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Can Dogs Eat Mulberry – Everything You Need To Know

Yes, dogs can eat ripe mulberries, which are safe when consumed in smaller amounts. However, unlike the ripe ones, unripe mulberries lead to an upset stomach. In addition, unripe mulberries are known to cause hallucinations in humans and dogs. Mulberries are natural fruits that can slide down the digestive system without causing harm. However, consuming large amounts of mulberries make the dog sick and can cause loose stools. To make it easier, dogs themselves don’t eat mulberries more than taking a bite or two.

What is Mulberry?

Mulberry is a short-lived tree widely cultivated in the Indian sub-continent to feed the silkworms. It is a fast-growing, small to medium-sized tree with a lifespan equal to that of humans. Interestingly, mulberry is not a berry but an aggregate fruit with smaller fruits called drupes. They got their name due to the long elongated shape, similar to raspberries and blackberries. As the fruit ripens, they change in color and texture and turn into a plump, juicy fruit. Growing mulberry trees to feed silkworms began 4700 years ago in China and eventually spread to other parts of the world. Though native to China and India, they are widely grown in the west and the rest of the world. Mulberry fruits are bland but sweet and are best loved by the birds. Birds drop the seeds after feeding on the fruit and thus help in pollination. 

Mulberry Nutritional Value

Mulberries are consumed by birds and humans and grown across the globe. Raw mulberries are 

  • Water -88%
  • Carbohydrates – 10%
  • Protein – 1%
  • Fat – 1%

A 3.5 oz of raw mulberries contains the below nutritional value:

Energy43kcal
Carbohydrates9.8
Sugars8.1
Dietary Fiber1.7
Fat0.39
Protein1.44
Thiamine (B1)0.029mg
Riboflavin (B2)0.101mg
Niacin (B3)0.62mg
Vitamin B60.05 mg
Folate (B9)6 μg 
Vitamin C36.4 mg
Vitamin E0.87 mg
Vitamin K7.8 ug
Calcium39 mg
Iron1.85 mg
Magnesium18 mg
Phosphorus38 mg
Potassium194 mg
Sodium10mg
Zinc0.12 mg

Other constituents

Water 87.68 g

However, it is always safe to consume ripe mulberry fruits as the unripe mulberries can be toxic and lead to vomiting and stomach upset.

Is Mulberry Safe for Dogs?

Ripe Mulberry is safe for dogs when consumed moderately. Unripe raw mulberries are unsuitable for dogs and cause an upset stomach. Mulberries contain lots of nutrients that come in health benefits. Along with the mulberry fruit, the mulberry leaves can also be an occasional small snack for the dogs. However, too many leaves at once can cause indigestion and diarrhea. Also, dogs can munch on dried mulberries as a snack occasionally. However, too many of them are not a good idea as dried mulberries are high in calories and sugar. There are mainly three varieties of mulberries:

  • Red Mulberry: These are native to the United States. The red mulberries are safe for dogs to eat.
  • White Mulberry: They are native to eastern and central China but were later introduced into North America by the colonists for Silk Worm Production. These mulberries are safe for dogs.
  • Black Mulberry: These originated from western Asia, and it is limited to the pacific coast in the U.S. They can be fed in moderation to dogs.

Why Is Mulberry Good for Dogs?

The nutrition benefits of mulberry for dogs include the following:

Fiber: Fiber is an excellent source of nutrients for a dog’s digestive system. The healthy bacteria in your dog’s colon digest fiber into fatty acids. This fatty acid then aids in the recovery of the colon by preventing the expansion of harmful bacteria. 

Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte essential for your dog’s health. Potassium helps electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles work correctly. If your dog lacks this vital mineral, you may notice that they are constantly fatigued, which is not normal, or they do not desire to eat.

Water: Water helps your dog’s body to be hydrated. It reduces the chances of dehydration in dogs. Apart from hydrating, it also keeps the digestive tract clean and aids in proper bowel movement.

Manganese is required to produce energy, metabolize protein and carbs, and form fatty acids in dogs. In addition, manganese is a component of many enzymes and aids in the health and preservation of bone and cartilage in joints. 

Calcium: Calcium is an essential dietary component for your dog’s health. It is required for bone and tooth development, nerve impulse transmission, cell communication, muscle contraction, and blood coagulation. Therefore, it’s critical for your dog’s general health that he gets adequate calcium.

Protein: Hair, skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage are all made up of amino acids, which are found in protein. It’s also essential for hormone synthesis.

Antioxidants: Mulberries contain vitamin C, which provides antioxidants and helps fight the harmful free radicals in dogs. These fruits also include a powerful antioxidant called Resveratrol, which helps fight infections and build a strong immune system. It helps to

  • Increase a dog’s lifespan.
  • Prevent cancer and slow down cancer cell growth.
  • Lower cholesterol.
  • Prevent high blood pressure. 
  • Promote neurological health.

Iron is required to accomplish critical processes, including carrying oxygen throughout the body in the hemoglobin of red blood cells so that the cells can generate energy. Iron is also required to function various enzymes in the body properly.

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble substance that creates coagulation proteins necessary for blood clotting. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), which is generated in plants and may be ingested through food or supplements, is the most common dietary source of Vitamin K.

Anthocyanin protects the heart, increases visual acuity, boosts memory, and protects the brain from oxidative damage as they age. In addition, angiogenesis, the creation of abnormal blood vessels linked to tumor growth and cancer cell growth, is also inhibited by anthocyanins. 

Anthocyanins can help prevent: 

  • Cognitive issues 
  • Cancer 
  • Diabetes 
  • Vision loss 
  • Neurological issues 
  • Heart disease 
  • Reduces blood clotting 
  • Lowers blood pressure 
  • Decreases arterial blockage 
  • Lowers stroke risks 
  • Reduces inflammation 
  • Obesity 

Why Is Mulberry Bad for Dogs?

Mulberry is not bad for dogs, but dogs should only be fed with ripe mulberries. Unripe mulberries may irritate a dog’s digestive system, upset the stomach, and can be hallucinogenic.

How Much Mulberries to Feed Your Dog?

If your dog is tasting mulberry for the first time, 3-4 pieces will be ideal. Feeding mulberries in moderation as an occasional treat is recommended.

How to Serve Mulberry to Your Dog?

While feeding mulberry to your dog, always feed ripe fruits only. The best way is to provide fresh ripe fruits. Never bake the mulberries as baking leads to adding too many mulberries into the diet and an upset stomach. Always contact your vet for any adverse reactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat dried mulberry?

Yes, dogs can eat dried mulberries as an occasional treat.

Can a dog eat unripe mulberries?

No, unripe mulberries cause stomach upset and are not safe for dogs.

Are mulberries the same as juniper berries?

No. Mulberries are different from juniper berries. While mulberries are safe to consume by dogs, juniper berries are unsafe owing to an oil content called Thujone, which can harm your dog’s digestive system.

Are black mulberries and blackberries the same?

No, black mulberries and blackberries come from two different species, although they look similar. 

Are mulberries toxic to dogs?

No, mulberries are not toxic. However, they should be offered in moderation.

Can puppies eat mulberries?

Yes, puppies can be offered mulberries but, in moderation.

Final Thoughts

Dogs can eat mulberries in moderate amounts as a rare treat. However, dogs can only eat ripe mulberries, and unripe mulberries may cause stomach upset and hallucinations. Therefore, never feed your dogs more than 3-4 pieces of the mulberry fruit. Mulberries contain many nutritional benefits but should only be an occasional treat.

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