Can Dogs Eat Dates? What You Need To Know

Can Dogs Eat Dates?Dates may not be the most popular fruit in the United States but they are certainly one of the sweetest.

They’re a healthy alternative for those of us with a sweet tooth.

But what if our furry companions have a sweet tooth?

Can dogs eat dates too?

Can My Dog Have Dates?

Yes, dates are perfectly fine for dogs to eat.

Great news!

However, dogs should only eat a couple dates at a time and infrequently. Dates should not replace or be a regular part of your dog’s diet.

Dates make great treats for your dog and are a healthy and natural alternative to traditional processed dog treats.

Ripe dates contain about 80% sugar and are not as easily digested by dogs. While they can benefit from the nutrients and enjoy the sweet taste of dates, they primarily need a protein-based diet.

Fun fact: Dates are mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible and 20 times in the Qur’an.

Are Dates Good For Dogs?

Dates actually have quite a lot of nutrients despite being a little sugary treat. Your dog can benefit from these nutrients as long as they are not fed dates in excess.

Many of the nutrients in dates can help lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease, stroke and several types of cancer.

Date Nutrients:

  • Dietary fiber
  • Iron (balances oxygen in the blood)
  • Potassium (helps heart rate and blood pressure)
  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamins A (maintains healthy skin and mucous membranes as well as protecting the eyes)
  • Vitamin K (helps blood coagulate)
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Selenium

Overweight Dogs and Dogs With Diabetes

Dates may be suitable for some dogs more than others. We do not recommend dates for dogs if they are overweight or diabetic. The high amounts of sugar may be harmful to their health and promote weight gain.

Food Sensitivities and Allergies

If your dog has any food allergies or sensitivities they may be able to eat dates but they should be fed only small amounts and watched closely. If they have any negative reactions such as diarrhea, loose stool, or vomiting you should stop feeding it to them immediately.  

You should be careful feeding dates to dogs that are prone to diarrhea as the fiber in dates will only promote more of that.

Dates for dogs are okay for all ages as long as they don’t have any major health concerns. It’s also preferable that they get moderate to high amounts of exercise each day to burn off the additional carbohydrates and sugars from dates.  

Fun fact: Fossil records show that date palms have existed for at least 50 million years.

My Dog Ate Date Pits…Should I be Concerned?

No need to worry! The biggest concern with date pits is that they can be a choking hazard or create a blockage in the intestines of smaller dogs.

If your dog has eaten date pits and is not choking then they should be fine. However, you should monitor your pups behavior and bowel movements for any signs of an intestinal blockage.

Signs of an intestinal blockage are:

  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss

If any of the above symptoms occur after your dog has eaten date pits then you should take them to a veterinarian immediately.

Do Date Pits Contain Cyanide?

Unlike many other pitted fruits, date pits do not contain harmful chemicals such as cyanide. The biggest concern with date pits is that they can be a choking hazard or cause an intestinal obstruction.

What If My Dog Eats Too Many Dates?

Let’s say your pooch has somehow eaten more than their fair share of dates in one sitting. Other than a possible sugar rush, they will most likely get an upset stomach.

The dietary fiber in dates can help digestion but too much and it may give them diarrhea or loose stools.  Your pup should be fine, but you should keep an eye on them and their bowel movements. If you notice excessive diarrhea or other symptoms don’t hesitate to talk to a vet.

History of Dates

Dates are believed to have originated in what is now modern-day Iraq. They have been a staple food in the Middle East for thousands of years.

They have been cultivated since ancient times in prehistoric Egypt and Mesopotamia. Dates were then later spread to Spain, North Africa, and southwest  Asia.

Dates were introduced to California and Mexico by the Spaniards in 1765.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Dates?

“Can dogs eat dates?” is a great question considering they are a sweet treat and we love sharing our human treats with our furry friends. Thankfully the answer is yes.

However, dogs cannot digest the high sugar content in dates as easily as us humans. Despite dates having a lot of great nutrients, your dog should eat them infrequently and only a couple at a time.

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