Can Dogs Eat Berries?

can dogs eat berries?

Many dog owners wonder which of the foods they commonly consume are also safe to share with their companion. This article discusses whether dogs eating berries is safe.  It’ll also look at a few specific berries that make an excellent choice for sharing with your dog and discuss some berries to avoid. Berries can make a great treat for your dog due to their juicy, tart flavor and inherent sweetness that your dog is sure to enjoy. At the same time, many of the same health benefits that berries provide to humans also make them a great choice for dogs.

The Good Berries

can dogs eat berries

Not all berries are created equal when it comes to feeding them to your dog. In fact, some of the less common berries found in the wild are toxic to both dogs and humans. As a rule of thumb, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are safe for dogs to eat. This, of course, comes with a caveat, which is to introduce berries into your dog’s diet slowly to measure any negative effect on their health. However, that being said, the berries commonly consumed by humans are generally safe for dogs. Although not on this list, cranberries can also be safely consumed by dogs. However, due to their tartness, your dog may not enjoy the taste of a raw cranberry.

Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the most common berries consumed by both dogs and humans, and for good reason. Blueberries have been proven to have a beneficial effect on health. Blueberries are a low-calorie food that is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help minimize the effect of free-radicals, which cause damage at a cellular level. Blueberries are also rich in potassium, an essential mineral that plays an important role in your dog’s overall health. Blueberries are also rich in Vitamin C and fiber, both of which are beneficial to your dog’s health.

Strawberries

Many of the health benefits present in blueberries are also present in strawberries. Strawberries are naturally sweet and loaded with fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. Because of the presence of fructose, however, excessive consumption of strawberries should be minimized so as to avoid high blood sugar levels in your dog.

Blackberries and Raspberries

These two related berries are an excellent choice for your canine companion. Blackberries and raspberries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can have a positive health impact on your dog. Blackberries contain Omega-3 fatty acids which can help promote a lustrous, shiny coat. Both berries contain Vitamin K, but blackberries contain more. Blackberries are also higher in sugar, so your dog may be more inclined towards them due to their sweetness.

The Bad Berriescan dogs eat berries

While the berries that are commonly found in supermarkets and consumed by humans are generally safe for dogs, there are a number of wild berries that should be avoided. These include decorative berries such as mistletoe and holly berries. Mistletoe and holly berries are particularly of concern, as they are commonly found in houses during the holidays. If your household has mistletoe or holly berries in a flower arrangement, be sure to place the barriers well out of reach of your dog. Other berries to avoid are often found in the wild and are common in the United States. These include pokeberries, which look like grapes, juniper berries, and baneberries. Although these berries are not generally fatally toxic, consumption of them can result in a number of negative health outcomes and should be avoided. The best way to avoid toxic wild-berries is to pay close attention to your dog when on hikes or outdoors. If your house has a property that your dog is free to roam, be sure to clear any toxic berries from your land to ensure your dog will not eat them.

Berries can be an excellent treat for dogs. Blueberries, in particular, are often used as a healthy replacement for processed treats due to their small size, low calories, and beneficial properties. As with any fruit, excessive consumption should be avoided due to the sugar content. That being said, berries make an excellent treat for most dogs when provided to them in moderation. For those living in hot climates, berries can be placed in a freezer to provide your furry companion with a nice cool treat on a hot day.  

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