Well-known by all, berries are small fruits that appears in the end of the summer, and our markets begin to serve it along these days. Delicious and bright, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are healthy for us, and for your dog too, taking all their benefits as a good antioxidant content. So, come on and add it to its diet!
Before anything else, there is a common misunderstanding about what is a berry or not, particularly in Spanish speakers, because in English exits a clear difference between berry and wild fruit, wild berry, etc, so we would like to explain to you considering the followings statements:
- Berry hasn’t the same meaning in Spanish, really, we don’t have an exact word to define it as Germanic languages. That makes our idea of berries as wild fruitsto try to do it simple (not at all, I know).
Of course, in every place you look for, the meaning is its botanical one as ‘a fruit produced from the ovary of a single flower’, which includes many more other fruits as cantaloupe, grape, tomato or blueberry.
- Opposite to this, we have wild fruits, these small, pulpy, and bright fruits that could be found in forest, which their colour helps dispersal of the plants’ seeds thanks to the contrast with green leaves (here says that this is the reason of the them berry). That is the reason why we use real berry word for fruits as grapes.
Resuming, in Spain a strawberry will be a wild fruit but not a berry, whereas a grape is a berry but not a wild fruit. Meanwhile blueberry is a berry and a wild fruit. This seems to be not importance at all but it is usually to see in texts talking about incorrect categorization of these fruits but for our pet’s health has it, for example grapes are dangerous to our cats and dogs.
From the end of the summer, these small fruits begin to come to our markets: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or some types of currant. Looks great, with a very good size and incredible scent, blue and red coloured. Really their season are autumn and spring and we could find in each one the best time to harvest and consume. You know too that nowadays the seasonal sometime is relative, and we could find out of season as well.
In our opinion, remember: ‘rotation food diet doesn’t require to use some fruits or veggies out of season’, so we can take advantage of every season and fresh foods, offering to your pet raspberries during spring, watermelon in summer or pomegranate during winter.
In fact, that affects to our environment too and helps to reduce our carbon foot with seasonal products which usually comes from near geographic areas.
Lastly, about how to keep them at home, frozen fruits seems to be a good idea, well, maybe in some variety it will, but often many fruits need sugar added to freeze correctly, so check the package and look for preservatives as sugars, sweeteners or syrup. We prefer to avoid frozen option, but it is true we are lucky to have a great variety in our markets.
However, if you don’t have any chance to find these in your area, and the only way is frozen ones, don’t forget to see and read carefully the nutritional value and ingredients. In the same line, you must to avoid jam, marmalade, compote or similar recipes.
Fruits will be always given fresh, raw and ripe to our pets!
Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries have a great antioxidant content, thanks to Vitamin A (carotenoids), Vitamin E (tocopherols) or Vitamin C. Also, are rich in many minerals, Vitamin K, or low calorie and fat intake, under 0.8%.
In the other hand, for our pets we should think about sugars in that fruits, normally compound in the natural forms as sucrose, fructose or glucose. Blackberries has maltose and galactose too.
If you search about benefits in the huge internet, these are many and sometimes seem to be a ‘miracle food’, antioxidants are the star, and yes, is awesome, this has effect in many body’s systems, but we think there are some relevant points to have in mind and knowing the real nutritional value give us a wide outlook about we are talking and how it is important their moderate consume through diet:
As you have seen, water content is the highest but it is following by carbs. Is about the second one when we could see sugars, depending of every berry, between 5%to 10%, and dietary fibre over 2% to 6%. In third place Mineral has an important presence, and of course Vitamins A, C, E and K.
We would like to stop right here, to underline the fact that Vitamin E is extremely important in organism (alpha tocopherol mainly) but we like to notice their relevant Vitamin A content. In one hand due to the alpha and beta carotenes as provitamins, in the other, and most important today for us the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Opposite to alpha carotene and beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin don’t be converted in retinol (Vitamin A), their main role are focused to protect against radicals and oxidative forms which cause cellular membranes damage.
Both, as well, give photoprotection to our macula and crystalline lens against oxidative stress and other photo reactions or conditions, even there is another hypothesis where it works as filter for blue light (ultraviolet is absorbed by cornea). As you see has an incredible importance for your pets’ visual health, and a good natural contribution to our oldie furry family.
Before, we have commented about the best way to offer fruit to our pets is fresh and ripen pieces, not overripe of course. Then due to their size we could add some of these small fruits with the normal meal but you should count with some animal fat in it, maybe for the own piece of meat, something added as poultry fats to the correct absorption of Vitamins A and E
But in all that cases where your dog doesn’t be interested in that berries, you could grind and mix with fresh cottage cheese or yoghurt to add to its diet
BE CAREFUL! THERE ARE DANGEROUS BERRIES FOR YOUR PET’S HEALTH
We, as human beings could enjoy many berries, as we are talking about in this post, but we could eat another than could be dangerous or even toxic to your pet’s health. A good example are currants, black and red, which type as occurs with grapes or raisins affect the kidney health causing serious kidney failure. It is still a conflict about the problem is with the fruit itself or the current farming techniques, anyway your pet health is most important so we think is better to eliminate the risk and using another great and beneficial fruits in market.
Anywhere there is the same approach if you ignore if a specific berry you now in your area are proper or not, the best searching good and reliable information, ask another experimented raw feeder and of course you could look carefully its nutritional value and paying attention to the natural compounds that are harmful for them, like theobromine case.
OUR BEST RECOMMENDATIONS
1 There are many recipes and videos about homemade treats using blueberries. Often mixed with coconut oil, yoghurt or simple as biscuit form, frozen or at room temperature.
You could choose anyone of these, but you could use your imagination too and fit to your dog’s preferences to do tasty treats, mixes and shapes. But don’t forget the correct absorptions of vitamins as A & E, thanks to the fats, add a good animal fat or coconut oil or ¿what about a homemade jelly with blueberries?
2 Following with healthy treats to your dogs, we could use occasionally as especial treats at home or even outside thanks to their small size and comfy use. We like to use them with Lula at home to reward some good behaviour, but not as common treat.
3 In last place, we know your dog could be different and raspberries or blackberries don’t awake interest on him or her. Or, maybe you don’t like it for the small size and risk with your gluttonous dog. Any case, our personal proposal, mix someone with fresh unsalted cottage cheese (better even yoghurt) and serve like porridge or making ice cubes with mixture to give in summer or refill a Kong toy to do it different and more interesting to your dog.