A healthy dessert that we all love with passion is the date fruit. And dates seem like a perfect treat for your dog if they have a sweet tooth. But can dogs eat dates?
To answer your question, yes, dogs can eat dates, but in moderation. Dates are an amazing healthy fruit that can be enjoyed as an alternative Snickers bar, save the chocolate coating.
Dates also have plenty of health benefits as well. Let us find out why you should or should not feed dates to your dog.
Are Dates Safe For Dogs?
Dates are safe for dogs to consume. So, if your pup devours a few that you dropped on the floor, it will not be life-threatening at all. Those can even serve as an energy booster for your pup as sugar content in food provides energy.
1. Aid bowel movements
Dates are high in fructose, a natural sugar that gives dates natural sweetness. Your dog does not really need such sugary content in their diet. But dates are an excellent source of fiber, which helps offset the sugar and smoothen bowel movements.
2. Rich in vitamins and minerals
They also contain antioxidants, essential vitamins, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins, which help boost your pup’s immunity and overall health.
Minerals such as magnesium and iron promote strong bones and teeth, and blood circulation throughout the body. Proper potassium balance in the body helps keep the blood pressure levels normal and keep the heart healthy and running (study).
Are There Any Health Risks of Feeding Dates to Dogs?
So, are dates all rainbows and unicorns? Nope! They have plenty of health risks as well.
1. High fructose content
As mentioned above, dates are filled with fructose. Therefore if your dogs consume dates in large quantities, then they have a greater risk of diabetes and obesity. Also, high amount of sugar is a leading cause of dental and oral diseases.
Again, the high amount of sugar can cause a nutritional imbalance in their body, which may lead to a spike in their blood pressure.
2. Excessive amount of fiber
The high fiber content in dates is not very suitable for dogs. While it smoothens bowel movement, it can eventually lead to diarrhea and an upset stomach.
3. Seeds are too big for consumption
Most importantly, when you buy packaged dates, the seeds are usually removed, and it is also very easy to manually remove the date seeds from dates. Unlike most seeds, date seeds do not contain cyanide, so consuming it is not poisonous. But date seeds cannot be chewed. So, if they try to swallow them, chances are the seed might get stuck in their throat.
4. Choking hazard
Dates can pose a choking hazard, especially if you have a small dog. Even the flesh of dates might be a choking hazard. So, removing the seeds and chopping the fruit up in sizes relative to your dog is the best choice.
5. Allergic reactions
Some dogs can even be allergic to dates or some of the components in them. So, always consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog. They might be able to guide you when your dog consumes dates or any food.
How to Serve Dates to Dogs Safely?
We understand why this tasty fruit can still seem like the best treat choice for your pup. So, how do you feed it to them anyway?
1. Choose organic
You must always go for organic, locally sourced dates. Why? Because packaged or canned dates contain preservatives and chemicals that can be hard to digest for dogs.
2. Clean them properly
Do not forget to wash your dates thoroughly beforehand. This will help you prevent the intake of any foreign particles or pesticides.
3. Chop them up
Remove the pits and chop the dates into small pieces so that they can be easily chewed and your sweet fur baby does not choke on them. Small dogs are especially prone to choking on such pieces.
4. Add it to their diet as training treats
Try feeding your pup some dates during their training sessions. The sugar in dates will provide energy to your pup so that they can learn and perform new tricks in no time.
How Would You Know if Your Dog Ate Too Many Dates?
One or two dates might not be a problem at all. But too many dates can be dangerous for your canine companion because their tummies are too delicate. So, if you suddenly catch them vacuuming some dates, how would you even know when your pup has consumed more dates then he should have?
There would be changes in their body movement, that is easily noticeable. Here are the symptoms to look out for:
- Their pace of movement.
- Tail hanging low
- Lack of focus
- Lack of coordination
- Averting eyes
- Dilated pupils
Furthermore, you should look out for other anomalies such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, excessive drooling, or lethargy.
How to Make a Snickers Candy For Your Pup With Dates?
Who does not love a Snickers bar as a little afternoon snack here and there? You might think that yes, your dog will love them as well. Well yes, they taste but you would be unintentionally poisoning them. The chocolate coating on Snickers and other chemical ingredients is super dangerous for them!
Here is how you can make some dog-safe Snickers for your fur buddies while you enjoy a regular Snickers:
- Get some regular, fresh, large dates. Medjool dates are the best as they are large, high quality and fresh for consumption.
- Remove the pits from them, as your furry friend might choke on them pretty easily.
- Get some peanut butter and mix some finely chopped almonds in it. Open up the dates and put the mixture in the middle.
Note: Make sure the peanut butter is xylitol free. Xylitol poisoning is a life-threatening condition and you should avoid xylitol containing products by all costs (article).
Dates are a great addition to your sweet pup’s diet, as long as you feed them moderately. They provide nutritional benefits and will keep your pup satiated for a long time.
But also, never let your pup eat too many dates. Like most foods, dates have adverse effects when eaten in large quantities. Always consult your veterinarian. If you notice any anomalies in their behavior or see symptoms such as lethargy, laziness, tremors, etc., take them to the vet immediately.
Moreover, the sweet taste of dates might be too addicting for your pupper. So, they might end up overeating. Overeating any food item can be dangerous to their health and lead to health risks such as obesity, unhealthy heart conditions, and sometimes even behavioral issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
As mentioned above, moderation is the key. So, you can only give your dog some dates in minimal quantities. Only or two at a time is the best amount.
Dates without the seeds are completely safe for dogs. The seeds pose a choking hazard to dogs, especially small breeds.
There can be several reasons why your dog may not like dates. They may not find them palatable enough or another major reason could be they might feel like
No! Medjool dates are very much okay for your dog to consume, but in moderation. Too many Medjool dates can disrupt their digestive system.
Prunes are dried plums and most dried fruits are notoriously known for having unhealthy amount of sugar. Which is why prunes are not recommended, as the sugar in them may badly affect your pup’s health. However, a slice or two will likely not be harmful.