Raspberries are the fruit of the raspberry, a shrub in the Rosaceae family. They are fruits rich in fiber, vitamin C, and other antioxidant compounds that can be consumed by dogs. However, raspberries contain a substance called xylitol which, in large quantities, can be toxic to our furry friends. Therefore, it is important to include them in the dog’s diet only as a reward, occasionally.
Are raspberries good for dogs?
Indeed, dogs can consume raspberries and take advantage of their nutritional value. They are low-calorie fruits that stand out for their fiber content, vitamin C, and other antioxidant compounds. However, despite their many nutritional benefits, raspberries are one of the fruits that contain the highest levels of xylitol, a compound that is toxic to dogs if offered in large amounts. Therefore, it is important that when this fruit is included in the dog’s diet, it is done as a reward, occasionally.
Benefits of raspberries for dogs
The main benefits of raspberries in dogs are the following:
They are low-calorie foods:
due to their moderate content of carbohydrates and their low content of proteins and lipids. For this reason, they are fruits that can be offered as low-calorie treats to dogs with obesity or overweight problems that require low-energy diets. Here you can find more information about a Diet for obese dogs.
Raspberries are fruits that stand out for their fiber content:
despite the fact that the digestive system of dogs is not capable of digesting fiber, it is an essential nutrient in the diet of dogs. Specifically, fiber adds volume to the diet, generates a feeling of satiety, regulates the speed of intestinal transit, contributes to the maintenance of the intestinal flora, and maintains the consistency of the stool. For this reason, it is essential that fiber is present in the diet of dogs in a percentage of between 2-5% of dry matter. Discover more information about fiber for dogs, its importance, food, and supplements in this other AnimalWised article that we recommend.
They contain significant amounts of vitamin C:
which helps reduce oxidative stress, encourages collagen production, and participates in the formation of teeth and bone skeleton. Likewise, it is content in niacin (vitamin B3), folic acid (vitamin B9) and vitamin E is also appreciable. For more information about Vitamin C for dogs and Vitamin E for dogs, we suggest these two other articles.
It includes a large number of minerals :
such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Its high content of phenolic compounds should also be noted :
this includes monophenols, polyphenols, and flavonoids which, together with vitamins C and E, give this fruit a great antioxidant capacity. Specifically, these substances help reduce lipid peroxidation and exert a protective effect against cancer.
How to give raspberries to a dog?
When you decide to offer raspberries to your dog, you must first take into account a series of considerations. Next, we are going to see some of them.
Raspberries, like other dog-friendly fruits, should be offered as treats sporadically. In addition, as we have mentioned, it is one of the fruits that contain the highest levels of xylitol, so its contribution must be controlled to avoid toxic effects in dogs. The amount of raspberries that can be given to a dog depends mainly on its size. Thus, in small breed dogs, 2 or 3 raspberries can be offered, while in large breed dogs, 6 or 7 can be offered.
Before offering raspberries to your dog, you should wash them with plenty of water to remove any contaminants or pesticides that may be present on their surface.
As we have already mentioned, raspberries in small quantities are not toxic to dogs. However, there are other fruits of the forest such as currants that are highly toxic. Therefore, when you decide to offer raspberries to your dog, it is important that you make sure that they are not mixed with any other forest fruit that could have a detrimental effect on their health.
Contraindications of raspberries in dogs
Although raspberries are fruits suitable for dogs, there are some cases in which their administration may be inappropriate:
Food allergies: dogs suffering from food allergies must follow strict diets based on feed with hydrolyzed proteins, so the contribution of any food outside their usual diet should be avoided. To learn more about food allergy in dogs, its symptoms, and treatment , do not hesitate to read this other post.
Dogs with food intolerances or chronic digestive pathologies: such as inflammatory bowel disease. If you wish, you can find more information about Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs here.
Dogs with a digestive system that is especially sensitive to changes in diet.
Dogs with diabetes and liver pathologies: toxic doses of xylitol cause hypoglycemia and acute liver failure, so the number of raspberries given to dogs with diabetes or liver pathologies should be especially taken care of. Check out this article on Diabetes in dogs, its symptoms, treatment, and complications to learn more about it.
What happens if my dog eats too many raspberries?
We have already explained that raspberries are one of the fruits that contain the highest levels of xylitol. Xylitol is a compound that is commonly used as a sweetener in chewing gum but is also naturally present in some fruits, such as raspberries. Although it is harmless to most mammals, in dogs it can cause intoxication characterized by hypoglycemia and acute liver failure. The clinical signs that usually accompany xylitol poisoning in dogs are:
- Soft spot
However, it should be noted that in dogs the toxic dose of xylitol is 75-100 mg/kg of body weight, and raspberries only contain 400 micrograms of xylitol per gram. This means that a dog weighing 10 kg would have to consume about 800 grams of raspberries to suffer from poisoning. Therefore, you should not worry about including raspberries in your dog’s diet as a treat, since these doses of xylitol will be harmless to him.