Can dogs eat blackberries? Yes, they can! So long as you’re feeding your pup fresh blackberries without any added sugar, these naturally sweet, slightly tart berries are one of those human foods that is safe for dogs. Blackberries make a healthy treat or snack and are also an easy way to add fiber to your dog’s diet.
We spoke with Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, DVM, owner and director of Kingsgate Animal Hospital in Lubbock, Texas, and veterinarian expert at SeniorTailWaggers.com, for tips and advice on how to include blackberries in your pup’s diet.
Benefits of Blackberries for Dogs
Are blackberries good for dogs? Yes! When fed in moderation, blackberries can provide your dog with several nutritional benefits.
- High in fiber to keep your pup feeling fuller for longer
- Low in calories, which is helpful for dogs on a weight-loss or weight management plan
- High in water content for helpful hydration
Risks of Feeding Blackberries to Your Dog
While blackberries are safe for dogs and can be delicious as a treat or mixed in with their regular food, Dr. Whittenburg has a few recommendations when feeding your dog blackberries:
- Start small. If your dog has never eaten blackberries, start by feeding them no more than 3 to see if they have a negative reaction, like an upset stomach or allergic reaction.
- Watch for gastrointestinal upset. Because of their high fiber content, blackberries can upset your dog’s digestive system. Keep an eye out for stomach pain, gas, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues.
- Don’t feed whole blackberries to small dogs. Blackberries can be a choking hazard for small dogs, so cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces or mash them.
- Don’t feed too many! All that fiber could make your pup feel so full they don’t want to eat their regular food, which is an important part of their diet.
- Avoid wild blackberries and ones with added sugar content. It’s best to feed your dog fresh blackberries you’d find at the grocery store or farmer’s market. If you buy frozen blackberries, check the label to make sure they don’t contain added sugar content or artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs.
How to Feed Blackberries to Your Dog
You should always consult with your vet before serving blackberries to determine the right portion size for your dog. Even a healthy treat like blackberries should be factored into your dog’s optimum daily balanced diet. Dr. Whittenburg says fresh or unsweetened frozen blackberries can be:
- A small snack
- A low-calorie food topper
- Fed individually as a treat
- A healthy training treat for dogs who love them
Frequently Asked Questions
Q:Can dogs eat blackberry jam?
A:Technically yes, but Dr. Whittenburg discourages feeding jams and jellies to dogs as they are very high in sugar. And you should never feed your dog anything with xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to pups.
Q:How many blackberries can I give my dog?
A:Blackberries should be served as a treat and can even be offered up every day if factored into your dog’s vet-recommended daily calorie count. Treats should be no more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet and, as they contain sugar, blackberries need to be served in moderation. While it depends on the size of your dog and their stomach, 2-3 blackberries make an adequate snack for a Chihuahua, while a Great Dane could likely eat a handful. Just watch for any digestive system problems.
Top Dog Food & Treats with Blackberries
If your dog loves the taste of blackberries and you’re looking for options outside of fresh or frozen berries, here are some foods and treats that are filled with that yummy flavor.
Before incorporating any new foods into your dog’s diet, always consult with your veterinarian to make sure it’s a safe addition to your pet’s diet given their health, diet needs, and current medications. Your vet will tell you if your dog can eat blackberries and the appropriate serving size. If you suspect your pet is sick, please call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your regular veterinarian when possible as they can make the best recommendations for your pet. (If you need help finding a vet near you use this link.)