Not too many Americans eat dates on a regular basis. While they’re a staple in other cultures, you usually have to go to specialty grocery stores to find them here. If you’re one of the few people who love dates, at some point you’re going to wonder if your dog is going to be okay if they eat these sweet little fruits.
Are Dates Safe for Dogs?
There is nothing in dates that makes them toxic for dogs. They’re a fantastic source of dietary fiber, as well as various minerals and proteins. Dates are low fat and completely free of cholesterol. They’re loaded with vitamins A, B (1, 2, 3, and 5), and C. A combination of the dietary fiber and amino acids improves the function of the digestive system.
Despite these health benefits, there are a few precautions to take.
- Limit their date intake. Because they’re such a good source of fiber, too many dates are going to send your dog’s bowels into overdrive and cause diarrhea.
- Dates are very sweet, and it’s because they’re naturally loaded with sugar. Dogs aren’t built to need or digest copious amounts of this sweet substance. Dogs who get too much sugar are at higher risk of diabetes and obesity.
- Always remove the pits! The pits seem to be free of cyanide unlike many other fruit pits, but they’re a choking hazard and could potentially cause a blockage in the intestines of smaller dogs.
Are There Any Benefits to Date Consumption?
Dogs on a high-quality dog food won’t necessarily find any benefits from dates unless they’re somehow lacking in fiber. If your dog is on a diet, for example, they might appear to be hungry despite having a full meal. In these instances, extra fiber is beneficial in helping them feel full longer so they don’t feel the need to go rummage through the trash or beg excessively for food.
A high-quality food is all your dog needs for optimal nutrition. Dates aren’t bad for your dog if they’re given as an occasional treat, but avoid making them a daily occurrence.