Are Blackberries Good for Dogs to Eat?
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Blackberries are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and natural pigments that are sometimes described as a ‘superfood’ for humans. They are great as a supplement to almost any meal of the day. Unfortunately, not all food that is beneficial to humans provides the same benefits to our dogs. This is because the nutritional needs of canines are different. For this reason, it is important we know what foods will be good for dogs and what may endanger their health.
This is why AnimalWised asks are blackberries good for dogs to eat? We answer this by looking at the potential benefits they may provide and how we should offer them if they are safe for dogs to eat.
Can dogs eat blackberries?
Dogs not only can eat dogs, but they can be good for them if eaten correctly. These berries are a type of fruit rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and natural pigments with antioxidant effects. Dogs can consume them and benefit from their nutritional effects since they do not contain any substance that is toxic to their body.
As with any fruit, they should only be offered in moderation. Although they can tolerate some carbohydrates, dogs need food rich in protein. The high-sugar content of blackberries means they cannot eat too much. While they can be used as a reward, they should not be a regular part of their daily diet.
Benefits of blackberries for dogs
Blackberries are the fruit of various trees in the genus Rubus. Raspberries and dewberries are also from different species of tree from the same genus. They are sometimes said to come from bramble bushes, although the usage can vary according to geographical area and culture.
Below, we list the main benefits of blackberries for dogs:
- Low-calorie food: they can be offered as low-calorie treats to animals that require a low-energy diet, such as overweight dogs.
- Good source of fiber: although the dog's digestive system cannot digest fiber, it is an essential nutrient in their diet. Fiber adds volume to the portion of food, creates a feeling of satiety, contributes to the maintenance of the intestinal microbiota, regulates intestinal transit and helps control stool consistency.
- Rich in vitamin C and E: vitamin C helps reduce oxidative stress, encourages collagen production and participates in the formation of bone. Vitamin E for dogs acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells against free radicals and is involved in the metabolism of fats and in the formation of cell membranes.
- Good source of minerals: such as calcium, iron and potassium that contribute to the health of the bones, brain and heart.
- Large amounts of natural pigments (anthocyanosides and carotenoids): these pigments have great antioxidant power by preventing the production of free radicals and strengthen the immune system.
- Contains Pterostilbene: this reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. In addition, it has been shown that it is capable of lowering glucose levels and increasing blood insulin levels.
Diabetic dogs have issues with their blood-glucose levels which require carful consideration in terms of care. Learn more with our article on insulin for dogs with diabetes.
How to give blackberries to a dog
Now we know that blackberries are good for dogs in moderation, we can look at the practical ways to incorporate them into a canine's diet:
- Blackberries should be offered as an occasional treat. The amount of blackberries you can give your dog will depend mainly on its size. In the case of small dog breeds, you can offer 2 or 3 blackberries per feeding. Larger dogs can be given up to 6 or 7. Always give new food to your dog in moderation and monitor them closely for any physical or behavioral changes.
- Before offering the blackberries to your dog, you need to wash them with plenty of water to remove any contaminant or pesticide that may be present on their surface.
- If you collect the berries yourself, you should discard those that are near roads or highways. They are likely to have a high content of pollutants. Remember that brambles are bushes with thorns, so you should never allow your dog to consume berries directly from the bramble as they could accidentally injure themselves. Carefully pick the blackberries and remove any stems, thorns or other sharp material.
- As we have explained, dogs can eat blackberries since they do not contain any component that is harmful to their body. However, there are other fruits of the forest such as currants that are highly toxic to dogs. When you decide to offer your dog blackberries, ensure that they are not mixed with any other fruit that could be harmful to their health.
- We should never offer blackberries in the form of jam, compote or similalr as they are preparations with a high sugar content. In addition, these products may contain substances that can be toxic to dogs, such as xylitol.
Read this other AnimalWised article to discover more Prohibited Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs that you may not have known about.
Contraindications of blackberries in dogs
Although blackberries are fruits suitable for dogs, there are some cases in which their administration may be inappropriate:
- Dogs with food allergies: in general, these dogs must follow strict diets based on feed with hydrolyzed proteins. Offering any food outside their usual diet should be avoided. You can learn more about these types of diet with our article on food allergies in dogs.
- Dogs with gastrointestinal issues: some animals have food intolerances or issues with their digestive system, making them especially sensitive to changes in diet.
- Dogs with chronic digestive pathologies: such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Not all fruits and vegetables are necessarily good for dogs, so we need to be considerate with anything we feed them. We provide information on some other foodstuffs with our article on whether dogs can eat strawberries or whether dogs can eat spinach.
If you want to read similar articles to Are Blackberries Good for Dogs to Eat?, we recommend you visit our Homemade diets category.
- European Federation of Pet Food Manufacturers. (2017). Nutritional guides for complete and complementary foods for dogs.
- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Blackberry. Retrieved from: https://www.mapa.gob.es/es/ministerio/servicios/informacion/mora_tcm30-103043.pdf