I’m a huge lover of figs…. I even have a fig tree in my garden that produces fruit each year. To be honest, they’re an unusual fruit in many ways but nonetheless, I love them. However, I’m also a dog owner and I know my fig tree drops fruit. Is this safe for my pooch? Can dogs eat figs? Are figs bad for dogs?
If you’re like me and have figs in your home regularly (or a fig tree in your garden!), you may be concerned your dog might snaffle one if it gets the chance.
However, the good news is that yes, dogs can eat figs (or at least the occasional fig) and it probably won’t do any harm at all. In fact, figs contain a wide range of nutrients that may benefit dogs.
Of course, as a fruit, figs also contain sugars and so care should be taken not to over-feed them to your dog.
In this post I’m going to outline the benefits and risks of allowing your dog to eat figs. My aim is to allay your fears if your dog has accidentally eaten a fig, or guide you if you want to give your dog a figgy treat from time to time.
Table of Contents
- What Are Figs?
- Can Dogs Eat Figs?
- Are Figs Good for Dogs?
- Are Figs Bad for Dogs?
- Dogs & Fig – Q&As
- Summary – Can Dogs Eat Figs?
- Related Posts
What Are Figs?
Figs are the edible fruits of the, erm… fig tree! Botanically known as Ficus Carica, the fig tree originally came from Asia, it’s commonly found in Mediterranean countries.
The fig is a strange fruit to my mind. It’s not juicy like a nectarine or super-sweet like mango, however it is nonetheless rich and sweet with a distinctive flavour and fragrance… there’s nothing quite like it.
The fruit itself is pear-shaped with a thin almost waxy skin containing a soft flesh with hundreds of small seeds. Every part of the fig fruit can be eaten, from the skin right down to the seeds.
Figs can be eaten fresh or cooked and they can also be found sold as dried fruit.
Can Dogs Eat Figs?
Yes dogs can eat figs… with some caveats.
Figs contain a range of vitamins and minerals that may be beneficial as a supplement to, but not a replacement for, a healthy diet. This might take the form as a treat from time to time, assuming they aren’t overfed.
Both fresh and dried figs are high in natural sugars and of course dogs do not need an excess of sugar in their diet.
Consequently, although dogs can eat figs, the amount you allow them to eat should be moderated and not provided as a regular daily offering.
Are Figs Good for Dogs?
Figs are a highly nutritious fruit, containing a range of vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamins A – supports healthy skin, coats, muscles and nervous system
- Vitamin C – an important antioxidant that minimises potentially harmful free radicals
- Vitamin K – essential for blood to clot properly
- Calcium – helps to maintain teeth and bones
- Iron – supports healthy red blood cells
- Potassium – supports a healthy digestive system
- Magnesium – aids muscle growth maintenance
- Zinc – supports a healthy immune system and thyroid function
- Fibre – fibre helps to keep dog’s bowels moving and staves off constipation
However, dogs don’t need to eat figs to get the nutrients they need. So while dogs can eat figs and potentially gain nutritional benefits, they’re high in sugars, which you shouldn’t encourage your dog to eat.
The occasional figgy treat likely won’t cause harm, but an excess of any food is never a good idea for dogs, especially if it’s sugary.
Fig Nutritional Information Per 100g
According to the US Department of Agriculture, 100g of raw figs contain the following nutritional values:
|Total lipid (fat)||0.3g|
|Vitamin A||142 IU|
Are Figs Bad for Dogs?
While figs do contain important nutrients, you can have too much of a good thing. The truth is that figs can be bad for dogs… as stated previously, for most dogs moderation is key.
Figs contain sugar, which is something dogs do not need to be given in their diets. The more figs a dig eats, the more sugar it is consuming. An excess of sugar can lead to canine obesity and diabetes.
Some dogs may also be allergic to figs. Allergies could manifest as skin irritation, asthma -like symptoms or digestive upset.
Not only this, but even dogs that don’t have an allergy to figs can still have an upset tummy from eating them. A dog that eats a large portion of figs might well end up with diarrhoea… too much fibre isn’t good for dogs either.
Furthermore, the fig tree itself poses health risks. The leaves, stalks and trunk of fig trees release a milky sap when cut. This sap contains compounds that cause phytophotodermatitis if it ends up on skin (human or canine) and then gets exposed to sunlight.
Phytophotodermatitis results in blister-like lesions… as I well know when I experienced as a result of pruning my fig tree.
Additionally, eating or chewing the leaves, branches and bark of fig trees will likely make a dog very poorly as that white fig sap can cause skin irritation, drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The indoor Weeping Fig is a an indoor plant that’s from the same family as the fruit bearing fig trees. The Weeping Fig is house plant that’s poisonous to dogs.
Dogs & Figs – Q&As
A quick selection of questions and answers to common concerns around dogs and figs.
Can Dogs Eat Figs? Yes dogs can eat figs… but only in moderation. While figs contain many important nutrients, they also contain sugar. Dogs don’t need an excess of sugar in their diet.
Can Dogs Eat Dry Figs? Yes, dogs can eat dried figs but they may contain even more sugar than fresh figs. The question to answer really is should dogs eat dried figs? If you’re looking to give your dog a treat, there may be healthier options with less sugar.
Are Figs Poisonous to Dogs? No, figs are not poisonous to dogs but the leaves, branches and bark of the tree will likely cause skin irritation, drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea if consumed.
Can Dogs Eat Fig Leaves? No, dogs cannot eat fig leaves. Fig leaves contain substances that are poisonous to dogs and can make them very sick. Bear in mind also that the fig leaves and branches also contain a white sap which can cause skin blistering (see above) on contact and exposure to the sun.
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Figs? Yes, some dogs can be allergic to certain foods and so it’s possible for some to have an allergic reaction to figs. If your dog hasn’t eaten figs before, only ever give them a very small amount and see how they respond to it. Please remember though that there are some foods you should NEVER allow your dog to eat.
Summary – Can Dogs Eat Figs?
As an owner, it’s very wise to know the foods dogs can eat, especially if they might be presented with opportunities to eat things at home that are not intended for them.
Dogs can eat figs but as with anything you give as a treat, it should be just that: a treat! Dogs need a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet and treats should never make up more than 10% of a dog’s daily calorie requirements.
Do you have any questions about dogs and figs? Or perhaps you give your dog figs occasionally as a treat? Please leave your experiences or questions in the comment section at the end of this page.
- Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?
- Is Cilantro Good for Dogs?
- Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?
- Are Radishes Good for Dogs?
- Can Dogs Eat White Chocolate?
- Is Weetabix Good for Dogs?
- Can Dogs Eat Salami?
- Is Artichoke Good for Dogs?
- Can Dogs Eat Greek Yoghurt?
- Is Pepperoni Bad for Dogs?
- Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
- Can Dogs Eat Quinoa?
Leave a Reply