Can Dogs Eat Dates?

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Introduction

We all like to slip our dogs some delicious, human-specific treats every now and then that might not necessarily be the best for their diet, but we certainly don't ever want to slip them something that could be potentially harmful. That's why it's important to check in on what you're wanting to give your dog before you just hand them something off your plate. 

Like dates, for example. People love them and they can be a healthy substitute for something sweet for humans - but are they healthy for your dog? In short: they're not going to hurt your dog, but they can't eat them freely and regularly.

Dates are low in fat, cholesterol-free, and we're betting your dog will probably love the escape from their normal diet. They also contain things like Vitamins A, B, and C, as well as lots of dietary fiber and calcium. 

But that doesn't mean you should give up and let your dog down all the dates they want. If you want to treat them, do so sparingly. Dates can be too high in sugar for your pup and, because they're so high in fiber, they can really mess up your doggo's digestive system (we're talking doggy diarrhea, which isn't fun for anyone). 

If you want more information on how many dates are appropriate, signs you should look out for that your dog's had too many dates, and how to train your dog away from eating human-like treats, read on! We've laid out the ultimate date guide! 

Signs Your Dog Has Had Too Many Dates

Like we said, dates can be an okay treat every now and then for your pooch. You like to make sure that your dog is getting all the good foods they need, but you also probably want to treat your pup every once in a while. Dates are a good solution, but they can also cause your doggo some distress if he eats too many. 

For example, dates are pretty high in fiber. That's good, unless they overdo it. The first sign that your dog has had too many dates is a bunch of digestive distress. We mean the messy, smelly, obvious kind. They might vomit, have strange bowel habits, or have nausea as well. 

Your dog could also have a spike in their blood pressure if they have too many dates - this is because they're pretty high in natural sugars. If this happens, you'll see your dog behaving strangely. They might be hyperactive, extra-thirsty, have bloodshot eyes, or not have any interest in eating at all! 

Too many dates can result in weight gain, too. If you notice that your dog is lethargic and is heavier than usual - you might want to lay off on the dates.

Body Language

Some signs that your dog has had too many dates are:
  • Pacing
  • Low tail carriage
  • Lack of focus
  • Averting eyes
  • Tail tucking
  • Pupils dilated
  • Stiff tail

Other Signs

There are other things to look out for, too. If you suspect your dog might be eating too many dates, check them for signs like these:
  • Upset Stomach
  • Hyperactivity
  • Blood Sugar Spikes
  • Obesity
  • Vomiting and Nausea
  • Strange Bowel Habits
  • Diarrhea
  • Choking (On the Date Pits)

Historic Benefits of Dates

It is not too farfetched to believe that wild dogs throughout history would gobble up dates if they came across them. Though mainly carnivorous, dogs delve into delicious fruits (and even not-so-delicious grass) pretty regularly.

Humans love dates because of all their health benefits - but did you know that your dog can benefit from dates, too? Sure, they're loaded with high fiber, which is great for doggy digestive systems, but they're also chalk-full of things like vitamins A, B(1,2,3, and 5), and C. 

The combination of the dietary fiber plus the amino acids is also a great benefit, too. They're a fantastic, sweet, delicious treat for your pup when you want to stray off the normal-treat path. Try feeding your pup one at a time, and don't let them overindulge on these sticky, sweet treats!

The Science Behind Dogs and Dates

Sure, dates are a delicious treat for your dog, and if they're given to your pup in moderation, there's no issue! Unlike raisins, which are toxic for your dogs, eating dates is okay, and sometimes even encouraged. They're not toxic and they're loaded with health benefits. But, what's in a date that could potentially harm your dog? 

If your pup eats too many dates, you can expect the boost in fiber to really encourage their digestive systems to get a move on. The excess fiber your dog receives could upset your doggo's stomach. 

Dates are also loaded with natural sugars that can harm your dog's blood sugar levels, so keeping the consumption limited is important. Dates also contain pits, and pits can cause your dog to choke! Removing pits is hugely important before giving your pooch a date! If they don't choke on them, they could cause blockages in your dog's intestines!

How to Train your Dog to Eat Dates in Moderation

First things first, keep the dates away from your dog's reach. If your dog knows they are treats, it's likely your dog will try to get to them. Even if they don't know they are treats, they inspect the date jar. You don't want your dog to be gorging themselves on dates, so, ensure that the dates are somewhere your dog can't reach. 

Eating treats, like dates, might make your doggo a bit picky, so make sure they're in the loop on what the deal with mealtime is. Train them to eat when you tell them to - and what you tell them to. If they're picky and don't want to eat their normal dog food after they've been getting date treats, that's okay. Lay down their food at the normal time and only for a set amount of time. If your dog doesn't eat it, that's fine. The dog will just have to wait for the next meal time to eat. We guarantee that if your dog is hungry, they won't be too picky. 

Additionally, if your dog does get their paws on some dates you don't want them to eat, having a strong grasp of basic commands can be extra helpful. Making sure they respond particularly well to "no," "stop," and "drop it,".

How to React if Your Dog Eats Too Many Dates

  • Contact your vet for advice!
  • If necessary, take your dog to the vet's office.
  • Take your dog out for really regular bathroom trips - those dates are going to upset the stomach, and you don't want that in your house.
  • Encourage your dog to lay down and relax while the date situation passes.
  • Comfort your pup if they have an upset tummy.
  • If your dog has a sugar high, take them outside to burn off the extra energy.