Can Dogs Eat That

Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Everything You Need to Know

blackberry with raspberries bowl white

Blackberries are a tasty and nutritious snack for humans, but can dogs eat blackberries too? The short answer is yes – fresh blackberries without added sugar are generally safe for dogs to eat in moderation. But there are a few important things to keep in mind. 

round black fruit

In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about feeding blackberries to your pup, including the benefits, risks, and creative ways to incorporate them into your dog’s diet.

Let’s dive in.

The Benefits of Blackberries for Dogs

Not only are blackberries a tasty treat, but they also offer some great health benefits for your dog when fed appropriately. Here are some of the key perks:

1. High in Fiber

Blackberries are a fantastic source of fiber, which fosters healthy digestion and maintains regular bowel movements in dogs. If your pup is prone to constipation, adding some blackberries to their diet could help keep things moving smoothly.

white short coated dog

2. Low in Calories and Fat

Watching your dog’s waistline? Blackberries are a great low-calorie snack option. They’re much lower in fat and calories compared to many commercial dog treats. This makes them an excellent choice for dogs who need to lose a few pounds.

blackberries berries sweet juicy

3. Good Source of Vitamins and Antioxidants

These berries are packed with vitamin C, K, and manganese. The antioxidants in blackberries can help boost your dog’s immune system, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy skin and coat.

While blackberries are nutrient-dense, it’s important to keep in mind that not all of these benefits are fully understood in dogs. However, adding blackberries to your dog’s diet in moderation can still provide a healthy boost.


The Potential Risk of Blackberries

In most cases, blackberries are perfectly safe for dogs. But there are a few potential issues to be aware of:

1. Stomach upset

Some dogs may experience diarrhea, vomiting, or lack of appetite after eating blackberries, especially if it’s their first time. If you notice these symptoms, stop feeding berries and call your vet.

finnish lapphund on wooden floor

2. Naturally Occurring Xylitol

Blackberries contain trace amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that’s toxic to dogs in high doses. Your dog would need to eat a massive amount of blackberries to reach dangerous levels, but it’s still best to limit their portions, just in case.  

3. Potential for Mold

Blackberries can go moldy quickly if not stored properly. Always check berries for any fuzzy patches before feeding, and toss them if you spot any mold. Ingesting moldy fruit can cause vomiting, tremors, and seizures in severe cases.

If you notice any signs of illness in your dog after they eat blackberries, like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or lack of appetite, call your veterinarian right away. It’s always wiser to err on the side of caution when it concerns the well-being of our pets.

a veterinarian checking a sick dog using a stethoscope

How to Feed Blackberries to Your Dog

If you’ve decided to let your pup try some blackberries, it’s essential to do so safely. Here are some tips for feeding blackberries to your dog:

1. Introduce gradually

If your dog has never had blackberries before, start with just one or two to see how they tolerate them. Some dogs may be sensitive to new foods.

blackberries on fork

2. Feed in moderation

Treats like blackberries are tasty, but keep them to 10% of your dog’s daily calories. A few berries go a long way for our four-legged friends. For a small dog, 2-3 blackberries is a good portion size. Larger breeds can handle a small handful.  

3. Wash thoroughly

Always wash blackberries before feeding to remove any dirt, pesticides, or other residues. Even organic berries should be rinsed for safety.

ethnic owner with smartphone putting sunglasses on puppy 1

4. Remove stems

Blackberry stems can be difficult to digest. Remove them before offering the berries to your pup.

5. Cut in half for small dogs

If you have a toy or small breed dog, consider cutting the blackberries in half to prevent choking. Whole berries can be a hazard for little mouths.

white and brown shih tzu mix puppy with minion toy on green grass

Creative Ways to Feed Blackberries to Your Dog

In addition to feeding plain blackberries, there are some enjoyable and creative ways to incorporate them into your dog’s diet:

1. Puzzle Toy 

Stuffing Dog puzzle toys are a great way to keep your dog content and mentally stimulated. Try mixing some fresh or frozen blackberries into your dog’s favorite puzzle toy, along with their regular treats. You can even freeze the entire toy for an extra challenge and a longer-lasting treat. This is a perfect way to provide enrichment and prevent boredom without overfeeding.

thinking toys for dogs

2. Frozen Berry Popsicles

On a burning hot summer, nothing beats a refreshing frozen treat. Simply blend fresh or frozen blackberries with a small amount of plain, unsweetened yogurt or goat’s milk until smooth, pour the mixture into ice cube trays or popsicle molds, and freeze until solid. Your dog will love these cool and tasty berry popsicles. You can even mix in other dog-safe fruits like bananas or strawberries for variety.

3. Homemade Blackberry Dog Treats

If you enjoy baking, why not try your hand at making some homemade dog treats featuring blackberries? There are lots of simple and healthy recipes online that use ingredients like oats, peanut butter, and pureed berries. Use fun cookie-cutter shapes to make them extra appealing. Your pup will love these tasty baked goodies, and you’ll know exactly what’s in them.

a golden retriever on the grass

4. Berry Smoothie Bowl Topper 

Blend up a dog-friendly smoothie using blackberries, unsweetened plain yogurt, and a dash of peanut butter (xylitol-free). Pour this over your dog’s regular kibble for a boost of flavor and nutrients. This is an excellent way to entice picky eaters or add some variety to your dog’s meals. You can also freeze the smoothie in a Kong toy for a longer-lasting treat.

5. DIY Lick Mat

Lick mats are a must-have enrichment tool to keep your pup mentally stimulated during mealtimes or as a special treat. These soft textured mats encourage your dog to lick and work for their food, which can help slow down fast eaters and provide a fun, interactive activity.

To create a delicious and healthy lick mat treat featuring blackberries, start by pureeing fresh or frozen berries until smooth. Mix the berry puree with a dog-safe base such as unsweetened applesauce, plain pumpkin puree, or low-sodium chicken broth. The base ingredient will help create a spreadable consistency and add some variety to the flavors.

hand holding jar of delicious homemade jam

Using a spatula or spoon, spread the blackberry mixture evenly across the surface of the lick mat, making sure to work it into all the nooks and crannies. For an extra challenge and a longer-lasting treat, place the coated lick mat in the freezer for a few hours until the mixture is fully frozen.

The combination of the cool temperature and the engaging texture of the lick mat will provide your dog with a stimulating and refreshing treat that will keep them occupied for an extended period. This activity is especially beneficial for pups who tend to gulp their food too quickly, as it encourages them to slow down and savor their meal.

beagle running while fetching stick

6. Blackberry “Ice Cream” Sundae

For a special occasion or just as a fun surprise, make your dog a berry “sundae.” Blend up some frozen blackberries with a little bit of plain yogurt, then scoop into a bowl. Top with a few whole berries and a small dollop of peanut butter. This is a delicious and Instagram-worthy treat that your pup will go crazy for.

Remember, while these creative serving ideas can make blackberries even more exciting for your dog, moderation is key. Blackberries should be an occasional treat, not an everyday indulgence.

boy and a dog sitting on a bed

When to Avoid Feeding Blackberries 

While blackberries are typically safe for dogs, there are some instances where they’re best avoided:

1. Dogs with sensitive stomachs

Some pups have delicate digestive systems that are easily upset by new foods. If your dog tends to have stomach issues, it’s probably best to skip the berries or introduce them very slowly.

cute purebred puppy resting on green meadow

2. Diabetic dogs

Blackberries do contain naturally occurring sugars. If your dog has diabetes, it’s important to consult your veterinarian before giving them any fruit snacks. They may suggest lower-carb treats.

3. Dogs with bladder stones

The high oxalate content in blackberries may raise the chance of bladder and kidney stones in some dogs. If your pup has a history of these issues, avoid blackberries.

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4. Wild or foraged berries

Be mindful of any blackberry bushes you may come across on walks with your dog. Wild berries can carry parasite eggs, bacteria, or traces of animal excrement that can make your pup sick. Plus, blackberry bushes are often sprayed with harmful pesticides and chemicals that dogs shouldn’t ingest. Stick to berries from the supermarket that you can wash thoroughly.

various fresh summer berries red currant blackberries

Other Berries Dogs Can Enjoy

Blackberries aren’t the only berry or fruit that dogs can safely enjoy. Here are some other options to consider:

•Blueberries – High in antioxidants and low in calories. 

•Strawberries – Full of fiber and vitamin C. Remove stems and leaves first.

•Raspberries—These are Fine as an occasional treat but high in naturally occurring xylitol, which can upset some dogs’ stomachs in large quantities.

Always research any new food before offering it to your dog, and ask your vet if you have concerns. Some berries, like cherries and mistletoe berries, are not safe for dogs at all due to pits, seeds, and toxins.

fresh assortment berries bowl

What Other Fruits Can Your Dog Eat?

So many! Berries aren’t the only fruit that can be a nutritious and enjoyable snack for your dog. Many other fruits are safe for dogs to enjoy in moderation as long as they are prepared properly. Here are some dog-friendly fruits you can eat:

  1. Apples (without seeds or core)
  2. Bananas
  3. Blueberries
  4. Cranberries (diced)
  5. Cucumbers (peeled and seedless)
  6. Mangos (peeled and pitted)
  7. Oranges (peeled and seedless)
  8. Pineapple (peeled and cored)
  9. Raspberries (in small amounts)
  10. Strawberries (stemmed)
  11. Watermelon (seedless and rindless)
delicious pavlova cake with meringue topped fresh berries

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can dogs eat blackberry jam or jelly?

While blackberry jam or jelly isn’t toxic to dogs, it’s not recommended as a treat. These spreads are typically very high in sugar, which can result in obesity, dental issues, and digestive upset in dogs. Some jams may also contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. It’s best to stick to fresh or frozen blackberries as an occasional treat.

2. What’s the appropriate serving size of blackberries for dogs?

The quantity of blackberries safe for your dog to eat based on their weight and individual tolerance. As a basic rule, treats should be limited to 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. For small breeds like Chihuahuas, 2-3 blackberries at a time is plenty. Larger dogs like Great Danes may be able to handle a small handful. Always introduce new treats slowly and watch for any signs of digestive issues. If you’re unsure about the right serving size for your dog, consult with your veterinarian.

3. Can I feed my dog blackberries every day?

While blackberries are a healthy treat option, they should not be a daily indulgence. Treats should make up a small part of your dog’s overall diet, with 90% of their calories coming from balanced, nutritionally complete dog food. Feeding too many berries too often can lead to digestive upset or weight gain over time. That said, if you factor the calories from blackberries into your dog’s daily treat allowance, it’s okay to offer them a few berries a day. Just be sure to monitor their intake and adjust their meals accordingly.

Final Words

Can dogs eat blackberries? Absolutely! Blackberries make a delicious and nutritious treat for dogs when fed safely and in moderation. Fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants can provide some great health benefits. But like all human foods, they should be given as an occasional snack, not a meal replacement.


About Judith D. Swan

With a passion for pooch health and nutrition, I've dedicated myself to exploring every "Can dogs eat...?" scenario you can imagine. With a background in veterinary science and years of experience in the pet care industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. From the common to the curious, I've researched it all to ensure that your canine companion gets the best possible care. But hey, I'm not just about facts and figures. As a proud dog parent myself, I understand the bond between humans and their four-legged pals. That's why I'm committed to providing trustworthy, practical advice that keeps both tails wagging.