Can Dogs Eat Elderberries? When it is or isn’t an Emergency

These days, elderberries are widely used in various human foods and beverages. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that dogs can enjoy these berries at the same level. Certain parts of the elderberry are known for being toxic to dogs, especially when they are unripe.

The reason elderberries are unsafe for dogs is due to the presence of amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside that may produce hydrogen cyanide once it enters the dog’s digestive tract. Symptoms can be severe if the dog ingests a large amount of berries (or other parts of the elderberry plant) and aren’t treated quickly enough.

This, however, doesn’t mean that elderberries are completely unsafe for dogs. For example, the berries of black elderberries could be eaten in moderation when they are ripe. It’s difficult, however, to distinguish ripe berries from unripe ones. We don’t believe it’s a risk worth taking for dog owners.

In any case, the taste of elderberries isn’t that great so dogs may not even want to eat them to begin with. Dogs will be better off being given a small amount of berries that aren’t toxic, such as strawberries and blueberries. You can learn more about what fruits are safe for dogs to eat in moderation by visiting our human food for dogs database.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


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