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Food & Diet

A Berry Licious Kind Of Love. But Can Dogs Eat Blackberries?

At A Glance

Absolutely yes! These colorful bite-sized blobs of juicy goodness are not only delicious but power packed with nutrition and antioxidants that can benefit you and your pet as well.

  • But moderation is the key. They are berry good in small quantities.
  • You can serve them fresh and whole or mashed, diced, or pureed minus any additions.

Last Updated on: January 6, 2023




Those sumptuous-looking purple blobs in their dark, glossy skin look so enticing – almost like they’re begging to be eaten. No wonder most people find them so irresistible. Yes, I’m talking about Blackberries.

This versatile, low-carb fruit can be had as is or added to baked goods, jellies, salads, and sauces. And when it comes to nutrition, these tiny blobs pack quite a punch.

They are high in fiber and rich in minerals like manganese, potassium, etc., and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Little wonder these thumb-sized fruits are considered superfoods.

And while we’ve established that Blackberries are incredibly beneficial to humans, does the same apply to dogs?

Can dogs eat blackberries or raspberries or any of the other kinds of berries?

Read on to find out.

blackberries in dog owner's hand

Are Blackberries Safe For Dogs?

Yes, these summer berries are non-toxic to dogs, much like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, and make for a healthy treat. If your dog enjoys fruits, it will surely enjoy snacking on a handful of these fresh berries.

So, can dogs eat wild blackberries?

I’d say it’s better to be safe than sorry, but if you’re certain they are blackberries and can wash them to remove traces of dirt or pesticides, wild berries, too, are safe for your dog.

But keep your pet away from other wild berries like holly, juniper, or mistletoe berries that contain toxins and may be harmful for pets.

But your dog may not like eating blackberries off the bushes, according to Quora film reviewer Barnaby Page.

“Almost certainly to avoid the prickles of the plant (which can be quite sharp), and also because it may be difficult for the dog to separate the berry from the less pleasant stalk with its mouth”, he adds.

Benefits Of Blackberries For Dogs

Vet Joanna Woodnutt from Channel Island of Alderney explains, “Blackberries contain lots of vitamins, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. These vitamins play important roles within the body. They help maintain a healthy immune system, reduce inflammation, and increase energy levels.”

They are also loaded with potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. But it’s the high carbohydrate content, most of which is dietary fiber, that makes the fruit good for your dog’s gut health.

The other thing that works in your dog’s favor is that blackberries have no cholesterol and trans fats. They also boast a low glycemic index.

You could include blackberries as a snack for:

  • An Obese Dog: they are filling but low in calories and do not lead to weight gain.
  • A Soft and Shiny Coat: The Omega-3 fatty acids in blackberries keep your dog’s skin and fur healthy.
  • Dog with Poor Oral Health: Chomping on berries not only keeps your dog’s gums healthy, but the acids can remove plaque, and give it fresh breath.
  • Antioxidants: They don’t just fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress but also take care of your dog’s immunity and overall well-being.

So, let your pooch enjoy a few blackberries when the fruit is in season.

How Many Blackberries Should I Feed My Dog?

Laura Robinson, Associate Veterinarian at Antonio Animal Hospital, California, says, “Fruit falls into the carbohydrate category, but should only make up a small part of it. Ideally, your pet needs other carbohydrates such as rice or grains. Overall, fruit may make up 1–5 percent of their total diet.”

That is something Cofi’s vet insists on, too, so while I ensure I give Cofi a serving of dog-safe fruits and vegetables, I try not to overdo it.

While most dogs relish berries, they are not a substitute for food and should be given in moderation.

Here’s a chart you can use to determine how many blackberries your pet can eat:

Size of Dog Portion
Extra Small 1-2 blackberries
Small 2-3 blackberries
Medium 3-5 blackberries
Large 5-6 blackberries
Extra Large Dog A small handful of berries

The best advice I got about my pet’s diet was to follow the 10/90% treat rule, meaning 90% of its diet should be regular dog food. The rest 10% could be healthy treats.

How Will I Know If My Dog Eats Too Many Blackberries?

If you feel your pet has had an accident involving berries, watch for an upset stomach. Since blackberries are high in fiber, too many can cause indigestion, gas, diarrhea, or vomiting in your pet.

It is, therefore, important to keep berries of any kind out of reach of your pet.

A Note of Caution: Blackberries contain a trace amount of xylitol which, if ingested in toxic amounts, would be harmful to pets.

Symptoms could be excessive diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, blood in their poop, loss of coordination, weakness, and collapse.

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, call your vet immediately.

How To Feed Your Dog Blackberries

As I mentioned earlier, berries are good for dogs in small quantities. Berries are best-served whole and fresh. But remember to wash them first. You can consider mashing, dicing, or pureeing the berries for toy or small breeds.

Smoothies are another alternative. Add a few blackberries to other dog-safe fruits like bananas, mangoes, strawberries, etc.

Blackberries are also a key ingredient in human foods like pies, cobblers, jams, sauces, etc. But such foods contain artificial sweeteners or seasonings, which can harm your dog.

However, if you’re up to it, you can try making your pet blackberry treats at home. Keep reading for some tried and tested recipes that Cofi and I both enjoyed.

Tasty Ways To Serve Your Dog Blackberries

#1 Blackberry Yogurt Popsicle

This is one of my favorite recipes because it’s simple and incredibly delicious too. Depending on the size of your dog, take a few blackberries, clean them well, and throw them in a blender along with one to two scoops of sugar-free greek yogurt.

Pour the mix into an ice-cube tray and freeze it for a cool summer treat.

#2 Blackberry Peanut Butter Bark

Although effort intensive, this recipe yields a jar full of treats you can store for the coming days.

You’ll need blackberries (of course!), almond/oat flour, unsweetened organic peanut butter, eggs, water, and some good-quality olive oil. Mix all the ingredients to form a dough.

Now roll it out till it’s 1/4th of an inch in thickness. Use cookie molds to cut the dough into shapes of your choice.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Cool them down on a wire rack before giving some to your dog. This treat keeps well in an airtight container for 15-20 days.

#3 Blackberry Bites

This one’s as easy as pie, even though it requires a dehydrator. If you have one at home, be sure to give this recipe a shot.

Wash and clean fresh blackberries and pat them dry. Arrange them in the dehydrator tray and let the machine do its work.

I usually dehydrate mine for 24-36 hours at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. But you can adjust the setting depending on the freshness of your berries. They will turn out delicious!

Berries Your Dog Should Not Eat

Unlike blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries, some berries can make your dog sick.

As a rule of thumb, you should never give your dog anything you cannot recognize. Also, salmon berries, holly berries, and mistletoe berries are not safe for dogs since they contain various chemical compounds that cause toxicity of varying intensities in dogs.

The last two aren’t safe for humans, either.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Shouldn’t I Give My Dog Blackberries?

Unless your dog has a food allergy specific to berries, there’s no reason not to give it a helping of berries. Just don’t go overboard with it. Exercise portion control. Also remember the 90/10 rule, and always consult your vet before you add something new to the diet.

Can Dogs Eat Blackberry Jam Or Jelly?

No, dogs can’t eat jams or jellies, blackberry or otherwise. These products contain a lot of sugar. Some even have artificial sweeteners, like xylitol. Both could be extremely harmful for your pet. So, it’s best to steer clear of such food.

Can My Dog Eat Blackberry Yogurt?

Not if it is store-bought. You can whip some at home using natural greek yogurt and blackberry puree – that’d make for a delicious treat. But commercially made blackberry yogurt will have ingredients that could be toxic to dogs.

A side note. When buying anything from a store, consider the use of poor quality fillers like corn and allergens. Steer clear of those. Also, I always consider the environment impact of my choice. For example, beef has the highest CO2 emissions in the world. I can easily switch to chicken, pork or lamb.

Can My Dog Have Blackberry Pie?

Your dog should not be given blackberry pie because the sugar, flour, and butter that go it. All these ingredients are harmful for dogs. Instead, try dog-friendly blackberry recipes that will make for a healthy treat.

Can Dogs Eat Wild Blackberries Or Hybrids Like Loganberries?

While it’s safe for dogs to eat wild blackberries, ensure you remove the stem before giving it to them. Even hybrids like loganberries are safe for them to eat in moderation.

Do Blackberries Contain Xylitol?

Blackberries do contain trace amounts of xylitol. Although not harmful in small quantities, eating lots of blackberries could cause xylitol poisoning in dogs. This is why I always serve blackberries in moderation.

Can My Dog Have Canned Or Frozen Blackberries?

I do not recommend feeding your dog anything apart from fresh fruits and berries. Canned or frozen products contain a whole lot of preservatives in them that are not good for your dog’s health. In most cases, these are also extremely nutrient-dense since they don’t contain water. However, frozen blackberries minus added sugars or preservatives are a safe bet.

 

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Paul Andrews
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A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.