NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one dog might not be good for your dog, depending on multiple factors, such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.
While some fruits are safe for dogs to eat, others can pose health risks for our pups. Where do figs fall on the spectrum? Can dogs have figs safely?
Fresh figs are not toxic for dogs, but that doesn’t mean all figs are OK for your pooch. Here’s what to know before sharing with your dog.
Are Figs Bad for Dogs?
A small amount of fresh figs is a tasty and healthy treat to share with your furry companion. Figs are rich in vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium—all of which are necessary dietary ingredients to maintain good bone density, reduce risk of heart disease, and improve digestion.
However, in the very small amounts that you can safely share with Fido, the actual health benefits will likely be minimal. Still, figs are considered healthy fruits when served fresh.
Dried figs, however, are a totally different story. Once a fig is dried, the sugars are concentrated, making this an exceptionally sugary fruit and no longer something that falls in the healthy category. In fact, too much sugar can be harmful for dogs and should be avoided. So if you’d like to give figs to your dog, only fresh fruit should be used.
In addition to avoiding dried figs, dogs should also avoid eating any part of a fig plant, which is considered toxic to dogs. Eating any part of the plant—including leaves, branches, and bark—can lead to rashes, skin irritations, and drooling. It could even be life-threatening to sensitive canines.
The bottom line: The only way to safely feed figs to your dog is with a small amount of fresh fig.
Eating any part of the fig plant—including leaves, branches, and bark—can lead to rashes, skin irritations, and drooling. It could even be life-threatening to sensitive canines.
How to Safely Prepare Figs for Dogs
It’s important to avoid pre-made foods containing figs, including cookies and snack bars. These recipes might be tasty for people, but they often contain ingredients that are unhealthy or even toxic for dogs.
The fresh fruit can be fed chopped and given plain or as a food topper. Figs can also be stuffed into a toy, such as a Kong, and then frozen to make it a refreshing and long-lasting snack. And if your dog likes peanut butter, you can combine some with figs.
How Many Figs Can Dogs Eat?
Whenever you’re feeding your dog a new food, including figs, less is more—especially when you are unsure how well the food will settle with your dog’s system. When in doubt, start with a small portion. Then gradually work up to the recommended maximum amount for your pup’s size, as follows:
Extra-small dog (2–20 pounds) = less than half of a fresh fig per week
Small dog (21–30 pounds) = up to one-half of a fresh fig per week
Medium dog (31–50 pounds) = Up to one fresh fig per week
Large dog (51–90 pounds) = Up to two fresh figs per week
Extra-large dog (91+ pounds) = Up to three fresh figs per week
Check with your veterinarian first to be sure your dog is healthy enough to snack on figs. And remember: Too many figs, even in a healthy dog, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and irritated skin. Always keep your portions tiny.
Can Dogs Eat Fig Newtons?
Do not feed your dog Fig Newtons. These sugary cookies contain additional ingredients (especially sugar and spices) that are not healthy for dogs and, in large amounts, could be toxic.
The figs used in these cookies also aren’t fresh—so when it comes to sharing your treats, just say no to your dog’s begging eyes.
What Other Fruits Can Dogs Eat?
Lots of other fruits can be shared with your pooch, including:
Note that not all fruits are OK for your pet. Always consult your veterinarian before adding anything new to your dog’s diet.
Featured Image: Getty/AleksandarNakic
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