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Can Dogs Eat Figs? | Are Figs Bad for Dogs?

are figs bad for dogs

Figs have a very niche following amongst humans.  While many turn their noses up, others swear by them as a healthy way to cure a sweet tooth.  Regardless, we as dog owners are always curious as to whether the foods we eat are able to be shared with our four legged family members.  Figs are no exception!  So what’s the deal?  Can dogs eat figs?  Are figs bad for dogs?  Let’s find out!

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Can Dogs Eat Figs Safely? (The Short Answer)

Fresh figs are safe for dogs in strict moderation.  Dried figs are not as safe and should be avoided.  For small dogs, a half a fig will do and for larger dogs no more than a single fig or two.  Keep in mind that a significant number of dogs are allergic to figs, so keep a watchful eye on your pup’s reaction especially If it’s your first time feeding them figs.  Also, remember that fig trees (any part of the plant other than the fruit itself) are poisonous to dogs if consumed and an irritant to dogs if it even comes into contact with their skin.

It’s important to remember, that even with the best of intentions, accidents happen and dogs can easily eat things they shouldn’t.  Unfortunately, even if those accidents aren’t fatal, they can result in huge, unexpected veterinary expenses.  That’s why we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.

Are Figs Good For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat figs?” Now, let’s learn about the benefits of feeding your dog this food! Are figs good for dogs?

While figs aren’t as healthy as many other fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs, they do have their share of nutritional benefits.  They are a good source of natural sugar which is far better for dogs (and humans!) than the processed sugar commonly found in many junk foods.  This is why many people use figs as a substitute for processed desserts.

Figs also have a lot of fiber and potassium.  Fiber helps your pup have healthy bowel movements, relieves constipation, and can help overweight dogs shed some pounds.  Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and keep it at a good level.

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Are Figs Bad for Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat figs?” Now, let’s learn about the dangers of feeding your dog this food! Are figs bad for dogs?

The biggest, yet least talked about danger to your dog eating figs is that they eat or touch any part of the fig tree or plant.  Fig trees (also called Ficus trees) are poisonous for dogs to consume.  It can lead to severe upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea for your dog.  If they consume any part of the tree, it is vital to contact your veterinarian immediately who will walk you through the next steps to take.  However, ingesting the Fig plant isn’t the only concern.  Even your dog’s skin coming into contact with the Ficus tree will result in inflammation and potentially other side effects.

Assuming you’re not a home gardener and your dog doesn’t have access to Fig trees or their leaves, let’s talk about the potential dangers of feeding the fruit itself.  The most common one is that your dog is allergic to figs.  This is a fairly common dog allergy, and can result in vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, rashes, sores, and inflammation of the mouth or tongue.  If this is the first time you’re feeding your dog a fig, monitor them closely to make sure they don’t experience these symptoms.  If they do, reach out immediately to your local vet.

Even if your dog isn’t allergic, you still want to limit their fig intake to just one or two a week total.  The reason for this is that too much fiber or sugar, which figs are high in, can cause your dog to have an upset stomach.

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Other Varieties & Related Foods

Are Fig Newtons Safe for Your Pup?

While there are no toxic ingredients to dogs in Fig Newton cookies, you should avoid feeding them to your pup.  On top of the already high sugar content in figs, Fig Newtons have an enormous amount of added sugar.  Not only is this not healthy for your dog, but it can result in an upset stomach.

Can Dogs Eat Fig Bars?

Dogs should not eat Fig Bars for the same reason they shouldn’t eat Fig Newtons.  These are another human treat that contain a ton of added sugar which not only is unhealthy for your pet, but could make them feel sick.

Can Dogs Eat Dried Figs?

No, dried figs are not as healthy for dogs as fresh figs and could actually be unsafe for them if too many are consumed.  They have many more calories, much more sugar, and low water content.  All this adds up to an uncomfortable experience for your dog and potentially a dangerous one.  This is a similar reason to why we recommend against feeding your dog prunes.  Read about it in this article: Can Dogs Eat Prunes?

Can Dogs Eat Fig Leaves?

No!  Under no circumstances should your dog be allowed to consume any part of the Fig (Ficus) tree, including the leaves.  They are toxic to dogs and if consumed (or even touched) you should contact your local veterinarian to get their opinion on next steps and treatment. 

Can Dogs Eat Fresh Figs?

Yes, fresh figs are safe for dogs to eat in moderation.  Keep in mind many dogs have an allergy to figs, so keep a close watch on them and contact your veterinarian if they show symptoms.

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Figs?

Dogs can safely eat fresh figs in moderation as long as they are not allergic.  Start with a half a fig and work your way up from there if they don’t show negative side effects and if they enjoy the taste.  Avoid dried figs, processed sugary fig cookies, and especially any part of the Fig tree.

Want to Learn More?

Check out these related articles from our “Read Before You Feed” series for more advice on safe foods for dogs!

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and this article should not be taken as medical or veterinary advice.  If you have any questions about your pet’s health or dietary needs, please contact your local veterinarian.