits that dates give to dogs.
If you’re wondering whether dogs can eat dates and why then can or cannot in some circumstances, you’ve come to the right place!
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Are dates toxic for dogs?
Dates are not toxic for dogs. This means that if your pooch has accidentally been fed one and you’re frantically looking for an answer on the internet, you can relax!
The main thing to be cautious about is to make sure the pit is out of the date. If the dog bites into a date with a pit inside, it can create dental health problems such as a broken tooth or a bitten tongue.
Also, if the dog swallows the pit, there is a risk of choking or blockages in the intestinal tract. It might not happen, but it’s a risk nobody is willing to take!
As with all food, you need to make sure your dog reacts well to it. There is always the risk of an allergic reaction, or simply the possibility of your dog not liking the food.
Fortunately, dates are supposed to be allergens because of the amount of antioxidants the fruit carries, but that doesn’t mean every dog will be safe from an allergic reaction! This is why you should feed your dog small amounts of the fruit to see how it responds.
There are also a couple of other reasons as to why you should limit their date intake, which we will discuss later in this article.
How many dates can a dog eat?
While dogs can eat dates, you have to be careful about how many you feed them. Dates should be given to a dog as a treat or a reward, and this is all because of the sugar intake.
One date alone contains 16 grams of sugar, which means that you should only give your dog the occasional date as a treat.
This is why people will often give their dog a date after completing a command (like obedience training as puppies) or if they have simply been a very good boy.
Dogs process sugar very similarly to humans. Too much sugar, and it will increase their heart rate and negatively affect their blood sugar levels.
As some dogs are more prone to developing diabetes than others (such as Dachshunds and Beagles), their sugar intake must be moderated.
Weight gain and dental problems are another reason to avoid feeding your dogs too much sugar (even from a fruit!).
It’s no secret that dogs love food – especially the ones with a sweet tooth – so they won’t know when to say no. Weight gain and dental problems can lead to other health issues such as arthritis and gum disease, which can be detrimental to the quality of their lives.
It’s also worth noting that not every dog will respond well to new foods. Dogs require a consistent diet to prevent stomach pains or inconsistent stool, so if you feed your dog too many dates (for example), it can upset their stomach.
Obviously, the occasional date won’t make your dog obese with teeth problems! Just make sure it is all in moderation. If you wouldn’t give your dog a whole bag of treats in the day, then you shouldn’t give them multitudes of dates!
Benefits of dates for dogs
Fortunately, there are many reasons why you should feed your dog a date as a treat or reward! Here are the benefits of dates for dogs:
- Dates are all natural and contain no added preservatives or flavorings, making dates a healthier treat option to cheap snacks or dog bones.
- While they have a high sugar content, dates are very low in fat and cholesterol-free! This means that, when taken in moderation, this is a great treat option for dogs on a diet or dogs with heart problems.
- Dates are filled with insoluble fibers which is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs and stool problems. This will strengthen the digestive system, which in turn will improve the immune system. The fiber content will also fill your dog up, which means they won’t feel the need to beg for more treats!
- Dates are also a good source of calcium, iron, proteins, manganese, potassium, copper, and magnesium – meaning dates can be a good energy boost!
- While dogs require a somewhat consistent diet, they do need a bit of variety now and then. Fruits can be a great option for a meal for wild dogs, and the same goes for domestic dogs!
So…can dogs eat dates?
The answer is: yes, dogs can eat dates. Dates are a wonderful way to treat your dog to something sweet, tasty, and easy to digest.
If you’re worried about feeding your dog cheap treats because of the added preservatives and flavorings, dates are an all natural way to treat or reward your pooch.
Dates must be given to your dog in moderation, however. One singular date contains 16 grams of sugar, which means you shouldn’t give your dog multiple dates in a day.
Instead, they should be given as a special treat if they have been exceptionally good. They also can only eat dates without the pit, as the pit poses a choking or blockage risk.
Dates are a wonderful source of fiber and protein, which is a great option for peckish dogs who try to eat snacks and human foods between meals.
Feed them a date or two, and the fibrous fruit will fill them up! Plus, the antioxidant content of dates means that not only does the digestive system benefit from them, but the immune system, too.
In short, dogs can eat dates – but only in moderation!