Most people misunderstand that figs are fruits. These may look like fruit, but figs are inverted flowers The fig tree does not bear flowers like apples and oranges. Rather, the figs ‘ flowers bloom in their pod, which appears as pear-shaped. Once the flowers mature, they turn into fruits and ready-to-eat or baked as goodies.
Each fig flower actually produces a single, hard-shelled fruit called achene. The achene is the one that provides a crunchy texture to the fig. The fig flower is made up of multiple achenes, so when we eat a fig, we eat not just eating one but several fig flower fruits.
As fur parents, we know how attracted our dogs are to something crunchy, like figs. But is that safe for them? Can dogs eat figs? In this article, we will discover how safe figs are to dogs, how to serve figs, and the health benefits that figs can offer our fur baby.
Are Figs Safe For Dogs?
If we feed our dogs with fresh figs, meaning figs that are freshly picked from your garden or bought from a market, then YES, your dog can have it.
Though, if we’re talking about figs that are dried and baked into something sweet like bars, then the answer is IT DEPENDS ON THE AMOUNT. That’s because baked figs are loaded with sugar that can make your dog gain weight and can lead to diabetes as well.
But, generally speaking, figs are safe for dogs. These are healthy snacks for as long as you do not give your dog anything more than what is required.
You don’t have to worry immediately if your dog has overeaten fig. For as long as your dog doesn’t have unusual physical signs or abnormal behaviors, your dog will be fine and you don’t need to rush to the vet right away.
Figs are unsafe for your dog if it has eaten some parts of the fig tree like the leaves, which I will discuss later in the article.
Nutritional Facts of Figs:
Figs are loaded with minerals and vitamins that can benefit your fur baby. But the citrusy scent of figs does not attract all dogs. You can try to delight your pooch with the scent. But one thing is sure, your fur baby will love the sweet taste and crunchy texture of figs.
Figs are rich in potassium. For every 100 grams of fresh figs, your dog can get 232 mg of potassium. This serving is equivalent to two pieces of fresh figs.
How much potassium is needed a day for your dog? The ideal is to have 264 mg of potassium per kilogram of weight of your dog. Two pieces of fresh figs are, therefore sufficient to meet the daily potassium requirements.
But that doesn’t mean you’ve got to feed your fur baby every day with fresh figs. Other potassium sources with less sugar can also provide your dogs ‘ daily potassium needs.
Give figs to your dog once in a month only.
Are Figs Good For Dogs? The Nutritional Benefits of Figs:
YES, if you don’t give too much to your dog, figs are good for dogs. Therefore, in contrast to baked figs, it is better to give fresh or raw figs. However, sometimes, you may offer your fur baby with sweetened figs like fig bars, but only in a very small amount.
Potassium has many functions. Your dog needs it for proper brain and heart functioning. Potassium also helps in digestive functioning. If your dog lacks potassium, behaviors like chronic vomiting and diarrhea are manifested.
This is why figs are good for your fur baby, as these are good sources of potassium.
The proper development of teeth and bones in puppies requires calcium. For nerve transmission, hormone secretion, and muscle development and repair, calcium is required in adult dogs. If you give your dog figs, they will get their calcium requirements from it. One large-sized of fig has 22.4 mg of calcium.
If your pooch is always constipated or it is having a hard time defecating every day, then chances are your pooch is lacking in fiber.
Figs are high in dietary fiber, so giving your pooch one fig or a couple of it is a good way to relieve it from its waste elimination problem.
This mineral’s function is to make your dog’s muscles healthy and supple. Figs are high in magnesium so giving your dogs fig will ensure your dog’s magnesium supply is sufficient.
Dogs suffering from autoimmune health problems can benefit greatly from figs. This is because there is 19.8 mg of phytosterols in figs. Even if your dog is not diagnosed with autoimmune diseases, it will help prevent the problem by giving foods rich in sterols.
While figs are rich in minerals that are good for your dog, their sugar content is the fig problem. That’s why they don’t recommend offering figs every day to your dog. Figs are high in carbs, in fact, 94% is carbs, 3% is protein, and 3% is fat.
How Do You Give Figs To Your Dog?
The best way to serve figs is by giving it fresh or raw. Slice the figs into bite-size pieces before serving to your fur baby. The same procedure can be done if you want to give figs to your puppy but in a smaller quantity.
If your dog is eating figs for the first time, it’s best if you start giving it in just a few pieces. If your dog does not show signs of diarrhea and vomiting, then the number of figs can be increased slowly.
Bear in mind that fresh or raw figs are good for your dog. BUT, dried or baked figs are not good for them due to high sugar content.
How to Choose Fresh Figs For Your Dog?
You know how easy it rots or perishes if you have a fig tree in your backyard. If you harvest figs, it is best to give them to your dog within two days of harvesting. Keep the figs refrigerated if you bought the figs.
Discard the stem before you give your dog fresh figs. Then wash the figs to remove debris. You can chop or slice the figs before serving to your fur baby.
How Much Fresh Figs Can Your Dog Eat?
Do not give your dog a big amount of quantity due to the sugar content. One fig that is medium in size contains 8 grams of sugar. Your dog doesn’t need a lot of sugar. If your dog has too much sugar in its body, hyperactivity is the immediate effect.
On the other hand, if you give the right amount of sugar, it can help your dog or your puppy get its daily dose of sugar for energy.
The ideal is to give one or two pieces of fresh or raw figs once a month only.
Can You Give Your Dog Fig Newtons?
Many of us are fond of fig newtons. Because fig bars can help in digestion, they are good snacks for people. The question is if you can share with your fur baby a few pieces of fig bars as well? The answer is NO.
Although Fig Newtons are not toxic to dogs, sugar is one ingredient that is bad for it. The fig bar paste consists of sugar and dried figs, two ingredients that can increase your baby’s weight. Look at what’s in Fig Newtons:
- 13 grams of sugar
- Corn syrup
- Sulfur dioxide
- Sodium benzoate
- Cottonseed oil
A high quantity of cottonseed oil may result in dog poisoning. If you use one or up to two pieces of Fig Newtons to treat your fur baby, that’s no problem. The problem is if you do it daily or give it more than the Fig Newton that is recommended.
Are Figs Bad For Dogs?
Due to the high sugar content, too many figs are bad for your dog. That’s why only fresh figs are good for them. You can offer fig bars, but only in a very, very small amount, because of health problems such as:
- Cardiovascular Diseases
What Are The Side-Effects of Figs?
Watch out for possible side-effects if you give figs to your fur baby. Figs have two types of enzymes namely ficin and ficusin. These enzymes can be strong for your dog’s tummy.
Ficin destroys the protein, while the ficusin can cause irritation in the skin.
The side effects could be vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, swollen mouth and tongue. If your fur baby eats too many figs, and by the next day, the symptoms go away, your fur baby’s all right. But if the symptoms get worse, immediately bring your fur baby to the Vet.
Can Your Dog Get Poisoned From Eating Figs?
Apart from the chance of showing the signs of side-effects from eating figs, it is also possible that some dogs may get poisoned.
If you’ve got a tree fig in your backyard, be very careful because some parts of the fig tree can poison your dog. The leaves are not only dangerous for dogs, but also to cats. Apart from the leaves, when eaten by your dog, the other parts of the fig tree can lead to poisoning.
What Are The Symptoms of Fig Poisoning?
These are the symptoms to look for in case you are not sure if your fur baby has eaten certain parts of the fig tree in your house:
- Abdominal pain
- Skin irritation
- Watery eyes
- Swollen mouth
The Decision To Give Figs To Your Dog (Conclusion):
Figs aren’t bad for your dog at all. There are minerals in the figs that are good for your dog. But to avoid the problem of obesity and other health problems, it must be done in moderation. There’s nothing like choosing raw or fresh figs, even though you can give fig bars.
Let me also emphasize that figs are high in sugar and thus, give these once a month only. And teach your dog to stay away from the fig tree because parts of the fig tree like the leaves are toxic to it, to prevent the problem of fig poisoning.