Dogs can eat a lot of human foods that you wouldn’t expect, but can they eat unusual foods like figs? Figs are commonly referred to as a fruit, but an “inverted flower” is a more accurate description. They grow when a flower blooms inside the hard exterior of the plant, and later, that flower transforms into a fruit inside the shell. So, figs are an unusual treat to say the least, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re unhealthy. In fact, they can have many benefits for both dogs and humans.
Can Dogs Eat Figs?
Yes, dogs can eat figs, but they should only be served with caution. Like most human foods, they can be healthy for dogs in small amounts, but giving too much to your dog could pose a risk. If you give your dog a fig or two a week, they should be fine. But any more than that could cause an upset stomach or more serious issues. Also, it’s important to consider your dog’s size when serving any food. Small dogs should always have smaller portions.
While the fig itself can have benefits for your pup, the fig plant can be dangerous. The fig plant is considered toxic to dogs and other animals. Even just the fig leaves could cause irritation and poisoning to dogs. So, if you want to serve figs to your furry friend, please stick to the fruit-like part of the plant only.
Health Benefits of Figs for Dogs
Figs are rich in dietary fiber and potassium, which can help manage their blood pressure and cardiovascular health. They’re also a great source of natural sugar, which can give them energy. Additionally, figs are filling, so they can help your dog lose weight. They are often recommended as snacks for dogs with weakened colons, higher risks of diabetes, or weight problems.
Risks of Figs for Dogs
With all healthy foods, there are always potential risks involved. First of all, some dogs could be allergic to figs, which could lead to digestive problems like vomiting and diarrhea. Eating too many figs could also give your dog an upset stomach and lead to unwanted side effects. If your dog has a lot of allergies, it might be best not to serve them figs, or at least consult your vet about it first.
But the most significant risk of the fig is the other parts of the plant. Fig plants are known for their glossy leaves that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If your dog eats a part of the plant other than the fruit, they could be at risk of fig poisoning.
Some symptoms of dog fig poisoning include:
- Excessive drooling
- Itching or rubbing face
- Irritated skin
- Watery eyes
Even if the symptoms are mild, you should still take your dog to the vet after they eat a fig plant. Many families keep fig plants as houseplants, so if you have any in your home, please keep them out of reach of your animals. Otherwise, like many objects, it’s easy for your dog to chew on them when your back is turned.
Are There Healthier Alternatives?
Most dogs can safely eat the fruits of figs without any problems, but they might not be the healthiest option for your dog. If the risks associated with the fig plant are too scary for you, then you might want to use a safer alternative. Luckily, there are plenty of other fruits that are healthy for dogs.
Bananas, blueberries, apples, and strawberries are all examples of other fruits that are beneficial for dogs. These options have less risks than figs for dogs, but they should still only be served in moderation. Many vegetables, including carrots and kale, are also healthy foods for dogs. If you’re ever uncertain of how much of a specific human food you can give your dog, feel free to ask your vet. You should always take your dog’s weight into account and remember that less is more with these human snacks.
Dogs can eat figs in small portions, but these peculiar snacks shouldn’t be a meal or an everyday treat. There are many human foods that dogs can enjoy in moderation, but it’s your job as a dog parent to know when enough is enough. Everything might seem tasty to your dog, but it’s up to you to decide which options are the safest and healthiest for their diet.