Can your dog eat blackberries? In short, yes. This sweet, juicy berry can be as much of a treat for your dog as it is for humans.
The key word here is “treat.” A dog’s nutritional needs should be met by their regular food, and treats should only comprise ten percent of their diet. And, as with almost all human foods, blackberries should be given in moderation. The good news is that, for the most part, blackberries can actually be beneficial for dogs.
Are Blackberries Good for My Dog?
Blackberries, which are close relatives of raspberries, contain lots of vitamins and nutrients essential for canine health. They’re also lower in sugar and calories than some other fruits. Of course, as a snack, your dog should eat only a small amount of blackberries, but they will still benefit from:
- An alphabet of vitamins—A, B, C, E, and K—boosts immunity and metabolism; supports skin, bone, and tooth health; promotes muscle development; and is good for your dog’s brain, heart, and coat.
- The fatty acid Omega-3 helps keep your dog’s coat shiny and can help reduce inflammation.
- Fiber prevents constipation.
- Anthocyanins, which give blackberries their deep color, are antioxidants, which improve brain function, reduce inflammation, and can reduce the risk of some cancers.
- Blackberries are low in calories, which makes them great treats if you’re watching your dog’s weight.
Is There a Downside to Feeding My Dog Blackberries?
Like any food, too many blackberries can cause stomach upset, whether because of the high fiber content, the sugar, or a possible allergic reaction. If your dog experiences any digestive upset like vomiting, diarrhea, or gas after eating blackberries, contact your veterinarian.
Blackberries also contain naturally occurring xylitol in trace amounts, as do other vegetables and fruits. Although xylitol can be deadly for dogs, it’s considered safe given the minute amount in the small serving your dog eats. Your dog would have to eat huge amounts of berries to experience poisoning. But should your dog have any of the following reactions, call your vet immediately:
- Excessive vomiting
- Weakness or loss of coordination
- Excessive diarrhea
- Blood in vomit or stool
How Many Blackberries Should I Feed My Dog?
Start by considering your dog’s size. A tiny toy breed should have only a few berries, while a giant breed like a Bernese Mountain Dog or Great Dane will do fine with a handful. Be sure to wash the fruit first. Even if fresh-picked in your backyard, blackberries should be rinsed free of dirt or pesticides.
Avoid frozen berries, which usually have added sugar or xylitol. You can feed berries whole, diced, mashed, or even pureed, depending on your dog’s preference and size. Dogs can eat wild blackberries, too, as long as you’re sure they are blackberries. While there are no known poisonous plants that resemble blackberries, why take the chance?
Regardless of how you feed your dog blackberries, just keep an eye on your pet to make sure they’re not suffering any stomach upset. While this particular fruit is safe for dogs, there are many more that may not be. Check out our extensive list of fruits and vegetables that dogs should or should not eat.
And of course, anything you offer your dog as a treat, whether human or canine food, should be given in moderation. After all, that’s why they’re treats.