With a tartness as subtle as a strawberry and a taste as sweet as a red grape, raspberries are hands down one of the best-tasting berries. From desserts to salads and even lemonades, there’s always a way to incorporate them into any recipe. Yet, there is more to raspberries than their versatility and their pleasant flavor. On top of all, they are also very nutritious too!
Raspberries are definitely good for you. But are they also good for Fido? Dogs enjoy fruity treats and raspberries happen to be one of the things they would take pleasure in chowing down on. In this blog, we will discuss all the benefits and risks of these berries to canines.
Can Dogs Have Raspberries?
Yes, dogs can devour on raspberries because they are not toxic to them. As with most berries, raspberries are safe for our furry little friends. Still, don’t forget that moderation is the key to any successful feeding.
Make sure to wash your raspberries before giving them to your pet. There is a possibility that there are tiny, white worms in the berries. Dipping the raspberries in diluted vinegar for a few minutes helps kill bacteria and mold spores.
However, be careful not to wash your raspberries too much. It’s also not necessary to wash them right away. It’s better to only clean them right before you are planning to use them or before feeding them to your dog.
The problem with raspberries is that they are too delicate. They tend to break easily if you wash them in running water. Another trick in cleaning them, aside from dipping them in vinegar, is to place all of them in a colander before gently swishing them in the water.
Meanwhile, can dogs have some raspberry jam? We suggest that you avoid it because some raspberry jams may contain xylitol. This sweetener can cause hypoglycemia and liver issues in canines.
Risks in Offering Raspberries to Dogs
Some dogs are quite sensitive to dietary changes. If it is the first time your dog eats raspberries, it’s normal to see some changes in his bowel movement. Consider the fact that raspberries are naturally rich in fiber. Don’t let your pooch gobble down too many raspberries or he will end up with gastrointestinal problems.
Another reason why you have to limit your pet’s raspberry intake is their xylitol content. A study published in the Journal of Food Science in 1980 suggests that raspberry has the highest amount of xylitol among all of the wild berries.
Is the naturally-occurring xylitol in raspberries as dangerous as the xylitol found in sugar-free gums? No, it’s not strong enough to intoxicate your pet. Even with the abundance of xylitol in raspberries, the amounts are still not high enough to cause toxicity in dogs.
A cup of raspberries has around 0.05 grams of xylitol. This is relatively lower than the toxic amount which is 0.2-0.4 grams for every kilogram of body weight. It will take more than 30 cups of raspberries for your dog to experience adverse effects.
If you have raspberry ketone tablets at home, keep them in a place out of Fido’s reach. In 2013, a Neapolitan Mastiff in Manchester died after ripping a parcel of raspberry ketone and eating more than 50 of the tablets.
Raspberry ketone is a weight-loss supplement made from raspberry concentrate. Too much of it will eventually make your dog sick. If your dog happened to ingest some, watch out for vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If these symptoms are present, seek your vet’s help immediately.
Can Dogs Have Raspberry Leaf Supplements?
You might have heard about pregnant dogs taking raspberry leaf supplements. Many dog owners give it to their pets, in the hope of making the delivery easier and problem-free.
For years, supporters of herbal medicine have been using the raspberry leaf for treating many types of ailments. It is used for treating problems of the gastrointestinal tract. One of the many common uses of the raspberry tea is to lessen the stress of mother dogs throughout their pregnancy.
Raspberry supplements are also being used to prevent pseudo-pregnancy in canines. It is believed to relieve problems associated with whelping or the process of giving birth to puppies.
While raspberry leaf supplements are approved by most vets, we still have to consider that there might be side effects in administering them. There were reported cases of mother dogs suffering from lack of energy or inactivity while taking the supplement.
The Australian Bulldog Society highlighted that there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of raspberry leaf in preventing pregnancy complications. As with any new supplement, it is best to consult your veterinarian first before giving it to your dog.
Aside from the raspberry leaf supplement, there are also raspberry food supplements being given to non-pregnant dogs. The raspberry powder comes in the form of capsules and is added to dog food or can be mixed with yogurt and milk. Testimonies suggest that raspberry food supplements help in eliminating tumor and abscesses from a dog’s body.
What Are the Benefits of Raspberries to Dogs?
Raspberries may be small, but they are big in terms of nutrition. They are best known for their antioxidant content. Here are some of the reasons why it’s a good idea to include raspberries in your dog’s diet:
- They can regulate digestion. Raspberries are not just loaded with fiber that is essential for a healthy digestion but also have a high water content that can bulk up your dog’s stool for a regular bowel movement.
- Raspberries can help canines with gout and arthritis because they have natural anti-inflammatory properties. These berries restrain the production of the COX-I and COX-II enzymes, which both promote inflammation, pain and fever in the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of raspberries are very similar to drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin that reduce pain associated with inflammatory conditions.
- They can reduce your dog’s risk of macular degeneration. One of the antioxidants found in raspberries is the anthocyanin. It acts as a defense against age-related macular degeneration, which can affect not just senior dogs but canines of all ages. Numerous studies suggest that eating anthocyanin-rich foods, like raspberries, helps prevent numerous eye diseases.
- They can maintain your pet’s healthy skin. Raspberries are very popular among cosmetics and skin care brands because of their antioxidants and Vitamin c content. The antioxidants present in raspberries can help in protecting the skin. The Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen, a protein that is essential to the growth and development of the skin.
- They can protect your pooch against various types of diseases. A study conducted at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina suggests that eating red raspberries may avert cancer because they help in inhibiting the abnormal division of cells. Furthermore, raspberries also have ellagic acid which is known for its anti-carcinogenic properties.
- They can help in the proper functioning of muscles, enzymes, and nerves in your dog’s body. A cup of fresh raspberries contains as much as 186 milligrams of potassium. This macro-mineral has many important roles in the body, like keeping the kidneys functioning normally.
- They have chemo-preventive properties, which mean they can protect Fido against cancer. The anthocyanin in raspberries is not just helpful for preventing age-related macular degeneration but also has the ability to suppress the inflammation and restrain the transformation of cancer cells.
- Raspberries are free from fat and cholesterol. Do you have an overweight dog? You might be looking for a healthy snack that does not contain fat and cholesterol. You can never go wrong with raspberries! Plus, you don’t have to worry about the sugar content. Raspberries are actually one of the fruits with the lowest sugar content.
- They can prevent diabetes. Unfortunately, dogs are also susceptible to diabetes, just like humans. Proper nutrition can prevent this from happening. Raspberries are packed with adiponectin that helps regulate the normal levels of insulin and sugar in the body.
Dog-Friendly Raspberry Recipes
Chicken and Raspberry Dog Treats
This sweet and savory dog treat is super easy to do, not to mention that it only has two ingredients. Chicken stock, like many bone-based broths, is best known for its collagen content which is beneficial for joint health. Simply follow the steps below to incorporate chicken broth in your raspberry dog treat:
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mash a cup of fresh or frozen raspberries.
- Add in 240ml or 1 cup of chicken stock.
- Stir until the ingredients are well combined.
- Pour the mixture into silicone molds.
- Place in the freezer for 5 hours or overnight.
Raspberry Pumpkin Pup-Cakes
This cupcake is suitable for dogs with wheat allergy. It uses oat flour, which contains more nutrients and lower carbohydrates than wheat. It’s also the ideal flour to use if you want to produce moist baked treats. The added applesauce and pumpkin give this raspberry cupcake an extra sweetness minus the guilt. Like the raspberries, the rest of the ingredients are all naturally healthy. Here’s how to make these yummy pup-cakes:
- In a food processor, combine a cup of ground gluten-free oat flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ¼ cup of melted coconut oil, ¼ cup of pureed pumpkin, and ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce.
- Pulse until you get a smooth consistency.
- Fold in ¼ cup of frozen raspberries.
- Pour the mixture into muffin tins lightly greased with coconut oil.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.
- To make the frosting, simply combine ¼ cup of pureed pumpkin, 1 tablespoon of goat’s milk, 1 tablespoon of ground oat flour, and 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
- Stir until all the ingredients are nicely combined.
- Transfer the frosting in sturdy zip-lock bags.
- Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, frost each one using the piped frosting. To do this, you can simply cut a hole at the tip of a bag.
Raspberry Goat Milk Dog Smoothies
Giving goat’s milk to dogs is more than just a fad. It actually promotes good health because of its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to its low-lactose and low-fat content, even dogs with sensitive stomachs can easily digest it. Here’s how to add goat’s milk to your pup’s raspberry smoothie:
- Combine a cup of powdered goat milk and ½ cup of frozen raspberries in a blender.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of natural and unsalted peanut butter.
- Pulse until the consistency is smooth.
- Pour in your dog’s bowl and serve.
How to Select Raspberries for Your Pet
Whether you are shopping for raspberries at the grocery store or picking them by yourself, remember one important thing: they should be fully ripe. Raspberries in their fully ripe form are known to have more antioxidants. Keep an eye for the following when choosing raspberries for your buddy:
- Firm and plump berries
- Deep color
- Uniform color
- Not withered or crushed
It is also important to know that raspberries should be consumed right away because they tend to go bad quickly. Pick out any bad or moldy berry before storing them in containers that allow air circulation. They can be stored in the refrigerator but only for a couple of days.
Raspberries are definitely safe for dogs. But as always, keep them in moderate amounts. Otherwise, your dog will end up with runny stools. Given in the right amount, raspberries can be a great snack for dogs since they are free from fat and cholesterol and only have very low amounts of sugar.