If you’ve ever walked a dog, you know that you absolutely cannot control what they eat, as much as you try and as much as you’d like to think that you can.
All it takes is one glance away, one tiny distracted moment, and before you know it, your furball’s got a mouth full of something that they should definitely not be eating.
What about mulberries, though? They pretty much grow wild across most of the United States, so your doggo’s bound to have encountered one—and surely eaten one (or ten!).
Well, the good news is that mulberries, in the right form, are completely safe for your beloved pooch, and what’s more, can even turn out to be beneficial!
- Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush!
- Benefits of Mulberries for Dogs
- So, How Do I Feed My Dog Mulberries?
- Long Story Short
Mulberries, depending on where you live, could be abundant. Often confused with blackberries, mulberries are the more delicate cousin, popular as a base ingredient for jams and syrups.
In the US, you’ll find white, red/American, black, and deep purple mulberries. All of these grow in thick bushes, and as we all know, dogs love a good bush!
Luckily, all mulberries are safe for your dog, as long as they are ripe and eaten in moderation.
Ripe mulberries easily make their way through your dog’s digestive system while also providing nutritional value to them.
80% water, the right amounts of carbs, fiber, protein, and good fat, and a healthy dose of calcium, iron, cobalamin, magnesium, and vitamins D, C, and B6, mulberries pack a powerful, nutritious punch!
Benefits of Mulberries for Dogs
Here are some of the benefits that our four-legged friends receive from mulberries!
If you’ve been keeping track, you know that it’s been all about the antioxidants everywhere, from health care to fitness to skincare, in the last few years!
That’s because just as oxygen is essential to all living things, so are antioxidants—they’re the first and most important line of defense against damaging free radicals.
Another important antioxidant that mulberries contain is anthocyanin—this element fights oxidative damage and any muscle fatigue that physical activities can cause.
Your doggo will live longer—and if this isn’t a cause for celebrating mulberries, what is?
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Kiwi?
As mentioned, mulberries pack a ton of healthy minerals, such as iron, vitamin K, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium—no prizes for guessing what these are great for!
All of these elements together play a crucial role in building, developing, and preserving bones and bone tissue in your floofer’s body.
This makes mulberries especially beneficial to hunting dogs that need all the strength their bones can get and older dogs whose bones have just started failing them.
Mulberries can slow down the onset of osteoporosis and bone disorders, while also quickening the process of healing and even reversing bone loss damage.
All that calcium also speeds up the recovery process post-injury.
Remember our good friends the anthocyanins, present in mulberries?
Well, it turns out these flavonoids are great for one more purpose—fighting cancer.
Anthocyanins prevent the growth of tumors in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby reducing any chances of adenocarcinoma, intestinal lymphoma, and leiomyosarcoma.
Though these cancers aren’t common in canines, it never hurts to do all you can to lengthen your dog’s life!
The iron in mulberries helps your dog’s body better produce red blood cells (RBCs), which, as 5th-grade science has taught us, are crucial oxygen carriers.
The more the number of RBCs, the stronger and healthier your dog’s muscles and cells are, and the better the oxygen reaches all parts of its body.
All this iron also helps some of the enzymes in your doggo’s body to function well.
The right amount of mulberries (which is a very small amount) can aid your pooch’s digestive processes, resulting in easier digestion and smoother bowel movements.
Mulberries are full of both insoluble and soluble fibers—this makes them excellent foods for dogs suffering from constipation, straining, and other digestive problems.
However, remember—too much of anything is too bad; excessive amounts of all that fiber can result in a stomach upset.
Mulberries are great for your dog’s brain, helping them pick up training faster while also protecting their brain health as they grow older.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Durian?
If your furball has displayed an affinity for mulberries, feeding them 3 to 4 fresh, ripe mulberries as a treat, no more than once a week, is a good idea.
If you’re feeding them mulberries for the very first time, ensure that you monitor and track any behavioral changes or reactions. This way, you’ll know if your dog is allergic to them, and doing this, in the long run, will tell you just how much is too much.
What about baking mulberries into dog treats?
Not a great idea, as baking mulberries breaks down all those great nutrients and leaves behind almost zero nutritional value. You may also end up adding too many mulberries into the treat, which could have adverse reactions.
Let’s talk about dried mulberries first.
Though they’re not poisonous or toxic as such, dried mulberries are not a wise idea when it comes to dogs.
Dried mulberries don’t have any of that watery goodness that ripe mulberries do, which means that the sugar content is more concentrated and the number of calories is much higher.
All those calories and sugar together? Not the best combo for your dog’s health!
Now, what about mulberry leaves?
Dogs love eating things they shouldn’t and leaves belong to that category! Luckily, mulberry leaves aren’t toxic to your dog, either (they could actually be beneficial) but again, too much and you’ll have a case of diarrhea and indigestion on your hands.
Do bear one thing in mind though—just because mulberries are healthy, don’t force-feed them to your dog!
Dogs are carnivorous by nature, so though they may be curious and taste the proffered mulberries once or twice, they won’t gorge on them as they gorge on their usual treats.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Dried Apricots?
Unripe mulberries are a huge ‘no’!
Just as unripe fruits could cause havoc in the human digestive system, they can cause damage to your dog’s digestive system, too.
Higher chances of an upset stomach and more worryingly, the possibility of hallucinations should be enough to keep unripe mulberries away from your pup.
These hallucinogens disappear in ripe mulberries as they’re used up by the berry while ripening. This extends to all types of mulberries.
Yes, mulberries are safe for your canine, but as mentioned earlier, in moderation, and only occasionally and when ripe.
If you want to add mulberries to your dog’s diet, it’s always a great idea to check with your vet before you do so.
Ensure that you’re always monitoring reactions and changes after a mulberry snack, as some dogs have more delicate digestive systems than others.
That apart, mulberries are a great sweet and low-calorie treat for your dog, with many health benefits also in the deal, so go ahead and feed them to your dog, but in the right way!