Who doesn’t love berry season? So much delicious fruit to enjoy, like strawberries, blackberries, and of course, raspberries. And while most of us love adding raspberries to our smoothies or morning oatmeal and appreciating the Vitamin C and fiber they add to our diet, dog lovers are asking whether their loved fur baby can also enjoy this delicious fruit.
Can Dogs Eat Raspberries?
So, can dogs be given raspberries? The answer is yes, they can, but like everything else they should be given in moderation. Raspberries contain antioxidants, which are good for dogs, especially older dogs, because their anti-inflammatory properties help alleviate joint pain. But before you feed raspberries to your pet there are a few things to keep in mind.
Dogs don’t necessarily need to eat fruit for nutritional purposes, but raspberries do offer many health benefits, such as –
- They’re high in dietary fiber which fights obesity by keeping your dog feeling full, and they help improve a dog’s digestive system.
- They contain powerful antioxidants that can reduce the likelihood of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
- They contain minerals like manganese, folic acid, copper, potassium, iron, and magnesium.
- They contain Vitamin C, B-Complex, and Vitamin K.
- They’re low in calories and sugar, with most of the calories coming from the sugar.
What Are The Dangers of Feeding My Dog Raspberries?
It should be noted that raspberries contain a very high level of natural xylitol, which is an all-natural sweetener typically found in various fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is safe for human consumption, but it can be toxic to dogs. It’s been known to contribute to the development of hypoglycemia and liver disease, both of which can become very serious if left untreated. Other side effects may include diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation. Raspberries are not necessarily toxic to your dog, but they should only be fed in moderation.
To be on the safe side, keep the serving to less than a cup. If you should have raspberries in your garden just keep an eye on your pooch to ensure he’s not gobbling them up.
Interesting Facts About Dogs and Raspberries
- Dogs are omnivores, which means they can benefit from consuming a variety of different vegetables and fruits, just like humans. Raspberries are low in sugar and fat but high in fiber and vitamins. Give raspberries to your pet in moderation and they’ll be fine.
- Biologists have noted that wolves in the wild forage for different types of berries, and they enjoy them a lot. It’s not known why they eat berries – perhaps for nutrition or maybe just because they love the taste – but we know that domestic dogs also love different types of berries.
- The fiber contained in raspberries is ideal for dogs that are overweight; it keeps them feeling full for longer, and they contain very few calories. If you’re trying to reduce your dog’s weight, help by easing hunger pains with high-fiber low-calorie foods like raspberries. They’ll feel less hungry, love their sweet snack, and their body will slowly adjust to less food.
- Raspberries come in a range of colors, including golden, black, yellow, and purple, but it’s the red raspberry that’s the most common and well known.
To many people (and dogs) raspberries are the sweetest and nicest of the berries. The Vitamin C contained within the berries is great at helping the body absorb iron and excellent for the immune system. The antioxidants reduce the risks of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, while the manganese helps synthesize carbohydrates and protein to create energy. Add these to the copper, B vitamins, magnesium, and folic acid, and you have a powerhouse of valuable nutrients.
Moderation is Key
Whether you give your dog too much of their regular food, or too many berries, their digestive system is going to revolt. Their stomach and intestines simply can’t handle excessive amounts of food. If your dog has too many berries they will end up with loose stools, or even diarrhea.
How much is enough? For larger dogs like retrievers and labs, six to ten berries are enough, while small to medium-sized dogs should have no more than three to six berries per day. It should be given as a treat or light snack when your dog is showing interest in what you’re eating. Give these treats instead of ice-cream or other sugary treats – they’re much better for your pet.
Raspberries And Sugar
Another negative aspect of giving raspberries to your dog and why they should be given a limited number is that they contain sugar, which is not good for your pet. The sugar contained in berries is called fructose, which has a different structure to sucrose (the sugar we use in our homes). So, while fructose is more ‘natural’ it’s still not good for dogs.
Another important point is that the amount of sugar contained in modern fruits is far greater than the amount of sugar contained in the wild fruits that wolves (your dog’s ancestors) foraged for thirty thousand years ago. Your dog’s digestive system is programmed to process fat and proteins, and while foods containing sugar may be a nice reward or treat, they shouldn’t be consumed by your dog on a regular basis.
Can I Give My Dog Canned Raspberries?
Canned raspberries, or raspberries in jars like spreads and jam, contain way too much sugar for your pet. They also contain dangerous preservatives that can be toxic to your pet. Avoid giving canned raspberries or raspberries in any type of jam or spread to your dog.
How Do I Give Raspberries To My Dog?
A few raspberries given to your dog every now and then will not hurt your dog. Fresh or frozen makes no difference, but it is recommended that they not be fed to your dog at the same time as protein, because protein digests slower than fruits. And again, don’t let your fur baby into your raspberry patch!
Are There Any Good Alternatives To Raspberries For Dogs
Yes, there are, and again, these should be given in moderation.
Try Cranberries, Blackberries, watermelon and Pineapple. As I said earlier dogs should primarily stick to dog food.