Raspberries: Healthy Nutrition for Dogs? Dogs are amazing creatures, so say the least. They are loyal, intelligent animals that exhibit many social behaviors. You can find many stories about dogs accomplishing lovely feats for humans in need. Most of this selflessness comes from their wild, pack-oriented cousins – wolves.
Like their feral relatives, dogs love meats of all types. They also like a sweet treat now and then. Some owners will even give their pups raspberries as a healthy snack. These little fruits are healthy for humans, but are they safe for dogs?
Dogs and Foraging
Over generations, dogs have become helpful companions. But, pack-like behaviors are still exhibited by our furry friends. For starters, domestic dogs are very loyal to their owners, as their masters are ‘alphas’ of the pack. Dogs also tend to be very protective of their families and territories.
Like their wild cousins, our doggy companions are carnivores – they crave animal protein. But, dogs and wolves will ‘forage’ for anything appealing when they can’t find their meaty meal. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are all fair game for hungry pooches. Wild berries and other fruits can be easy, tasty pickings for dogs when playing outside.
Of course, filling up on treats between meals is not ideal. Yet, dogs can’t help but forage for a little snack around dinner time. So, owners will give their pups raspberries as a healthy snack before mealtime. But, other dog owners are uncertain whether raspberries and other sugary foods are safe to eat.
The Power of Raspberries
The raspberry is a rather impressive fruit. Pound-for-pound, this little red powerhouse is one of the healthiest foods out there. First, raspberries provide an ideal balance of low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber nutrition. They also contain a moderate amount of carbs and a touch of protein. This combo offers the consumer a healthy, sustained pick-me-up.
The goodness doesn’t stop there! Raspberries contain antioxidants, such as flavonols, phenolic acid, and ellagic acid. These antioxidants help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Also, ellagic acid can repair damaged DNA. Also, one cup of raspberries contains fifty-four percent of the daily amount of Vitamin C.
Furthermore, raspberries are a low-glycemic food. This means they are safe for diabetics to consume. In fact, the tannins and enzymes in raspberries improve the breakdown of starches. Thus, raspberries help lower the blood sugar level of the consumer!
Are Raspberries Safe for Dogs?
So, are raspberries safe for dogs to eat? Good news! You don’t need to panic when your dog has consumed a few berries. In fact, our four-legged friends can feel the power of raspberries like their owners.
The antioxidants in raspberries can reduce the risk of heart ailments and diabetes. Raspberries are especially helpful for older dogs. The soothing compounds in raspberries can help relieve aching joints and muscles.
Some essential nutrients and antioxidants are not found in animal protein. Yet, a dog’s digestive system is not designed to process fruits. So, dogs will forage for fruits, vegetables, and grains out of necessity.
Raspberries are an excellent treat for dogs. Yet, dogs should only consume raspberries in moderation. Raspberries contain low levels of a chemical called xylitol. This compound can cause liver damage and even death to dogs if consumed in high quantities. Larger breeds of dogs can safely eat up to a cup of fresh raspberries. However, smaller breeds should only eat a few berries at a time.
Talk to your veterinarian if you are considering raspberries as a healthy treat. If your vet says it’s ok, these little red gems can be the pick-me-up your pooch needs to keep his tail wagging!
Range, Friederike, et al. “Testing the Myth: Tolerant Dogs and Aggressive Wolves.” Proceedings: Biological Sciences, vol. 282, no. 1807, 2015, pp. 1–8. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43602085.