Raspberries. These delectable little bite-sized fruits, bursting with juice and sweetness, are hard to resist. The raspberry is one of my favorite all time fruits. Named for raspise, “a sweet rose-colored wine,” these berries are so good it’s impossible to just have one.
But can your dog eat raspberries too? Is it ok to share these tiny drops of ruby red goodness with your canine?
The answer is, luckily, yes, dogs can eat raspberries. But there’s more to it than that. There are a few things to keep in mind when feeding raspberries to your dog.
Read on to learn all about dogs and raspberries.
Can dogs eat raspberries?
Yes, dogs can eat raspberries, but in moderation!
In fact, raspberries make a great alternative to traditional dog treats. They’re low in fat and sugar, and high in vitamins and fiber. Plus, they’re naturally bite sized, making them easy to eat.
As always, be sure to consult with your vet before introducing your dog to any new foods.
Are raspberries good for dogs?
Yes, raspberries are good for dogs. They’re chock full of health benefits, like vitamins and minerals, and fiber and antioxidants. Plus, they’re low in sugar and calories.
Raspberries are an excellent source of:
- B-complex vitamins: They help regulate your dog’s metabolism and nervous system. They also improve coat health and heart function.
- Fiber: Raspberries are rich in fiber! Fiber promotes healthy bowel movements, colon health, and relieves your dog of constipation. It also aids in weight management.
- Magnesium: Promotes bone growth and helps the body produce protein and absorb vitamins.
- Potassium: Helps muscle development, supports healthy kidney and heart function, and aids in healthy bone density.
- Vitamin C: This antioxidant boosts your dog’s immune system, supports healthy aging, and reduces inflammation.
- Vitamin K: An essential vitamin that aids in blood clotting and coagulation. It also helps ward off heart disease.
The biggest health boost from raspberries comes from all of the antioxidants they contain. Antioxidants can reduce the possibility of your dog getting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
The dangers of feeding your dog raspberries
So, raspberries are healthy, but that doesn’t mean your dog can gorge themselves on them! There’s a limit. Too much of anything is a bad thing, and that goes for raspberries too.
Here are a few things to watch out for:
Fiber: While fiber is great for your dog, too much fiber can cause gas, bloating, an upset stomach, and even vomiting. Raspberries are packed with fiber, so only offer them to your dog in moderation.
Sugar: Raspberries only contain a small amount of sugar, especially when compared to other fruits, but that’s still something to watch out for. A dog’s digestive system can’t handle large amounts of sugar, especially when they’re puppies.
Too much sugar can affect their digestion, or give them gas and diarrhea. That said, and in order to put things in perspective, fresh raspberries are only about 4% sugar by weight, a smaller amount than found in carrots. So they’re definitely still safe if given in small amounts.
Xylitol: Everyone knows: xylitol is toxic for dogs. It’s a common sweetener used in sugar-free foods, like gum and peanut butter. Raspberry contains natural xylitol, but don’t freak out! Xylitol is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables.
Xylitol is mostly dangerous in concentrated levels, like those found in diet foods. Your dog would have to eat super large quantities of raspberries for the xylitol to be fatal – one vet noted that a 22-lb dog would need to eat 32 cups of raspberries!
However, large quantities of raspberries, especially when fed to puppies or small breeds, can cause upset stomachs, diarrhea, and/or vomiting, so be aware!
It’s best to only feed your dog raspberries a few times per week or as an occasional treat. As always, consult a veterinarian before feeding your dog a new food, or if you have any questions or concerns.
How to feed your dog raspberries
If you’re willing to part with these tiny ruby red berries and share some with your dog, then lucky them! There are many creative ways to feed your dog raspberries.
Always ask your veterinarian before adding something new to your dog’s diet. Most dogs won’t react negatively to raspberries, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Once you’ve gotten the green light, start by giving your dog only a few raspberries at a time. Keep an eye on them and watch for any sort of adverse reaction.
When preparing the raspberries, be sure to wash and rinse them well. Rinse them thoroughly to wash off any herbicide, pesticides, or dirt. This is especially important if your raspberries aren’t organic.
Here are a few safe ways to feed your dog raspberries:
- Whole: Raspberries already come in bite-sized pieces. Most dogs will be able to safely eat them whole. If your dog is particularly small, or young, you might want to squish the berry or break it in two to make it easier to chew.
- Frozen: Freeze the berries in a tupperware or ziploc bag. Great as a treat on a hot summer day!
- Purée: Purée the fresh raspberries. You can serve them up as a raspberry smoothie, or freeze the purée in an ice cube tray.
- Raspberry ice cream: Blend frozen raspberries whole or puréed with plain, unsweetened yogurt. This makes for a refreshing, delicious and dog-friendly raspberry ice cream. Be sure the yogurt has no added sugars, sweeteners, or flavors, and that xylitol isn’t listed in the ingredients.
- Food Topper: Sprinkly whole raspberries into your dog’s daily meal.
Beware of canned raspberries, which often contain added sugar or preservatives. They can upset your dog’s stomach, or worse – contain xylitol.
How many raspberries can your dog eat?
When figuring out how many raspberries to feed your dog, remember the 90/10 rule: 90% of your dog’s daily calories should come from their healthy, balanced dog food, and 10% should come from healthy treats and snacks.
Raspberries should be fed as a treat, and always given in moderation. Because of the trace amounts of xylitol in raspberries, they should be limited, and given only on occasion.
One vet recommends that even the largest dogs should eat less than 1 cup of raspberries at a time. A single cup of raspberries has roughly 6 grams of sugar, 8 grams of fiber, and 46 calories.
When in doubt, speak to your veterinarian.
Are raspberry plants bad for dogs?
The good news is that raspberry plants are nontoxic to dogs. The bad news is they probably shouldn’t eat the plant anyway. Some dogs can have adverse effects from ingesting plant material, and you won’t want to find out if yours does the hard way.
Plus, depending on where you are, the plants could have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals, and you won’t want your dog ingesting those. Skip the raspberry plants and stick to the washed and rinsed clean raspberries.
Can I give my dog raspberry yogurt?
It depends! Dogs can safely eat plain yogurt that contains few ingredients, like raspberries.
But many yogurts, particularly store bought versions, will contain added sugars. They might even have artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which can be toxic for dogs. Those sugary store-bought yogurts are a less healthy way to eat raspberries, with little nutritional value.
If you’ve made a healthier, unsweetened raspberry yogurt at home, feel free to feed it to your dog in moderation. You can allow them to lick it, add it to a Kong, or freeze it in ice cube trays.
Just raspberries mixed with plain yogurt should do the trick!
Can my dog eat raspberry jam?
Raspberry jam is usually made using raspberries and sugar. While the raspberries are ok for your dog to eat, the sugar can be harmful. It can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, or other issues.
Similar to yogurt, raspberry jam sold in stores are often made with even more harmful ingredients, like xylitol, stevia, or other artificial sweeteners. There’s no nutritional benefit to these foods, plus they can be super damaging to your dog.
It’s best to keep the jam to yourself and feed your dog straight raspberries instead.