With the crunchy filling with a citrus undertone and a soft outer covering, fig newtons are incredibly delicious treats. Most of us have grown up eating these sweet snacks, and love to have them still. If you are a pet parent with a habit of sharing your treats with your dog, you might wonder if these delicious cookies are okay for them.
So, can dogs eat fig newtons? Yes, they can but we would suggest you refrain from feeding dogs fig newtons. While they are not outright toxic to dogs, they have a high sugar content, which is more or less the same thing. Although dogs have a sweet tooth, sugar does them more harm than good and should be avoided as far as possible.
If you feed your dog fig newton cookies or any treat with equally high sugar content, you’re inviting troubles for them.
Why are fig newtons bad for your dog?
Before determining why fig newton cookies are bad for your dog, let’s take a look at the ingredients of fig newtons cookies:
- Whole grain wheat flour
- Unbleached enriched flour
- Fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Canola oil
- Palm oil
- Baking soda
- Malic acid
- Calcium lactate
- Soy lecithin
- Sodium benzoates
- Sulfur dioxide
- Artificial flavors
- Hydrogenated cottonseed oil
The concentration of sugar (fructose corn syrup, invert sugar) in a single fig newton cookie is 5% (about 12 grams). While it is not very healthy for humans either, for dogs, it is downright unhealthy.
In addition to sugar, the hydrogenated cottonseed oil, artificial flavors, sulfites, and added preservatives, are all unhealthy for your dog. Therefore, not feeding them fig newton cookies is in the best interests of your pet.
There’s no reason for you to panic if your dog has eaten a fig newton cookie. As mentioned before, fig newtons are not essentially toxic to dogs, so your dog will be just fine.
The problem, however, arises when this becomes a habit. If consumed in larger quantities, or on a regular basis, fig newton cookies can lead to many health problems in your pet dog.
The high sugar content can cause hyperactivity in your pet and lead to long-term diseases such as diabetes. Unusual weight loss, increased thirst, and urination are some of the major diabetes symptoms in dogs. If you witness any of these, get your pet’s blood sugar level checked.
Fig newton cookies also have a high-calorie count, which can lead to obesity in dogs. The steady increase in body weight and the inability to do exercise are common symptoms you can notice in an obese dog. Obesity is not merely unhealthy but cuts down the lifespan of your pet by about two and a half years.
Another dangerous ingredient of fig newton cookie is the partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. It can lead to gossypol poisoning in dogs.
The disease impacts multiple systems such as reproductive, cardiac, renal, at once, and can even lead to death due to cardiac failure.
Can you feed fig newtons to your puppy?
Feeding a fig newton cookie to a puppy is certainly out of the question. If these cookies can cause such problems in an adult dog, there’s no wondering how it will impact the fragile health of a puppy.
If you have a puppy at home, you should try to avoid buying fig newton cookies altogether. However, if you can’t resist buying them, keep them far away from your pet’s reach and well-guarded at all times.
The myth of dog’s boredom with the same diet
Many pet parents use the excuse of boredom to feed their pet dogs some of their own snacks. This, however, is nothing more than a myth. While humans tend to get bored with eating the same diet every day, dogs suffer no such misery.
You can feed your pet the same dog food (as long as it covers all their nutritional needs) every day, and witness them eat with great enthusiasm every time.
With that being said, you might still want to feed them treats and snacks out of affection, and you’re allowed to.
There is a wide variety of dog treats and snacks available online as well as in your local pet store. These treats are specifically made for your dogs to enjoy, and contain no harmful ingredients, unlike human snacks.
Can dogs eat figs?
Unlike the fig newton cookies, the fruit of fig is itself completely safe and even healthy for your dog when fed in moderation.
Fig contains natural sugar, which provides energy to your pet without harming their health, unlike artificial sugar. Also rich in dietary fibers, figs improve the bowel functions of dogs and can cure constipation.
Dietary fibers are also good for managing weight and can help decrease the initial symptoms of obesity in your pet.
You can feed your dog about two figs every week without worrying; however, any more than can lead to loose stool or Diarrhea.
Other human snacks you should avoid feeding your dog
Chocolates contain theobromine, which acts as a stimulator in dogs. Eating too much chocolate can lead to seizures, increased heart rate, and tremors in dogs. In many cases, it has also led to the death of a dog.
A lot of sugar-free stuff we buy contains xylitol as a sweetener, including baked food items as well. While it doesn’t affect us, xylitol is lethal to dogs and can damage their liver and drop their blood sugar levels.
Garlic, or any other spiced bread, are unhealthy for dogs. Along with the other allium family plants, garlic is toxic to dogs and can cause serious damage.
Summing it up
Returning to our first question: though dogs can eat fig newton cookies, they are extremely unhealthy and should be avoided at all costs. The high calorie, artificial sugar, flavors, and preservatives are dangerous for dogs and can lead to severe diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and gossypol poisoning.