In small doses and in most cases, figs are safe for dogs to eat. However, when a dog eats more than a few of these dried fruits, they often experience stomach upset, diarrhea or vomiting, along with occasional rashes, sores, or inflammation on their mouth or tongue. There are two enzymes identified in figs – ficin and ficusin – that can have such a strong effect on your dog’s stomach.
That being said, many people strongly support giving figs to dogs, at least in moderation. Many of the same reasons that humans eat it remain true for dogs as well, such as their high content of dietary fiber and balanced blend of minerals.
Benefits of Figs for Dogs
For dogs with low potassium levels, these fruits are particularly important, as potassium can help keep their blood pressure down.
If you are trying to help your pet lose weight, figs are also excellent because they tend to be a filling food. 1-2 of these fruits (in dried form) is typically enough to tide over your pet in terms of hunger.
The fiber, found in figs, is also good for dogs who may be at risk for diabetes mellitus, suffering from weight issues, or dealing with a weakened colon.
You can simply give these dried fruits to your pet as a treat, or you can cut them up and add them to their food bowl. They are sweet and flavorful, so it won’t be hard to convince them to try this new healthy food!
How to Include Figs in Your Dog’s Diet?
You can allow your dogs to eat fresh or dried figs, and in most part of the world, dried figs are the more accessible option. Most experts suggest limiting them to once or twice a week, as they can speed the digestive process up when eaten in excess, leading to diarrhea.
Figs are rich sources of dietary fiber, as well as vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are well known as a nutritious food for humans, but if you happen to be eating a plate of these Middle Eastern favorites and your dog grabs one off your plate, be sure to pay attention!
As mentioned, there is some debate about whether you should feed your dog figs at all, namely because anecdotal evidence argues that when your dog eats too many of them, a nasty reaction can occur. If you notice any spots, rashes, or unusual amounts of discomfort or itching around the face, your dog may be allergically sensitive to these fruits, in which case you should avoid feeding them any of these sweet treats. Whereas they aren’t considered a highly allergenic fruit for humans, a moderate number of dogs will have a negative reaction.
Precautions to Take While Using Figs for Dogs
Before adding figs to your canine companion’s diet, try it in small doses, one bite at a time, to make sure the dog doesn’t have any adverse reactions. Even small reactions should be taken seriously, and it’s wise to bring your dog to the vet if you notice anything out of the ordinary. If your dog experiences digestive problems, vomiting, diarrhea, or any other types of allergic reactions, discontinue any figs in its diet immediately.
On the whole, figs are safe for dogs to eat, in carefully controlled amounts, so if your pooch snags one from your plate, it isn’t the end of the world, but keep your eye out for any possible side effects.