Our dogs are more than our best friends; they are like family. We want to share everything with them, including what we eat. Fig newtons are high in fiber and delicious. They are, therefore, considered a good snack for humans.
However, fig newtons, even though not toxic, should not be given in abundance to our furry little friends. This article will discuss this commonly asked question of whether dogs should be given fig newtons or not.
Can My Dog Eat Fig Newtons?
It is not toxic or poisonous for dogs to consume fig newtons. Fig newtons contain some nutrition that may be enjoyable for human beings. However, fig newtons are very high in sugar and should not be part of a dog’s diet.
Too many fig newtons will increase the blood sugar levels in animals, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and digestive issues. Long-term health concerns such as cavities, obesity, diabetes can also occur if sugar is consistently added to their diets.
Fig newtons do not add any substantial nutrition to the diet of dogs. Neither do they provide any actual health benefits. Thus, fig newtons are best limited if not outright avoided in a dog’s diet.
Alternative treats to newton figs can be fresh figs, which can be given to dogs but also in very limited capacities. Figs would have higher nutritional value than fig newtons can offer. Other alternatives can be fresh fruits and vegetables, which can both be great alternatives.
Nutritional Value of Fig Newtons
Fig newtons are a kind of pastry trademarked by Nabisco. The pastry has a sweet fruit filling. In the case of fig newtons, the filling is made from figs. As per this source, two fig newton cookies contain:
- Fat – 2g
- Sodium – 95mg
- Total Carbohydrate – 21g
- Dietary Fiber – 1g
- Added Sugar – 8g
- Total Sugars – 12g
- Protein – 1g
- Calcium – 20mg
- Iron – 0.6mg
- Potassium – 70mg
Even though it is a pastry, a fig newton does not have trans fat or saturated fat. Two of these cookies contain one hundred calories. Even though it is low in caloric value, a fig newton contains 21 grams of carbohydrates.
Of the 21g of carbohydrates, only 1g is dietary fiber. Another 8g is the sugar that is added into the cookie, and another additional 12g of sugar is contained in the cookie. There is barely any nutrition in these cookies. Other than 1g of protein and 2g of fat, fig newtons are almost entirely made up of sugar.
Nutritional Value for Animals
Even though it is considered an enjoyable treat for human beings, the fig newton is not a good treat for dogs. It is not an adequate source of vitamins or nutrients and should not be a part of an animal’s diet. Furthermore, a dog’s diet high in sugar can lead to many health issues.
It is important to note that even though fig newtons do not provide any nutritional value to a dog’s diet, they are also not toxic for dogs. Thus, we can get away with giving our dogs a couple of fig newtons here and there without triggering or causing drastic health issues.
Even though fig newtons are not nutritional, they are simultaneously not deadly for our furry little friends.
Are Fig Newtons Bad for Dogs?
Fig Newtons should not be given to dogs. The lack of nutrition, along with high sugar levels in fig newtons, are not good for dogs. If given consistently to dogs, they can have long-term health effects. Some of the long-term health concerns are discussed below:
Diarrhea and Vomiting
Increased sugar in a dog’s diet increases their blood sugar level, which in turn causes dogs to have an upset stomach. This can lead to diarrhea as well as vomiting. The combination of both can also cause dehydration in dogs. Thus, in case our dogs do consume something high in sugar, it is important to make sure they are given plenty of water.
Dogs need to have good oral health. Many diseases and sickness in animals can begin from poor oral health. Sugar can make it difficult to maintain our dogs’ oral health.
Sugars cause dogs to produce acid, which causes the loss of minerals and enamels of their teeth (1). Thus, making them more likely to get cavities. It is, therefore, very important to brush and undergo annual veterinary checkups for our dogs.
Consistently providing a high sugar diet to our dogs can lead to obesity.
As per this article on VetRecord, obesity in canines and felines can cause “orthopedic disease, diabetes mellitus, abnormalities in circulating lipid profiles, cardiorespiratory disease, urinary disorders, reproductive disorders, neoplasia (mammary tumors and transitional cell carcinoma), dermatological diseases, and anesthetic complications.”
Therefore, it is imminent to address obesity in animals as soon as possible.
If obesity in dogs is not addressed shortly, it can lead to type 2 diabetes. This causes dogs to become less responsive to insulin. This can shorten their life span as well as deteriorate their quality of life. Even though dogs can survive if they are diagnosed with diabetes, their diet needs to be monitored closely.
Giving our dogs fig newtons once or twice may not cause them to have these health issues. However, the tendency to give them treats that are high in sugar can lead to these health problems in the long term. It is important to have a balanced nutritious diet for our furry little friends.
Types of Fig Newtons and possible alternatives for Dogs
Just like different kinds of pasties, there are many types of newtons. Even though fig newtons were trademarked by Nabisco, these can also be homemade. Regardless of how they’re made, they require sweeteners, such as sugar or maple syrup, all of which are not good for dogs. Thus, fig newtons are best avoided for dogs. However, figs, on the other hand, can be a nutritious treat for dogs in limited quantities.
Naturally, fig fruit itself is a healthier alternative to fig newtons. Even then, figs are high in natural sugar, and the ingestion of too many figs can also cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. It is important to note that figs are not toxic for dogs; they are irritants. Thus, it is recommended to give no more than one or two fresh figs to dogs per week.
Commercial Pet Treats
Pet stores carry different types of treats that try to be transparent about ingredients and sources. Even though many owners are skeptical of trusting pet store treats, many pet store treats may be a better alternative to fig newtons.
As long as we read the labels and follow instructions on how many treats we can give at a time, commercial pet treats are completely healthy and great alternatives as treats.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Dogs can have an array of different foods that are widely available to us. These include carrots, watermelons, broccoli, bananas, and many more. All of these provide high nutritional value to our pet’s diet, and most pets highly enjoy them.
These healthy treats allow us to bond with our pets. Furthermore, sharing healthy treats fosters a culture of eating healthy for both owners and pets alike. VetJournal research also argues that obesity in pets is directly correlated with obesity in owners. Hence, sharing healthy treats such as fresh vegetables and fruits benefit owners and pets alike.
FAQs About Fig Newtons and Dogs
What to do if my dog ate a lot of fig newtons?
If a pet has consumed a huge quantity of fig newtons, it is best to call the vet right away. They will likely vomit and experience diarrhea, which causes dehydration. To tackle the dehydration, the vet might need to insert an IV.
Should I call the vet if my dog had a couple of fig newtons?
If a dog has consumed a few fig newtons, there should not be a reason to worry. Fig newtons are not poisonous or toxic for dogs. They are high in sugar content, which can cause some vomiting and diarrhea.
Can my dog have figs?
Dogs can have figs but in small quantities. Fresh figs can be irritants for dogs, but they are not toxic or poisonous. Dogs should not be given more than two figs in a week.
Can my dog have homemade fig newtons?
Most fig newton recipes require some form of sweetener. Sweeteners such as sugar or syrups are bad for dogs. Alternative sweeteners, such as stevia and xylitol, have certain chemicals that can be harmful to dogs. You should typically avoid offering both commercial and homemade fig newtons to your little furry friend.
In conclusion, dogs should not be offered fig newtons as treats or snacks. Their high sugar content can cause digestive irritation in pets in the short term. In the long term, continuous consumption of fig newtons can cause many health issues, which can affect their life span and quality of life.
There are much healthier and more nutritious alternatives to fig newtons that make great treats for our pets. Lastly, providing healthy and fresh treats for our pets also allows us to eat healthier.