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Can Dogs Eat Raspberries? What You Need To Know!

Raspberries are a well-known superfood, so it’s only natural that you’d want to feed them to your dog. While they’re generally safe for pups to eat, there is one major exception that’s essential to be aware of. That said, you don’t need to avoid giving them to your dog, as they’re full of antioxidants and other important nutrients. They can make a wonderful (and tasty) addition to any pup’s diet.

If you’d like to learn more about how to feed your dog raspberries (and what you should never do), the article below answers all your questions.

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Are Raspberries Safe for Dogs?

dog eating raspberries from the basket
Image Credit: alexei_tm, Shutterstock

Raspberries are safe for dogs in moderation. However, if they eat too many, it could lead to a life-threatening illness.

The problem is that raspberries contain trace amounts of xylitol, a natural sweetener that’s often used as a sugar substitute. In large enough doses, xylitol can be fatal to dogs, so you don’t want to let your dog munch on too many raspberries.

This means you shouldn’t leave them out if you know your dog is prone to eating them, and you might want to think twice about letting them grow in your yard.

It’s best to feed your dog fresh, raw raspberries. Many frozen or prepackaged raspberries are dusted with sugar or coated in syrup, both of which are bad for your pup. To get the maximum amount of health benefits with the lowest risk of weight gain, stick with the plain berries.

How Many Raspberries Are Too Many?

While the risks of ingesting too much xylitol are worth taking seriously, the good news is that your dog would need to eat a huge number of raspberries to get a fatal dose.

There are approximately .05 grams of xylitol in a single cup of raspberries. That makes raspberries one of the biggest natural producers of xylitol on the planet, which sounds bad without the proper perspective.

Xylitol becomes toxic to dogs at 50 mg per pound of body weight. So, for a 22-pound dog to eat enough raspberries to be fatal, they’d have to consume 32 cups’ worth.

That’s unrealistic for even the heartiest of eaters, and your dog would likely vomit or develop symptoms from all the sugar before the xylitol got them. Still, it’s best not to take too many chances, especially if you have a smaller dog.

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How Can I Recognize Xylitol Poisoning?

If your dog has been mowing down bunches of raspberries and you’re concerned about their health, there are a few symptoms that you should look out for. These include:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

All of these are extremely concerning, and you should contact your vet immediately if you notice them.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Too Much Xylitol?

baskets of raspberries
Image credit: Couleur, Pixabay

The first thing that you should do if you notice any of the symptoms outlined above is to call your vet or the poison control hotline. They’ll walk you through the next steps, and you shouldn’t take any actions (including inducing vomiting) without their say-so.

They’ll almost certainly recommend taking your dog to an emergency clinic. Once there, the vet will monitor your dog for signs of hypoglycemia or liver damage.

If the vet can get to your dog early enough, they’ll have a variety of treatment options at their disposal. These include inducing vomiting, administering dextrose, and giving IV fluids and liver protectants.

The prognosis for xylitol poisoning is good if action is taken swiftly enough. However, once liver failure, bleeding disorders, or comas take effect, prognosis becomes quite poor.

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Are There Any Health Benefits to Giving My Dog Raspberries?

All the talk about xylitol poisoning above wasn’t meant to scare you off from feeding your dog raspberries; rather, it was to equip you to make an informed decision if disaster strikes.

The fact of the matter is that raspberries are much more likely to help your dog than harm them. These fruits have a variety of important health benefits, as they’re loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and a variety of vitamins.

This means they can help with conditions like inflammation, arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer. They’re not just suitable for disease treatment either, as the nutrients are essential to feeling great and staying healthy on a day-to-day basis.

That’s not to say that your dog needs raspberries, however. You have to weigh the benefits against the risks of feeding them all that additional sugar (not to mention the xylitol risk). Your dog may be able to get all those nutrients from a high-quality kibble.

Still, if you want a sweet and nutritious treat to offer your dog, raspberries are a good option.

How Can I Convince My Dog to Eat Raspberries?

beagle eating raspberry from the bush
Image Credit: Christian Buch, Shutterstock

As noted, the best way to serve your dog raspberries is to offer them plain, raw berries. Avoid anything with extra sugar or syrup.

Your dog will likely eat the berries or they won’t. There’s not much you can do about it either way.

If your dog enjoys the taste, you can give them the occasional berry as a treat or sprinkle a few in their kibble. If they dislike the taste, you should give up on trying to get them to eat raspberries entirely — there are far easier ways to give them the nutrients that they could get from the fruit.

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What’s the Verdict? Are Raspberries Safe for Dogs?

Raspberries are safe and nutritious for dogs — in moderation. However, they’re full of sugar and contain trace amounts of xylitol, which can prove fatal to canines in high enough doses.

They have many important nutrients as well, though, so you shouldn’t avoid feeding them to your dog if they’ll eat them. These berries can make a tasty treat or healthy kibble topper, and they’re definitely a good alternative to highly processed dog treats.

If you want to give your dog raspberries, feel free. Just make sure they don’t eat too many, or else you could have one sick pup on your hands.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay