Updated - Apr 6th, 2023
- Yes, raspberries are safe for dogs to eat in moderation – and they can even offer some health benefits.
- Raspberries are full of antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can give your dog’s immune system a boost.
- Moderation is key! Too many raspberries can upset your dog’s stomach.
Can my dog eat raspberries?
Yes, dogs can eat raspberries in moderation. Much like their fellow superfoods – blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries – raspberries are a human food that is safe for dogs to eat. While dogs should get all of their nutrients from their daily dog food, an occasional raspberry can add a burst of nutritional value – as long as they’re eaten in moderation!
The health benefits of raspberries for dogs
Picture this: it’s a sunny summer day. As you tuck into a delicious fruit salad, your dog waits expectantly by your side, tempting you to toss a ripe, juicy raspberry their way. Good news: feeding your dog a raspberry or two is perfectly safe and can even have some health benefits.
- Antioxidants. Raspberries are packed with antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants help your dog’s body fight off free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. They also prevent or slow down the growth of some cancers, and boost your dog’s immune system.
Tip: Senior dogs can especially benefit from antioxidants in their diets. Antioxidants reduce inflammation in sore joints, slow the growth of arthritis, and can stem the effects of aging on their brains, protecting them against cognitive aging, or doggy dementia.
- Dietary fiber. Studies have shown that a diet rich in fiber can optimize your dog’s digestive system. This can help treat diarrhea and constipation, and fights obesity. Not to mention, fiber can leave your pup feeling fuller for longer (if that’s even possible!)
- Vitamin K. This fat-soluble vitamin contains prothrombin, a protein essential for blood clotting and bone metabolism. Vitamin K also helps regulate blood calcium levels, helping to ward off heart disease in dogs.
- B-complex vitamins. These vitamins regulate your dog’s metabolism and nervous system. They also improve coat health and heart function.
- Trace minerals. Raspberries hold trace amounts of manganese, magnesium, copper, potassium, and iron. These minerals support your dog’s skeletal structure, fluid balance, cell function, nervous system, and muscle contraction.
Possible risks associated with raspberries for dogs
Raspberries contain natural xylitol – not the common sweetener used in human foods that’s toxic to dogs – but a chemical compound that occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables.
Before you worry, the level of xylitol contained in a few raspberries is not enough to impact your dog. Xylitol becomes dangerous to dogs only when it appears in the concentrated levels found in processed foods. If your dog ate a couple of cups of raspberries, you wouldn’t see any side effects other than maybe some diarrhea, vomiting, or a stomach upset. To put this in perspective, a 22-lb dog would need to eat 32 cups of raspberries to ingest a life-threatening amount.
In other words, your dog would have to eat large quantities of this sweet treat to have any problems with xylitol. However, small dog breeds and puppies can be more susceptible to reactions from it, so it’s best to stay aware.
A sugar overload can give your dog similar digestive woes. Even though raspberries contains less sugar than many other fruits, it still has a small amount. The ancestors of domesticated dogs ate berries, but not the hybrid berries we eat today, which are sweeter and have more sugar than their ancestors. Small dog breeds and puppies are more susceptible to sugar reactions.
Bottom line? Moderation is key.
How many raspberries can a dog eat?
How many raspberries your dog can eat at one time largely depends on their size.
- For very small dogs (20 pounds and under) and puppies, stick to only one to two raspberries at a time
- Small dogs under 30 pounds can handle three to four raspberries.
- Medium dogs over 30 pounds can have a serving of five or six berries.
- Larger dogs (over 50 pounds) can safely consume a small handful of raspberries.
Preparation do’s and don’ts
- Do feed your dog raspberries in a variety of ways – fresh, frozen, whole, smashed, or even mixed into a smoothie or dog treat that includes other safe ingredients (the internet is full of creative recipes!). Feed them to your dog by hand, add one or two as a garnish atop their dinner bowl, or blend them into a puree.
- Do thoroughly wash raspberries before feeding them to your dog. Washing your produce removes any outside contaminants like dirt or small insects and reduces the likelihood that you or your dog will contract a food-borne illness.
- Don’t forget to smash the berries or cut them into pieces, especially for smaller dogs and puppies.
- Don’t give your dog raspberries with added ingredients such as sugar-coated raspberries or raspberries covered in dressing from a salad
The final word on feeding your dog raspberries
Raspberries can be delicious, healthy treats for your dog, as long as they’re eaten in moderation. Raspberries have many great health benefits: anti-inflammatory properties, digestion-aiding fiber, and an array of important vitamins and minerals. However, too many raspberries may upset your dog’s digestive system – leading to an upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhea.
The food your dog eats directly affects their health in a number of ways. That’s why it’s important for dog owners to understand the risks and benefits of experimenting with new foods – especially human foods – before feeding them to their poch.
As always, be sure to always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Can dogs eat raspberries FAQs
Can dogs eat frozen raspberries?
Yes, dogs can eat frozen raspberries. But just as with fresh raspberries, the same rules apply: only feed your dog frozen raspberries in small amounts, and be sure to check that no extra ingredients are present. Frozen raspberries can be a choking hazard for puppies and smaller dogs. For these dogs, it’s best to thaw frozen berries completely and break them apart before feeding them.
Can raspberries be used as a training treat for dogs?
Yes! Raspberries are a delicious and healthy occasional treat for both you and your dog, as long as they’re eaten in moderation.
How many raspberries can a dog safely consume?
How many raspberries your dog can safely consume depends largely on their size. Puppies and dogs under 20 pounds can have 1-2 raspberries. Medium dogs can handle 5-6 raspberries at a time. Large dogs can eat a small handful-sized serving.
How can raspberries be prepared for dogs to eat?
Raspberries can be prepared in a variety of ways: smashed, chopped, whole, or even incorporated into a smoothie or treat. The key is to make sure that if you’re using raspberries as part of a recipe, your recipe only includes other ingredients that are safe for your dog to eat.
What are the potential risks of feeding raspberries to dogs?
Raspberries contain trace amounts of the natural chemical compound xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs. Luckily, your dog would have to eat an extremely large number of raspberries (think 32 cups or more!) to ingest a fatal amount of the substance. Consuming raspberries in excess can upset your dog’s digestive system, causing gas, diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting.
- Can Dogs Eat Raspberries?, American Kennel Club
- Red Raspberries, Healthline
- Can Dogs Eat Raspberries?, PetMD