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Posted in: Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Goji Berries? What Dog Owners Should Consider First?

Since there are plenty of nutritional doggy treats on the market, it is easy to find healthy alternatives for your pup. However, many dog treats that are good for your dog tend to be pricey. One can also never be sure enough about how healthy they are. Therefore the easiest route to go is to look into healthy “human” foods for your dog. If you are familiar with goji berries, then you know that they are also known as superfoods. So if you are wondering, “can dogs eat goji berries, then let’s explore!

Can Dogs Eat Goji Berries?

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There are a variety of superfoods out there that provide excellent nutrients and benefits for humans. While some are great for animals as well, some are not so much. Therefore it is always best to first familiarize yourself with the food you wish to share with your pup.

One of these healthy foods is goji berries, aka wolfberries. These little red berries are not only good for you, but they can be excellent for your doggo as well!

So the short answer to the question “can dogs eat goji berries?” is: yes, you can!

Even the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) agrees that goji berries are suitable for dogs. But don’t rush to buy a bag full of goji berries for your dog. First, there are certain things to consider before you introduce this new doggy treat.

What are Goji Berries?

Goji berries are also referred to as “wolfberries.” It is an Asian fruit with the scientific name Lycium barbarum. This fruit has been around for centuries, and in its native country, it is used extensively in their diet. Due to their health benefits, these berries are beginning to be recognized as superfoods in various cultures.

These berries are about 2-3 centimeters in diameter and are a vivid red color, making them easy to recognize. Goji berries have a mixture of sweet and sour flavors. Dogs love the taste, and because of their size, they are a fabulous training reward instead of processed treats.

Even though they are mainly grown in China, these berries’ cultivations are becoming popular in many areas worldwide. Goji berries are increasing in popularity and can be found as an ingredient in many Western products. One can find goji berries in supermarkets sold as dried or fresh.

If you come across dried goji berry products, you will see that they resemble red raisins. These tiny fruits, dry or fresh, are rich in amino acids, carotenoids, and other antioxidants. The fact that they are packed with nutrients makes them an excellent food choice for your dog.

Besides preventing cancer cells’ growth, reducing blood glucose, and lowering cholesterol levels, this superfood has a lot more to offer your dog.

Things To Consider Before Giving Your Dog Goji Berries

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  • Can Dogs Be Allergic To Goji Berries?

Goji berries are not toxic to dogs. Instead, they can provide many health benefits. However, whether it is food made for humans or dogs, there is always the possibility of an allergic reaction. Even though most dogs are not allergic to goji berries, yours may be.

When it comes to introducing new food to your dog, including goji berries, make sure to go slow. It is best to give your dog only a small amount at the beginning. Wait to see if any reactions develop in the next couple of days before going further.

Symptoms of allergic reactions in dogs include hives, itching, indigestion, ear infection, swelling, etc. Once you don’t notice any of these symptoms, you can continue feeding your dog goji berries. However, giving too much can also be bad for several reasons.

  • What Is The Right Goji Berry Dosage For Dogs?

Giving too much of certain foods to your dog may not be a good idea. When it comes to goji berries, the amount you give will depend on your dog’s weight. In general, about eight goji berries or less, a couple of times a week is suitable.

It is essential to keep in mind that treats and snacks should not exceed 10% of your pup’s daily diet. Since goji berries contain sugar, it is probably best that this new doggy treat does not exceed 10%.

While it is not yet proven in dogs, goji berries enhance weight loss in humans. These berries also tend to lessen your appetite for other foods. So unless your dog is overweight, you might want to consider this and not overdo it with these berries.

Another thing to remember is that fruits can cause diarrhea or loose stools in dogs if given too much. Goji berries, just like any other fruit, can cause the same problem if you overdo them.

Maintaining a healthy balanced doggy diet is vital for your dog. Goji berries should only be given every once in a while as a special treat to add nutritional value. Therefore replacing a meal with goji berries is not recommended,

  • Can Dogs Eat Goji Berries If They Are On Medication?

There are some instances when goji berries can be problematic for your dog. These berries can interact with certain drugs. So if your pup is on any medication, it is always best to consult your vet first.

Medications given to dogs to lower blood pressure, treat diabetes, or thin blood do not interact well with goji berries. These berries can discontinue the purpose of the drugs. Therefore your vet will most likely recommend you not to feed goji berries to your dog.

  • Are Goji Berries Safe For Puppies?

Your puppy can eat goji berries just like adult dogs, but with precautions, of course. Since goji berries are rich in calcium, they are excellent for growing pups and ensure healthy bones.

Nevertheless, if you want your puppy to get used to goji berries, make sure to introduce them slowly. Since your pup is new to the world, any new food you present needs to be done with care and caution.

Watch out for allergies, loose stools, or any reactions that do not seem normal. Small amounts at a time every once in a while should be sufficient. When your pup’s system gets used to the new food, it can become a regular treat.

Health Benefits of Goji Berries for Dogs

Goji berries are packed with nutrients! Vitamins found in goji berries are A, B, C, and E. Furthermore, antioxidants, beta-carotene, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, fiber, and other micronutrients are found in goji berries.

All of these minerals and vitamins can enhance your dog’s muscle health, nerves, bones, and enzymes. Besides improving your dog’s immune and reducing eyesight problems, these berries have a lot going for them. Here are some of the potential health benefits of goji berries due to the minerals they contain:

  • Calcium

Goji berries are high in calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral that should be included in your dogs’ diets. It promotes better bone and teeth health. Another thing that goji berries can prevent is rickets, a condition known to cause soft bones or growth stunt. Furthermore, calcium is crucial for better functioning nerves, muscles, and enzymes.

  • Iron

is also found in goji berries. Iron is a mineral that generates healthy red blood cells hemoglobin and myoglobin, which helps transport oxygen through the blood. Without enough iron, dogs can develop anemia. Since goji berries are rich in iron, it can decrease the risk of anemia in your dog.

  •  Zinc

Another vital mineral in goji berries that is beneficial to your dog is zinc. This mineral helps to replicate cells, heal wounds, and will improve your pup’s immune system overall.

  • Selenium

Goji berries contain selenium, which is hugely significant for your dog’s diet. This mineral has antioxidant properties that decelerate cellular aging caused by oxidation. Selenium can help for a few disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, seizures, and skin problems.

As you can see, goji berries contain many minerals and vitamins that are excellent for dogs.  Other health benefits include relieving arthritis and joining pain in dogs. Therefore goji is an ideal food for senior dogs who suffer from sore muscles.

The high fiber goji berries will do wonders for your dog’s digestive issues. Last but not least, a reason to feed your dog goji berries is that this superfood helps fight cancer cells.

Ways Of Feeding Goji Berries to Your Dog

Goji berries can be given to dogs fresh or dried. They can make an excellent treat, or you can sneak them in during mealtime.

If you have fresh goji berries still on the stem, make sure to remove the stem first. Dogs can eat goji berries the same way humans do, one by one or mixed in with food.

If you have dry goji berries, on the other hand, it might be best to soak them in water first. By soaking them in water, you soften them and avoid them passing through your dog’s digestive system.

One can also find many homemade doggie treat recipes on the internet. So why not add a couple of goji berries in the recipe to make the treat extra healthy?!

Final Thought

If the answer to the question. “Can I feed goji berries to my dog” is not yet clear; here is a summary. Goji berries can help keep your furry friend healthy on the inside and out! So yes, goji berries can be given to dogs and even from an early age.

Not only will your dog love his new treat! Additionally, you will be filling him up with loads of nutrients that are beneficial to his well-being.

If, in any case, you are uncertain about feeding your dog goji berries or any other food, call the vet. It is always best to get a second opinion from your veterinarian if you are in doubt.