Can Dogs Eat Berries?
Whether you’re on the trail or in your own kitchen, you may find yourself wondering if your dog can eat berries safely, whether that means accidentally or as a treat. Most berries are good for dogs, especially those on senior diets or those who prefer all-natural treats. There are some you shouldn’t share – see below for those that are no-no’s and get to the vet asap if you catch your dog munching on them.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are safe for dogs to eat, and are chock full of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. It’s also said that strawberries can help “whiten” your dog’s teeth! Only a few berries at a time, though, as strawberries are naturally sweet and too much can cause diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset. And of course – it’s an absolute no to the chocolate-covered strawberries (also avoid the strawberry ice cream and strawberry shortcake – they’re a little too rich for a dog too!).
Can Dogs Eat Raspberries and Blackberries?
Both raspberries and blackberries are relatively safe for dogs to eat. Like their strawberry cousin, they both have fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. However, it’s important to note that despite the fact that they’re low in sugar and very tart, they do have naturally occurring xylitol! Watch to make sure your dog does not ingest too much – while the amount is minuscule, it can add up!
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
With the buzz around blueberries being a “superfood” for humans, it’s good to know that they’re safe and healthy for dogs too. With fiber, potassium, antioxidants, and low sugar, blueberries are a perfect sweet treat for the summertime – especially a few frozen ones on hot days.
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries?
Cranberries are probably not your dog’s favorite go-to – in fact, not too many humans can eat a cranberry without added sugar – however, they are not toxic to dogs. They are known to help with urinary tract infections, but before you treat your pup’s UTI with cranberry, remember to check with your vet who may have more effective methods like antibiotics.
What to Avoid
There are some berries that will make your dog sick although it may not affect humans. For example, regional berries can run the gamut: gooseberries, marionberries, salmonberries, and serviceberries may be toxic to your dog. While gooseberries are toxic, lesser-known species of berries yield hardly any research, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also stay away from holly, juniper, nightshade, dogwood, poke, and mistletoe berries as well as baneberries; they can be toxic and their pits are a hazard. If your dog has gotten into these berries, you may need to call poison control.
Two fruits (not berries but bear repeating) to avoid are grapes and cherries, both of which are toxic to dogs.
If you think your pup has ingested a toxic berry, call your emergency veterinary hospital and get vet treatment – time is of the essence. You’ll see symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, extreme lethargy, tremors, seizures, excessive drooling or even trouble breathing. Your vet may administer an IV and induce vomiting even if the poisoning might be mild. Bring samples of the berries in question, if you can.
Curious about what is okay (and not so okay) for your dog to munch on? Check out our other articles on what human foods are safe for dogs.