The amount of sugar content that your dog intakes matters. In preparing a dog’s food for a day, you must ensure the amount of spice or sweetness added.
Sugar comes in various forms. When you run out of grain, your option can be a granulated sugar substitute like Agave nectar or syrup — a type of natural sweetener made from the sap of a variety of agave plants.
It works like honey, but only Agave has a low glycemic index. Cats love the agave syrup. But, can dogs love to eat it too?
Well, let’s try to check if our canine friends would love this food.
In this article, we will get a closer look at Agave, its benefits for your dog’s health, and find practical, safe ways to feed this to your dog!
What is Agave?
Agave is a type of plant that is native to Mexico. It is sometimes referred to as the “blue agave” plant because of its blue color that resembles a giant pineapple when it matures.
The leaves are long and fleshy, with sharp, needle-like thorns along their margins.
Each leaf grows inward toward the center instead of expanding outward from one another like other plants.
This plant usually grows in the area where the climate is dry. However, it is considered drought-tolerant since it can survive in arid conditions, aside from producing a nectar-like substance.
Moreover, Agave is famous for its nectar called “agave syrup,” or simply Agave, the sweet sap of the blue agave plant that you can tap near its base to produce a nutrient-rich liquid.
This liquid contains fructose and glucose, which are similar in chemical structure but different in how the body processes them.
Agave syrup is known as a natural sweetener. Hence, this can be used as an alternative for sugar and has about 60% of fructose.
It is also known as “Honey Water” because of its color that resembles honey but with a sweeter taste.
Food family of Agave
Agave belongs to the family food of the Agavaceae — the agave family.
Other plants under this food are the Century Plant, which is known for its production of sisal fiber that can be used to make rope and string.
Also, Joshua Tree, a plant named after the biblical figure Joshua who was famous for his strong leadership skills during Moses’ absence in Canaan.
And yuccas which have leaves that can be used to make shoes.
This type of family food sources some nutrients that we need, such as minerals, vitamins, and minerals like calcium which can strengthen bones.
It also has a high content of dietary fiber that is good for the digestive system because it will relieve constipation.
In this case, agave syrup is suitable for people who have diabetes or have high blood sugar since it contains a low glucose level.
However, there are some health concerns regarding the level of fructose in this plant which contributes to diabetes, obesity, high triglyceride levels, and increased risks of heart disease.
Being said, do we agree to have this food fed to our dogs?
Can dogs eat Agave?
Yes, of course, dogs can eat Agave! And it’s best to feed them by its nectar form.
For people, Agave is a sweet plant that can satisfy their cravings for something sweet.
For dogs, it’s the same thing too! Dogs love anything that tastes like sugar which would enjoy this plant just as much as we do.
Since it contains a low level of glucose, there are no fears in feeding this to dogs.
Agave is safe for them, and it can be used as a replacement for sugar in their diet plan.
However, while this plant is suitable for increasing the dog’s energy level due to its high fructose content, there are some concerns regarding how agave syrup affects humans when they consume large amounts of it daily.
In this case, it’s better to formulate the best ways to feed your dogs with Agave:
Best Ways to Feed your Dogs with Agave
Mix agave nectar with your dog’s regular food
Agave nectar brings sweetness to your dog’s regular food. However, since this food has a high amount of sugar, you have to just put a small amount of it into your dog’s meal.
You can also mix the Agave Syrup/nectar with warm water, just like an alternative for apple juice, which you will then use to moisten their kibble.
Add as food toppings.
Agave nectar is also safe to be used as food toppings. For example, you can use this syrup to prepare your dog’s treats by mixing it with peanut butter or cream cheese, making the mixture taste delicious.
Plus, you can use this food like sandwich fillings that would substitute chocolate flavor.
Use Agave Syrup/nectar as an alternative treat.
Aside from being added to their regular food, you can also use Agave Syrup/nectar as an alternative treatment.
You may feed them with this syrup by putting it on their paws or giving them a small amount of the syrup in their mouths.
Or you may also put this syrup on their dog’s favorite toys or items so that they will lick it off.
Reasons Why Dogs Can Eat Agave
Aside from its delectable sweetness produced by its nectar, Agave is believed to have medicinal properties.
If you are an age today knowing this information, here are some facts you have to take note of:
Agave is a natural sweetener.
Aside from its sweetness, agave syrup is also a natural sweetener used in various products like beverages and baked goods.
Since dogs are not prone to developing diabetes when they consume small amounts of sugar/fructose every day, there’s no problem in giving them a treat that’s made of agave syrup.
Agave has low glucose content.
Dogs have enough insulin in their bodies, so they cannot develop diabetes caused by high glucose levels.
However, since this plant contains lower levels of fructose that contribute to the formation of diabetes, it’s entirely safe for dogs to eat agave syrup as long as you feed them small amounts daily.
Agave is rich in potassium.
Potassium provides essential minerals that can boost your dog’s heart health, which is why it’s recommended to add potassium-rich foods to their diet plan.
Since agave syrup contains high amounts of this mineral, you will not have any problem feeding them a small amount daily.
Agave has antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants are substances that can help fight various forms of diseases and health conditions.
It is believed that agave syrup contains antioxidants properties which make it an excellent choice to feed your dog with this food as long as you follow the right amount for their daily intake requirement.
Possible Concerns When Eating Agave
Yes, your dog gets benefits from eating Agave. But when you feed them with an excessive amount of this food/syrup, here are some possible problems they may experience:
Agave has a high fructose content.
While it’s true that dogs don’t have to worry about developing diabetes because of the low glucose level in agave syrup, you still need to restrict their intake because this plant also contains high amounts of fructose.
High fructose levels in the body can result in inflammation of the pancreas, which is why it’s never a good idea to feed your dog with agave syrup daily.
An excessive amount of agave syrup may lead to obesity.
Some pet owners give too many treats and food that their dogs become obese. And while there is no problem in giving your dog agave syrup as food toppings or treats, you should limit their consumption to avoid possible problems.
Agave may cause allergies.
It is believed that some dogs are allergic to certain types of foods and ingredients, which can lead to various health conditions.
If you plan to feed your pet with agave syrup, make sure that you check with your vet first to know if any ingredients or substances in this plant can trigger allergies.
Signs your dog is sick from eating Agave
Does your dog behave unusually after eating Agave? If your dog does not behave the same way before, perhaps, your dog may suffer from the signs of sickness.
As a dog owner, you have to watch out for the following symptoms:
They may have a change in appetite.
If your dog is not eating well, it may be feeling sick. On the other hand, if you notice no improvement even after several days of giving them the food containing agave syrup as their daily treat, perhaps, something must be wrong with this plant and what your pet eats.
They may experience disorientation.
Dogs act unusual when they feel sick. If your dog is not working like before, you should take them to the vet quickly to diagnose this health issue properly.
There are some cases where dogs have shown signs of illness after eating agave syrup which means you should keep a close eye on them if they consume this food.
They may vomit and have diarrhea.
One of the signs of illness is vomiting and having dark-colored stool or diarrhea, which can cause concern.
If your dog has been eating agave syrup as their daily treat but suddenly shows these symptoms after weeks without any improvement, you should see a vet right away for a proper diagnosis.
What to do if your dog is sick from eating Agave?
We suggest that you shouldn’t panic, and instead, keep a calm and composed mind. You should take your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as you can because it may be a simple case of food poisoning, which is common among dogs who eat something they shouldn’t have eaten.
As soon as your vet gives his diagnosis, he will recommend the right treatment plan for your dog.
It can be anything from giving them IV fluids to inducing vomiting to get rid of the toxins in their system caused by eating agave syrup containing high fructose levels and other harmful substances for dogs.
You have to take down notes as much as possible, and your vet provides a table diet. So you need to stick to them.
If you don’t feel like feeding your homemade pet food and only want the vet’s recommended processed dog foods for their diet, make sure that it doesn’t contain agave syrup as one of its ingredients because this plant is also harmful to dogs.
Avoid similar foods from this family.
Having similar characteristics to Agave, the Yucca plant is one of the most poisonous plants for dogs.
Yucca is another plant you should avoid giving to your pet because it contains saponins that can cause severe health conditions, including death in some cases.
Cactus plants are also known to be poisonous for dogs. If your pet eats one of these, you should seek medical treatment immediately if symptoms manifest themselves after a few hours.
This plant contains toxic substances which may lead to illness and, in some cases, death for pets who eat them.
The Century Plant is another plant that you should not feed your pet because it can cause severe health conditions.
If signs of illness appear, including loss of appetite and vomiting, get them to the vet immediately for a proper treatment plan.
How to Make Agave Safe To Eat
Actions speak louder than words. Without our efforts to make it happen, our wisdom becomes null and void.
So, at this juncture, we designed the possible ways on making Agave safe to eat for your dog’s diet:
Maintain its freshness
The best way to keep agave syrup from going wrong is by storing it in a dark and cool place. In addition, make sure that you don’t store them near any food or plant, which can easily attract pests because agave nectar may attract these insects to the sweet smell.
If molds develop, this is an indication that agave syrup has gone wrong.
Avoid feeding every day.
We know that your dog loves to eat agave syrup every day. But, you should feed this food in moderation because constant exposure can lead to addiction and other health issues that may harm their well-being.
So, don’t make them reliant on sugar as a source of energy, or else all the effort in keeping them healthy will go to waste.
Monitor your feeding
Lastly, don’t leave your feeding unattended. Otherwise, your dog can ingest something that your dog shouldn’t have eaten.
If you’re not around and your pet eats a yucca plant, for instance, this may cause severe health conditions which may lead to death if left untreated.
Sugar, spice, and everything nice! Our dogs love to eat whatever they want. And to ensure that they’re on the right track, you should keep them healthy by getting closer to the plants they can closely get attracted to, most especially with Agave plants!
To recap, dogs can eat agave plants through their nectar. This plant has a sweet sap producing a nutrient-rich liquid and also serving as a natural sweetener.
Not only that, but Agave also comes with benefits that have medicinal properties, such as antioxidant and potassium content that can help to shape your dog’s good condition.
Your dog, however, may suffer from possible health hazards after eating Agave. For instance, your dog may develop inflammation in the pancreas, become obese, and experience allergic reactions.
They may also have their appetite changed and experience disorientation.
But again, your action speaks louder than words. That’s why you can offer agave plants for safe feeding by maintaining their freshness, avoiding feeding every day, and monitoring your dog while taking agave syrup.