Figs are a healthy food for humans – but are they safe for dogs? Or can they be dangerous for canines to eat? Keep reading to find out.
Unless your dog has an allergy, figs are generally safe for your dog to eat in small quantities. They can even be beneficial, as they are a source of calcium, fibre and potassium.
Eating too many figs could result in your dog having a stomach upset, however, due to the high fibre content. For this reason, figs shouldn’t be part of your dog’s daily diet.
Providing your dog doesn’t have an allergy, the sweet and typically dried fig is safe for your dog to eat.
In fact, fresh figs are known to provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these include:
Moderation is key when feeding your dog figs though. It’s best to give small amounts as an occasional treat to avoid stomach upsets.
As with any food, some dogs can be allergic to figs, so it’s important to be aware of the common symptoms. Food allergies typically cause skin or gastrointestinal problems. Your dog may suffer discomfort from itchy skin, rashes or hot spots, which could lead to painful skin infections. Sometimes allergic reactions can cause diarrhea or respiratory issues too.
If you’re introducing figs to your dog’s diet, start by feeding a small piece rather than a whole fig. Watch for symptoms over the next few days before offering more.
If you notice potential symptoms of an allergic reaction, even if it’s a small rash, always contact a vet immediately.
Figs are usually safe for dogs to eat, but you still need to be careful about feeding them to your pet.
The high fibre content in figs can have a laxative effect, leading to loose stools and an upset stomach. This is another reason why you should always introduce figs gradually, to monitor how it impacts your dog’s digestive system.
If your dog eats lots of figs by accident, this can cause diarrhea and potentially dehydration. Dehydration is a serious health problem that needs immediate veterinary treatment, as it can result in lethargy, weakness, and organ damage.
Additionally, if your dog has underlying health issues, it’s best to consult with a vet before adding any new food to your dog’s diet.
Figs could be an issue for dogs with existing heart or kidney issues. The potassium, in particular, could impact their blood pressure. These dogs also sometimes need to be fed a specific prescription diet, and figs could interfere with this.
The fig tree and its leaves are toxic to dogs. They can cause gastrointestinal problems, skin irritation, and can even be life-threatening if enough is eaten.
If you have a fig plant in your garden, you should make sure your dog doesn’t have easy access. It’s also best to avoid these plants being kept in your home.
Poisoning from fig leaves and trees requires immediate veterinary care. You shouldn’t delay in seeking professional help, even if your dog has only ingested a small amount or is only showing mild symptoms.
There are lots of other fruits that can be beneficial for your dog when given in moderation. Some popular fruits fed to dogs include:
There are some fruits that you should never feed to your dog. Grapes and raisins, for example, are toxic to canines. Many wild berries, such as juniper and rowan, are also toxic.
Avocados may have seen an explosion in popularity, but they’re high in fat which can be bad for dogs. The stone also contains persin and could cause a stomach upset or be a choking hazard.
Figs are safe to feed your dog in small quantities. In fact, they can be a great natural source of fibre, and are packed with nutritious vitamins and minerals.
Just make sure you don’t feed too many. The high fibre content can cause loose stools or stomach upsets. You should also consult with your vet before adding any new food to your dog’s diet – especially if they have other health conditions.
Note: We’ve also written a guide to whether dogs can eat dates.
Gemma is a freelance writer and official dog nut. With 15 years of experience in the pet industry, she is a passionate animal welfare advocate. She has worked for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ran her own specialist dog shop for ten years, has volunteered for her local rescue shelter, and is studying towards completing an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour. Gemma is currently travelling around Europe with her wonderful rescue dog, Annie.