Sweet, juicy, and delicious blackberries are chock full of valuable vitamins and minerals and make a refreshing and healthy summer snack. If you like sharing food with your canine companion, you are probably wondering if blackberries are safe for dogs to eat.
So, can dogs eat blackberries? Yes, dogs can eat blackberries in moderation. Blackberries are high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals which can boost your dog’s immune system and improve their overall health. However, too many blackberries can cause digestive upset in dogs, so it’s best to feed them in moderation.
In this article, we’ll explore all the benefits and downsides of feeding blackberries to your dog. Keep on reading to find out more!
Are Blackberries Good for Dogs?
Blackberries are full of essential nutrients that are good for dogs and can help improve their overall health.
These purple berries are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, and B that can boost your dog’s immune system. Blackberries also contain a wide array of important minerals including potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium.
Blackberries are also high in omega 3 fatty acids that support healthy skin and coat in dogs and have anti-inflammatory properties (source). You’ll be surprised to learn that blackberries even contain a small amount of protein.
Benefits of Blackberries for Dogs
Like many other fruits and veggies, blackberries are safe for dogs to eat and can spice up your dog’s diet. To take full advantage of everything this fruit has to offer, feed your dog blackberries occasionally, as treats.
The biggest health benefits of blackberries for dogs are:
1. Blackberries Support Good Digestion
Blackberries are an excellent source of dietary fiber that is necessary for proper digestion and better nutrient absorption. With approximately 5 g of dietary fiber per 100 g of berries, your pooch can eat blackberries to curb hunger pangs and feel full in between meals.
If your dog suffers from constipation or diarrhea, eating fiber-rich foods such as blackberries can help soothe their stomach and regulate their stool.
2. Blackberries for a Strong Immune System
These purple berries are also chock full of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that is involved in several functions within your dog’s body. Besides being necessary for skin and tissue repair, vitamin C also supports a strong immune system and makes your dog less likely to develop a serious chronic condition.
3. Blackberries Are Full of Antioxidants
Blackberries are a great source of anthocyanin which is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and gives these berries their deep purple color (source). Anthocyanin is linked with many health benefits including cancer prevention, increased longevity, and improved cardiovascular health.
The antioxidants from blackberries can also improve your dog’s brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive disorders and dementia.
4. Blackberries Support Strong Muscles & Bones
Besides being chock full of fiber and vitamins, blackberries also contain essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These two minerals are involved in many functions within your dog’s body and support muscle and bone health.
Risks of Feeding Blackberries to Dogs
Blackberries aren’t toxic to dogs like grapes and raisins are, but feeding them to your pup isn’t a completely risk-free endeavor. While dogs can eat blackberries as treats safely, eating large amounts of this fruit might make your pooch sick.
Downsides of feeding blackberries to dogs are:
1. Upset Stomach
A few blackberries here and there can have huge benefits for your dog, but eating too many at once can cause digestive upset. Most dogs love to eat blackberries and your pooch probably won’t object to eating more blackberries than they should.
Eating too many blackberries can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation due to blackberry’s high fiber count. If your pooch exhibits any of these symptoms, stop feeding them blackberries and give their tummy a day or two to recover completely.
2. Xylitol Poisoning
Blackberries naturally contain a small amount of the substitute sweetener xylitol which is toxic to dogs (source). Although your dog would have to eat a huge amount of blackberries in one sitting to get poisoning, it’s best to limit the number of blackberries you’re feeding to your pup.
How Much Blackberries Can I Give My Dog?
Blackberries like all other fruits and vegetables should make no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. To get the most out of everything blackberries have to offer to your pooch, feed them only as treats in moderation.
If you aren’t sure how many blackberries your dog can eat, talk with your vet or canine nutritionist. They will be able to tell you exactly how much blackberries you can feed to your dog based on their age, size, and dietary needs.
How to Feed Blackberries to Your Dog?
If you decide to feed blackberries to your pooch, make sure to buy organic, locally grown berries that haven’t been treated with chemicals and pesticides. These chemicals are easily absorbed by the plant and can cause serious health problems in your dog.
Furthermore, don’t forget to wash blackberries thoroughly before serving them to your pooch.
Popular ways to feed blackberries to dogs are:
- Mix fresh blackberries with your dog’s food
- Use fresh blackberries as a topper
- Stuff frozen blackberries into a Kong toy
- Make a refreshing doggy popsicle using blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries
- Blend blackberries with plain yogurt to make a tasty smoothie
- Make homemade dog treats using blackberries, banana, oat flour, and oat milk
Full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, blackberries are safe for dogs to eat and can offer numerous health benefits. Low in calories and fat, but high in fiber, these delicious purple berries can improve your dog’s digestion and help regulate their bowel movement.
If you decide to include blackberries in your dog’s diet, feed them moderately as treats. Don’t forget, eating too many blackberries in one sitting can cause digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, so don’t overdo it!