Full of nutritional goodness, blackberries are a wholesome snack for us on its own or as a healthy ingredient in smoothies and salads.
But does the fruit have the same nourishing effects for our canine companions?
As it turns out, blackberries are a dog-friendly fruit that is safe to eat as an occasional snack.
This in-depth guide shows the nutritional benefits and potential dangers of blackberry consumption and provides creative, canine-safe recipes that’ll have your pets smacking their lips.
Are Blackberries Good For Dogs?
Blackberries are high in fibre and manganese, and offer a great source of vitamin K, E, A and B vitamins. They also contain 88% water content, and come packed with antioxidants.
Vitamins And Minerals
The cocktail of vitamins plays various roles to keep your dog functioning. These include building and maintaining a healthy immune system, optimising energy levels, reducing inflammation, and so much more.
Manganese is a mineral necessary for healthy bone development, sustaining a healthy immune system, and preventing degenerative diseases like osteoporosis and others.
Fibres And Antioxidants
A blackberry’s high fibre count promotes regular bowel movements and boosts prime digestive health.
The antioxidant, Anthocyanin, found in red, purple and blue foods, fights free radicals and offers some health benefits.
Good For Hydration
A large amount of water content in blackberries helps with hydration, particularly in summer months. In addition to water, blackberries are low in calories, so a few fed to your mutt won’t result in a robust waistline.
Blackberry Health Benefits
- High fibre count bolsters digestive health
- Vitamins K, E, A and B help your dog to function
- Manganese assists with healthy bone development and more
- Anthocyanin (antioxidant) fights free radicals
- Helps with hydration
Do Blackberries Pose Health Risks?
A canine’s digestive system is more delicate than ours, so when it comes to feeding your pet any snack, the trick is to introduce it slowly and in moderation.
Don’t let cute puppy eyes manipulate you into submitting to their desire to eat more fruit than they should.
Blackberries are safe for dogs but note that one too many or an adverse reaction to them might induce vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and other signs of gastrointestinal upsets.
Book a consultation with your veterinarian if these symptoms present themselves.
Blackberries, along with other kinds of berries, contain minuscule amounts of xylitol, a chemical compound that is toxic to canines. You would have to feed your dog several portions of the fruit to suffer the effects of xylitol poisoning.
Although the risks are small and rare, it’s essential to limit your dog’s blackberry intake to a small handful to avoid such tragedies and worst-case scenarios.
Also, remember that although blackberries contain fructose, a natural sugar, the fruit has lots of the sweet stuff in it. Therefore, blackberries could be a bad choice for diabetic canines, overweight pups and dogs belonging to owners who lack discipline.
If you’re wondering if your pet can eat blackberry jam, the short answer is no. Not only do these sweet spreads contain additives and lots of sugar, but some brands substitute sugar for xylitol.
Blackberry Health Risks
- Some dogs experience gastrointestinal upsets
- Contains miniscule amounts of xylitol
- High in sugar
Can Dogs Eat Wild Blackberries?
Toward the end of summer is blackberry season in the UK. On walks in the countryside, you might see your hound chomping a few from blackberry shrubs and think it’s okay for them to have a few. Think again.
Sometimes these berries are sprayed with pesticides which are absorbed by the plant, resulting in chemical poisoning if ingested by your dog.
Furthermore, wild blackberries are thornier and attractive to stinging insects like bees and wasps, which may culminate in your pet sustaining a nasty scratch, sting or bite.
Keep a close eye on your pet and stop them from foraging for wild blackberries and other inedible scraps on your daily strolls.
Are There Other Berries That Dogs Can Eat?
Blackberry’s blue cousin, blueberry, is a superfood that contains lots of nutritional goodness like antioxidants, fibre and vitamins.
It’s a dog-safe treat pets love and can consume in limited amounts. However, since individual blueberries are tiny, the likelihood of feeding too much of these little fruits to large dogs is high.
Strawberries can also be consumed by dogs. What’s interesting about this fruit is that along with all the healthy ingredients it has, strawberries contain an enzyme that brightens pearly whites.
What Berries Are Poisonous To Dogs?
Another reason to keep close watch of your dog on walks is that there is a whole list of highly toxic wild berries which can affect your dog’s health and may even be fatal.
berries poisonous to dogs
- Mistletoe berries
- Holly berries
- Juniper berries
- Dogwood berries
If your pet has eaten something he shouldn't, monitor her for these signs: vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive drooling, seizures, or laboured breathing.
Ways To Make Blackberries More Exciting To Dogs
While chucking a few blackberries at your dog is a tasty treat on its own, jazzing up the fruit in the following ways makes them more exciting and delectable:
If your punnet of blackberries is nearing its expiry date, freeze them. By doing so, you’ll always have blackberries on hand while the freshness of the fruit is preserved.
Furthermore, a chilled blackberry on a hot summer’s day is a refreshing treat for a hot and bothered pup.
Curb your dog’s overconsumption of blackberries by whipping up a batch of dog-friendly biscuits. This way, you control how many blackberries you add to the mixture, and your dog will be more than happy with the snack.
Stuff Them Into Toys
Kong toys are great for stuffing dog treats, keeping your pet satisfied and mentally stimulated. As an extra challenge, freezing the berry-stuffed Kong will keep your hound entertained and focused on retrieving his treats for longer.
Tantalise your pet’s taste buds with a pureed mix of blackberries and another dog safe fruit or veg, mixed with xylitol-free peanut butter.
This delicious concoction can be eaten as a snack or a topper that makes dry kibble palatable to fussy hounds.
Blackberries are one of the few types of berries that your furry pal can eat and enjoy.
Several health-boosting ingredients will benefit your dog in various ways. However, like any other fruit or snack, blackberries intake must be controlled and closely monitored.
Watch out for adverse reactions and stop feeding your pet immediately if he shows signs of sickness. Always err on the side of caution by consulting with your vet.
Although individual pieces are great on their own, blackberries go a long way mixed or baked with different ingredients, frozen, or pureed.
Blackberries on their own or when complemented with other dog-friendly ingredients can be used as a snack for your dog. However, letting your pet eat wild berries is risky and berry preserves or jelly isn’t recommended.
Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are safe for dogs in moderation.
Feeding your dog blackberry jam isn’t a good idea. It may contain a high sugar count, additives and if it’s a sugar-free variety, xylitol. Xylitol is toxic to dogs.
Err on the side of caution by not feeding blackberry jelly to your canine.
Blackberries mixed with plain yoghurt without other flavours are dog-safe.
Sharing is caring
Paw-some job getting to know all about blackberries. Now, your furry pal can enjoy the cooling yummy goodness.
Go on then! Be a dear and share this article with your friends so they can feed their pooches the tasty snack too.