Questions of what dogs can and cannot eat are some of the most common things asked by humans.
We understand, you don’t want to unintentionally poison us, especially since most dogs will eat anything without really giving it much thought.
It can be difficult to know exactly what dogs are and aren’t allowed to eat, especially since they can’t actually tell you. However, it just so happens that this dog can tell you.
I’m Dexter the Dachshund, resident nutritionist over at St Dalmations Uni-paws-ity and I am here to answer all of your food related questions… well, just one food related question in this case.
In this article, I will be answering the question of whether dogs can eat dates.
There are many fruits (especially dried fruit) that are extremely dangerous for dogs, and it can be difficult to know exactly what is good and what isn’t.
It can lead humans to just avoid feeding their dogs any fruit at all, which is a shame considering the fantastic properties that fruit can yield.
Are dates toxic for dogs?
Dates are very much a misunderstood food, perhaps due to their similarities to raisins and sultanas. Raisins and sultanas are widely known as some of the most toxic foods for dogs to eat. As dates are very similar with them all benign dried fruit, it is of no surprise that they are also tarred with the same brush.
However, dates are not at all toxic for dogs. Unlike raisins, sultanas, and currants, dates are not made from grapes.
Grapes are what makes those three dried fruits so toxic as they have a compound that can cause acute and fatal kidney failure.
Dried dates, on the other hand, are made from the fruit of the date palm tree, so contain no grapes at all. Thus, dates have no toxic elements that can harm your pooch.
However, what we do want to draw your attention to is the fact that many dried dates will have additives put with them in order to preserve them.
These often include sulfate. Sulfate is not safe for your dog as it can cause abdominal issues, tummy pain, sickness, and perhaps even more serious illnesses. With this in mind, only feed your dog’s dried dates that have no other additives in them.
You should also ensure that you never give your dog a whole dried date. This is because they have a pit in them that poses an extreme choking risk.
Always check your dates thoroughly and cut them in halves or quarters (this will also help ensure that you do not give your dog too many dates).
Can dogs eat dates?
Now that you know that dates are not toxic, we bet you are wondering whether you can feed your beloved pooch dates. Well, I am here to tell you that you can. In fact, as a dog myself, I am a huge fan of them.
Of course, as with all yummy treats, it is important that they are consumed in moderation. However, in small amounts, dates are not only safe for your dog but can actually provide some excellent health benefits.
Dates are packed full of fiber, and in the same way that humans eat a couple of them to keep them regular, they can also have a similar effect on dogs. A small number of dates can help get your dog’s bowels working regularly.
However, with this in mind you can also see how easy it may be to overfeed your dog dates, thus resulting in a bowel that overworks, so to speak. If you give them even a little bit too many dates, it will be poop-city for your pooch, and will not be very pleasant for you humans, either!
For this reason, it is extremely important that dates are only fed in small amounts and as a treat to be eaten every now and then.
You should also ensure that you consult your veterinarian first if your dog has ever had issues with its tummy, digestive system, or has experienced bouts of diarrhea in the past.
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that dates are very high in natural sugars. In excess, too many dates can cause weight gain, as well as issues with your dog’s blood sugar levels.
Therefore, it is very important that consumption is kept to a minimum, or else you risk issues caused by high blood sugar.
What happens if a dog eats dates?
In small, treat-sized amounts every now and then, dates can be an excellent treat to keep your dog going to the toilet regularly.
They may also be good to give to a dog if they are struggling to poop, provided you seek advice from your veterinarian first. So, in theory, not much will happen if your dog eats the recommended amount of dates.
However, overconsumption of dates can lead to diarrhea and vomiting, which can, in turn, cause issues such as dehydration. As well as this, the excess sugar in dates can cause blood sugar levels to rise, bringing with it a whole host of issues.
If your dog starts to display symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or just seems generally unwell after eating dates, it is very important that you seek urgent medical care through your veterinarian.
As we have said because dates are not toxic your pooch will likely just be sent away with an upset tummy diagnosis and advice to follow a relatively bland diet for a few days, but it is always best to err on the side of caution, especially since there is no way of knowing if your dog has an intolerance to dates without the help of a vet.
So, there you have it! Confirmation that dogs can in fact eat dates.
However, you should only feed them dates in moderation, ensuring that you check for sulfates and other harmful additives and that you ensure the pit has been removed.
Too many dates can produce sickness, diarrhea, and other issues in dogs. With this in mind, be sure to consult a vet if you are unsure of their suitability for your pooch.