Can Dogs Eat Figs?
Figs have always been a very popular snack, and are known to be one of the earliest cultivated fruit crops, they have been around since the dawn of time.
They are packed full of nutrients and also have several health benefits. Many of these benefits that you receive from eating this exotic delicacy can also benefit your dog in the same way.
So is it a good idea to allow your dog to eat figs? Can dogs eat figs?
Let's look at what you need to consider before introducing figs into your dogs' diet.
Health Benefits Of Figs
Figs contain a great source of natural sugar, which can provide an energy boost for your dog, and unlike refined or artificial sugar, it doesn't lead to the sugar crash that can occur after eating highly sweetened foods. They can also benefit dogs suffering from diabetes or those who are on a reduced diet.
Fiber is always a welcome addition to your dog's diet as it can assist in regulating bowel movements, it is also great for your dog's digestive systems, and can help with constipation. The fiber in figs helps your dog feel fuller longer, which can help with weight control and avoid the need for constant snacking. It only contains about half of the fiber of other fruits and vegetables, so it is still possible to supplement other veggies into their meal.
Figs are rich in potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure and has cardiovascular benefits.
They are also high in iron, calcium, and vitamin B6.
Iron is beneficial for your dog because it helps produce red blood cells and hemoglobin responsible for transporting oxygen around their body and particularly to their brain.
Calcium is an essential mineral for dogs because it helps to support the health of their teeth and bones and helps with their muscles.
Vitamin B6 helps dogs immunity, assists the function of their nervous system, the healthy production of red blood cells, and overall well being of your dog.
Are Figs Bad For Dogs?
Generally, fresh figs are perfectly OK for dogs to eat. There are always exceptions to the rule where figs can cause an allergic reaction, so it is still essential to know your dog's health history and watch them when they are eating new foods for the first time.
The fig tree or ficus tree can cause some skin irritations and is mildly toxic to dogs. If ingested or comes into direct skin contact, the sap of this tree can cause skin irritation and stomach issues.
Ideally, if you have a fig tree or any fruit tree in your yard, limit your dog's access to this area. That way, you are reducing the risk of them coming in contact with the sap and toxic parts of this tree. Also, they could be tempted to eat fallen fruit and could overeat, which would cause stomach issues, including diarrhea. Also, fallen rotten fruit would create a similar reaction.
Symptoms of Allergic Reactions
It is always recommended to regularly monitor your dog's behavior and check up on their overall condition. When introducing new foods, various reactions could occur if your dog is allergic. Minor reactions can rapidly upgrade to significant issues, so you must act quickly if you notice any changes in your dog's behavior or condition. If your dog displays any of the following symptoms, visit your veterinarian for immediate assistance.
- Rash on the skin or in the mouth
- Eye itchiness
- Excessive salivation
- Loss of appetite
How Many Figs Can My Dog Eat?
When introducing new foods to your dog, try small portions initially, and observe them for any allergic reactions. Monitor for a few days before reintroducing the new food as sometimes it can take a while before symptoms are visible.
Some dog's digestive systems are more delicate than others, and they are more likely to have trouble digesting new foods.
Due to the high natural sugar and fiber content, it is important not to overfeed figs to your dog or stomach problems or diarrhea could occur.
The number of figs that your dog can eat will depend on your dog's size, the general guide to give your dog is no more than one fig per week.
To minimize the risk of potential stomach issues, give figs after the main meal, not on an empty stomach.
A little can go a long way. Make sure that you do not overfeed this delicious treat.
Remember that just like humans, not all dogs will enjoy eating figs. If you offer to your dog and they refuse to eat it, try a different vegetable or fruit.
How To Prepare Figs for Dogs?
The best way to serve figs to your dog is fresh. When fruits are dried, they become very high in sugar, and the low water content can make them difficult for your dog to digest.
Figs are popular in many sweet biscuits like fig newtons and other refined treats. These often have very high sugar content and many artificial flavors and colors which are not suitable for your dog. Best for your pooch to avoid these sweet treats.
When feeding fresh figs to your dog, always cut them into bite-size pieces, never serve whole as the large fig could become a choking hazard.
What Other Fruit Can Dogs Eat?
It is good to know what foods are OK for your dog to eat, as it is not always possible to see every morsel that goes into their mouths as they are good at seeking out food wherever it may be. Especially relevant if you have a garden, large block, or farm and have access to fruit trees.
We have established that you can give your dog figs on occasion, so what other fruits are OK for your dog?
Here is a list of some of the healthiest options
- Apples - a great source of vitamin A and C and fiber
- Bananas - high in potassium and vitamins
- Blackberries - extremely high in vitamin C
- Blueberries - full of antioxidants
- Cantaloupe / Rockmelon - high in natural sugar
- Kiwi - a great source of vitamin C and potassium
- Mango - rich in carotenoids and potassium
- Oranges - high in vitamin C and help to flush toxins
- Peaches - high in vitamin C
- Pears - copper, fiber vitamin C, and K
- Pineapple - folate, zinc and vitamin C
- Raspberries - rich in vitamin C manganese and antioxidants
- Strawberries - manganese, iron, copper and vitamin C and K and promotes good blood pressure
- Watermelon - a source of vitamin A, B6, and potassium
Remember to remove all stones, seeds, and pits. If eaten, they can cause digestive discomfort, and some pits like peaches, apricots, and plums are toxic.
Most fruits have high natural sugar content, so feeding fruit to your dog should be an occasional treat, or you could create some serious health issues such as weight gain and diabetes.
It is good to boost your dog's nutritional intake with some different food items on occasion. Figs are a great natural source of vitamins and minerals that are perfect as an occasional treat. There are many health benefits, including a natural energy boost, promotes good blood pressure, and can aid your dogs' digestion.
Ensure that you do not feed your dog more than one fig per week and that you only give them fresh figs as dried figs can cause digestive discomfort. Keep away from figs that are in biscuits or highly processed as the ingredients are not suitable for a dog's stomach.
If the fig is a new food for your dog, remember to monitor their health and start with a small amount. As always, if your dog is displaying any unusual symptoms, seek medical advice from your veterinarian.