Health & Wellness
Can dogs eat raspberries?
Yes (as long as you don’t go overboard).
Rich in natural sugars and available in a kaleidoscope of colors, from rosy-red to golden-yellow, it’s only natural that your sweet-toothed pup would crave raspberries as much as you do.
Fortunately, as far as sweet treats go, raspberries are some of the safest for snack time — we even met with Dr. Fotios Bris, DVM, MS, a veterinarian at Small Door Veterinary in Brooklyn, New York, to make sure of it. But, as with pretty much everything, even nutritious snacks, moderation is key.
(Even though raspberries are generally safe for dogs, always consult your vet before introducing a new food item to their diet.)
Are raspberries good for dogs?
For both pets and pet parents alike, raspberries are a veritable superfood loaded with beneficial antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Low in calories and high in fiber, it’s a naturally sweet fruit that should scratch that sugar itch without triggering weight gain (there’s only about 5 grams of sugar per cup of raspberries — and let’s be honest, your bestie doesn’t need to be eating that many raspberries anyway). A far better alternative than processed treats, raspberries bring a load of health benefits to the dog bowl:
- Vitamin K: encourages blood health, including maintaining healthy blood calcium and protecting against heart disease
- Antioxidants: these natural immune-boosters have a slew of benefits, including reducing joint inflammation, aiding brain function and even detering cancers
- Dietary fiber: makes dogs feel fuller longer, so they’ll be totally content after a snack, as well as helps with digestion
- Manganese: helps form cartilage
- B-complex vitamins: improves heart function and metabolism
Are raspberries bad for dogs?
Even superfoods have their downsides. As nutritious and vitamin-rich as raspberries may be, most pups wouldn’t be getting too much of a health boost, considering they’re only snacking on small amounts.
Fortunately, the same can be said of raspberries’ not-so-great effects. The main thing to consider here is xylitol, a type of sugar alternative most commonly seen in human diet products. And naturally, human diet products are not good for our furry family members.
Xylitol can be found in trace amounts in raspberries — the key word here being “trace.” In fact, it’s so minimal in the fruit that even a small-breed dog, like a dachshund or an Italian Greyhound, would need to consume an egregious amount of raspberries to see any effect whatsoever. While smaller amounts of raspberries are far safer as a snack, if your dog should somehow wrangle their way into the fridge and go on a berry binge, they’d still most likely only experience a stomach ache if they were to consume 2-3 cups. Which would probably be the same for humans, honestly.
On the other hand, xylitol in processed human food, like diet products, can be far more dangerous for dogs and should be absolutely avoided. Additionally, at the end of the day, raspberries are sweet treats with natural sugar, and anything with any amount of sugar should only be doled out in small amounts.
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How to serve your dog raspberries
Sure, raspberries are small berries, but some pups have small mouths, so as with most any kind of human food, it’s best to proceed with caution. We’re not saying you need to blend up a smoothie bowl and get all fancy, but crushing up the berries a bit, or squishing them to make them easier to swallow, will ensure no choking. Sprinkling a few crushed berries in a dog bowl at the end of the day can be a nice — and safe — dessert!
Of course, if your dog should grab a fresh fruit off the counter, or while out for a walk in a bucolic berry patch, it’s likely nothing to fret about, since they’re much softer than most fruits.
In case of choking or a bad reaction, it’s always great to have an emergency preparedness plan in place when introducing new foods to your dog’s diet. Here are some quick steps to get you started are:
- Write down the phone numbers for poison control, local 24-hour emergency pet hospitals and animal ambulances in your area.
- Put together a pet emergency kit including latex gloves, an information card with your vet’s address and phone number and towels.
- Practice for emergencies by familiarizing your pet with riding in the car.
When it comes time for a sweet treat at the end of the day, raspberries are a nutritious doggie dessert that you can safely feed to your best friend.
We’re confident that raspberries aren’t the only human food your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Check out our series “Can dogs eat ... ?” to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what’s fair game.
The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.
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