Are Raspberries Safe for Dogs?
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Raspberry fruit is the fruit of the raspberry bush, which belongs to the Rosaceae family. Raspberry fruits contain fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidant substances that dogs can eat safely. However, raspberries also contain a xylitol, which is compound that can be toxic to dogs in large quantities. It is important to include them in the dog's diet only occasionally as a treat.
In this AnimalWised article, we explain the many benefits raspberries have for dogs and how you can safely give them to your pet to avoid contraindications.
Are raspberries safe for dogs?
Dogs can consume raspberries and benefit from their nutritional value, as they are low-calorie fruits that are high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. While raspberries have many nutritional benefits, they are also one of the fruits with the highest levels of xylitol, a compound that is toxic to dogs if consumed in large quantities. Therefore, this fruit should only be included in your dogs' diet as an occasional treat.
Benefits of raspberries for dogs
The principal benefits of raspberries in dogs are as follows:
- They are a low-calorie food: because they are moderately high in protein and low in fat, they are suitable as a low-calorie treat for dogs with obesity or obesity-related problems that require an energy-reduced diet.
- They are high in fiber: dogs cannot digest fiber, but it is still an important part of their diet. Fiber adds volume to food, promotes satiety, regulates the rate of intestinal transit, and maintains intestinal flora and stool consistency. The amount of fiber in dogs' diets should be between 2-5% of dry matter.
- They contain large amounts of vitamin C: which helps reduce oxidative stress, promotes collagen production and is involved in the formation of teeth and bone skeleton. Likewise, raspberries are rich in niacin, folic acid and vitamin E.
- They contain minerals: such as iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
- They have a high content of phenolic compounds: In addition to vitamins C and E, this fruit contains monophenols, polyphenols and flavonoids, which exert a protective action against cancer by reducing lipid peroxidation.
If you want to give your dog a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables, check out our guide to the best fruits and vegetables for dogs.
What is the best way to give raspberries to a dog?
The following considerations must be taken into account when you decide to offer raspberries to your dog:
- Raspberries, like other dog-friendly fruits, should be offered sporadically as a treat, since it contains high levels of xylitol. This is why its consumption must be limited in order to avoid any toxic effects on your dog. Raspberries can be fed in various quantities based on the dog's size. For example, small breed dogs can have two or three raspberries, while large breed dogs can have up to six or seven raspberries.
- Before offering raspberries to your dog, it is convenient that you wash them with plenty of water to eliminate any contaminants or pesticides that may be present on their surface. You should do this with any fruit or vegetable that you offer to your dog.
- As we have already mentioned, raspberries in small quantities are not toxic to dogs. However, there are other similar fruits of the forest such as currants that are highly toxic. Therefore, when you decide to offer raspberries to your dog, it is important that you make sure that they are not mixed with any other berries that could potentially affect their health.
If you are considering adding fruits and vegetables to your dog's diet, do not miss our article on forbidden fruits and vegetables for dogs.
Contraindications of raspberries in dogs
While raspberries are fruit that is suitable for dogs, there are some situations where their administration may not be appropriate:
- Dogs with food allergies must stick strictly to diets consisting of hydrolyzed proteins, so any food that is not included in their usual diet must be avoided.
- Dogs with food intolerances or chronic digestive diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
- Dogs whose digestive system is particularly sensitive to dietary changes.
- The amount of raspberries given to dogs with diabetes or liver disease should be limited, as toxic doses of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia and acute liver failure.
You might also be interested in learning if lemons are safe for dogs.
What can happen if my dog eats too many raspberries?
We have already explained that raspberries are among the fruits that have the highest content of xylitol. This is a compound commonly used as a sweetener in chewing gum, but it also occurs naturally in some fruits, such as raspberries. Although it is safe for most mammals, it can cause intoxication in dogs, characterized by hypoglycemia and acute liver failure. The clinical signs that usually accompany xylitol poisoning in dogs are:
- Increased liver transaminases
In dogs, the toxic dose of xylitol is 75-100 mg/kg body weight, whereas raspberries contain only 400 micrograms of xylitol per gram. So a 10 kg dog would have to ingest about 800 grams of raspberries to become poisoned. As long as your dog ingests small doses of raspberries occasionally, there is no threat.
Please don't miss our dog poisoning guide if you suspect your dog may be suffering from poisoning caused by raspberry consumption or something else.
If you want to read similar articles to Are Raspberries Safe for Dogs?, we recommend you visit our Homemade diets category.
- European Federation of Pet Food Manufacturers. (2017). Nutritional guides for complete and complementary foods for dogs .
- Martín, P. (2016). Poisonings that cause neurological symptoms in dogs and cats. Veterinary IM. 72-74
- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. (sf). Raspberry. Available at: https://www.mapa.gob.es/es/ministerio/servicios/informacion/frambuesa_tcm30-102818.pdf