The question isn’t just – can dogs eat blackberries?
It is also – should dogs eat blackberries? Because, as all dog owners know, dogs can eat anything they’ll fit into their mouth, but it doesn’t mean they should!
In this article, we will look at whether blackberries are a safe fruit for dogs to eat, along with any potential risks or health benefits.
Yes, dogs can eat blackberries.
Blackberries are high in antioxidants and are an excellent choice to give your dog as a treat. Blackberries can help to balance out the number of free radicals in dogs and reduce diseases.
In this article, we will discuss:
- About blackberries
- Are Blackberries safe for dogs to eat?
- What are the health benefits of blackberries for dogs?
- Are there any dangers associated with feeding blackberries to dogs?
- How to feed blackberries to a dog
- Which other hedgerow berries are safe for my dog to eat?
Blackberries are a dark edible fruit that can be found growing wild on brambles and are popular for picking and eating with desserts or made into jam.
Did you know that there are around 375 different species of blackberry, found in almost every part of the world?
See Also: Can dogs eat cranberries?
Blackberries have been used throughout history for their medicinal properties, with the Greeks using them as a remedy for Gout, and the Romans using the leaves to make teas to treat various illnesses.
Are Blackberries Safe For Dogs To Eat?
You may have found your dog munching on wild blackberries and want to know if there is anything for you to be worried about.
Well, you can relax, because blackberries are not toxic to dogs.
See Also: Can dogs eat apples?
Blackberries are also low in calories and sugar, which means that you don’t have to feel bad about treating your dog to some now and then.
If you stick to feeding blackberries as a treat with moderation, then your dog will do just fine.
Blackberries can be very good for your dog. Keep reading to find out more.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Blackberries For Dogs?
Blackberries are a great source of many vitamins for a dog.
They are particularly high in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, helping to build the immune system, synthesize hormones, activate enzymes, and metabolize food.
Vitamins also help to reduce inflammation and boost energy.
Blackberries also contain a high amount of antioxidants, which reduce the number of free radicals that are generated in the body by everyday activities.
See Also: Can dogs eat marshmallows?
These can harm healthy cells through a state called oxidative stress, and so it is not good to have too many.
Blackberries can help to balance out the number of free radicals in dogs and reduce diseases.
Because blackberries are packed with fiber, they can help with gastrointestinal problems, making them useful if you have a dog suffering from constipation or diarrhea.
Blackberries also contain anthocyanins, which are a type of antioxidant found in purple, blue, or red foods and believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
They reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and can improve brain function.
Related Topic: Can dogs eat strawberries?
The omega-3 fatty acids found in blackberries help to promote a healthy coat, skin, and strong teeth.
Due to the low calories and high fiber content, blackberries can also help your dog to feel fuller. This could be useful if you are trying to help your dog lose weight.
Are There Any Dangers Associated With Feeding Blackberries To Dogs?
We have established that blackberries have many health benefits, but even healthy foods need to be consumed in moderation.
Nutrient-rich treats such as blackberries should account for no more than 10% of a dog’s total daily calorie intake.
Eating too many blackberries can have adverse effects on your dog’s health, leading to gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.
It’s one thing to give your dog a tasty and healthy treat, but another thing entirely to give your dog a stomachache!
Related Topic: Can dogs eat bananas?
One thing to be aware of is that blackberries do contain trace amounts of xylitol. This is a substitute sweetener that is claimed to be toxic for dogs.
However, your dog would need to eat an obscene amount of blackberries to experience any poisoning.
A small handful of blackberries per day now and then should not harm, adjusting the amount according to the size of your dog.
How To Feed Blackberries To A Dog
If your dog isn’t the type to help himself to a bush of blackberries while on a walk in the fields, or if you don’t have access to fields full of thorns for your dog to munch on if he chooses, there are several other ways you can offer blackberries to your dog.
A supermarket is an obvious option, offering both fresh blackberries and frozen blackberries. You can feed these directly to your dog as treats.
Another great way of feeding blackberries to your dog is to stuff a Kong toy with a few blackberries or blueberries and plain, low-fat yogurt.
If you freeze the kong and mixture overnight, the next day, your dog can enjoy his doggie-popsicle, which is excellent for cooling down in the summer.
Which Other Hedgerow Berries Are Safe For My Dog To Eat?
If you live in or take regular trips to the countryside with your dog in the spring and summertime, you may be concerned as to which hedgerow berries are safe for your dog to snack on.
Remember that when you leave your dog to its own devices to forage through woodland, you won’t necessarily have control over how many berries he is eating, if any.
A good indicator is to keep an eye on your dog’s stools. If they are too loose, then he may be gorging on berries without your knowing.
Another sure sign that he has been eating blackberries is if his stools are tinged purple.
In the list below, I have outlined a mixture of safe and toxic hedgerow berries for you to look out for:
- Black & White Bryony – These bright and shine clusters of red berries should be avoided at all costs. The entire plant is toxic, but the berries and roots will do the most damage if your dog consumes them. They are an extreme laxative and can cause severe dehydration. It would be best if you got your dog to the vets immediately.
- Dogwood Berries – These dark-colored berries are not known to be toxic, but they will cause gastro upset if your dog eats them. Thankfully they have a sour taste so that your dog is unlikely to eat very many. Your dog may or may not be sick if he consumes any, but if you are worried, a trip to the vet will put your mind at ease.
- Rose Hips – Rich in vitamin C, up to 40 times as much as oranges it is said, these natural berries are not toxic and safe for your dog to eat if he so fancies. Your dog isn’t likely to eat many, though, as they are pretty hairy underneath the thick skin.
- Sloes – these are similar looking to blueberries but slightly more substantial and less round. They are not toxic to dogs but can cause stomach upset with overconsumption. They make a great gin for you, not your dog! Just be careful of the thorns.
- Hawthorn – These red berries are perfectly safe for your dog to eat. They were traditionally used in herbal medicine as a heart tonic. The bush is also quite thorny, though, so your dog better watch out.
- Elderberries – Your dog is less likely to eat these as they grow on a tree that can produce relatively high, so your dog probably won’t have access to them that way, but the ground can become littered with the berries making a large platter for your wandering dog. The little blackberries, when rip, are nutritious and safe for your dog. However, the leaves, stems, root, and unripe fruit are not! They contain small quantities of cyanide, which is poisonous to both you and your dog.
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It is lovely to be able to share the fruit with your dog, knowing that not only will he enjoy the treat.
Now you are aware of the health benefits, associated risks, and alternatives to blackberries, you can feel confident about adding this great fruit to your dog’s diet.