Raspberries are a superfruit with lots of nutritional benefits to humans. But are they safe for dog consumption? Can dogs enjoy the same nutritional benefits that humans get from raspberries? Let’s see!
What are Raspberries?
They are a red edible fruit that is extremely rich in several nutritional elements. Raspberries belong to the same family as the rose, with four common types easily found in local grocery stores. They include:
- Australian native raspberry
- Boulder raspberry
- Mauritius raspberry
- Korean raspberry
Raspberries are more common in fall and the summer. One cup of these berries contains:
- 8 grams of fiber
- 6 grams of sugar, and
- 46 calories
These are manageable amounts that can benefit your pooch.
Their placement on the glycemic index is low, making them the best occasional snack or treat for obese dogs or those with diabetes.
Raspberries also have more nutritional values that improve your pup’s health and well-being.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Human Food?
Benefits of Raspberries to Dogs
Despite their size, raspberries are full of nutrients that boost your dog’s health immensely when added to their food. Some of these benefits include:
The berries have a high antioxidant count than most other fruits due to their high flavonoid levels. They also contain quercetin, ellagic acid, and vitamin C. Ellagic acid has anti-cancer properties that help stop tumor growth and the spread of cancer cells.
Another benefit of antioxidants is that they help reduce inflammation and boost your dog’s immune system.
Senior dogs benefit the most from antioxidants. They slow down the growth of arthritis and reduce inflammation in swollen or sore joints. The antioxidants also control cognitive aging by stemming the effects aging has on their brains. This protects them from doggy dementia and helps them age without suffering.
Related: Best Senior Dog Food Reviews – 2022
Raspberries contain a generous amount of fibers. The dietary fibers account for about 20% of the fruit’s total weight. There are several functions that fibers play, including:
- Regulation of bowel movement
- Improved digestion
- Boost gastrointestinal system
Since it makes your dog feel fuller for longer, fiber also aids in weight loss in dogs. The fuller your pup feels, the less likely they are to eat more.
Related: Best Weight Loss Dog Food – 2022
This small fruit packs a punch when it comes to minerals. It contains trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, and copper. These all work together to support your dog’s body’s skeletal structure, cell function, and nervous system.
They also help your dog in everyday activities, such as running and playing around. They do this by enabling muscle contraction and fluid balance.
These are vitamins that improve your pup’s heart function. They also regulate their nervous system, metabolism, and general health.
A fat-soluble vitamin that produces prothrombin, vitamin K helps in blood clotting, ensuring your dog doesn’t lose a lot of blood when they get injured. Vitamin K also boosts bone metabolism and controls the levels of calcium in your dog’s blood, keeping away heart diseases.
The Downsides of Raspberries
Despite all the benefits, raspberries can still be dangerous to your dog. This is because they contain several unhealthy side effects.
Raspberries indeed contain lower sugar levels than other fruits. However, they still contain an amount that, unless regulated, can harm your furry friend’s digestive system. Dogs cannot handle large doses of sugar, common in the much sweeter and sugar-dense hybrid berries we eat today.
Smaller breeds and young pups are more prone to sugar reactions that can lead to diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and lots of gas. Moderation is essential in such cases to ensure your dog doesn’t suffer any adverse effects.
As a dog owner, you have probably heard of xylitol. It is a sweetener common in most sugar-free human foods. You can find it in chewing gum, peanut butter, and any sugar-free diet product. While it does not harm us, xylitol is toxic to dogs.
Unlike most products that need the compound added, raspberries contain natural xylitol, common in most fruits and vegetables. In small amounts, it doesn’t have much effect on dogs. However, xylitol ingestion in larger doses is fatal for your dog.
Unless your dog eats 32 full cups of raspberries, it will not die from xylitol poisoning. It is dangerous, however, at concentrated levels. Your pup can be in danger if they eat a lot of raspberries and later some processed diet foods. This leads to an accumulation of the sweetener, which can be poisonous.
Some of the effects you will notice after your dog ingests xylitol include:
Too much xylitol can also lead to liver disease and hypoglycemia. This is a glucose deficiency in the bloodstream. The brain needs this blood sugar to function sufficiently, and its deficiency interferes with normal brain function. This results in blurred vision, neurological symptoms, dizziness, and, if left untreated, death.
Because of their size, raspberries pose a choking hazard, affecting smaller dogs or those who scarf them up in a hurry. You can prevent this by smashing them or cutting the berries into smaller, bite-sized pieces that your pup can easily swallow.
Although we’ve praised fiber for its benefits in your dog’s digestive system, it can also be dangerous. High amounts of fiber can lead to vomiting, bloating, stomach upsets, and flatulence. This can be painful for dogs and cause a lot of discomfort.
Related: What Berries Can Dogs Eat?
Can Dogs Eat Canned Raspberries?
As with most canned fruits, canned raspberries are not safe for dogs because they contain high sugar and fat levels.
Some canned versions also contain high amounts of sodium, found in the brining liquid that keeps them fresh, and seasonings that can be toxic to your pup.
Canned raspberries can cause stomach upsets, dehydration, or worse.
You should also practice caution when feeding your dog raspberries from your own salad.
Most of us make salads with a salad dressing that can be harmful to dogs, but it is better to pick out the raspberries you want to share with your pup before adding your dressing.
You don’t have to feed your dog raspberries just as is; you can get creative and find better ways to do it. Some of the ways to serve your pup this fruit include:
Fresh or Frozen
Your dog can enjoy the fruit straight from the tree itself.
Dogs are also likely to enjoy a frozen raspberry or two on a hot summer day. You can also make them a raspberry popsicle to help them cool down.
Add life to your pup’s regular food by throwing a few raspberries into their bowl at dinnertime. This is a great way of encouraging fussy eaters with a sweet tooth and, at the same time, helps them get healthy antioxidants.
Blend a couple of raspberries with some plain Greek yogurt and serve it as a treat. You can also freeze this tasty mixture and serve it as a pup-sundae. Add some cranberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, and strawberries to give that smoothie the ultimate anti-inflammatory punch.
If you are up for it and like to explore various ideas, scour the internet for endless recipes to help your dog enjoy raspberries and derive maximum benefits from them.
In conclusion, yes, dogs can eat raspberries. They are chockfull of pleasant health benefits that work together to improve your pup’s immune system, reduce cancer risks, boost digestion, and support cell production and heart function.
However, you have to be careful with the amount your pup eats; don’t make it an everyday thing. Stick to the 90/10 rule, ensuring the bulk of your dog’s calories come from their dog foods. Finish the remaining 10% with healthy fruits and vegetables to help boost your pup’s health.