It seems like the question of whether fruits are healthy for their dogs always confuse the dog owners because they are natural but also most are filled with natural sugar, also known as fructose. Dates are not an exception, and most dog owners ask the question below before sharing some with their pup.
Are Dates Good or Bad For Dogs?
The short answer to that question is, yes in moderation. Because even though dates have significant nutritional value, they are filled with natural sugar. So, too many of them can cause issues for dogs. Also, dried dates contain a compound called sulfite, which can cause stomach issues for some tail-waggers.
In this article, we will touch all the potential benefits and the side effects of dates in a detailed way. But, first, let’s get to know this exotic fruit a little bit.
Origin of the Dates
Date fruit is the fruit of the date palm tree, which was believed to be originated around Iraq. It is a very ancient fruit, and it has been cultivated since prehistoric Egypt.
Even though it might not be among the most popular fruits in the U.S.A., it is a very prevalent one in the Middle East both for religious and historical reasons.
Dates are a nutritious fruit with perfect levels of essential vitamins and minerals.
They contain a good level of potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese.
They are also very rich in fiber.
Dates have high levels of polyphenols.
Also, they have antioxidant properties.
However, considering that they are mostly sold and consumed dry, they have a relatively high amount of sugar in them.
Dates don’t have any significant amount of calories, but all their calories come from their sugar content.
Are Dates Good For Dogs?
We should start by saying that dogs do not need carbohydrates to live a healthy and fulfilling life. However, dogs do benefit from some carbohydrates.
To understand that, first, we should make a distinction between bad carbohydrates and good carbohydrates. Bad carbs for dogs mostly come from grains; on the other hand, good carbs for dogs come from good carbohydrates such as vegetables and fruits.
That’s also the case for the date fruit too because it provides a nutritional value that your pooch can significantly benefit from.
First, as mentioned above, dates are an excellent source of potassium, and it an essential mineral for muscle and bone health.
There should always be enough potassium in your dog’s diet because its deficiency can cause all sorts of different problems like stunt growth. Also, in cases where the potassium levels are significantly low, a condition called hypokalemia occurs, which is essentially kidney failure.
Dates are also a good source of copper, which is crucial for your pup’s body to carry out several processes including forming collagen, bone and collective tissue, and it also has a very significant role regarding the absorption of iron.
Dates also have a high fiber content, which makes them an excellent choice of food, especially for dogs with digestive issues. Fiber is also very crucial for your pup to have a healthy bowel because its one of the most important functions is to normalize the bowel movements.
They are also filled with polyphenols, which are the micronutrients found in some plants, and they have very significant health benefits ranging from helping with digestion issues to promoting a better immune system by repairing the damaged cells.
So, there is no doubt that all the benefits that we listed above are very beneficial for your tail-wagger. However, is there a chance that dates are bad for dogs in any way?
Are Dates Bad For Dogs?
As we mentioned, when talking about their nutritional values, dates are very high in sugar even when they are not dried, and that also becomes more of a concern when they are dried.
Because like all the other dried fruits, dates have very high natural sugar content and it is very typical for owners to be hesitant to feed it to their dogs.
However, the research that has been carried out in the recent years shows that even though they have a relatively very high amount of sugar in them, dates do have a low glycemic index, which means they lower the blood sugar instead of raising it.
So, we can say that even the dogs with diabetes can eat dates because they lower the blood sugar and might be helpful for diabetes.
However, we still advise you to be careful with giving your pup a fruit high in sugar even though the research says otherwise.
We should make it clear that we’re not talking about the candied fruits because they are filled with refined and processed sugar and we advise you not to let your pup to be around any food that has processed sugar because that has some severe consequences like diabetes and extra fat gain.
Are Dates Safe For Dogs?
Even though all of their nutritional values show us that dates are entirely safe for dogs to eat, we should mention some of the reservations we have since we believe they can be significant to some of you.
First, just like every other dry fruit, a chemical compound called sulfite added to the dates. The reason for that is to prolong the shelf life of the fruit. Sulfites can cause some stomach issues such as stomach pain, gas, and diarrhea.
Although sulfite is generally a harmless preservative for dogs, we still suggest you be careful if you have a dog that has digestive issues because it might worsen the problem.
Another thing we would like to say about dates is the pip because even though dates are safe for dogs, pips can cause issues they eat them.
Because they will most likely swallow it without even realizing, so, there is a chance that your pooch might choke on it. So, make sure to take out the pip before you’re feeding dates to them.
Conclusion: Are Dates Good or Bad For Dogs?
Dates have outstanding nutritional values, and they can benefit your pup in many different ways. However, even though they are found to have a low glycemic index, we believe that the research is relatively new, and more research needs to be done for us to say your dogs can eat as many dates they want.
So, we advise you to be moderate and not go overboard with it for your dog’s sake. Also, don’t ever forget to take the pip out!