Can Dogs Eat Blackberries?

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Can dogs eat blackberries? The short answer is yes! Most dogs can safely eat blackberries and reap nutritional benefits from this small and colorful fruit.1 

Benefits of Dogs Eating Blackberries

Blackberries can be a good source of antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are colorful pigments that give the blackberry their inky sheen.2  While antioxidants neutralize the effects of inflammation in your dog’s body, they also improve brain function and reduce the risks of certain types of cancer.3   

The vitamins in these bumpy-looking berries can also enhance your dog’s immune system and increase his or her metabolism. Additionally, blackberries contain fiber which may prevent constipation and omega-3 fatty acids which keep your dog’s coat shiny and teeth healthy.4

Perhaps best of all: dogs may like blackberries!  They can taste sweet when ripe and can replace some of your pet’s higher calorie treats. 

Possible Side Effects of Dogs Eating Blackberries

Negative side effects from consuming blackberries could include excessive salivation, hives, upset stomach/diarrhea, swelling in the mouth, and breathing difficulties.5  Just like us, some dogs are just plain allergic to various foods and plants. If your dog experiences anything abnormal, do not delay. Get to your veterinarian at once.  

Could dog insurance help? Perhaps! A dog insurance policy might be able to help with the cost of coverable expenses should your pup ingest too much of the wrong thing.

Sometimes though, a bad reaction may not be the result of the blackberry itself, but the chemicals or pesticides used on it. As a precaution, always wash fruit before feeding your pup, and try to feed them pesticide-free fruits when you can. As a rule of thumb, if the fruit appears moldy, toss it! Moldy blackberries may contain harmful mycotoxins which could result in vomiting, and/or tremors.6 Without quick veterinary intervention, these symptoms could turn deadly!  

Other Concerns

What may come as a surprise is that blackberries contain a small amount of xylitol, which in large amounts can damage the liver and drop your dog’s blood sugar level. This can result in life-threatening hypoglycemia.7 Talk with your vet if there are concerns, or try strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries to avoid xylitol. 

Some dogs can eat anything while others are more sensitive to new and different foods. You may opt to start off with just one blackberry to see how well your dog responds. Keep in mind that fruit sugar is still sugar, so moderation is key in preventing weight gain. If your dog has kidney issues or diabetes, avoid sweet fruits altogether and talk to your veterinarian about a more suitable treat. 

How to Feed Your Dog Blackberries

Let your dog enjoy this sweet treat straight from your hands (after washing, of course) or tossed in the air! You can mix the fruit with a spoonful of non-fat plain yogurt, or stuff into a feeding toy with pieces of kibble and non-fat cream cheese.   

How Many Blackberries Can a Dog Eat?

Many vets concur that treats should make up only 10% of your dog’s daily calories. Therefore, the number of blackberries you feed your dog may depend on their size. A good rule of thumb might be 6-8 blackberries for large dogs while a small dog might be limited to two.8   

Which Berries Should Dogs Not Eat?

Even though blackberries are safe for most dogs, ask your veterinarian before feeding your dog anything with “berry” in its name. Some berries, including some holly berries, juniper berries, and gooseberries are toxic!9

Dog Insurance to the Rescue

Having dog insurance can provide pet parents with peace of mind, and even help reimburse for coverable veterinary expenses accrued by unexpected accidents or illnesses.1

Blueberries are just one of the many fruits that dogs can eat.  For example, did you know dogs can also eat pineapple and watermelon?

Need Pet Insurance?

Coverage in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.   

 1 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.  

2 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions. 

1 Can Dogs Eat Blackberries?, The Spruce Pets, Tabitha Kucera, 2020 

2 “What are Anthocyanins?”, by Cathy Wong,  2020. 

3 “Antioxidants,”, by Steve Marsden, DVM ND MSOM LAc DiplCH AHG, Shawn Messonnier, DVM and Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH. 

4 “Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Are Blackberries Safe or Toxic for Dogs?” by Dr. Joanna Woodnutt,, 2021. 
5Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Are Blackberries Safe or Toxic for Dogs?” by Dr. Joanna Woodnutt,, 2021.

6 “Moldy Food (Mycotoxins) Poisoning in Dogs,”, by Hannah Hollinger, veterinary review by Linda S., 2021.  

7 Paws Off Xylitol; It’s Dangerous for Dogs, FDA 

8 “Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Are Blackberries Safe or Toxic for Dogs?” by Dr. Joanna Woodnutt,, May 19, 2021. 

9 Can Dogs Eat Gooseberries?,  Born for Pets,