Can Dogs Eat Blackberries?

Can your dog eat blackberries? In short, yes. This sweet, juicy berry can be as much of a treat for your dog as it is for humans.

The key word here is “treat.” A dog’s nutritional needs should be met by their regular food, and treats should only comprise ten percent of their diet.

And, as with almost all human foods, blackberries should be given in moderation. The good news is that, for the most part, blackberries can actually be beneficial for dogs.

Are Blackberries Good for Dogs?

Yes, in moderation, blackberries are safe and healthy for most dogs, just like they are for humans. In fact, they are actually low in calories and lower in sugar than many other fruits.

While blackberries do have plenty of vitamins and nutrients that can provide certain health benefits, keep in mind that the nutritional value will be minimal for your dog, since you should not be feeding them a lot of blackberries.

Here are some vitamins and nutrients found in blackberries and their general health benefits:

  • Anthocyanins/antioxidants reduce inflammation and protect against diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
  • Fiber helps with gastrointestinal problems by calming your dog’s stomach and helping their stools flow properly.
  • Omega-3 helps reduce inflammation, helps promote heart and kidney health, boosts immunity, supports brain development, and supports skin and coat health.
  • Vitamin A supports eye and skin health, boosts immunity, and helps with bone growth and reproduction.
  • Vitamin B boosts immunity, metabolism, energy, brain and heart health, and skin and coat health.
  • Vitamin C helps boost the immune system and aids in the healing of wounds; the formation of collagen; the absorption of iron; and the maintenance of bones, teeth, and cartilage.
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that promotes healthy circulatory and immune systems as well as healthy skin and muscle development.
  • Vitamin K promotes bone, heart, blood, and muscle health.
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries

How Many Blackberries Can I Give My Dog?

Can dogs have blackberries? Yes, but be careful not to overfeed them; moderation is crucial. Treats should not take up more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake, so if you’ve already fed your dog a ton of treats, skip the blackberries that day.

Even though many pet parents don’t track their dog’s calories every day, you should still know how much you normally feed your dog in treats.

Overfeeding your dog regularly can lead to many health issues, including diabetes, joint disease, pancreatitis, and kidney disease.

In addition, feeding your dog too many blackberries can make it feel too full to eat its regular food, which is the main source of all the nutrients it needs for optimal health.

Consider your dog’s size when feeding them blackberries. Luckily, blackberries are small and easy to portion out. If you’re unsure how many blackberries to feed your dog, refer to the general guidelines below:

  • Small dogs: 1-3 blackberries
  • Medium dogs: 3-5 blackberries
  • Large dogs: 5-6 blackberries

Of course, every dog is different. Some dogs have sensitive stomachs, so introducing new food could lead to minor GI issues.

Therefore, it’s always best to feed your dog only a few at a time and monitor them over the next day for signs of stomach issues like gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. 

Are There Risks To Feeding Your Dog Blackberries?

Can dogs eat blackberries? Yes, these little fruits are not toxic for our furry friends. But now that we’ve covered some of the nutritional benefits of blackberries for dogs, it’s important to realize that there are a few risks, too.

First, remember that any new food introduced to your dog’s digestive system can cause an upset stomach, especially if it’s a high-fiber food like the blackberry. That’s why it’s a good idea to only feed your dog a few blackberries at a time.

Secondly, blackberries do contain trace amounts of the sweetener xylitol, which can lead to hypoglycemia and kidney failure in large amounts. While your dog would have to eat a very large amount of blackberries to experience symptoms of xylitol poisoning, it’s wise to feed your dog this fruit in moderation.

Blackberries can also be a choking hazard, like any small fruit or vegetable. As much as your dog might like to gulp down this delicious treat, remember to take it slow and feed them small pieces, a little at a time.

If your dog comes across any berries growing outdoors, don’t let them eat them. Wild blackberries shouldn’t cause your dog harm by themselves, but it’s always possible they’ve been sprayed with pesticides or chemicals.

Other types of wild berries like juniper berries, holly berries, and mistletoe berries all contain potentially harmful toxins. To be safe, don’t let your dog chow down on any types of berries they encounter in the great outdoors.

Can my dog have canned or frozen blackberries?

Once thawed, frozen blackberries with no added sugar are okay. However, frozen berries may present a choking hazard, especially for small dogs.

Canned blackberries, or any product containing blackberries like pies, jams, muffins, etc., have too much sugar and added ingredients that may be too harsh on your dog’s stomach.

In sum, plain blackberries with no added ingredients are the safest form to feed your dog. Based on your dog’s size and health status, as little one blackberry to as much as a handful can be fed to your dog. When in doubt, check in with your veterinarian for advice.

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