Can Dog Eat Goji Berries
Dogs Diet

Can Dogs Eat Goji Berries

Hira Saleem

November 11, 2023 . 10 min read
Quick Answer:

Yes, dogs can eat goji berries. These berries are good for you because they are full of nutrients, but you should be careful when giving them to your pet because they are high in fibre and sugar.

Goji berries, often called wolfberries, are bright red fruits celebrated for their extraordinary nutritional value. These little gems have been revered for centuries in traditional medicine for their numerous health benefits. While they’re safe for dogs in small amounts, it’s essential to understand the possible benefits and drawbacks.

Fresh Vs Dried Goji Berries for Dogs – What’s the Difference

Raw Goji Berries

Raw goji berries, scientifically known as Lycium barbarum, are the unprocessed, freshly harvested form of these nutrient-rich fruits. Renowned for their exceptional nutritional profile, they are abundant in essential vitamins such as vitamin C (providing around 180% of the daily recommended intake per 100 grams), vitamin A (roughly 140% of the daily recommended intake per 100 grams), and vitamin B2.

Additionally, they have a high mineral content, including important minerals like iron (about 25% of the daily suggested intake in 100 grams), zinc, and selenium. Loaded with antioxidants, specifically zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, raw goji berries are hailed for their potential health benefits.

However, raw goji berries also have a relatively high water content, typically comprising 88% of their total weight. This characteristic imparts a refreshing and hydrating quality to the berries. But that also means they don’t last as long and need to be eaten right away.

Dried Goji Berries

Dried goji berries are the most common form available in stores. They have a longer shelf life due to removing most of their water content, typically reduced to around 10-15% moisture content. The nutrients are concentrated when they are dried, which makes them higher in calories.  For dogs, dried goji berries are convenient and can be used as treats or added to their meals. 

However, it’s crucial to ensure that dried goji berries do not contain added sugars, sulfites, or other preservatives, as these can harm dogs. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s essential to check for the absence of harmful additives, and the nutritional benefits of dried goji berries are preserved in this form.

Benefits of Goji Berries for Dog 

Rich in Antioxidants

Goji berries are renowned for their exceptional antioxidant content, boasting up to 5,700 ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units per 100 grams, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This super fruit contains a significant amount of zeaxanthin and lutein, two potent carotenoids that play a pivotal role in neutralising harmful free radicals, as endorsed by the American Optometric Association.

With 24 milligrams of zeaxanthin per 100 grams, these berries are a formidable ally in reducing oxidative stress, preventing cell damage, and promoting overall health in your dog.

Vitamins and Minerals

Goji berries are a nutritional powerhouse, offering a spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals. A mere 100 grams of these berries can deliver over 150% of your dog’s daily vitamin A needs, along with substantial quantities of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin C, as confirmed by the USDA.

Additionally, goji berries are a notable source of iron, providing nearly 7 milligrams per 100 grams, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This wide range of nutrients is very good for your dog’s health because it helps with many important body processes, like keeping the immune system strong and using energy efficiently.

Eye Health

Zeaxanthin and lutein found in goji berries are not just antioxidants; they are vision superheroes, as recognised by the American Optometric Association. With approximately 77 milligrams of zeaxanthin and 63 milligrams of lutein per 100 grams, these berries are at the forefront of safeguarding your dog’s eyes.

These antioxidants help prevent age-related vision problems, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, by filtering harmful high-energy light rays and protecting the retina. Including goji berries in your dog’s diet can be a proactive step in maintaining their eye health as they age.

Boosted Energy

Goji berries are a natural energy source for your furry companion, a fact supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). They have a lot of complex carbohydrates and important nutrients that can give your busy dog the energy it needs to play and exercise.

With approximately 60 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, goji berries are an excellent choice for an energy-boosting snack, helping your dog stay active and engaged.

Immune Support

Goji berries are rich in vitamin C, offering approximately 48 milligrams per 100 grams, according to the USDA. This vitamin is a crucial player in bolstering your dog’s immune system, as endorsed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), especially during times when they need extra defences against infections.

A robust immune system is essential for maintaining good health and resilience against common illnesses.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Goji berries are not only packed with antioxidants but also contain anti-inflammatory components, as confirmed by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. These properties can be precious for dogs dealing with conditions like arthritis. Goji berries have been associated with reduced pain and discomfort related to inflammation, potentially improving the quality of life for dogs with joint issues.

Skin and Coat Health

The combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in goji berries contributes to your dog’s skin and coat health, as recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vitamin A, in particular, is vital for skin health and regrowth.

The antioxidants in goji berries may help alleviate dry skin and promote a shiny, lustrous coat. These nutrients work together to improve overall skin and coat conditions in dogs.

Weight Management

Goji berries make an excellent treat for dogs on weight management plans due to their low-calorie count and high-fibre content. With only 83 calories per 100 grams and about 13 grams of dietary fiber, goji berries can satisfy your dog’s sweet cravings without adding excess calories. This makes them an ideal choice for dogs striving to maintain a healthy weight while enjoying tasty snacks.

Is There Any Potential Risks of Feeding Dogs Goji Berries

Gastrointestinal Upset

Goji berries contain a considerable quantity of dietary fibre. While fibre is essential for digestive health, excessive intake can lead to gastrointestinal distress in dogs. This may manifest as diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal discomfort.

Sugar and Caloric Concerns

Goji berries are naturally sweet and calorie-dense. Excessive sugar intake can be problematic, especially for dogs prone to weight issues or diabetes.

Toxicity Risk

Commercially available dried fruits, including goji berries, may contain added preservatives or sulfites that can harm dogs. The National Research Council (NRC) states that artificial chemicals should be avoided in pet food (NRC, 2006).

How Much goji berries can dogs eat?

These serving sizes are primarily for dried goji berries, the most common form available. If you’re using fresh goji berries, adjust the portion accordingly since they have a higher water content.

Dog SizeRecommended Goji Berry ServingsCaloriesProtein (g)Fat (g)
Small (under 20 lbs)1-2 berries 2-3 times per week4-80.2-0.40.1-0.2
Medium (20-50 lbs)3-5 berries 2-3 times per week12-200.6-1.00.2-0.3
Large (over 50 lbs)5-10 berries 2-3 times per week20-401.0-2.00.3-0.6

How to Serve Goji Berries to Your Dog

Serving goji berries to your furry friend can be a delightful and nutritious treat. These little red wanders are full of good things for your dog’s health and taste great as a snack. 

To serve goji berries to your dog, start by ensuring that they are fresh and free from any additives like sugar or preservatives. Goji berries can be given as a treat or added to your dog’s regular meals. Mix them with dry kibble or sprinkle them on their wet food for extra flavour. Remember, moderation is key. 

Goji berries are calorie-dense, offering only a small quantity to avoid overindulgence. Always consult your vet before significantly changing your dog’s diet, especially if they have underlying health conditions. Goji berries are suitable for dogs and can be part of a healthy diet if you give them the proper care.

What happens if a dog eats too many goji berries?

If your dog consumes an excessive amount of goji berries, it can lead to digestive problems and potential weight gain. Goji berries are high in fibre, containing 4 grams of dietary fibre per ounce, and overindulgence may result in diarrhea or an upset stomach. 

Additionally, goji berries are calorie-dense, containing around 98 calories per ounce, which could contribute to unhealthy weight gain if your dog eats them in large quantities. Some goji berry goods may have added sugars or preservatives that are bad for dogs, so it’s essential to make sure the berries you give them don’t have these things in them.

If your dog ingests a significant quantity of goji berries and experiences adverse reactions, consult your veterinarian for guidance on managing digestive issues and ensuring your dog’s health and safety. When adding new things to your dog’s diet, you need to be careful and know what the ingredients are.

Are dogs allergic to goji berries?

It’s essential to consider the possibility of dog food allergies when introducing new items into their diet, including goji berries. While goji berries are generally safe for most dogs, some can be sensitive or allergic to certain foods. Allergies to goji berries in dogs are relatively rare, but it’s vital to watch for adverse reactions.

Symptoms of a food allergy in dogs can include skin issues like itching, redness, or hives, digestive problems such as vomiting or diarrhea, and even behavioral changes. If you suspect your dog may have an allergic reaction to goji berries or any other food, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and guidance.

To minimize the risk, introduce goji berries in small amounts initially and monitor your dog for any signs of allergies. If they appear to tolerate the berries well, you can continue to offer them as an occasional treat. Always prioritize your dog’s health and well-being by being vigilant about potential food allergies.

People Also Asked About Other Berries for dogs

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cranberries
  • Currants
  • Acai Berries
  • Elderberries
  • Cherries

Wrapping it Up

In conclusion, it’s essential to be mindful of what your dog eats. While goji berries have nutritional benefits, giving them to your furry friend should be in moderation. Too much can cause stomach problems, allergies, or even more serious conditions like hyperkalemia. 

Remove any stems or leaves before feeding them to your dog, and monitor for unusual reactions. As with any new food, consulting your veterinarian is a brilliant idea to make sure it’s safe and healthy for your specific dog. Remember that the health and happiness of your pet is very important, and good food habits can help them stay that way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat goji berries every day?

No, dogs should not eat goji berries every day. Goji berries are safe as an occasional treat but should not be a daily part of their diet.

Can dogs eat goji berry seeds?

No, dogs should not eat goji berry seeds. Goji berry seeds can be complicated and indigestible, posing a choking hazard and potential digestive issues.

Can Dogs Eat Goji Berry Leaves?

No, dogs should not eat goji berry leaves. The leaves can be tricky and indigestible, potentially causing digestive discomfort or blockages in your dog’s system.

Hira Saleem

Hira Saleem


Hira is a dedicated freelance writer specializing in health and nutrition, holding a degree in Food Science and Technology. Her expertise in the field stems from a profound commitment to promoting well-being. Inspired by her love for animals, Hira has cultivated a deep understanding of the importance of nutrition in fostering a healthy lifestyle.

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