We all know that there are many things dogs can’t eat, like raisins and grapes (TOXIC!). So, you might assume that dates would be bad for your dog. But, surprisingly, your dog can eat dates! However, there are a few things to be careful about before you start feeding your dog all the dates he can eat. Keep reading!
Dates are Good!
Dates are the edible fruit of the date palm tree. These trees grow in many tropical regions of the world. Most of the dates sold in the Western world are dried so they have a wrinkly brown exterior.
Dates are chewy and flavorful. They are also very sweet, high in natural sugar, and contain many essential nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and several B vitamins. They have calcium, iron, protein, magnesium, and potassium. They are also very fibrous. One cup of dates has 93 grams of sugar and 12 grams of fiber.
Are Dates Good for Dogs?
You can give your dog a date or two occasionally but it’s not a good idea to let your dog gorge on dates. As mentioned, dates are high in natural sugar (16 grams per date) which is not good for your dog in large amounts. All of the dietary fiber in dates can also result in diarrhea and digestive upset as well. So, it’s okay to give your dog a couple of dates occasionally but do limit them.
Watch the pits!
You can buy dates with or without pits. It’s best to give your dog dates that don’t have pits. You can buy the dates that don’t have pits or you can buy dates with pits and remove them yourself.
Removing the dates is simple. Just use a small knife to slice into the date lengthwise about ¼ inch and you should find the pit. Pull it out. That’s all there is to it.
The pits in dates are not large stones such as avocados have. They are much smaller. And, unlike apple seeds and the seeds of some other fruits, they don’t contain cyanide. So, even if you or your dog bite into a date pit and swallow it, it’s not really a big deal. But your eating experience will be much more pleasurable if you don’t have to worry about the pits.
Ways to give your dog dates
Many dogs will love to eat dried dates right from your hand or on top of their dog food. As we mentioned, dates are very sweet and dogs have the taste buds to enjoy sweet foods.
You can also use dates in dog cookie recipes. If you use dates in a recipe, leave out the honey or other sweetener in the recipe. For example, you can cut them up and use them in place of carob in a cookie recipe for dogs.
Another way to give dates to your dog is to coat them with egg yolk and roll them in oatmeal. Then bake for 10 minutes at 325 F. Let them cool and you have a delicious treat for your dog.
Where to buy dates
You can buy dates online, in your local grocery store, or in health food stores. If you purchase them online or in a health food store you can often buy them in bulk and save money.
Many dogs love dates but do be careful that you don’t give your dog too many at one time. They are good for dogs but they contain lots of sugar and fiber. Your dog can get an upset stomach or diarrhea if he eats more than a couple of dates at one time.