Every health change in your dog can be tied to the dietary decisions and changes you make. There is a moment when you’ll be unsure about what to feed your pet. You’ll need to compare different foods and fruits to determine which one offers the best nutritional value in the long run.
For instance, are berries healthy for dogs? This article explores why dogs need berries, the best types, and what options to avoid.
What Berries Dogs Can Eat
Berries are healthy fruits that add significant nutritional value to your dog. These fruits are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins that play different dietary roles.
For instance, while antioxidants minimize cellular damage, vitamins help build connective tissues and bones. On the other hand, fiber helps improve gastrointestinal health.
Various berries fall under this category, including the following.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber, which improve gastrointestinal health, immunity, and bone density.
These low-calorie fruits contain sufficient antioxidants to protect the dog’s cells against damage. They also have an enzyme that helps whiten and strengthen the dog’s teeth. However, since they contain sugars, offer strawberries in moderation.
Blackberries are an excellent addition to your pet’s meals, thanks to the multiple health benefits they offer. These berries are low on calories and sugar, making them safe for your dog. Yet, they remain rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Even so, blackberries are best given as treats, preferably once in several weeks.
Blueberries are famous for their phytochemicals, which reduce inflammation, regulate hormones, and slow the spread of cancer cells. These components will also protect the DNA and blood cells against damage.
Blueberries have other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, to guarantee better dog health. While they are rich in nutrients, blueberries can only serve as snacks and treats.
Cranberries are considered a superfood, thanks to their nutrients and antioxidants. Dogs can eat these cranberries, whether fresh or dried. Their nutrients help minimize the risks of urinary tract infections.
You can also rely on them for excellent immunity and decreased blood pressure. While experts recommend feeding cranberries to dogs in their natural form, eating raw fruits can cause stomach upsets.
Raspberries are a perfect source of nutrients, featuring vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. These fruits are rich in manganese, boosting energy production, metabolizing proteins, and building fatty acids. It will also help maintain bone and cartilage in joints.
In addition, raspberries are low on sugars and calories, meaning you can feed them to dogs without worrying about vomiting or diarrhea.
Dogs can eat cherries in moderation. These berries contain antioxidants, minerals, vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. However, they have pits, which can cause gastrointestinal obstruction and cyanide poisoning. You must also keep cherry stems, leaves, and roots away from dogs, as they are poisonous.
Mulberry is an excellent snack or treats for your dog. Its low-calorie and low-sugar structure make it easier to avert obesity and diabetes. A ripe mulberry provides multiple vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
On the other hand, unripe mulberry has hallucinogenic properties, meaning you should not feed them to dogs. In addition, you must give them in moderation to avoid addiction and health complications.
Suppose you want berries rich in fiber and antioxidants. In that case, acai berries will be a perfect choice. These fruits come with sufficient fiber to improve gastrointestinal health.
The antioxidants will ensure that the dog’s blood cells are healthy and protected against damage. However, you should feed acai berries to your dog in minimal quantities since they contain a toxic substance called theobromine (found in cocoa and chocolates).
What Berries Should Dogs Not Eat
While various berries are associated with nutritional or health value, they might be unsafe for dogs. Understanding what options not to consider will help avoid health complications and fatalities. The following are insights into what berries could be toxic or unsafe for your dog.
Barberries are an excellent addition to your everyday diet. Yet, they are unsuitable for dogs because of their toxic elements. Whether dried or fresh, barberries can trigger stomach upsets in dogs, exhibiting vomiting, diarrhea, and significant abdominal pain.
Barberries trigger gastrointestinal complications, contributing to fatalities. At the same time, barberries’ stems, thorns, and leaves are poisonous to dogs.
Baneberry is toxic and poisonous to dogs. This wildflower is bright and appealing to dogs, which could trigger curiosity. Yet, ingesting this berry causes various health issues, requiring immediate veterinary care.
Watch out for signs of baneberry poisoning, including drooling, vomiting, anorexia, and oral irritation. Once you notice these signs, engage a professional immediately.
You could also refer to them as Christmas or winter cherries. These berries are poisonous to humans and dogs, thanks to an alkaloid called solanocapsine. This alkaloid causes gastrointestinal problems among dogs, exhibiting symptoms like stomach pain, fever, headaches, sweating, increased heart rate, and vomiting. Death could be inevitable in extreme cases. Once you notice these signs, reach out for medical help.
Mistletoe berries contain alkaloids, lectins, and polysaccharides, making them unsuitable for dogs. Ingesting these elements causes gastrointestinal complications, triggering vomiting, fever, drooling, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
A slowed heart rate and blood pressure could also manifest, increasing the chances of fatality. You can avoid severe consequences by engaging a professional.
Ivy berries are poisonous to dogs because of the triterpenoid saponins and polyacetylene elements they contain. Various signs show ivy poisoning in dogs, including abdominal pain, agitation, diarrhea, vomiting, and bruising.
Excessive thirst, fever, gastrointestinal complications, and muscle weakness could also manifest. Suppose it was a topical application. You will witness blisters, sneezing, itchy skin, and inflammation in that case. Call a vet immediately if you see these symptoms.
Holly berries are unhealthy and toxic to dogs. Consuming these fruits, including their leaves, will cause gastrointestinal problems, triggering vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea. Other symptoms include pawing in the mouth, blood spots in the mouth, vomiting, and head shaking.
Various elements cause holly poisoning, including caffeine, caffeic acid, ilicine, quinic acid, rutin, theobromine, and tannins. Fortunately, you can handle holly berry poisoning at home, for instance, by inducing vomiting. A vet might consider supportive therapy.
Bittersweet berries are also known as woody nightshade berries. This plant has an alkaloid toxin that triggers excessive vomiting and diarrhea. Excessive consumption of these berries causes a nervous system breakdown, triggering seizures and general body weakness.
You’ll need a vet as soon as you notice these symptoms in your dog: agitation, diarrhea, vomiting, dilated pupils, slowed heart rate, and slowed respiratory system.
Berries are superfoods that contain multiple nutrients, offering significant nutritional value to your dog. However, you must be careful about what to feed your pet, as some have toxins. The information above illustrates the options to consider and what to overlook.