As dog owners, it’s sometimes nice to be off the hook when it comes to sharing our snacks with our best friends. When we’re enjoying some veggie sticks or fruit, it’s certainly easier to feel less guilt.
If however, you’re a pet owner who’s dog insists on indulging right alongside you regardless of fare, you might be wondering about a delicious treat like raspberries.
Can raspberries make my dog sick? Are they poisonous? This quick moment of panic that races through even the most knowledgeable pet owner’s minds isn’t uncommon.
The USA is the third largest producer of raspberries. While most dogs are certainly not used to eating them, non-canned fruits, even raspberries, won’t do too much harm.
Is It Safe for Your Dog to Eat Raspberries?
Yes, your dog can eat a few raspberries. When offered as a special treat, raspberries will work normally in a dog’s digestive tract without causing sensitivity. Sometimes, the anti-inflammatory properties of raspberries can even help ease joint pain in pets.
When you next shop for dog food, take a look at the ingredients list. On any number of titles with “wild” in the mix, it’s a sure bet you’ll find raspberries. Raspberries, not all that surprisingly, have a lot of nutritional benefits for dogs. They are a low-calorie ingredient quite low in sugar. Raspberries also have a high level of manganese in them, which dogs require so that their bodies can properly absorb and distribute carbs and proteins. An easy way to remember what manganese does is that it equals energy for your pet.
A Dog’s Diet: How to Include Raspberries
Working some raspberries into a dog’s diet can be as easy as using them as a special treat, or giving your dog raspberries 2 or 3 pieces occasionally, with their meal. While raspberries are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, too many will just result in an awful tummy ache for your dog.
One reason we as humans love raspberries so much is that they’re a versatile ingredient. You can find them in jams, juice products, enjoy them fresh, add them to salads, and even consume them dried or frozen. Like us, raspberries are a great treat to keep your dog feeling full without ingesting too many calories.
You’ll probably find that dogs prefer fresh or frozen raspberries best, and that’s a good thing. Other kinds of raspberries can have extra added sugars and sugar is bad for a dog’s teeth. Remember to wash any raspberries you intend on giving to your dog. Unwashed berries may have toxic pesticides, even organic brands. Never offer your dog expired or moldy raspberries.
Special treats for a dog should only make up 10% of their daily diet. When giving a dog high-fiber treats, this guideline is especially important. Too much fiber in a dog’s diet can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal pain.
Another rule of thumb for giving a dogs raspberries is size consideration. While it’s obvious that you may be able to give a larger dog a few more berries than a smaller one, dogs with constipation can also have an extra berry or two. Knowing your dog and how they eat, play and rest will give you an accurate idea of how many raspberries they can ultimately have.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Raspberries for Dogs
Just like our diets, foods we give our dogs also have an upside and a downside. Rest assured, the disadvantages of giving a dog raspberry are few. Let’s review the benefits.
Benefits of Raspberries
- Excellent Source of Vitamin C
- Safe for All Breeds
- Chock-full of Antioxidants; and
- Fun to Eat (Delicious)
Did you know that antioxidants in food have one of the most important jobs for digestion? Antioxidants neutralize toxic free radicals. Free radicals are toxins that we, and especially our dogs, absorb from our environment. Free radicals can even be chemicals. These molecules when un-neutralized, damage cell structure, and in the worst cases, DNA. Raspberries are brimming with beneficial antioxidants. Mature dogs benefit highly from a rich, antioxidant diet.
- Too Many Cause Diarrhea
- Easy to Feed a Dog Too Many
- Your Dog Might Hate Them
How Do Raspberries Compare With Feeding Your Dog Other Kinds of Fruits
Dogs love a number of fruit options. After all, dogs love dessert too. Treats like watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, and even apple compare to raspberries in their vitamin presence and ability to keep a dog’s weight in check. You can not just give your dog any fruit though. Poisonous offerings would be things like plums, cherries, anything made from grapes (raisins and currents too), rhubarb, and even raw onions and potatoes. Keep dogs away from any fruit with pits, and never feed them the stem or leaf of a fruit, which believe it or not, contain high levels of cyanide!
Seedless fruits and banana are other okay items to feed your dog alongside raspberries. Knowing your dog and what could be a possible choking hazard to avoid, will streamline their list of favorable treat options.
Poisonous Berries and Toxic Fruits to Avoid Altogether
Sometimes your dog may be out exploring and come across wild berries or fruit. They may also encounter wild berries and such, from within their very own fenced-in property. When in doubt, pick some and your veterinarian can direct you on whether or not these items are safe for dogs.
Avoid: The Fatal 8
- Cherries with Pits
- Peach Pits
- Avocados & Mushrooms
- Raw Rhubarb
- Uncooked Tomatoes
- Onion, Garlic, Chives
When you’re busy enjoying a healthy, delicious snack like raspberries, it’s hard to see your dog looking over at you longingly to share. Remember that:
- Raspberries are Ok in Moderation
- Raspberries Have Excellent Dietary Benefits for Your Dog
- Serving Amount is Flexible, Go with Size
- Halve Raspberries for Smaller Breeds
- Puppies May Prefer Frozen Berries Best; and
- Most Berries are Fine for Dogs, Just be Sure to Wash First!