Free Dog Treats

Yesterday morning on our walk I found loads of bushes popping with jucy ripe blackberries, so I filled my pockets and treat bag and took them home (the ones we didn’t eat on our walk). Yes, my coat now needs a wash as I should have put them in the poo bags I had in my pockets but they were delish!

AND FREE

I mixed a few into bags with my dogs other treats (blueberries, chopped up dog pate and diced carrots), froze some and last night I made a lovely vegan blackberry and apple crumble with the rest.

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Can dogs eat blackberries?

Yes, in moderation, blackberries are safe and healthy for most dogs, just like they are for humans. In fact, they are actually low in calories and lower in sugar than many other fruits.

Health Benefits of Blackberries

The blackberry packs a nutritional punch that few other fruits can claim. Nutritionists consider it a superfood because of the antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and Omega 3s it contains.

Fibre: Blackberries are high in insoluble fibre, which is indigestible and moves food through the digestive system. It creates bulk in your dog’s poo, easing constipation, and keeps the digestive tract and immune system healthy.

Vitamin C and Vitamin A: These vitamins support healthy vision and activate enzymes that break down carbohydrates. They also reduce inflammation and have anti-microbial properties.

Vitamin K: This essential vitamin plays an important role in the blood’s ability to clot, preventing excessive bleeding.

Trace minerals: Blackberries have trace amounts of the minerals potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, and manganese. These minerals help keep bodily systems functioning and support the growth of muscles, cells, ligaments, bones, and teeth.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: ALA fatty acids are plant-based fatty acids that keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and improve their heart health and cognitive function. 

Antioxidants: Blackberries contain anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants found in blue, purple, and red foods. They fight the free radicals that cause oxidative damage to cells, contain anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, and support cognitive function as your dog ages. They also play a key role in supporting your dog’s immune system.

In 2009, researchers studied the cognitive functions of rats that were fed blackberries. They found the rats that consumed the blackberries had improved cognitive and motor skills compared to rats who were not fed blackberries.

Carbohydrates: Sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose make up the simple carbs in blackberries, but fiber makes up half of their total carbs, making the blackberry low in sugar compared to other fruits.

Low Calories: One cup of blackberries contains only 62 calories, which means they’re acceptable treats for overweight and diabetic dogs.

How Many Blackberries Can Dogs Eat?

It’s important to only give your dog treats in moderation.

Here are some general daily guidelines for feeding blackberries to your dog:

  • Extra-small dogs (2-20 lbs.) = 1-2 blackberries
  • Small dogs (21-30 lbs.) = 2-3 blackberries
  • Medium dogs (31-50 lbs.) = 3-5 blackberries
  • Large dogs (51-90 lbs.) = 5-6 blackberries
  • Extra-large dogs (91+ lbs.) = small handful of blackberries

Do blackberries contain xylitol?

Blackberries and raspberries both contain trace amounts of naturally occurring xylitol, which as we know is toxic to dogs.

According to Ahna Brutlag, DVM, associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline, because it’s naturally occurring in only trace amounts in many fruits and vegetables, these cases are not usually a problem for pets, but it’s always better to be safe.

So only give blackberries and raspberries to your dog in very small amounts, so grab a some on your walks and freeze them (spread them out to freeze before putting them into freezer bags otherwise they will clump together).

The best places to pick blackberries: North Leeds

They are all over the place, I got mine from the fields behind The Stoop but therey are all over the place including one on my walk up to The Tarn/Dam that I pick occasionally and down in Esholt Woods.

Other places include:

Hetchell Wood

Walking into Hetchell Wood can get you quite a haul! Park on Milner Lane, and follow the path into the wood to find blackberry bushes lining your way! Details about this great nature reserve.

Meanwood Park

There are a few good spots around Meanwood Park, especially along the Meanwood Valley Trail. This year some have been spotted near the lane down from Hollin Drive (although are quickly being eaten up), as well as between the park and the allotments off Parkside Road.

Geldhow Valley Woods

Along the edges of the woods you should find lots of juicy blackberries.

Adel Woods

Apparently there are a number of blackberry bushes near the Buckstone Avenue entrance!

Roundhay Park

Visit the most quietest part of this beautiful park! Just next to the car park on Wetherby Road, you’ll find the church of Roundhay St John’s. Through the church graveyard to the little wooden gate, and you should find lots of blackberries!

Rodley Canal

There’s a beautiful canal path between the Ring Road at Calverley all the way to Kirkstall, with lots of Blackberries around the Rodley area.

Barlow Common Nature Reserve

This is a lovely little nature reserve just a short drive away from North Leeds.

St Aidans Nature Reserve

We’re told it has looooaaaaads of blackberries just waiting for you to pick them!

Woodlesford

The canal path between Woodlesford Lock and Fishpond Lock, as well as Eshald Wood in Water Haigh Woodland Park.

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