We need to have a quick chat about raspberries before the berry season is most definitely over making such a conversation utterly out of place.
Raspberries are such a curious little berry. Each is like a burst of sun kissed summer sweetness. They are also incredibly healthy providing plenty of immune-boosting vitamin C, beta-carotene essential for eye health, plus vitamins E to protect DNA and RNA, and keep the skin and bones strong, and K for proper blood clotting. The berries are also a source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, and several cancer-fighting antioxidants including lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin.
But CAN OUR DOGS EAT RASPBERRIES?
The answer is YES and NO…
It may come as a surprise, but raspberries are one of the fruits that contain naturally-occuring xylitol. The “natural occurrence” isn’t such a big deal because xylitol you’d use as a sugar substitute is also a natural product derived from the bark of birch trees (or corn), so it can be expected to occur in other plants, too.
The difference between the raspberries and the birch bark product you may find in your home is in its concentration. In other words, raspberries do contain xylitol and are one of the fruits that have the most of it (1 cup of raspberries contains 50mg of xylitol) but a dog would need to eat a lot to build the toxic levels (50-100mg per 1 kilo of body weight can be fatal).
So if your spaniel loves raspberries, eating a couple will not harm him.
I receive so many questions about avocado in dog’s diet, so I thought I’d share it here since yesterday was a #nationalavocadoday.
Lately avocado was said to be safe for dogs. However before you go head think of the following…
… avocado contains persin, a toxic substance found in the skin, right under the skin, in the stone and the bark of avocado;
… the LIGHT green flesh of the fruit is low in persin, however it is difficult to ensure that the light green won’t be mixed with the DARK green flesh found under the skin of the fruit, thus increasing the risk of poisoning;
… if a dog has avocado he’s likely to have upset stomach or vomiting;
… in addition the stone can not only be more toxic if crushed by a dog, but also get stuck in the throat or digestive tract, which can be fatal;
…high fat content of avocado can increase risk of pancreatitis.
Personally, I would not risk it. I also do not believe that something that was once deemed very toxic for pooched was suddenly given a green light. It feels more like a trend, not something supported by research.
Photo source: image by sandid from Pixabay
I couldn’t help noticing another ingredient that is added to more and more dog foods. It is called CASSIA and in simple terms, it’s a cheap alternative to cinnamon. In dog food cassia works as a gelling agent and preservative. It’s more likely to be a part of wet food but can be added to kibble also.
Nutritionally, dogs do not need cinnamon or cassia in their diet. While cinnamon can be beneficial for certain conditions when used in very small quantities and short period of time, cassia may cause or worsen liver disease, increase risk of allergies, skin inflammation and irritate digestive tract.
It can become toxic if used for a long period even if the amount it minute. It is approved in EU & a few other countries but as far as dog food research goes, the studies are still going and latest outcome specifies that only purified cassia can be used and in certain amounts (just over 1% of total food) . Considering that not enough research has been done and possibility of side-effects however minor, do check labels of your dog food just to be on a safe side. Cassia can be listed as cassia gum or E427 or E499.
Photo source: image by Fathima Shanas from Pixabay