Pet Consider

Can Dogs Eat Raspberries?

Can I Give My Dog Raspberries?

When summer rolls around and we start making adventures out of berry picking trips, suddenly, we want to share our bounty with absolutely everyone. We share berries with our spouses, our kids, our siblings, and that weird cousin we haven’t spoken to since the last time we wanted to share our berries.

When the weather is hot and the kids are home from school, raspberries are one of the freshest and most widely available berries. Kids, who are accustomed to sneaking Fido unwanted chicken nuggets under the table, often share their berry buffet without hesitation. But when it comes to us, Fido’s parents, who have heard countless horror stories of puppy poisoning, there’s more hesitation.

Can dogs eat raspberries? Are they as healthy for Fido as they are for us? What are the risks of giving a dog a handful of these sweet pink berries?

Is it okay if your kids use raspberries to convince your dog to play dead? The answer: yes, it is!

Scarfing down a couple raspberries is not going to hurt your dog at all. Most dogs have sweet teeth just like us, and a handful of raspberries is a great, healthy, natural way to allow Fido to indulge his sweet tooth and share in the festivity of summertime.

raspberries in a bowl

Benefits of Giving Your Dog Raspberries

One of the benefits of using raspberries as doggie treats is the lack of need for preparation—unlike some other fruits and vegetables, there’s no prep work required in making raspberries a suitable dish for your dog. They can eat the berries raw and whole, just like you. You don’t need to worry about pesky peels or hidden toxic pits. Though, before you give raspberries to your dog, make sure you wash them thoroughly (again, just like you would for yourself!). Never feed your dog unwashed produce.

Things to Keep in Mind

That being said, there are a few things you should know before you incorporate fresh raspberries into your dog’s diet. Let’s start off with a few of the potential benefits of adding this pretty pink berry to Fido’s food pyramid:

Like our other favorite house pet, cats, dogs are members of the Carnivora class. This means that they have the sharp teeth and claws necessary for shearing raw meat off the bone, and that their bodies evolved to handle meat. After all, dogs—even your tiny Chihuahua— are descendants of wild wolves.

But unlike cats, who are obligate carnivores, dogs are considered omnivores, which means that they can thrive off a wide variety of foods. Dogs, unlike cats, can healthily eat and digest some grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables. They are better equipped to eat a diet that is higher in fiber and plant proteins. This makes them a little more like us, and is the reason why many dog owners report success when feeding their pets high-quality, veterinarian-approved vegetarian dog food.

While there are some benefits to giving your canine friend the occasional raspberry, that doesn’t mean you can set the picnic basket in front of him and let him chow down. Though they are relatively safe for dogs, they should be used as an occasional treat, not a dietary staple. Limit your medium-sized dog to about a cup of raspberries once every few days. If your dog goes overboard, it might result in upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.

One more caution: these berries are considered safe for dog consumption, but they do contain small amounts of xylitol, a natural sweetener that is toxic to dogs in high doses. The xylitol concentration is low enough that it shouldn’t be a concern so long as portions are limited, but if your small dog consumes too many berries behind your back, keep an eye on him. Symptoms of xylitol toxicity include vomiting, seizures, lethargy, and difficulty walking. If any of these develop, take your dog to the vet immediately.

raspberries in spoon

Nutritional Benefits

However, unlike us, dogs do not need fruit to meet their basic nutritional needs. While most of us scarf down the raspberries happily because we need the Vitamin C, dogs receive almost no benefit from the fruit’s high Vitamin C content. This is because their bodies are capable of producing it on their own.

But of course, there’s more to raspberries than their Vitamin C content. One of the biggest benefits of raspberries is their high fiber content, which helps keep their digestive system healthy the same way that it does ours. The natural fiber in these berries can improve digestion, manage hunger, and help ‘move things along’ if your dog is a little on the constipated side. The fiber coupled with the low caloric value of raspberries also makes them a great snack for portly pups looking to drop a couple pounds.

Raspberries are also full of other antioxidants that can protect against cell damage, improve overall health, and possibly reduce the risk of developing some cancers. If the antioxidants weren’t enough, they also boast high levels of B vitamins, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Some pet owners report that small amounts of raspberries might improve the silky, touchable feel that indicates a healthy coat.

One of the biggest raspberry superpowers (pertaining to the health of dogs, anyway!) is their anti-inflammatory properties. Many older dogs develop painful inflammatory illnesses such as arthritis, which can slow them down and decrease their quality of life. Raspberries, when combined with a diet high in other anti-inflammatory foods, may ease your dog’s symptoms by decreasing inflammation in the body. This means Fido gets a tasty treat, and as a bonus, he might not limp as much!

Final Thoughts

Like many of our favorite ‘people snacks,’ raspberries can make a wonderful addition to the top triangle of your dog’s food pyramid. Just like us, Fido may benefit from the high antioxidant and fiber content, plus the anti-inflammatory properties provided by these beautiful pink berries. However, like most fruits, dogs should eat raspberries in moderation to avoid stomach problems and possible overdose symptoms. While xylitol poisoning is something to be aware of, raspberries contain such a small amount that they are generally recognized as safe snacks for dogs.

Dog Eating Raspberries Video:

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