As pet parents, we’re always looking for new foods to help spice up our pet’s mundane diet of kibble.
We want our pets to enjoy what they’re eating, and we want what they’re eating to be safe!
Since humans have a diet with a lot of variety, it might be common for dog parents to look at some human foods and think, “I wonder if my dog can eat this?”
There are many foods out there that are toxic for your pup, but there are also many that are safe.
One human food that has taken the hot seat recently in regards to safety is the naturally sweet fig fruit.
Are Figs Safe For Dogs?
So, are figs safe?
The short answer is, in general, yes!
Nutritional Benefits Of Figs For Dogs
Not only are they safe, but they can have a wide variety of benefits for your pet.
This fruit is high in dietary fiber, which makes it good for your dog’s digestion and stomach health.
As with some other dog-friendly fruits, the fig has natural sugar and can boost your dog’s energy throughout the day.
Just like in humans, natural sugar won’t cause the crash once it burns away, so your dog’s energy level will stay consistent.
Figs also are a good source of potassium. Potassium can help regulate muscle and blood vessel function, which helps maintain steady blood pressure.
Calcium, also an important need in your dog’s diet, is found in the fig fruit. Notably, calcium can help support your dog’s bone and teeth health.
Figs and Dogs: The Controversy
There are two main reasons for this.
The first is fig poisoning.
The misconception here is fig poisoning comes from your dog eating the fruit of the plant.
However, your dog cannot get fig poisoning from the fruit!
Your dog can only get fig poisoning from fig plant leaves.
The glossy leaves of the fig plant have a substance similar to sap called ricin that can cause very severe reactions such as diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
Fig poisoning sounds scary, but it is very rare, and most dogs will not have severe reactions. Ricin can be washed away, and usually, if ingested, the resulting poisoning will resolve itself.
The good news is if you don’t have a fig tree or plant, you do not have to worry about fig poisoning.
The second reason for controversy is a common one: allergic reactions.
As mentioned before, figs are safe in general.
However, just like with humans, some dogs may have adverse reactions to what they eat. As with any new food you might want to feed your dog, it’s important that you begin with small quantities.
Start with a small fig, and give your dog a few days to process it.
If a dog has an allergic reaction to a fig, they will usually get a rash on their skin or even in their mouth.
Fruits and natural sugars can benefit your dog, but it’s best not to feed your pet a surplus of any fruit, so you should only feed dogs 1 to 2 figs per week if they don’t have any allergic reactions.
Excessive fruit intake can cause stomach issues and frequent trips to the yard.
Figs are safe for many dogs and have many benefits, but they should be used with caution until you’re sure your pet doesn’t have any allergic reactions.
So, have no fear, and when figs come into season next, you can spice up your dog’s diet with the fig.