Summer and berry season is right upon us with its sunny weather, tempting everyone – dog owners and their pets alike- to spend plenty of time outside, enjoying rambling freely in nature.
On your hiking trips, you could easily run into berry bushes, for example, wild raspberries, leaving you wondering what to do if your dog decides to taste them.
Raspberries are a beloved summer snack for many during its season, frequently eaten right at the dinner table or in your living room.
Accidents do happen; berries could fall on the floor, straight in front of your beloved pets, with no chance to pick them up before they disappear into your dog’s mouth.
As a responsible pet owner, you are likely to be worried, seeking for a fast, yet thorough answer to determine whether raspberries are safe if your dog consumes them, or you should consult your veterinarian immediately. This article should help you to offer some in-depth answers to help to put your mind at ease.
First, let’s address your immediate concerns that you may have when you discover that your dog happened to eat some raspberries before you could intervene and stop them from doing so.
Help! My Dog Just Ate Some Raspberries! What’s Going to Happen?
If you’ve found out that your dog just ate some raspberries, you needn’t worry much. These fruits are not harmful to your dog, in most circumstances.
There is little to no reason to be anxious about adverse effects and problems; your dog is almost certainly going to be just fine.
Raspberries are non-toxic fruits for dogs in small to moderate quantities; therefore, if your dog ate some, you can relax, knowing that there is nothing for you to do.
You can continue your lives and activities with your dog as you normally would, otherwise.
If this put your mind at ease, yet interested in learning more about how raspberries can affect dogs, read on.
You will find out that there are circumstances when the answer gets more complicated; particularly, if your dog has eaten a large number of raspberries.
Before that, though, let’s take a look at whether dogs can actually eat these fruits regularly.
Can Dogs Eat Raspberries Regularly?
Raspberries are considered healthy superfood for humans; with their rich antioxidant and high fiber content, they are considered a very healthy snack, one that a pet owner may be safely able to share with their four-legged friends, on occasion.
According to the American Kennel Club, raspberries are delicious and healthy treats: their antioxidant content prevents inflammations and provides your pet with vitamins and minerals to keep them in top shape for many years to come.
Moderation, however, remains important to remember when feeding your dog with fruits, including raspberries.
Dogs are carnivores; therefore, they can meet their nutritional needs from eating solely animal sources of protein, without fruits or vegetables needed to complete their diet.
Fruits, in particular, contain a significant amount of sugar, a flavor that your dog doesn’t really need, but easily can develop a sweet tooth for, if introduced to it too frequently.
Many fruits, and especially raspberries, also contain a large amount of sweetener, a natural form of xylitol, which you may have heard of as a substance that is known to be toxic to dogs.
Let’s see if this is something to worry about as a dog owner, whose pet has discovered the sweet flavor of raspberries.
Is Natural Xylitol Found in Raspberries Toxic to Dogs?
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in many vegetables and fruits, including raspberries, contributing to the sweet taste of berries.
Its processed version is often used in the place of sugar, reducing calories without sacrificing the taste.
It is difficult to digest and could cause a lot of gastrointestinal and other problems to dogs.
Processed xylitol could cause disastrous symptoms for your dogs, such as diarrhea, vomiting, low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, or even death.
As the site of Pet MD warns, make every attempt to keep xylitol-containing foods, beverages, condiments, or even cosmetic products, such as toothpaste, or mouthwash, well out of reach at all times.
Well, is there a difference between processed and natural xylitol? Fortunately, there is.
Xylitol in its natural form, found in many vegetables and fruits, including berries, appears in a much lower concentration in nature, balanced by the presence of a high amount of dietary fiber, especially in raspberries, which helps your dog to eliminate much of it.
However, when consumed in large quantities, natural xylitol could still cause serious issues for your dog, similarly to its processed version.
This means that fruits and berries, raspberries included, must remain an occasional treat for your pet and not something to indulge in on a daily basis, or even offering large quantities.
Small to moderate amount of natural xylitol found in raspberries is not going to present problems associated with toxicity.
As long as you keep these guidelines in mind, your pet can enjoy a few raspberries here and there along with you.
What If My Dog Wants to Eat the Raspberry Bush?
Much of what has been said is also true if your dog likes to dig up the raspberry plant and eat its leaves too, aside from the fruit.
It is a generally non-toxic plant for dogs; however, a certain amount of natural xylitol may be found in the leaves of the raspberry bush, which, if consumed in larger quantities, could lead to similar problems as discussed above.
As long as you don’t encourage your dog to feast on a raspberry bush, especially along with the berries, your pet will be fine.
Consider training them to leave your garden alone though; they should be accustomed to receiving the occasional fruit treat directly from you. That way, you can control the amount of natural xylitol ingested by your dog.
What If My Dog Ate a Lot of Raspberries?
When you find out that your dog ate lots of raspberries, you need to exercise extreme caution and observe your dog.
Unlike in small doses, a large amount of natural xylitol could cause severe, irreversible, even fatal health emergencies for dogs.
It is never okay to feed a large number of raspberries to your pet on purpose. Also, as soon as you realize that your dog has ingested a lot of raspberries, you should consult your veterinarian immediately; their advice and immediate attention could save your dog’s life in extreme circumstances.
What Are the Side Effects of Too Many Raspberries Eaten in Dogs?
After immediately reaching out to your veterinarian, while waiting for their assistance, you should observe your dog for several alarming symptoms that could confirm that too much natural xylitol has been ingested by your pet.
The most important side effects are the following:
- shaking and drowsiness, associated with low blood sugar
Fortunately, severe symptoms are relatively uncommon. Your dog might experience a moderate to a serious case of diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
When it comes to your pet’s safety, however, you can never play it safe enough. It is strongly encouraged to communicate with your vet right away, to prevent the events from turning worse.
Can My Dog Be Allergic to Raspberries?
Much like us, humans, your four-legged friends can also develop allergies to certain foods or food ingredients.
In most cases, however, animal proteins or grains prove to be the primary culprit when talking about bothersome or dangerous allergens, in the case of dogs.
It is, in theory, possible for your pet to experience raspberry allergies, particularly if they already have known allergies to various plants or bushes.
Typically, you need to look for itchy skin around or inside the mouth. If you observe the signs of dermatitis on your pet after eating raspberries or playing around its bushes, contact your veterinarian.
How Many Raspberries Can My Dog Eat Safely to Avoid Health Problems?
To remain on the safe side, when feeding raspberries to your dog, always keep their size in mind. Be aware that a smaller dog is more likely to experience health problems associated with natural xylitol, than a larger breed.
According to Smartdogowners, typically, the following guidelines should be kept in mind:
- large breed dogs can eat as many as 6-10 pieces of raspberries per day
- medium breeds could safely eat 3-6 raspberries per day
- miniature breed dogs should eat a maximum of 3 pieces of raspberries per day
I Have a Puppy; Can They Also Eat Raspberries?
Puppies need high-quality food with a good amount of protein and other valuable ingredients to help them grow stronger physically, to support their brain development, and to give them the boost of energy that makes them as rambunctious as most youngster canines are known to be. There are several problems with the early introduction of sweet fruits.
We all know just how addictive sweet flavors can be, and this is not different in the case of young puppies either.
If they get used to eating delicious treats that offer little to no nutritional value to them, they are less likely to eat the puppy food designed to support the needs of their growing bodies.
As The Happy Puppy Site explains, puppies are usually on the smaller side physically, which could easily mean that the amount of raspberries fed to them turns out to be too much.
Many puppies also have sensitive stomachs and intestines, which could mean that a tasty treat of raspberries may easily turn into a bad case of vomiting or diarrhea.
It appears, when it comes to puppies, it’s better to play it safe. Ideally, do not feed them raspberries at all until they are closer to reach their breed-specific adult size and age. Otherwise, keep these treats to a bare minimum, a berry or two a day, at most.
I Have a Senior Dog; Is It Safe for them to Eat Raspberries?
Older dogs often suffer from various physical diseases or ailments, and in many cases, fruits, rich in antioxidants like raspberries are, could provide important health benefits to your senior pet.
The inflammation-reducing qualities of raspberries could ease the pain associated with aging joints and difficulty of movement.
The high-quality dietary fiber in raspberries could also make your older dog more regular, help their digestion, and even get rid of some excess weight, which could further improve their health, life quality, and longevity.
Not to mention, older dogs are less likely to develop bad habits and deserve some extra affection, including some delicious treats.
How Can My Dog Eat Raspberries?
While fresh raspberries are a great treat as is, there are a great many ways you can offer these fruits to your dogs.
The most convenient formats are frozen snacks, mixed with yogurt or peanut butter, or even as baked dog treats.
Be careful to not to include more berries than the recommended amount, when you are not feeding whole berries.
Check out this video to learn a delicious frozen treat recipe with raspberries, amongst other homemade and fruity ideas:
Are There Any Other Types of Berries My Dog Can Eat Safely?
As the well-known pet food company, Purina explains, there are several types of berries your dog can enjoy as a treat, every now and then. Berries that are considered safe for dogs in limited quantities -not including raspberries- are:
Final Conclusions; Are Raspberries Safe for My Dog?
As long as you don’t make raspberries a staple food in your dog’s diet, they are safe, delicious, and healthy fruits for your adult pets to enjoy.
Your canine friends will be absolutely grateful to share these sweet treats with you on hot summer days.