Giving a dog blackberries may sound like a good idea, especially if you just read an article that goes through all of you wonderful benefits of eating this antioxidant laden food. But do these benefits transfer over to the canine species, or are there any reasons why dogs shouldn’t have blackberries.
Eating foods that have plenty of antioxidants is a great idea for humans, because it battles free radicals in the body. The foods we eat and the environment we live in introduce plenty of toxins, increasing the amount of free radicals and increasing the need to help cancel them out. Add to that the stress of a job, family, and the human condition, and it’s clear to see that there are plenty of reasons why we should be concerned with our antioxidant intake.
But dogs don’t have all of this to worry about, and as long as they are being fed a proper diet of quality dog food they don’t really have a lot of need for any supplementation. Blackberries can also be upsetting to some dog’s digestion, so it is not recommended for most dogs.
Can I Give My Dog Blackberries? Answer: Not Necessary
When you get down to the basic question of whether or not a dog should be given blackberries, all that needs to happen is to consider whether they would be eating blackberries if left alone in the wild. Dogs are scavengers, this is true enough, they will eat just about anything to come upon if it is something edible. But they are not ones to nosing up to a blackberry bush, and eating them right from the source. Their time is mostly spent in packs, hunting animals and eating them.
Dogs and Fruit
Many owners feel the need to give their dog some fresh fruit because they feel that the dog will benefit from the vitamins and minerals they contain. But a dog’s physiology is different from ours. Evolution has turned them into carnivores, while we are set up as herbivores. We have an extra long digestive tract that can break down fruits and vegetables to release the enzymes and antioxidants they contain.
A dog’s digestive system, on the other hand, is expecting to receive mostly meat, and it is designed to break down and digest this sort of food. It has different stomach acids and a shorter digestive tract to get that job done. That’s why it’s best to cater to the way a dog’s body is set up.
Dogs and Antioxidants
It is yet to be proven whether a dog needs antioxidants the same way a human does. Free radical damage might not be such a major concern for a dog the way it is for a human. Also, it is uncertain whether a dog is even receiving the same nutrients from the same foods, because of the difference in the way the two species digest the food as explained above. When you consider the high cost of blackberries as a produce item, it makes more sense to invest that money in a premium dog food, proven to help a dog out nutritionally.
If your dog got into a pack of blackberries and ate the whole thing, you might be wondering if it is toxic to your dog in any way. The good news is that you probably won’t have to rush them to the Animal Hospital, but you definitely want to observe them over the next several hours to see how they are doing. You might see a case of diarrhea or vomiting, or they just won’t be themselves for a while as their digestive system tries to handle the onslaught.
We are fans of keeping it simple, and luckily dogs are pretty simple as far as what they require for optimal survival. You don’t have to give them a lot of bells and whistles for them to be at the top of their game. Just be sure they’re getting dog food that contains animal protein as the first ingredient. A lot of lesser quality dog foods will use fillers like grain products, or vegetables, with your dog doesn’t really need.
We wouldn’t bother giving them blackberries, and would put the money saved towards a better dog food.