Sweet and juicy, rich red raspberries are a summertime favorite. Can dogs eat raspberries? You’ll be happy to know that these berries are something that you can share with your dog all summer long!
Raspberries belong to the rose family. There are many different species of raspberries including some that are other colors besides red, including blue, black, and purple. But red raspberries are the norm and they are most popular.
Over 20 percent of the world’s raspberries come from Russia. Other major countries that grow raspberries include the United States, Poland, and Mexico.
Raspberries are sold as fresh fruit, quick frozen fruit, puree, juice, and dried fruit for products such as raspberry pies.
Are raspberries good for your dog?
A raspberry is made up of about 86 percent water, 1 percent protein, 1 percent fat, and 12 percent carbohydrates. They are low in calories and provide lots of dietary fiber for a fruit of its size. Up to 6 percent of a raspberry is dietary fiber.
Raspberries are high in vitamin C and manganese. They contain vitamin K and B-complex vitamins. They are also low in sugar, containing only 4 percent sugar.
Red raspberries also contain high amounts of antioxidants. These include vitamin C (noted above), quercetin and gallic acid, and other chemicals in the berry. Other colored raspberries can contain lower amounts of these antioxidants. Antioxidants are believed to improve health by fighting against cancer and other diseases.
Raspberries also contain flavinoids – substances that help reduce inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease.
All of these things indicate that raspberries are a healthy berry for your dog. Dogs don’t actually need fruits and berries in their diet but if your dog enjoys berries, raspberries are certainly a good one to offer him.
Are there cautions about raspberries?
While raspberries, in moderation, are safe and healthy for your dog, you do need to be cautious with them. Raspberries contain trace amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that can be harmful to dogs. Fortunately, a raspberry only contains the tiniest amount of xylitol. It’s estimated that a dog would have to eat about 32 cups of raspberries to give himself a fatal dose of xylitol. Eating 2-3 spoons of raspberries won’t hurt your dog.
What about raspberry leaf tea?
Raspberry leaf tea is a traditional herbal tea used related to pregnancy. Some dog breeders use it to help with female dogs and whelping. However, used at the wrong time it can cause problems. We would advise that you do not give raspberry leaf tea to your dog unless you talk to an experienced breeder who can advise you.
How to give your dog raspberries
Most dogs enjoy eating raspberries from your hand. The berries are sweet and juicy, though some dogs can be a little messy with them if they are too juicy.
You can also add a few berries to your dog’s dinner. Or puree raspberries and add them to a little yogurt for a tasty treat.
Raspberries can be a delicious, healthy treat for your dog but you need to give them in moderation. Along with all of the health benefits of raspberries they do contain trace amounts of the sweetener xylitol which can be dangerous for your dog. Your dog would have to eat many cups of raspberries to be harmed by the xylitol they contain but it’s still a good idea to only give your dog a few berries at one time.