Can Dogs Eat Dates

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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If you’re a dog owner who regularly eats dates, you may wonder what happens when dogs eat dates. Giving your dog human food is something that every dog owner does at some point, but it is important to know whether what you’re passing off to your pooch is safe, as some foods can be toxic or even deadly!

Can Dogs Eat Dates?

If your dog steals a date off your plate, you don’t need to worry about any serious side effects. Dates are packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper, as well as good amounts of dietary fiber and a significant amount of carbohydrates (sugars). Dates are considered very healthy for human consumption, and since they lack any notable toxins or dangerous active ingredients, it is also okay for your dog to occasionally have dates in their diet.

Now, any healthy diet for a dog should already cover all of their nutritional needs, so human food should always be seen as a treat or a supplement, not a dietary replacement or staple. Moderation is important in any human food that you give to your pets, as is paying close attention to your dog’s reaction when you give them food for the first time.

A dog almost toppling a steel bowl of dates with its head

Dates should be shared sparingly, maybe 1 or 2 at a time periodically with dogs. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Benefits of Dates for Dogs

The best benefits when dogs eat dates are improved digestive processes, additional energy, and bone strength, among others.

Boost Energy

As a good source of concentrated carbohydrates, dates do make for a great energetic treat for your pooch, particularly as they get older.

Improve Bone Strength

Dates have quite a few minerals, including iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, and calcium. Although dogs should be getting all of their necessary minerals from their normal diet, a supplement of these critical minerals doesn’t hurt from time to time.

Aid in Digestion

As it does in humans, dietary fiber can provide aid to the digestive system of dogs. The fiber will help to move the bowels in case your dog is suffering from constipation, while also improving nutrient uptake efficiency.

Boost Immunity

With notable levels of vitamin C, dates can help your dog fend off infections and other foreign agents, keeping them energetic, hungry, and healthy.

Improve Heart Health

Potassium is an important mineral for canine cardiovascular health as it can help to control blood pressure, while also preventing irregular heartbeats.

Risks & Side Effects

There are some side effects that you should pay attention to as they can indicate an allergy or an excessive amount of consumption of dates. The high level of fiber could cause diarrhea or stomach upset in your dog if they eat more than a few dates. Furthermore, dates are quite high in sugar, so diabetic dogs should not be given dates freely. Finally, the pits found in dates aren’t necessarily toxic, but they do pose a choking risk, particularly if you have a small dog. Always remove the pits if you are giving a date to your canine companion.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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