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Raspberry is a popular fruit, known for its colorful exotic appearance and great taste. It also doesn’t come behind in nutritional composition as it is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. This fruit has been around for a long time and we humans have made the most of it. But people want to know, can dogs eat raspberries?
Are Raspberries Good For Dogs?
Yes. Dogs can also eat raspberries and share in this nutrient-rich snack. Raspberries are edible nutritious fruits of a plant species in the rose family. There are many types of raspberries — including black, purple, and golden — but the red raspberry, or Rubus idaeus, is the most common.
Red raspberries are native to Europe and northern Asia and cultivated in temperate areas worldwide. Most US raspberries are grown in California, Washington, and Oregon.
These sweet, tart berries have a short shelf life and are harvested only during the summer and fall months. For these reasons, raspberries are best eaten shortly after purchasing.
When Are Raspberries Unsafe For Dogs?
Raspberries are typically not unsafe for dogs, however, some precautions have to be taken to ensure that our canine companions can munch away on raspberries without any complications.
Raspberries are safe for dogs when they are given to them in moderation. It can be best to only feed your dog raspberries a few times per week or give them the occasional treat. Feeding your dog large amounts of raspberries can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea because of the amount of fructose in raspberries.
If they have a chronic illness such as kidney or liver disease, diabetes, cancer, or other condition that impairs the ability to metabolize sugar, raspberry fruit can lead to dehydration.
Raspberries contain one of the highest levels of natural xylitol, an all-natural sweetener found in many fruits and vegetables and other human food products. Although xylitol is safe for humans, it can be toxic to dogs and can contribute to the development of liver disease and hypoglycemia, which could be life-threatening if left untreated.
This doesn’t mean that raspberries are toxic to your dog, but you should only feed them to your dog in moderation. Xylitol in raspberries comes in such small amounts that your dog would need to eat multiple cups of raw raspberries before getting enough to cause a medical problem.
Other possible gastrointestinal side effects that might occur from feeding your dog excessive raspberries are vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.
Raspberry Nutritional composition
Raspberries boast many nutrients despite being low in calories. One cup (123 grams) of red raspberries contains:
- Calories: 64
- Carbs: 14.7 grams
- Fiber: 8 grams
- Protein: 1.5 grams
- Fat: 0.8 grams
- Vitamin C: 54% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Manganese: 41% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 12% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 5% of the RDI
- B vitamins: 4–6% of the RDI
- Iron: 5% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 7% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
- Copper: 6% of the RDI
Raspberries are a great source of fiber, packing 8 grams per 1-cup (123-gram) serving, or 32% and 21% of the RDI for women and men, respectively. They provide more than half of the RDI for vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient essential for immune function and iron absorption.
Raspberries also contain small amounts of Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, and zinc.
How To Serve Raspberries To Dogs
The best way to serve dogs raspberries is to offer them fresh and cleaned raspberries without any additives or preservatives. Many dog owners will also offer their dogs small amounts of fresh raspberry sauce. Here are a few tips for serving raspberries to your dog.
You can give your dog small amounts, but make sure not to overfeed him or her.
When picking out raspberries for your dog at a retail store, look for those that are organic and grown without pesticides if possible. These will be healthier options than other kinds of raspberries on the shelf. They may cost more as well so it’s a good idea to do some research beforehand about where you want to buy them from before embarking on this shopping trip with your pup!
Only ever give your dog fresh, unsweetened raspberries. Always avoid jams, sweetened or canned varieties as these contain tonnes of sugar which can cause diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay, and may also contain xylitol as an added sweetener.
If you want to try giving your dog a raspberry, wash one first then offer it to them to see how they like it. On warmer days you can also try freezing them for a refreshing snack!
Benefits of Raspberries for Dogs
Although dogs do not need to eat fruit for nutritional value (those needs are typically met with high-quality dog food), raspberries offer an abundance of health benefits. The fruit is low in sugar and calories but high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Here are a few health benefits raspberries can offer dogs:
- Dietary fiber, which helps improve a dog’s digestive system and fights obesity (raspberries keep your dog fuller for a longer period).
- Powerful antioxidants that can reduce the possibility of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. Antioxidants are plant compounds that help your cells fight and recover from oxidative stress.
- Oxidative stress is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses. Raspberries are high in several powerful antioxidant compounds, including vitamin C, quercetin, and ellagic acid.
- Compared to other berries, raspberries have similar antioxidant content as strawberries, but only half as much as blackberries and a quarter as much as blueberries
- Minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper, folic acid, iron, and magnesium.
- Improved cardiovascular health.
- Lower blood sugar levels.
- Increased brain function, such as learning ability and memory retention.
- A good source of dietary fiber to help improve digestion and fight obesity
- A source of healthy minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and more.
- Filled with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B-Complex.
- Furthermore, raspberries are high in tannins, which block alpha-amylase, a digestive enzyme necessary for breaking down starch.
Some Creative Raspberry Treats for Dogs
Fresh raspberries have a short shelf life, so you should purchase locally grown berries whenever possible and eat them within one to two days. Since raspberries are harvested during the summer and fall, fresh raspberries will be best at those times.
When choosing raspberries, be sure to avoid any that look crushed or moldy. Raspberries should be refrigerated in packaging that protects them from damage.
Keep in mind that your dog can eat raspberries year-round by buying them frozen. These berries are frozen immediately after harvesting. Read labels closely to ensure you’re not getting added sugar.
Here are some ways to incorporate raspberries into your dog’s diet:
- Eat fresh raspberries as a snack.
- Top yogurt with fresh raspberries and granola.
- Add raspberries to cereal or oatmeal.
- Top whole-grain pancakes or waffles with raspberries.
- Add frozen raspberries to a smoothie.
- Make a fresh berry salad with raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries.
- Add raspberries to a salad with chicken and goat cheese.
- Blend raspberries with water and use them as a sauce for meat or fish.
- Make a baked raspberry crumble with rolled oats, nuts, cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Stuff raspberries with dark chocolate chips for a sweet treat.
How To Select Raspberries
- Choose raspberries that are plump, dry, and firm. They should be well-shaped and of uniform color. Avoid withered or crushed berries.
- Most raspberries are boxed. Examine what raspberries you can see. If the box isn’t wrapped, open it and remove a few off the top to examine that underneath.
- Avoid purchasing boxes of raspberries that are damp or stained on the bottom. This indicates that some of the berries are either crushed or decaying within.
- Raspberries are fragile and have a short shelf life once picked. They also mold easily. Check the box carefully and avoid any signs of molding.
How To Store Raspberries
- Raspberries can keep for a few days in your refrigerator but have a short shelf life. Store raspberries in the package they came in (or if freshly picked, in a breathable container). If there is room, add a paper towel to the container to absorb excess moisture.
- Store raspberries near the front of your refrigerator where you can see them easily. Avoid placing them in the colder parts of the fridge.
- Avoid washing raspberries until you are ready to serve them. Introducing moisture can cause them to mold or spoil faster.
- Raspberries can be frozen for up to ten months. Flash freeze raspberries by washing them and placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet in the freezer. Allow them to freeze for two hours before transferring them to a sealed plastic bag.
Fun Facts about Raspberries
- Raspberries aren’t only read. They can also be gold, black and purple!
- The average raspberry contains 100 to 120 seeds.
- The raspberry plant (Rubus idaeus) is a member of the rose family.
- Raspberries have one of the highest respiration rates of any fruit, making them the most delicate berry.
- Raspberry canes thrive in climates with cool summers, mild winters, and a rain-free harvest season.
Raspberries are wonderful and nutritious treats for your dog. There are different ways to serve up raspberry treats and make it fun. Dogs can definitely eat raspberries but its also important not to get carried away and have them munching away excessively at it. You’ll run the risk of getting their digestive system messed up.
Just follow the recommendations outlined in this article and your dog will be just fine.
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