Can Dogs Eat Dates? Are Dates Safe For Dogs?
Given the close resemblance of dates to raisins, you may be wondering, can dogs eat dates? Are they safe for dogs? In general, dates are packed with nutrients for humans, but let’s get to the bottom of this confusion for our pups.
Fortunately, the short answer is yes; dogs can eat dates, but sparingly and with proper preparation. Just as with many other fruits, such as apricots, dogs should only eat small amounts. And that’s enough, really, because dates pack quite the nutrient punch.
With dates, really the only downside is the sugar content. Toxicity isn’t a concern, thankfully, but the pit of the date does come with other dangers to be aware of. All in all, the benefits likely outweigh the potential negatives, though.
But, as always, you must consult your trusted veterinarian before sharing human foods with your dog. Here are some facts regarding dates and dogs.
How Are Dates Safe For Dogs?
Dates are rich in nutritious vitamins and minerals. It’s an impressive list of vitamin A and K, thiamin, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and more. Dogs, of course, don’t benefit from all of these, but this fruit is still a nutritious treat.
For instance, the fiber content provides digestion benefits, particularly for dogs suffering from constipation. Additionally, their vitamin content aids heart and eye health, plus aids in dog arthritis. And, they provide an energy boost!
While this all sounds fabulous for our dogs, caution should still be heeded and moderation employed. Dates are a fruit, and therefore loaded in natural sugars. Diabetic dogs should steer clear entirely. And for the rest of our pups, only very small amounts should be given.
Furthermore, proper preparation must be done before feeding.
How Can I Safely Give Dates to My Dog?
Dates are completely safe to feed to our dogs in moderation — just a few each day, and with the pits completely removed. Unlike raisins, which are made from grapes — toxic to dogs — dates grow naturally from date palm trees and are unrelated to grapes.
Pits need to be removed because they are a choking and intestinal hazard to dogs. However, the pits themselves aren’t toxic, as is the case with apricots. So, at least you don’t have to worry about trace amounts of toxicity whatsoever. One less thing, right?
It’s mostly the sugar content that is a concern with dates, which is why vets recommend sparing amounts of any fruit for a canine diet. Too many can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, dental issues, and an imbalanced diet, in general.
Also, there’s always a chance of an allergic reaction. When incorporating something new and seemingly healthy into your dog’s diet, consult a veterinarian. They’ll let you know what to look out for in regards to an allergic reaction.
Has your dog ever tried dates? Did they enjoy the taste? Let us know in the comments below!
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