It’s a known fact that life can be tough for modern dogs. I am sure everyone agrees that on some days, it can all be a bit too much! Just as we suffer from the grind of daily life; stress and fatigue can also affect our loved ones leading to negative impacts on their health and happiness. Sometimes they can really do with a little pick me up.
So, how do we help them bounce back and maintain peak physical and emotional condition?
Goji berries are a superfood that is nutritionally dense and packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Whilst for us they are all the rage right now, it is important to remember they can also be beneficial to our dog’s health and wellbeing. When correctly incorporated into a well-balanced diet, goji berries can provide the extra boost required to keep them happy, healthy and strong.
What are Goji Berries?
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are the bright red/orange fruit of two closely related plants Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense both native to many parts of Asia. Most commonly found in a dried form, they resemble large elongated red raisins and tastes like a cross between a cranberry and cherry. They have long been used for both culinary purpose as well as in traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese medicine.
What are the possible benefits of Goji Berries?
Goji berries are nutritionally dense, high in fibre and contain vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals (biologically active compounds produced by plants) that have beneficial effects on health and well-being including:
- Vitamins A and C
- Zinc and Selenium – important for the immune system
- Beta-carotene - responsible for the red/orange colour of goji berries and important for eye/bone/skin health and cellular development.
- Zeaxanthin - an antioxidant that helps the immune system and supports eye health
Goji berries are thought to:
- Support the immune system
- Improve eye and skin health
- Build a stronger musculoskeletal system
- Stabilize blood glucose and aid in diabetic control
- Positively influence cholesterol profile and improve cardiovascular health
- Limit oxidative stress and help with prevention of cancer.
Are there any side effects?
Goji berries may interact with other drugs so check with your vet your dog is on any medications. Rarely allergies may occur.
Are Goji Berries safe for dogs?
YES! Both fresh and dried goji berries are NOT toxic for dogs. Just like humans, dogs can eat and benefit from their positive health effects.
However, like anything, it should be in moderation and part of a well-balanced diet. Goji berries do contain sugar and although the amount is not high, canine biology is not well adapted to have a lot of sugar and excess consumption may lead to problems.