But while this might sound a little negative, don’t let it put you off! In fact, blackberries can be very good for dogs and have a large number of excellent benefits.
In particular, blackberries are one of the very best sources of antioxidants, being able to block the action of free radicals.
A free radical is a molecule within the body that reacts with cells on contact. When these molecules collide with cell walls, it can cause a reaction that damages the cell. This is a microscopic amount of damage, but when it is allowed to build up over time, it can eventually lead to more serious problems.
Specifically, free radicals can eventually make it all the way through the cells into the center (the nucleus) where the DNA is housed. When this DNA is damaged, it will then be copied each time the cell splits. DNA is what provides cells with their “blueprints” and is what the body uses to make new cells. In other words, if this is damaged, then the ability to create cells is likewise damaged.
Thus the damage can repeat and spread through the body as the cells replicate, and eventually this can lead to large amounts of faulty material. This is what causes cancer.
In short, free radicals can cause cancer and antioxidants like blackberries can help to prevent this. Seeing as the average dog’s diet might not contain enough antioxidants due to their smaller intake of fruits and vegetables, adding some blackberries can be a great choice.
Other Benefits of Blackberries
But there are actually countless other benefits of blackberries.
For instance, blackberries are also high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is an incredibly beneficial vitamin that helps to strengthen the immune system. This way, it is able to combat colds and flus, and it is able to encourage the healing of wounds.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant itself. Not only this, but it is also a precursor to the “happy chemical,” serotonin. That means that the body uses vitamin C in other to synthesize serotonin. Get more vitamin C and get more feel-good chemicals. This means that blackberries can help to improve your dog’s mood!
This is something we often don’t think about: how our dogs’ diets can actually impact upon their mood. If your dog is getting a diet that is low in antioxidants and other key nutrients, then they may feel tired, slow, sluggish, and even depressive. If you want your dog to be as happy as possible, then it is crucial that you feed them well.
Serotonin also converts in to melatonin, the sleep hormone, making it effective for boosting sleep.
There are more useful nutrients in blackberries too. For instance, they contain manganese. This mineral is useful for the synthesis of collagen and so can help to prevent bone problems issues with connective tissue.
Vitamin K helps to encourage clotting within the blood. And it might even be possible that the antioxidant content in blackberries helps to improve brain function. Blackberries might actually make your dog smarter! This can in turn lead to them being happier as they become better at entertaining themselves.
Another useful benefit of blackberries comes from the fiber content. Fiber helps to improve digestion and bowel movements among other things. Keep in mind that too much fiber is actually a bad thing and can have the opposite effect: causing constipation and diarrhea. This is another reason to keep your dog’s consumption of blackberries to a limited amount.
But this is where the real power of blackberries comes in. If you give your dog a small amount of black berries, then they will get to benefit from a huge number of nutrients in fairly large quantities, but the amount of sugar, calories and fiber will be kept to a minimum but the blackberries themselves are very small. The ratio here of good stuff to risky stuff is optimal for your doggy’s diet – as long as you use them sparingly.