Dates are great – they are tasty and can offer a super-sweet but natural snack. They are made from the dried fruit of palm trees.
They offer great health benefits to humans. They can be eaten alone, added to salads, shakes, and oatmeal – the possibilities are endless! They are gaining more and more popularity due to their nutritional value.
So many people like them and use them regularly across the country. We’re no different – there’s always a baggie of dates somewhere in the kitchen.
There is only one problem, though. Whenever we’re using dates in meals, the dog starts begging for it. Climbing on the leg and stuff, whatever he can to get his hands (or paws) on some dates.
But there is the question of safety. Can dogs even eat dates? Are they safe for dogs? Read our article to find out!
Can Dogs Eat Dates?
Let’s get one thing straight before we continue talking about dates: dogs can eat dates, and they’re perfectly safe doing so. Sure, dates aren’t something dogs can traditionally enjoy, but every dog is different.
This is a sugary snack, so eating too much can have certain unwanted effects on your dog. But, dates are a perfectly safe food eaten from time to time.
Whenever you want to give your dog something new, it’s principal to introduce the food first. That way, you can easily find out whether your dog has food allergies to that certain food item.
When the dog eats the new food item, watch how the dog behaves afterward. Any unusual behavior or lethargy is a warning sign that you should discontinue the use!
Introducing Dates To Your Pet’s Diet
Whenever you’re giving the pet something new to eat – you should introduce it. Introducing a food item means giving the pet a small quantity the first time, and increasing the amount the next time.
Increase the amount until you reach the full allowed portion. Watch the reaction the first time, and if all looks good – continue.
Introducing food is a method used to get your pet used to something new. Dogs tend to be put off by something new, especially if that food looks nothing like meat.
Serving Dates To Your Pet
Dogs certainly cannot eat as many dates as humans can. In fact, they can’t eat much – it can result in some tummy woes and diarrhea.
Furthermore, make sure to cut up dates to tiny pieces before you give them to your pet. A whole date is large and when dogs get excited, they tend to forget to chew.
Swallowing a whole date can result in your pet choking, spitting, and even vomiting. So, the safest thing to do is chop it up and sprinkle it on top of the regular dog food.
Dose the dates (per serving) according to the table below:
|Toy breeds||Small breeds||Medium breeds||Large breeds|
|Up to ¼ a date||Up to ½ a date||Up to one date||Up to two dates|
Once again, you mustn’t overdo it. Dogs can enjoy eating dates from time to time, but don’t make it a regular thing!
One more thing: make sure that you don’t serve pitted dates to your dog. Pits can be a choking hazard and worse, cause of intestinal blockage for your dog and a threat to their life.
If you’re not sure, open the date and check for pits. Never give the dog dates you’re not sure about – you could seriously harm them!
Using Dates As Snacks
Dates can be a good snack, but if used periodically. If used often, they pose more risks than benefits. So, use it for special occasions or once a month, or two months.
Do remember the 10% rule – snacks shouldn’t go over 10% of the daily food ingested.
Benefits Of Dogs Eating Dates
Dates are highly beneficial to human health – people feel they have more energy, the metabolism is boosted, skin and hair look more radiant. It’s no surprise it’s beneficial to dogs, as well.
Thankfully, your dog doesn’t need much fruit or veggies to feel the nutrient kicking in. Dogs are omnivores in nature, but their diet requires more meat than anything else.
Let’s check out the nutritional value of 1 ounce of dates:
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||0.5mg|
We can see that dates are rather high in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber, when consumed in moderation, has good effects on the digestive system and boosts metabolism.
However, some dogs cannot digest a lot of fiber, and that can result in your pet getting some diarrhea or a minor stomach ache. If that happens, a little pumpkin puree will soothe the poor pup’s tummy.
Dates are also very high in sugar. We stated that dogs shouldn’t eat dates regularly, and this is the reason why. Sugar has no positive effect on your pet, besides the fact that the dog likes to eat it.
Dogs should maintain a mostly sugar-free diet. Too much sugar (and carbs) can lead to obesity. Obese dogs have a shorter life span, and if that isn’t enough to convince you not to give your dog too many dates – we don’t know what is!
However, dogs can get certain benefits from eating dates, let’s see what they are:
- Better digestion and a healthier digestive system in general – due to fiber content;
- The dog is feeling more energized, due to magnesium content;
- Better heart health – because of nutritional minerals found in dates;
- Maintaining good vision, thanks to the good amount of vitamin A;
We can safely say that dates are good for dogs. That still doesn’t mean the dog should eat them all the time, but if you can tell the puppy enjoys them, there’s no harm in the occasional treat.
Do note that our official recommendation is feeding your dog the dog food. Anything else could simply not provide your dog with the much-needed nutrients the dog needs to thrive.
When in doubt – commercial dog food is the way to go. Pups that aren’t fed well-balanced meals tend to become malnourished in no time. A malnourished pet is easy to spot – it’s tired, lethargic, thirsty and it has a dry, discolored nose.
What Happens If The Dog Eats Too Many Dates
You simply cannot pay attention to your dog all the time, no matter what you do. The dog will do what the dogs do and eat whatever he wants. This time, it was dates.
The recommended amount clearly states no more than two dates, but he ate at least seven. What will happen to the poor dog now?
Some mild symptoms are to be expected – an upset tummy or some vomiting, perhaps diarrhea. There’s no need to visit the vet for this, but if the symptoms persist for more than two to three days, a visit to the vet is advised.
If you notice the dog acting lethargic, or that he’s trying to vomit but nothing comes out – go to the vet immediately. This could be a sign of bloat, a severe disease that affects mostly larger dogs.
Bloat can kill your dog if the dog doesn’t receive emergency medical attention. Sometimes even surgery is required to save the dog!
To conclude, dogs can safely eat dates. There are a few things we wanted to put an accent on before we finish:
- Dogs can eat dates, but it’s not a good idea to feed them dates regularly;
- Once a month or once every two months is more than enough;
- Dates can be good for your pet’s health but when eaten in moderation;
- Cut the dates up, remove the pits (if any), and dose the dates according to the table;
- Keep the dates away from the pup’s reach – eating too much can harm your dog;
- Keep an eye on the pet after you introduce the dates into their diet – watch out for food allergies.
These things will help you keep your pet healthy and safe. A happy pet will stay by your side for years to come!