In the South and Latin Americas, agave is a natural plant. A newcomer to the Western world, agave has been utilized in Mexico for hundreds, if not thousands of years before that.
Agave has long been revered for its alleged therapeutic qualities. The sap of the agave plant was used to make a sweetener called Miel de agave by boiling it Different brands produce the agave nectar now which is a sweetening syrup.
Most humans are known for eating agave syrup and nectar. But can dogs have agave syrup and nectar? Let’s find out.
Can dogs have agave syrup & nectar?
To put it simply, agave syrup & nectar is not the worst thing on the planet, but it’s also not the healthiest thing for your dog. It is primarily just sugar, a particularly poor kind of sugar. Because the beneficial elements contained in it are minimum, it isn’t worth the danger of feeding your dog.
Agave nectar is a type of syrup used as a sweetener or as a substitute for honey. The term nectar is just used for marketing purposes. It is derived from the fluid contained within the blue agave plant and it’s the same plant from which tequila is made.
The sweetener often referred to as agave nectar should be labeled as agave syrup, rather than agave nectar. It bears little resemblance to the traditional Mexican sweetener that has been in use for hundreds of years.
Having stated that, the developing process of manufacturing is the same. Firstly, the plant is chopped and crushed to obtain the sweet sap.
Even though this sap is rich in sugar, it also includes useful fiber like fructans, which have been related to positive effects on metabolism and insulin
When the sap is processed into a syrup, the fructans are removed and the fructose is broken down by exposing the sap to heat and/or enzymes, resulting in a sweeter product that isn’t in any way healthy for your dog.
Is agave syrup toxic to dogs?
Although the agave plant is slightly toxic the agave syrup is not toxic to dogs or humans. However, as with any unhealthy highly processed food ingredient, it isn’t helpful for your dog’s health.
It’s certainly is not the worst thing your dog can ever have, but it’s not the best thing for your dog’s health either. Agave syrup contains a lot of sugar, and it is a particularly poor kind of sugar at that, in addition to having far too many calories.
The extra amount of calories takes its toll on the body slowly but surely.
Because the few beneficial elements contained in agave syrup are present in such tiny amounts, it is not worth the danger of giving your pet such a high concentration of sugar. For sweetening your dog’s goodies, raw honey or maple syrup are great options to consider.
5 reasons why dogs cannot have agave syrup:
Although certain sections of the crowd preach about the health benefits of agave syrup, some implications need to be addressed. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why dogs cannot have agave syrup
High fructose level:
agave nectar contains between 75 and 90% fructose. This compares to just 50% for table sugar and 55% for the much-maligned high fructose corn syrup.
Although glucose and fructose seem to be quite similar, they have very distinct physiological consequences. Regrettably, fructose is believed to be associated with a variety of health issues.
In contrast to other sugars, fructose is metabolized by the liver. Consuming an excessive amount of fructose in a short time may overload the liver, causing it to generate harmful triglycerides.
High fructose meals are believed to contribute to extra fat, which is detrimental to overall heart health.
No health benefits:
If you compare agave syrup with honey or any other sweetener, there are no major health benefits that would suggest it’s good for your dog. Honey is known for its multiple health benefits but the agave syrup falls behind in this category.
After taking the nectar from the agave plant, companies use a multitude of chemicals to process the agave syrup. This takes away even the minor positive attributes the nectar had.
So by the end of the production, it becomes just another highly processed sweetener with no major benefits.
Studies show that agave syrup has low anti-oxidants compared to honey. Anti-oxidants help with digestion and inner-body processes.
But since agave syrup consists of very low amounts which are chemically induced, there’s no point in giving your dog the agave syrup.
What can I use instead of agave nectar for dogs?
Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives of agave nectar for your dog which are also beneficial for your dog’s health one way or the other.
Honey’s color and taste are very variable, depending on the nectar supply used by the bees. The more intense the hue, the more intense the taste.
Darker kinds of honey, such as buckwheat (not to be confused with wheat) tupelo, and sage have the highest concentrations of antioxidants.
You may be shocked to discover that maple syrup is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Red or Black maple trees and sap of sugar are usually used to make this delicious syrup.
Brown rice syrup:
IT is gluten-free and has a low GI, due to the complex sugar polysaccharide structure it contains. The brown rice syrup can be broken down very easily by the stomach which allows for better digestion and a healthier diet compared to agave syrup.
You will find various nutrients including vitamin B, manganese and potassium.
This is dubbed as the tree of life by many because it can create fruit all year round. Coconut sap/syrup is nutrition-rich, including 17 amino acids, B vitamins such as inositol, potassium, vitamin C, and even FOS, a prebiotic that improves digestive health.
It is also known as the maple of the tropics in certain parts of the world.
Contrary to popular belief, stevia was discovered by Europeans in the early twentieth century. Stevia, often known as sugar leaf and sweet leaf is a sunflower family member.
Although it is 300 times sweeter than normal sugar, due to its molecular composition, it does not affect insulin levels.
What to do in case your dog has poisoning from agave?
The following tips might help you to handle the situation –
Assess the situation:
To begin, attempt to identify the poison and how your dog came into touch with it. Was the agave consumed, breathed, or absorbed via the skin? Determine the amount of poison consumed, breathed, or otherwise came into touch with your dog.
Obtain professional assistance:
Your next step should be to contact a veterinarian for medical assistance, even if your dog seems to be behaving normally. You should not wait for your dog to exhibit symptoms of sickness before intervening, as it may be too late.
Never treat your dog with a home remedy or any other treatment unless you have first discussed it with a veterinarian.
A professional may request that you induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide at home. That’s why, you should try to have an intact, non-expired container of hydrogen peroxide in your house at all times.
Never do this procedure unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian. Inducing vomiting is not always safe!
If the poison has come into touch with your pup’s skin or coat, you may be recommended to wash him. A specialist may suggest either regular dog shampoo or a stronger formulation. You can do it with any dog-friendly shampoo as well.
Can dogs have raw blue agave?
When eaten, raw blue agave (Agave spp.) is moderately hazardous to canines and humans according to USDA. It is unlikely that this will kill your canine friend, but it will almost certainly cause agony and misery.
What is the best sweetener for dogs?
Honey and maple syrup are among the best sweetener for your dog considering all their attributes and health benefits.
To sum it up, while agave syrup and nectar are not the worst things in the world, they are not the best for your dog. It is mainly sugar and a very bad kind of sugar at that. Because the beneficial components found in it are insignificant, giving it to your dog is not worth the risk.