You probably already know that treating your pup to people food like chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes and raisins is a no-no. However, blackberries are one fruit that you can safely feed to Fido. What's more, they offer many benefits for your pooch while providing a sweet little treat. Served alone, mixed with his food, or added to a homemade treat, blackberries may easily become your dog’s new favorite “people” snack.
Benefits of Blackberries
Blackberries provide a good source of antioxidants, fiber and omega-3. Antioxidants help decrease cell damage from free radicals. Fiber plays a role in digestion. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that helps keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. In addition, blackberries provide vitamins and minerals, including manganese, folate and vitamins A, C, K and E.
Serving Blackberries as Treats
Blackberries offer many nutritional benefits for your dog. However, just like humans, too many blackberries may upset their stomachs. Begin serving two or three blackberries and monitor for stomach upset or diarrhea. If your dog tolerates them well, add a couple to his food or offer a few straight from your hand as an occasional treat. How many you offer depends on your dog’s size. If you have a small Chihuahua, one or two will make a good treat. For a Great Dane, offer five or six blackberries. For another treat option, add blackberries to a homemade treat recipe.
Before adding any new foods to your dog’s diet, consult a veterinarian or canine nutritionist. Blackberries offer various nutritional benefits and are relatively low in calories. A 1-cup serving of raw blackberries provides 61.9 calories. If your dog suffers from weight problems, serving one or two blackberries allows you to offer a sweet and nutritious treat without a large amount of calories.
Blackberry Treat Recipe
• 16 ounces fresh blackberries
• 2 cups oats, 2 1/2 cups wheat flour
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/2 cup butter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the blackberries into a food processor or blender and puree. In a large bowl, mix the puree with the remaining ingredients. Use a spoon to drop bite-sized pieces onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. The size you make them will depend on your dog’s size. Cook the treats for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let the treats cool completely. Store the treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Freeze additional treats for up to three months.
By Deborah Lundin
About the Author
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.