In the fruit world, it’s easy to look at the eminent figures of bananas and strawberries. But there is a hidden titan of deliciousness in the less well-trod corners of this fruit realm: the raspberry. Given the sweet-tart deliciousness of that delectable red fruit, it’s only natural to consider sending a few raspberries along to your dog. But, as with any food you consider giving to your dog, you should always do your research before indulging your begging pooch.
You may wonder, “Can dogs eat raspberries?” Don’t feel bad for not being sure. Dogs’ digestive systems can be rather capricious, so it’s very responsible to look into any food before giving it to your pup.
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know.
Can Dogs Eat Raspberries?
Yes, dogs can eat raspberries, but only in small amounts as large amounts can be toxic to dogs.
As far as raspberries and dogs go, you’re pretty much in the clear. However, there are a few asterisks to know.
In moderation, raspberries are an excellent treat for almost any dog. Those scarlet delights are high in antioxidants, which are substances that reduce the effect of free radicals (certain kinds of naturally occurring molecules that can damage the body). These antioxidants include vitamin C, flavonoids, and quercetin.
Additionally, raspberries are high in nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamin K, B-vitamins, and trace minerals. These compounds can enhance the health of a dog’s digestive system, immune system, bones, metabolism, nervous system, and circulatory system. In other words, raspberries are a home run!
There is a pretty major qualifier: Raspberries are high in natural xylitol, a chemical compound that appears in many sugar-free foods. Xylitol is extremely dangerous for dogs.
The good news is that raspberries don’t have a very high concentration of xylitol. A dog would need to eat dozens of cups of raspberries to ingest a fatal amount, and eating one or two cups of raspberries would only cause some mild vomiting or diarrhea.
Are There Any Safety Concerns Feeding Raspberries to My Dog?
There are few safety concerns with feeding raspberries to your dog, though there are some things to note.
First, as suggested above, raspberries contain the sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs in high concentrations. That said, raspberries contain so little xylitol that a few juicy gems will not harm your dog.
Additionally, raspberries contain fiber and sugar, which can be harmful to dogs when eaten in excess. This is a particular issue with raspberries, which have plenty of fiber. While sugar is less highly concentrated, it is still present in the cultivated raspberries grown on farms throughout the United States. However, giving your dog just a few raspberries will help avoid this problem.
Finally, raspberries can be choking hazards for dogs. Make sure to break up any raspberries into small pieces before feeding them to your favorite hound.
There are some human foods that dogs can eat safely, as well as some human foods dogs can’t eat.
If you have a dog, you might be used to seeing adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite of, well, anything that you happen to be eating.
While it’s natural to want to share human food with your furry pal, many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Some reasons foods may be harmful to your pup include:
- Foods that are a problem due to our physiological differences (foods we can handle that a dog’s stomach can’t)
- Other foods aren’t toxic, but are still potentially dangerous for dogs because they are hard to digest
- Another category of foods that are a problem for dogs are foods that may contain high levels of fat
Some tips and words of caution if you are feeding your pet human foods:
- Always keep in mind that new foods of any kind, including switching to a different dog food, can cause stomach upset.
- When you find a human food you’d like to share with your pup, go slowly. Give small amounts at first and watch for any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before giving more.
- Remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So all of the foods that are safe for your dog should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain and nutrient excesses and deficiencies.
What To Do if Your Dog Eats Something He Shouldn’t
Now that you know what foods are safe for dogs, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your pup eats food that’s toxic to dogs.
If your dog does end up eating something he shouldn’t, try not to panic. You have a few options for getting the help your dog needs:
- The first is to call your dog’s veterinarian, who can advise you to either come into the office or to watch for signs of poisoning, obstruction, or other potential problems.
- If it’s after hours, you can try calling an emergency veterinarian.
- Another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.
In some cases, you might be told to induce vomiting in your dog. It is helpful to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to do this.
Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian or someone from one of the pet poison control hotlines advises you to do so, however, because in some cases, vomiting can make the situation worse. [efn_note]Is it ever safe to induce vomiting? ASPCA.org. November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]
Without a doubt, raspberries are a gift from the food gods. They’re delicious, nutritious, and look beautiful. If you’re planning on feeding raspberries to your dog, do so in moderation, and all should be well!
If you’re looking for more information about which human foods are (and aren’t) safe for your dog to eat, check out our series of guides below: