Can dogs eat blackberries?
Is your dog a picky eater? If they are, you’re not alone! Some dogs give their owners a tough time when it comes to preparing meals and treats. If feeding your dog makes you feel like a parent trying to get a fussy toddler to eat, you may want an alternative. Fortunately, dogs love sweet-tasting human food like blackberries. But not all human food is healthy for dogs, so you may be wondering, “Can my dog eat blackberries?” In this article, we’ll answer that question and much more!
Yes, blackberries can be a nutritious and delicious treat for your furry friend.
Can Dogs Eat blackberries?
Blackberries are safe for most dogs to consume. They can be enjoyed as an occasional treat or even daily, as long as your pooch doesn’t go overboard.
Are Blackberries Safe for Dogs?
You might think that feeding your dog berries seems too sugary or unnatural, but blackberries are safe for dogs. They do contain sugar, but in relatively small amounts compared to other fruits like bananas or mangoes. Blackberries are also relatively low-calorie fruits.
On the opposite spectrum, blackberries contain a type of sugar called xylitol. This naturally sweet substance may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but only when taken in large amounts. However, the chances of this happening to your dog are pretty slim — unless your dog ate a truckload of blackberries!
What Types of Berries Are Not Safe for Dogs?
Berries with large pits are not safe for dogs since they pose a choking hazard. Cherries fall under this category, and they also contain chemicals that are toxic to dogs when ingested. Other toxic berries include:
- Mistletoe berries
- Juniper berries
- Holly berries
What Are the Health Benefits of Blackberries for Dogs?
Free radicals are natural yet harmful substances. They can be found in the environment or produced by the body in response to various factors, including stress. Free radicals can alter the function of any cell they come into contact with, causing a multitude of potential health problems.
Blackberries are rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial compounds that protect cells against free radical damage. The antioxidant chemicals found in blackberries are known as anthocyanins.
Blackberries also contain a generous amount of nutrients, namely vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, K, and a compound known as omega-3. These nutrients work to protect your dog’s health by:
- Boosting the immune system
- Improving energy and metabolism
- Promoting wound healing
- Maintaining healthy skin
- Enhancing mental alertness
- Protecting against inflammation and joint damage
- Keeping your dog’s heart and blood vessels in top condition
Fiber is another healthy component of blackberries. A diet rich in fiber is beneficial to dogs since they encourage healthy bowel movements.
Are There Dangers Associated with Blackberries and Dogs?
Xylitol, a sweetener similar to sugar, can be found in blackberries in tiny amounts. Experts warn against feeding dogs xylitol since it’s toxic when given in large quantities. For perspective, raspberries have a higher xylitol content than blackberries. The toxic intake for raspberries is estimated to be around 32 cups, so it’s safe to say that your dog would have to eat an enormous amount of blackberries for it to be fatal. Still, it’s best to play it safe and feed your dog no more than a few berries each day.
Other dangers associated with blackberries involve typical digestive problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, and a tender stomach. Again, these symptoms are usually brought about by eating too many blackberries.
What Are Alternatives to Blackberries for Dogs?
Some dogs might not like blackberries, just as some humans certainly don’t. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries might work just as well for your pet.
Berries Your Dog Should NOT Eat
As a rule, you shouldn’t give your dog berries that aren’t safe for humans. Wild berries harvested from unfamiliar areas should most definitely not be given to dogs. The following should also be avoided, as they might cause toxic side effects such as seizures, diarrhea, or respiratory problems:
- Mistletoe berries
- Poke berries
- Holly berries
- Dogwood berries
- Juniper berries
How to Add Blackberries to a Dog’s Diet
There are a ton of ways to introduce blackberries to your dog’s diet. Berries can be baked into wholesome homemade treats or served frozen as a cool snack on a warm day. For picky eaters, you can sneak some chopped blackberry bits into their regular meals to mask flavors the dog doesn’t like. You could even give your dog a whole berry straight from the counter — just remember to wash the berries first!
Benefits of Blackberries
Any fitness guru will happily tell you that blackberries are amazing, highly nutritious fruits that everyone should add to their diet. Instead of spending money on pet supplements that contain fake meat made in a lab, you can enrich your dog’s well-being by giving them a wholesome diet. Blackberries can be your dog’s natural source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Serving Blackberries as Treats
Though blackberries may be a bit too sugary to be a main course, they are perfect for a small snack or a delicious dessert. Making your own treats not only saves money but also helps you ensure the quality and safety of your dog’s food.
Blackberry Treat Recipe
To make healthy blackberry treats, prepare the following ingredients:
- 16 ounces fresh (or frozen and thawed) blackberries
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 1/2 cups wheat flour
- 1/2 cup butter or peanut butter spread
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the blackberries into a food processor and puree until smooth. Mix the puree and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
- Prepare a cookie sheet by coating it lightly with butter.
- Use a spoon to shape small bite-sized pieces suitable for your dog. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Take out your treats and let them cool completely before serving. They last for three days in a refrigerator and up to three months in the freezer.
History of Blackberries and Dogs
Blackberries were used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans as a natural remedy, particularly for gout. The ancient civilizations knew that the small, innocent fruit contained powerful immune boosters. The blackberry first came to American in 1880, when its ancestor (called the Loganberry) was brought to the New World. Through time and selective breeding, American botanists cultivated the much-loved blackberry that we know today.
In many farms across the country, blackberries are grown and enjoyed by their farmers. Unsurprisingly, many dogs have come to realize how delicious they are. Some growers happily eat blackberries that have fallen off their trees!
How to Feed Blackberries to Dogs
Before giving a new food to your dog, talk to your veterinarian. Once you’ve gotten a professional’s approval, it’s always wise to give your dog just a tiny amount to see if they like it. Providing a little taste test also confirms that your pet won’t have any adverse reactions that you or your vet may have been unaware of.
Observe your dog for at least 24 hours after giving them blackberries for any signs of indigestion, diarrhea, or vomiting. These side effects might indicate that they don’t tolerate the fruit well or aren’t used to eating it yet.