While some of us enjoy a routine diet, others are open to flavorful changes. One sweet treat that many choose to feast on is the fig. This soft, sweet, seedy fruit is a delicious treat enjoyed both fresh, as a garnish, or dried. But how does this tasty morsel fare for dogs? Can dogs eat figs? If so, are they beneficial? Today we will answer these questions and more.
Can Dogs Eat Figs?
Figs may not be the most common fruit choice, but they make for a versatile meal addition. You can enjoy them in nature bars, toasties, chutney, salads, jams, custards, or on top of yoghurt. And of course, we can’t forget the heavily polarized Fig Newton cookies. (I personally find them to be a delicious laxative.)
But can dogs eat figs, too? The good news is dogs can eat figs and enjoy the benefits of this sweet fruit. However, your canine is not cleared to munch on Fig Newtons. Though there is nothing toxic about these cookies, they contain high levels of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oil. Guess we’ll just have to stick with fresh fruit for dogs!
Are Figs Good for Dogs?
It’s now evident that you don’t have to worry if your dog samples any fig or fig products. But are there benefits of serving figs to your dog in the first place? It turns out that figs can provide benefits to dogs when served in moderation.
Fig Newtons are not a good snack for dogs, since dogs should not be eating extra fats or sugars. It turns out that even in their natural, fresh form, figs can be quite sugary. One fig can have from between 3 to 9 grams of sugar in it. Considering the size of the fruit, that is a relatively high sugar count. Therefore always serve figs to your dog in small portions.
However, a small amount of natural sugar is beneficial to dogs. When not overdone, it can provide a great source of energy. Additionally figs are high in potassium, which is key for building muscle and maintaining normal bodily growth and regulations. Figs can help in regulating blood pressure, and they can provide cardiovascular benefits to dogs.
Lastly, the fiber content of figs is healthy for a dog’s colon. It can also help regulate weight control. Another benefit of the fig is that it can often act as a natural laxative. It can therefore help with canine constipation.
Fig Warnings for Dogs
Figs are not toxic to dogs, though dogs could have fig allergies. Signs of allergic reactions include rashes on the skin or mouth, coughing, eye itchiness, vomiting, and wheezing. Call your vet right away if you are concerned about a possible allergic reaction.
If you do choose to share figs with your dog, be sure to only serve the fresh variety. Dried figs are not healthy for dogs since they contain triple the calories of fresh figs. They also have more sugar and less water content, which is not beneficial to dogs.
To test your dog for fig allergies, start off with a very small serving of fig and monitor your dog for adverse reactions. Be aware that if you feed your dog too much fig, she may have diarrhea. It is therefore best to keep figs as a treat to serve once or twice a month.
Serving Figs to Fido
Most of the safe serving guidelines have already been covered. While fig products, such as Fig Newtons, are not toxic for dogs, they are too sugary to be served safely. Dogs should be snacking on figs in their natural, fresh form to avoid hazards.
Additionally, it’s best to play it safe and keep your dog away from fig leaves. Though studies have not proven that the leaves are toxic for dogs, the sap in them is known to cause rashes and allergic reactions in humans. Best to play it safe.
Lastly, it’s always important to stress that snacks should make up a small portion of your dog’s daily diet. It’s hard to say no to our furry friends, but unlimited snacking is not going to do your dog any favors.
Can dogs eat figs? Yes, dogs are free to feast on this sweet treat. However, since figs are naturally high in sugar, be sure to only serve small portions of the fruit if your dog is able to digest it without any adverse reactions and keep the leaves away.
To read about more fruit that is beneficial for dogs, check out are pears good for dogs.