By: Dr. Juli, DVM @itsDrJuli
Raspberries are a delicious sweet treat many humans enjoy as a healthy snack, and as pet parents, we often want to share special snacks and treats with our furry family members. Adding fresh fruits and veggies to your pup's diet can be a great way to give them a boost of essential vitamins and nutrients. Many berries, including blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries, can be the perfect bite-site reward for most pups. And, yes, raspberries are among the safe and delicious berries your dog can enjoy.
Remember that not all berries are created equal; some can be downright dangerous for your pet. Always check the ASPCA toxic food list before offering your pup any human food. Never feed them the following berries: mistletoe berries, gooseberries, salmon betties, holly berries, or any wild berries. If your dog eats any of these toxic berries, contact your veterinarian right away.
Are Raspberries Good for Dogs?
Generally, as long as you are feeding your dog a high-quality, AAFCO-approved dog food labeled "complete and balanced" for their breed and age, additional food types and treats like raspberries are not required for proper organ function. However, many pets suffer from underlying health problems, like skin or environmental allergies. Incorporating special treats or supplements into your dog’s diet can help support your dog’s health, target specific health problems, like itchy skin, and promote a healthy immune system.
Additionally, feeding your pup the occasional treat is essential for showing your pet love and strengthening your bond. Rewarding your pet with a delicious treat can be a positive reinforcement to celebrate good doggy manners.
All that being said, however, there are some benefits to treating your pup with this delicious red berry.
Health Benefits of Raspberries for Dogs
Raspberries are a delicious, low-calorie, low-sugar treat enjoyed by many people. They are generally safe for your pup to enjoy as the occasional snack. There are numerous health benefits packed into these bite-sized berries, including:
- Dietary fiber. Raspberries are high in dietary fiber, which supports your dog's digestive system, fights constipation, and promotes regular bowel movements. Dietary fiber can also help fight obesity by making your pet feel full.
- Antioxidants. These berries are packed with antioxidants, which can help decrease the risk of certain diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
- Anti-inflammatory properties. Raspberries have anti-inflammatory properties, which benefit pets who suffer from allergies and painful arthritis. Combatting inflammation is beneficial for senior dogs with aging joints.
- Minerals. Raspberries contain several minerals, including folic acid, manganese, iron, and magnesium. These minerals are essential to support all body functions.
- Vitamins. Raspberries contain numerous vitamins that support whole-body health. In particular, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and B-complex are all present in raspberries.
Beware of Xylitol: Dangers of Feeding Your Dog Raspberries
Although safe for most dogs, raspberries can be dangerous for pets when fed improperly or in large amounts. Always check with your veterinarian before offering your dog any new food or treats. Never provide your dog raspberries if they have diabetes.
The critical downside of feeding your dog raspberries is that these berries have the highest levels of natural xylitol, a sweetener in many sugar-free foods, certain kinds of peanut butter, and human toothpaste. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure, and neurologic problems. Xylitol can cause gastrointestinal distress, including vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. While small amounts of raspberries are generally considered safe, feeding your dog large quantities of raspberries can put them at risk of consuming toxic amounts of xylitol.
Never feed your dog frozen raspberries, as these can be a dangerous choking hazard for your pup, in addition to causing damage to their teeth. (If you want to try safe and delicious frozen dog treats, try our pupsicle recipe or our frozen watermelon beef bites.) Thaw frozen berries before allowing your dog to eat them, and ensure the berries do not contain any sugar preservatives. Other dangerous forms of raspberry include jams, jellies, sweetened berries, or canned raspberries.
How to Feed Your Dog Raspberries
Raspberries can be the perfect, bite-sized, occasional treat for your pup when fed correctly. Obesity is a common problem in pets, so ensure that your dog's treat allotment is no more than 10% of their daily calorie intake. Raspberries should only be fed to your dog as fresh, raw, or thawed, unsweetened frozen berries. Only let your dog eat raspberries one at a time to avoid choking hazards and to test how their gastrointestinal system responds.
Like humans, some pets can be sensitive to certain foods, and raspberries have natural sugars, which can cause digestive problems. Discontinue giving your pup raspberries if they experience any issues, including vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. A probiotic supplement can help reset their upset stomach if they are experiencing any gastrointestinal upset. As a general rule, limit your dog's daily raspberry intake to less than one cup and only offer them as an occasional treat.
For more information on your pet's health and tasty dog-safe recipes, check out the Native Pet blog.