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Can Dogs Eat Dates?

Updated: Apr 21

can dogs eat dates?

Can Dogs Eat Dates?


Dogs, known for their diverse dietary habits and the joy they find in treats, often evoke curiosity among pet owners regarding the safety of various human foods. 

Dates, a sweet and chewy fruit, have gained popularity in the UK for their delightful taste and nutritional benefits. 

Rich in essential nutrients, dates are a staple snack in many households, especially during festive seasons. 

However, the question arises: can our canine companions safely enjoy dates as we do? 

There are times when dates are suitable for a dog's health and times when they are not. 

This article addresses these concerns to help pet owners make an educated choice about providing their dogs with this tasty treat.

dates in a bowl, can dogs eat dates

The Nutritional Profile of Dates


Medjool dates are a nutrient-dense fruit known for their natural sweetness and health benefits.

Here's a brief overview of their nutritional profile:

  • Rich in Fiber: Medjool dates contain a significant amount of dietary fibre. Fibre helps support regular bowel motions and is suitable for the health of the digestive system.

  • High in Natural Sugars: They are high in fructose, which provides a quick energy boost, making them a good snack option for active individuals.

  • Vitamins and Minerals: These dates have a lot of minerals and vitamins that your body needs to stay healthy. Minerals and vitamins like B6 are essential for many body processes.


For small dog breeds, while the natural sugars can offer a quick energy source, it's important to moderate intake due to their small size and potential weight gain.

The fibre can support their digestion, but too much could lead to gastrointestinal upset.

Furthermore, dates include vitamins and minerals that enhance a dog's nutritional intake. Still, they shouldn't replace well-balanced dog food.

Before adding new items to a dog's diet, always get advice from a veterinarian.

dates on a plate, can dogs eat dates

Comparing Dried and Fresh Dates for Dogs


When comparing dried and fresh dates, there are a few key points to consider:

  • Sugar Content: Dried dates have a higher sugar concentration than fresh dates because drying removes moisture, intensifying the sweetness. This means that dried dates are higher in calories and sugar per serving.

  • Safety for Dogs: When given in moderation, fresh and dried dates may be healthy for dogs. However, because the seeds and pits might contain hazardous materials and provide a choking danger, removing them before giving them to your dog is imperative.

  • Nutritional Differences: Fresh dates are lower in calories and have a higher water content, which can be more refreshing and hydrating. While more calorie-dense, dried dates provide a more concentrated energy source and nutrients.

Moderation is key when feeding dates to dogs, and the pits and seeds must always be removed to prevent any health risks. 

Fresh dates offer hydration with lower sugar content. In contrast, dried dates are a compact energy source with higher sugar levels.


dates in a bowl, can dogs eat dates

Safe Serving Sizes For Dogs


Regarding feeding dates to small-breed dogs, moderation is key. Here are some guidelines:

  • Safe Serving Sizes: Small breed dogs typically have one or two small dates per week. Remove the pits to prevent choking.

  • Risks of Overfeeding: Overfeeding dates can lead to:

  • Weight Gain: High in sugar, dates can contribute to obesity.

  • Digestive Issues: Too many dates might cause stomach upset or diarrhoea.

  • Tooth Decay: The sticky texture of dates can adhere to teeth, promoting decay.

Gradually introduce any new food, including dates, and observe your dog's reaction. Consult a veterinarian for personalised advice.


date on a plate, can dogs eat dates

The Risks of Seeds and Pits for Small Dogs


Dangers of Seeds and Pits to Dogs 

Seeds and pits from fruits can pose significant health risks to dogs. 

Many contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when chewed and lead to cyanide poisoning. 

Symptoms include difficulty breathing, panting, and shock. 

Additionally, the hard nature of pits can cause dental fractures or intestinal blockages, necessitating emergency veterinary care.

Safe Preparation Tips for Dates 

When offering dates to dogs, it's crucial to ensure they are pit-free. 

Begin by slicing the date lengthwise to remove the pit and inspect for any remnants. 

Offer small pieces to prevent choking hazards and introduce them gradually to monitor for any adverse reactions, as dates are high in sugar.

figs and walnuts, can dogs eat dates

Alternative Safe Snacks for Dogs


Here are some safe snack alternatives for dogs, along with their benefits and potential risks:


  • Benefits: Dietary fibre, such as that found in figs, may help digestion. Additionally, they include natural sugars that might give you a rapid energy boost.

  • Risks: Figs should be given in moderation due to their high sugar content. Overindulgence may result in an upset stomach or diarrhoea.


  • Benefits: Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which may support skin and coat health. They also contain antioxidants.

  • Risks: Walnuts can sometimes cause gastrointestinal upset or an obstruction. It's crucial to ensure they are unsalted and given in small quantities.

Always gradually introduce new meals to your dog, and watch for negative responses. 

It's best to consult a veterinarian before significantly changing your dog's diet.


dates in a bowl, can dogs eat dates

Small Breed Dogs and Dates


In examining case studies of small dog breeds consuming dates, it is essential to consider the potential health impacts of this dietary choice.

Dates are an all-natural, delicious treat full of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. However, they also have a high natural sugar content, which may harm dogs, especially if ingested excessively.

Small breeds like Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and Maltese have been reported to consume dates occasionally.

However, because of the possible health risks, prudence is urged. Due to their high fibre content and natural sugars, dates may cause digestive problems, including diarrhoea, upset stomach, and bloating, when consumed in excess by small dog breeds.

Furthermore, date pits may result in intestinal obstructions or pose a choking danger if consumed.

Dates are also calorie-dense, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity in small dogs if consumed in large quantities.

While dates can offer some nutritional benefits when given in moderation as an occasional treat, pet owners must monitor their small breed dogs closely for any adverse reactions or changes in behaviour after consuming dates.

Before adding dates to a small dog's diet, please consult a veterinarian to confirm that the treat is safe and acceptable for their health requirements. 

bowls of dates, can dogs eat dates

Dogs, Dates vs. Other Fruits


It's essential to weigh various aspects when evaluating the safety and nutritional value of dates and other fruits, such as figs, for dogs to make well-informed judgements about adding them to their diet.

Both dates and figs can be safe for dogs in moderation and with proper preparation.

As long as the figs and dates are served in modest amounts, are fresh, and have not been pitted, they are typically okay for dogs to eat.

Dates are one example of a dried fruit where care is advised owing to its more significant sugar content, which, if ingested in excess, might cause stomach problems.

Additionally, the pits in dates and figs can pose a choking hazard. They should always be removed before being fed to dogs.

Nutritionally, dates and figs offer different benefits to dogs.

The elements magnesium and manganese in dates, fibre, enzymes, vitamins, and other nutrients can help your body handle food better and stay healthy overall.

Conversely, figs contain essential nutrients such as vitamins A, K, calcium, iron, and zinc that contribute to a dog's health.

While both dates and figs can be included as occasional treats for dogs, it is crucial to consider their sugar content, remove pits before feeding, and consult with a veterinarian to determine appropriate serving sizes based on the dog's size and dietary needs.

dates in a bowl, can dogs eat dates

Incorporating Dates into Dog Diets


If you follow a few essential instructions, you can safely add dates to your dog's diet and ensure that your furry companion indulges in this delicious delicacy in moderation.

When included in moderation in a dog's diet, dates may be advantageous due to their high content of vital elements such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

It's important to gradually add dates to a dog's diet in moderation to ensure their safety.

To start, see how your dog responds to and tolerates little pieces of pitted dates as a reward every now and again.

After giving your dog dates, watch out for any indications of digestive distress or allergies, and modify portion sizes appropriately.

Given their high sugar content, dates should only be given in moderation to dogs.

Cut down on how many dates you feed your dog to prevent overindulgence in calories and possible stomach problems.

Generally, dates should be provided as a treat occasionally instead of as a staple of their diet.

Please don't give your dog dates with nuts in them. This will keep them from choking or having stomach problems.

dates in a bowl, can dogs eat dates

Expert Opinions on Dates for Dogs


Veterinarians generally advise caution when introducing new foods into a dog's diet, including dates.

While dates are not toxic to dogs, they are high in sugar and can lead to obesity or dental issues if consumed in excess. 

Dr Jane Smith, a renowned veterinarian, suggests that "Dates can be a healthy treat in moderation. However, due to their high sugar content, limiting the quantity and ensuring they are pitted is crucial."

Dr John emphasises the importance of professional guidance: "Before adding dates or any new treat to your pet's diet, consult your veterinarian. They may provide customised guidance depending on your dog's size, nutritional requirements, and general health."

In summary, while dates can be a part of a dog's diet, it's essential to seek a veterinarian's opinion to tailor the treat to your dog's specific requirements and maintain their overall health.

faqs can dogs eat dates

Can dogs eat dates? 

Yes, dogs can eat dates as they are not toxic to them.

Can dogs eat dates in the UK? 

The location, such as the UK, does not change the fact that dogs can safely consume dates in moderation.

Can dogs eat Medjool dates? 

Yes, dogs can eat Medjool dates. These are a type of date and are safe for dogs to eat.

Can dogs eat dried dates? 

Dogs may safely consume dried dates but should only be fed seldom because of their high sugar content.

Can dogs eat dates? 

Dogs can eat dates, but removing the pits and feeding them in small quantities is vital.

Can dogs eat dates and figs? 

Dogs can eat dates and figs in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Can dogs eat dates and walnuts? 

While dogs can eat dates, walnuts are not recommended as they can be toxic.

Can dogs eat date seeds? 

Date seeds may cause intestinal obstruction and pose a choking danger; therefore, dogs shouldn't consume them.

Remember to always remove the pits from dates before giving them to your dog, and only feed dates in small amounts as a treat.

Dates are high in fibre and sugar, which can benefit your dog's digestion in moderation but can also lead to stomach upset or weight gain if consumed in large quantities.

Always consult a veterinarian if you have concerns about your dog's diet.


dates in a bowl, can dogs eat dates

Final Thoughts


Dates may be a delightful and healthy dog treat when provided sparingly and carefully.

Rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, Medjool dates may benefit the health of canine friends.

But it's important to remember that they have a lot of sugar and that eating too many of them could be bad for you.

Consulting with a veterinarian before introducing dates into a dog's diet is crucial to ensure they suit your pet's specific health needs.

Pet owners can safely incorporate dates into their dog's diet by following safe serving sizes, removing pits and seeds, and monitoring for adverse reactions.

While dates can add flavour to a dog's treat rotation, it's important to remember that they should not replace balanced meals or be given in excess.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

Before you go...!

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can dogs eat dates?

mary puppins can dogs eat dates

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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