Can Dogs Eat Mulberries Safely? Nutritional Guide

Can-dogs-eat-mulberries

Perhaps, you have a Mulberry tree right in your backyard or just brought some home to spice up your day and not sure whether to give your pooch a sumptuous taste of those savory berries.

The question that may come to your mind is “can dogs eat mulberries?” but more appropriately “should dogs eat mulberries?”

If mulberries are ripe and fresh, they are non-toxic and your canine friend should have no health problems after eating them, provided the intake is well-moderated. However, unripe mulberries can cause stomach upset, digestion issues and hallucinations in dogs while fermented ones can make them feel dizzy or drunk.

Come to think of it, you might have noticed that it is not very easy to stop your dog from gobbling up few pieces of those berries while playing in the yard. Often times, you cannot really tell the exact amount they must have consumed through out the day.

So, in cases where you have a garden with some fallen mulberries on the ground, it is best to keep your furry hound away from them or pick them regularly so they don’t stay too long and become fermented. Habits like this should be appropriated till when the trees stop fruiting for the good of your little buddy.

Are Mulberries safe for your dog?

Yes, as far as mulberries does not get eaten unripe or fermented, it is absolutely safe for dogs. Also bear in mind that though it is not toxic or harmful to dogs, it should be feed in small quantities to them.

If you are looking for a tasty treat to serve you four-legged counterpart, mulberries are not necessary a bad idea but there is a need to maintain balance in order to prevent gastrointestinal disorders which commonly include symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite.

Other fruits or snacks such as blueberries, raspberries and pecan nuts are subject to the same rule of moderation when giving them to your pets. 

Different Mulberry Varieties

The “Kew plant list” shows 217 species of plants under the genus Morus, but as of December, 2020, only 19 have been accepted. The fruiting mulberries are under the Moraceae family of Morus genus. The commonly known species includes Black mulberry (Morus nigra), White mulberry (Morus alba), and Red mulberry (Morus rubra) from whence different hybrids come.

1) Black Mulberry

Black mulberry is the most common species, originates from western Asia being specifically suited for tropical environments. 

It is cultivated for its edible fruits which apart from being sweet and tart, has a coat staining properties and several medicinal effects. 

During late summer, they begins to ripen and fall off the branch. It is such perfect time for your pooch to swiftly sneak in one or two.

2) Red Mulberry

Red Mulberry is a northern American species of the genus Morus and also the largest.

Flowering usually happens early in spring and when ripe its sweet taste attract a lot of birds and rodents.

When it falls off the branch, eventually it could stain sidewalks and driveways, and it is not suited as a landscape plant.

Dogs can eat them in a moderate amount but care should be taken they would not make a mess out of these berries as it has a strong coat staining ability.

3) White Mulberry

Native to North China but widely cultivated across Northern America, Southern America and Australia. It was widely cultivated to be used as food for silkworms.

White mulberries contain bioactive ingredients such as anthocyanins have been associated with powerful antioxidant effects which improves cognitive functions in dogs enabling them perform complex tasks with higher success rate.

4) Himalayan Mulberry

This species of mulberry originates from the Himalayan mountains of China. It is a subspecies of white mulberries.

It is made of of long clusters of drupes which are usually red when ripe.

Nutritional Facts about Mulberries

Whether consumed in a fresh or dried form, mulberries provides good amount of nutrients that could positively impact the health of your dog.

Mulberries are packed with important nutrients fit for dogs. According to USDA, the fresh mulberries has a high water content of 88% and a cup of raw mulberry contain 60.2 kcal of energy, 13.7 g of carbs, 2.02 g of protein, 11.3 g of sugar, 2.38 g of dietary fibers and 0.5 g of fat. It also consists of other essential nutrients such as of calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.

In a dried state, the protein content of mulberries slightly higher. In this state, they have 12% protein, 3% fat, 70% carbs, and 14% fiber.

Health Benefits of Mulberries to Dogs

Taking into account their sweet and sour taste, mulberries would apparently make a great treat for your furry hound. Apart from that, they contain some important nutrients and chemical substances that hold numerous benefits to your pooch’s health. There are 7 health benefits of mulberries that make them suitable overall to feed your dog.

1) Promotes Blood Circulation

Do you know that mulberries have one of the highest iron content per portion of all edible fruits?

The dietary requirement of iron for dogs is 80 mg/kg dry weight. Iron enhances the production of red blood cells which in turn improves blood circulation by the transport oxygen to the muscles and cells of the body. By this way, muscle fatigue caused by low blood oxygen levels will be eradicated and your dog will become more energized. 

2) Aid in Smooth Digestion

Mulberries contain a good amount of dietary fibers, constituting 1.7% of their fresh weight. Fibers can help to facilitate proper digestion by bulking up stool and improving bowel movement through your dog’s GI tract.

With such an effective gut health benefit, there will be less tendency of your dog having digestive issues like stomach cramps, constipation, flatulence or other digestive health complications.

Nonetheless, never glut your canines with too many berries (like with every other food items) because it could lead stomach upset and more health related issues.

3) Strengthen the Immune System

While a weakened immune system can open the door for various diseases to infect your pup; mulberries contain alkaloids present in the macrophages (white blood cells) which when activated by them, can improve the immune system. Macrophages also stimulate the immune system and keep them alert at all times.

Vitamin C is the second most active immune strengthening component of mulberries. It can increase the number of antibodies and help fight off foreign substances such as bacteria, toxins, viruses or cancerous cells.

4) Enhance Brain Health

Every dog owner surely wants their pup to be smart and easy to train. Mulberries can facilitate the repair of brain cells and improve the cognitive functions of dog, thereby making them perform complex tasks with more ease.

Mulberries will certainly make a perfect treat for dogs during training exercise. 

5) Contain Natural Antioxidants and Slow Down the Aging Process

Aside from being nourishing to the canine body, the fruit also provide an antioxidant benefit. Research shows that mulberries contain resveratrol, a polyphenol, that protects from oxidative damage induced by free radicals, in this way, positively influencing canine longevity and and reducing the risks of cancer and heart disease.

Another antioxidant element present in mulberries is known as anthocyanin. It is great for highly active and energetic dogs as it fights muscle fatigue and oxidative damage caused by physical activities.

6) Help in Growing Strong and Healthy Bones

Calcium, Vitamin K, Iron, with trace elements such as Phosphorus and Magnesium are contained in mulberries and guess what? they play an important role in building and preserving bone tissues in the canine body.

Older dogs typically have weaker bones and the vital mineral contents in their bones are more likely to be lost. To prevent health problems such as osteoporosis and other bone disorders, accelerating the healing process and reversing damage from bone loss is essential.

Particularly, hunting and working dogs need to maintain strong bones to make up for their increased physical activities.

7) Improve Cardiovascular Health

Adding mulberries to your pooch’s diet is beneficial to their heart health. In as much as mulberries are rich in iron content for oxygen transport, antioxidant and flavonoids in mulberries aid in improving the circulatory function of blood vessels and reduce the risk of health disease. Through this, blood flow from the heart to all parts of the canine body is maintained.

Can Dogs Eat Dried Mulberries?

Absolutely, in fact there is an unusually higher protein content in dried mulberries and also they are jam-packed with fibers, iron, calcium, resveratrol which are advantageous to the health and well-being of your canine counterpart. Their sweet taste makes them a perfect healthy snack for your pets but once again ensure they eat only a modest amount.

Can Dogs Eat Mulberry Leaves?

Mulberry leaves contain sap which may irritate your pooch’s stomach, in spite of that they possess medicinal properties which are of great benefit. However, whilst some dogs have natural instincts for eating leaves and grasses, this may indicate that they are nutritionally deficient, bored or just mimicking your livestock.

Can dogs eat Mulberries? (Final Thoughts)

Now you know the answer, yes dogs can eat mulberries but you should make sure that you give only small amounts to your pup to avoid digestive problems. It your responsibility as a dog lover to secure the health and welfare of your furry friend.

References

https://www.cultivatetoplate.com/the-mulberry-white-red-and-black-varieties/

https://www.britannica.com/plant/mulberry-plant

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/mulberries

Celestine Gomez

I'm Celestine Gomez, worked for 5 years in an animal shelter in Los Angeles, California. Having noticed the inherent passion and zeal in me to care for pets, I took a step further to create a team of I and like-minded individuals to provide an informative resource in order to broaden the knowledge base of a regular pet owners.

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