Last Updated on
I like the sweet taste of figs, and I buy them every time I find fresh ones at the supermarket. They’re full of vitamins and minerals, and are a good source of fiber for people, but can dogs eat figs, too?
The answer depends entirely on your pet. YES, dogs can eat figs, but these fruits can also cause allergies. I’ll explain to you below how to feed them to your dog safely, and how to look for side effects in case of allergies.
Contents & Quick Navigation
Are Figs Bad for Dogs?
They’re not toxic, so if your dog has accidentally eaten a fig, you don’t have to panic. But be sure to watch your dog closely for the next few days, to be sure she’s not allergic to this fruit.
Look for symptoms like:
- rash on the skin or in the mouth;
- coughing;eye itchiness;
If you see any sign of an allergic reaction, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately, to prevent complications.
If she’s not allergic, you can feed her fresh figs. But be warned – dry figs are bad for dogs. They‘re three times higher in calories, have too much sugar, and a low water content, so never let her try them.
Health Benefits of Figs
Figs are rich in natural sugar, which in small amounts is a good source of energy for your dog. Their moderate fiber content is good for a dog’s colon health and weight control, and in some cases can help with constipation. Being rich in potassium, they can also help regulate blood pressure and have cardiovascular benefits, too.
How Much Fig Should I Feed My Dog?
When giving fruits and vegetables to dogs, moderation is the key to a healthy diet. Depending on your dog’s size and age, you can give her about half a fig if you have a small dog, and one or two if she’s a larger breed. Feed her figs only once or twice a month, and always keep the fruit out of your dog’s reach, as too many of them can cause your dog diarrhea.
If you think your dog could be allergic, start with a bit of fig the size of an olive and increase the dose gradually, while supervising her reaction.
What About Fig Leaves?
I’ve read about dogs that enjoy eating fig leaves, but I’m not sure you should allow your dog to do that. Some veterinarians say fig leaves aren’t toxic for dogs, however, the sap in fig leaves can cause allergic reactions and rashes in humans, so I would keep my dogs away from the tree.
There’s confusion online on this topic, mostly because of the weeping fig, an ornamental plant that’s very toxic to pets. Even though these are different plants, they belong to the same family, and this is enough reason for me to keep my dog away from fig leaves.
If you suspect your dog has eaten leaves from the fig tree and see her vomiting, take her to the veterinarian.
Can Dogs Eat Fig Newtons?
These snacks are not toxic, but they aren’t suitable for dogs either. If you make a habit from offering her this type of treat, you can cause serious long-term effects to your dog’s health. This happens because of several ingredients:
- sugar (13 grams/3 tsp. for 2 newtons) and high fructose corn syrup – fed often, they can cause obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity;
- partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil – too much cottonseed oil can cause gossypol poisoning;
- sulfur dioxide, sodium benzoate, and several other artificial flavors – these ingredients are not good for a dog’s healthy diet.
Giving your dog one fig won’t harm her if she’s not allergic. In fact, these fruits are a good source of fiber, potassium and natural sugar that can supplement your dog’s diet, so you can share some with her from time to time.
However, don’t let your dog close to fig leaves and try to keep human snacks away from her. Small quantities of preservatives and artificial flavors might not harm you, but they have different effects on a dog that weighs less and has smaller organs than yours.
Do you share your snacks and fruits with your dog? Have you ever tried giving her figs? Leave a comment below and tell us what treats you offer her.