Can Dogs Eat Dates?
To put it quite frankly, the definitive answer is yes. It is very much safe to feed dates to your dog without it posing a too big of a health risk to him. In this day and age, we dog lovers have come to learn that a little variety in the diet is just as important to us humans as it is to our faithful canine companions.
Dates can serve as a great way to diversify your little buddy’s selection of food while also providing health benefits by being rich in nutrients that will definitely help him grow strong and keep him in good health.
Dates are not that popular in terms of dietary choice for Americans. The fact that this is true is quite sad if you think about it, because dates are not only delicious but are also extremely beneficial to your health!
However, I’m sure that there are certain individuals out there that just absolutely love dates, and would eventually like to know if their dogs can eat them too without having to worry about the dire consequences that arise from eating similar fruits. There could also be a possibility that your dog accidentally ate a few pieces of dates without you noticing and you’re genuinely concerned for his health, but I digress.
Whether you’ve been eating dates for as long as you can remember, or if you’ve only recently been introduced to the sugary fruit, your dog will definitely love to fill his tummy with this sweet treat.
Are Dates Bad for Dogs?
As mentioned earlier, dates are one of the fruits that are safe for them to consume. This goes without saying that there will always be precautionary actions to be taken in order to prevent any substantial bad happenings from occurring.
On their own, dates are pretty harmless, but it is always up to the owner to properly exercise, manage, and supervise the amount given to their dogs. Though dates are good for you, they can and will definitely cause harm if the proper measures are ignored. We wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to our puppy, just for wanting him to enjoy a variety of foods, now would we? Read on to find out more!
At first, I was also unsure of whether or not I could feed dates to my little buddy. Since dates are similar to raisins, I honestly thought they would be just as toxic. Raisins can cause kidney failure to them when ingested in large amounts, and if this were to happen, the dog should be immediately taken to the veterinarian!
Knowing this, I was hesitant and urged myself not to feed them to my puppy, which was the case, of course only until I did a bit of research online! I finally learnt that not only are dates quite harmless to them, but they can also be beneficial to their health as well! Now I make it a point to occasionally treat my dog some dates from time to time and he absolutely loves it when I do. A great weekend plan would be to set a date for a date so you can eat dates together with your little friend.
Benefits of Feeding Dates to Dogs
Now that I’ve successfully convinced you that there is nothing much to fear when feeding dates to your puppy, let’s go over the helpful benefits that are reaped when this fruit is consumed. It’s important to know what we are putting in our dog’s diet, so before we dive right into the direct benefits that our dogs get, let’s first take a look at the nutritional contents of the date fruit.
The Deglet Noor and Medjool are the two most popular varieties of dates that are being sold and distributed within the United States. I’ll be providing the key nutritional data on the Medjool dates, for a 100g serving. For a more thorough look at the full report on all the nutrients found in dates, be sure to check out the USDA Nutrient Database for a complete glimpse of what’s inside the delectable fruit.
- Carbohydrates (75.00g) – These are important for the animal body as it gets broken down into glucose, or blood sugar. This is where your dog gets his energy from when consuming dates or any food with carbohydrates in general.
- Fiber (7.5g) – Fiber helps in the digestion of other substances within the body as well as affecting the general bulkiness of stool. Though fiber is not a highly important nutrient for them, the additional fiber in your dog’s diet obtained through date consumption can help improve their colon health as well as prevent constipation, diarrhea, and other conditions for the bowels.
- Vitamin C – This all important vitamin helps prevent skin diseases in dogs. Vitamin C improves the immune system of them by upgrading their white blood cells to fight against nasty bacteria and viruses that could damage their health! Dates can serve as a great way to sneak in this vitamin in your dog’s diet.
- Sugars (62.50g) – Your puppy uses the natural sugars found in dates to aid in the provision of energy and fuel in order to successfully do your dog’s natural, day to day bodily functions and activity. Proper amounts of sugar can be beneficial, however, it’s always important to note that too much of anything will do much harm to not only to your dog but to us humans as well!
Some important things to note about allowing your puppy to consume dates are that the fruit is definitely high in sugars, meaning it can provide a burst of energy for your pup so that he can keep up with you on runs or outdoor activities.
You can even eat some yourself to refuel when you’re getting tired! Bringing around dates during times of physical exercise or activities with your dog can assure that he’ll be kept motivated and playful, as well as giving you an opportunity to enjoy a healthy snack as well! Just be sure to not indulge too much on the tasty sweets.
The abundance of fiber that can be found in dates, as well as other fruits, will be beneficial to your dog’s digestive track’s health. In the event that your buddy experiences trouble passing stool or is experiencing major constipation, always remember that the high fiber content of dates can definitely help him! Just make sure to always keep your dog hydrated and provide water for him to drink. Also, additional fiber-enriched treats wouldn’t hurt as well!
Dates have the potential to be great treats for dogs with an insatiable sweet tooth. The fruit has an abundance of vitamins and minerals that would provide energy to your dog, so the health benefits won’t make you guilty of spoiling your puppy once in a while!
The Risks of Feeding Dates to Dogs
As all things in life, there are always risks and dangers that we need to take into account. The consuming of dates is no exception. Even though that it’s been made a fact that dates pose no significant threat to the welfare of your dogs, it is important to take some safety measures in order to not make this tasty, sweet snack a detrimental food for your pup. The following are the precautionary actions that you can take in order to not deal with any unwanted mishaps.
- Limit the Amount of Intake (in one sitting). Feeding your puppy a substantially big amount of dates in one go would potentially cause stomach distress as well as possible diarrhea for him. Too many dates consumed would turn any pup from a happy little dog to a sad, wincing little boy because of an upset stomach.
- Be Wary of the Sugar Content. It has been mentioned quite a lot of times in this article that dates have an exceedingly high sugar content, but this is only to get my point across! Be sure to look at the packaging and take into account how much sugar your dog is consuming. You wouldn’t want your puppy to overdose on sugar as it could result in him becoming too hyperactive.
- Moderation is Key. As with all things in life and from what we’ve been taught since childhood, we should always keep a balance in what we eat. Anything that is consumed in large proportions can turn out to be bad for your pet, which can result in them possibly getting sick! Always make sure to carefully moderate the number of dates you allow your puppy to consume as it is imperative to their health that you do.
- Take Out the Pit. If the dates you bought aren’t already pitted, it is highly encouraged (more likely required actually) that you remove the pit before giving the fruit to your dog. The pits of dates aren’t exactly poisonous, unlike other fruit pits, but that doesn’t mean you can leave it in when you plan on feeding a date to your dog. The pit could be considered a choking hazard as well as a possibility of it getting stuck in the intestines of your dog. Always make sure to take the pit out before serving the fruit to your pup.
Tips for When Feeding Dates to Dogs
I’ve compiled a short list of tips that you can use when you want to feed dates to your doggies! Be sure to keep the following in mind if you want to have an easier time with not only feeding your dog, but also making the most out of every treat session. It’s always best to practice safety and practically when it comes to your little friend in order to save time and effort!
- DO NOT leave the full date container unattended. Knowing how persistent our dogs are, they’re bound to find a way to gnaw open the packaging in order to get a taste of the tasty fruit whenever we’re not looking. I suggest putting the container in hard to reach areas so as to not allow any attempts from your little buddy to reach the treats be successful. If you need to leave it out in the open for an easy access, make sure that you’re keeping a watchful eye.
- DO practice moderation. Spoiling your pup won’t be good as too much of any good thing is bad. Dates are best enjoyed when taken at particular times, rather than regular intervals.
- DO use dates as a treat. If you’re in the process of training your dog, you can use dates as a treat! Not only will you be using it as a way to psychologically implant training in your dog’s head through positive reinforcement, but you’ll also be helping him grow in a physical sense thanks to all the helpful nutrients.
- DO check your dog’s reaction. When introducing new foods to his diet, it’s important to see how he’ll react to new stimulus. Most dogs would enjoy the sweet taste of a date. However, on the off chance that your puppy doesn’t like it, you should stop feeding it to him at once. Check for any violent reactions like vomiting, choking, discomfort, etc.
To conclude, our faithful dogs can safely eat dates with absolutely no problem. We just have to always remember to remove the pit before feeding the fruits to them. They are fun to indulge ourselves and our dogs in the delectable sweet treat, but there’s nothing sweeter than our love for our best canine companions!