With everyone being a little more health conscious these days, it's only natural that we as devoted pet parents want to treat our canine companions to wholesome foods as well. Let's take a closer look at nature's dog-friendly super fruit, the blackberry.
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries for a Healthy Boost of Anthocyanins? Yes!
Although the word, anthocyanin, may sound like a toxin, it is actually the antioxidant property found in the blackberry.
Reference sources: http://animalwellnessmagazine.com/top-6-super-fruits/
This fruit is not only loaded with antioxidants, it also contains:
- Polyphenols: forms a family of antioxidants that protects cell membranes and DNA. Can also prevent the mutation of some cancer cells.
- Fiber: aids in digestion, healthy bowel movements and keeps your dog "regular."
- Manganese: a major mineral element necessary for cell development
- Folate: a vitamin essential for cell replication and growth
- Omega-3: good for cardiovascular and nervous system health and the skin and coat.
- Vitamins - C, K, A and E: overall health and wellbeing
In addition to these amazing qualities, feeding your dog blackberries can boost his immune system and decrease stress, which may lower his chance of getting cancer.
Reference sources: http://canigivemydog.com/blackberries
Do Dogs Need to Eat Blackberries? No!
If your dog was left alone to fend for himself in the wild, he would most likely hunt for a meat-source, not necessarily fruit or berries. However, dogs and their ancestors are and were also scavengers. This means they will eat anything that is edible, especially in times when a meat-source may not be available.
Since dogs have been domesticated, science has discovered that adding more of nature's goodness (fruits and vegetables) to their daily diets can give them many added health benefits. This is particularly true since most of our pet's diet is found in a manufactured dry kibble formulae.
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries With Their Digestive Tract? Yes!
Since the canine species is built for a meat-based diet, their digestive tracts are shorter and the acids found in the tract work together to breakdown the protein in meat very quickly. Humans, on the other hand, have longer digestive tract that allow the antioxidants and other healthy components of blackberries (and other fruits) to be absorbed before eliminated. However, if a dog eat blackberries moderately, its digestive system is still able to digest them.
Reference source: http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-food/fruits-for-dogs.aspx
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries for Treats? Sure!
Like any other new or natural food you offer to your pooch, be sure to start off slowly. Too much of a "good" thing can often lead to stomach upset and/or diarrhea.
The amount of blackberries you give your dog will greatly depend on its size. For example, two small blackberries is plenty for a dog around the eight pound mark, whereas a larger breed can most likely tolerate four to six blackberries in one serving.
A great way to serve blackberries to your dog is fresh. These can be used as a special training treat for a task well done. You can also add the blackberries to their daily dry kibble for a fresh burst of moisture, flavor and health benefits.
Dogs Eating Blackberries Can Be Good, But Avoid These 3 Killers
We now know that blackberries are a healthy treat for our canine companions, but the following three berries can be deadly.
This popular Christmas time decoration is a beauty to behold, but if your dog ingests the leaves or berries, it can be potentially fatal. The berries of this plant are red and contain high amounts of theobromine (the same substance found in chocolate). Ingestion of either the berries or the leaves can cause extreme diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and depression.
Another holiday favorite, mistletoe, is also a danger to dogs. The berries are either pink or white and grow in clusters. If your dog eats the berries or leaves of this plant it can lead to stomach upset, staggering, seizures, stomach cramps, collapsing and even death.
The berries of this creeping vine are similar to blueberries in appearance, but that's where it stops. Unlike blueberries, the ingestion of the Ivy Berry can cause immediate pain and burning of the mouth and throat. Other symptoms include excessive thirst, blisters on the face and mouth region, convulsions, loss of coordination and even death.
If you believe your dog has ingested any of these berries, it's always best to seek veterinarian attention as soon as possible.
Go Ahead, Let Your Dog Eat Blackberries
Now that we've answered the question of "can dogs eat blackberries", you can safely give your pooch this healthy superfruit. The high level of antioxidants, vitamins and free radical fighting properties the blackberry contains is a great way to give your dog some added health benefits. However, do keep in mind that a few of these berries goes a long way, so introduce them slowly to your dog's diet or use them as a training aid.