can dogs eat blackberries uk: White and tan basset looking at blackberries in owner's hand

Can dogs eat blackberries in the UK? Small amounts can be good for your dog's immune system. 

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Can dogs eat blackberries in the UK?

By Greta Inglis Dog Behaviourist | Animal Behaviourist

Updated on the

Certain fruits, like blackberries, can be a healthy addition to your dog's diet when fed in the right amounts. Here's everything you need to know.

While some dogs don't seem to like eating fruit and vegetables, many enjoy the variety in their diet and will happily eat a berry as a tasty treat. If you're considering feeding blackberries to your dog, you must understand what to do and avoid to keep your pet safe, healthy, and happy.

Are blackberries good for dogs to eat? 

Yes, the good news is that in the right quantities, blackberries are a healthy treat for your dog to eat. With a high fibre content and plenty of other health benefits, these tasty fruits can be offered as a treat to dogs in much the same way we humans would enjoy them.

Lower in sugar and calories than other fruits, blackberries offer dogs the following vitamins and nutrients: 

  • Fatty acid Omega 3, which prevents inflammation. 
  • Fibre is known to help with constipation. 
  • Anthocyanins is what gives the berry its colour. As antioxidants, anthocyanins help brain function and can reduce the likelihood of cancer. 
  • Vitamin A supports eye and skin health and promotes bone growth. 
  • Vitamin B boosts the immune system and helps promote a healthy metabolism. 
  • Vitamin C aids in the healing of wounds and the absorption of iron. 
  • Vitamin E promotes good circulation. 
  • Vitamin K is good for dogs' heart, muscle and blood health. 

Health risks of feeding your dog blackberries 

Just like if your dog overindulges on strawberries, too many blackberries can upset your dog's stomach, causing vomiting and diarrhoea. This is why, to keep your dog healthy, it's very important to feed your dog the right quantity of these fruits, which is calculated based on their size. Limiting the amount they eat enables them to still enjoy these treats without any adverse effects.

If you suspect your dog is experiencing digestive issues after eating fruit, you should speak with your veterinarian. 

How to safely feed your dog blackberries

Always wash blackberries before feeding them to your dog to ensure any pesticides have been removed. Wild blackberries can be safe, as long as you are certain of the fruit your dog is eating. 

Frozen blackberries are best avoided, as they may have added sugar or xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Jams and jellies typically have a very high sugar content, which can impact metabolic processes and lead to obesity in the long run.  

Can dogs eat raw blackberries? 

Yes, your dog can eat raw blackberries. In fact, this is the healthiest way to feed the fruit to your dog. You can offer the fruit whole, mashed or pureed, depending on their size and individual preference. 

How many blackberries can dogs eat? 

While the answer to whether dogs can eat blackberries is yes, the quantity they can have of the sweet treat will depend very much on their size. As a general guideline, the following quantities are suitable. However, it's always best to consult with your veterinarian before offering new foods to your pet. 

  • Extra small dogs: 1-2 berries
  • Small dogs: 2-3 berries
  • Medium dogs: 3-5 berries
  • Large dogs: 5-6 berries
  • Extra large dogs and giant breeds: A small handful

If you're not sure about the amount to feed your pup or concerned about feeding fruit to your dog, speak to your vet.

Do blackberries contain xylitol? 

Yes, blackberries do contain a very small trace amount of xylitol, a natural sugar found in some plants and vegetables. With only a tiny amount present in a small serving, the fruit is safe for dogs.

In dogs, xylitol can affect their insulin levels, which can cause severe hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and sometimes liver failure. Hypoglycaemia can make your pup lose their coordination, vomit, have seizures, and even fall into a coma, which makes xylitol potentially deadly for our canine companions. The quantity at which xylitol is deadly varies greatly on each individual dog. If a pup experiences xylitol poisoning, it will need urgent vet treatment. If you notice excessive vomiting, seizures, weakness or the presence of blood in your dog's vomit or stools, contact your veterinarian immediately

The good news is that your four-legged friend would need to consume a very large quantity of berries to experience poisoning. This is why following feeding guidelines and supervising your dog when on walks is important. 

You can safely feed your dog blackberries. They can make the perfect sweet treat for your pet in the right amount. Not only will they love the variety in their diet, but the berries also offer many health benefits.

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