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A representation of Elderberries

Elderberries are small, dark purple fruits that grow on bushes and are often processed into juice, jam or syrup. They taste sweet and sour and contain lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But are they also suitable for dogs? In this article, you'll find out what you need to know about elderberries in relation to dogs.

Elderberries are not suitable for dogs

The short answer is unfortunately no: elderberries are not safe for dogs. This is because the seeds contain a hydrocyanic acid glycoside called sambunigrin, which is poisonous to dogs. In addition, all other parts of the elderberry plant such as leaves, unripe fruit and fresh bark are also poisonous to dogs. Therefore, you should never give your dog raw elderberries or other elderberry products and make sure that he does not eat them outdoors.

Elderberries can cause symptoms of poisoning in dogs

If your dog has eaten elderberries or other parts of the elderberry plant, he may show signs of poisoning such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, convulsions or unconsciousness. In severe cases, it can even lead to circulatory collapse or death. Therefore, if elderberry poisoning is suspected, a vet should be consulted immediately and the dog should not be given home remedies such as milk or activated charcoal, as these can make the situation worse.

Elderberries also have positive effects for dogs

However, there is one small exception that can confuse dog parents when it comes to elderberries: Fully ripe elderberries are safe and nutritious for dogs and humans. This is because the poisonous sambunigrin is broken down by ripening and heating. You can therefore give your dog small amounts of cooked or dried elderberries as a treat if he likes them. Elderberries also have positive effects for dogs, such as strengthening the immune system, aiding digestion, relieving inflammation and helping to heal wounds. Elderberries can also be used externally as an ointment or vinegar for paw care or disinfection.


In summary, it can be said that elderberries are incompatible with dogs and can lead to symptoms of poisoning if eaten raw or unripe. You should therefore not feed your dog elderberries or other elderberry products and keep him away from elderberry bushes. However, if you want to give him small amounts of cooked or dried elderberries as a treat, you can do so, as they are then no longer poisonous and even have health-promoting effects. But always pay attention to how your dog reacts to them.

Learn even more about Elderberries

If you notice any signs of hypersensitivity or poisoning in your dog, you should see your vet immediately. We are not a substitute for a vet, but we try to be as accurate as possible. Every dog reacts differently and we recommend you get a second opinion or consult your vet if in doubt.

Stay healthy and take good care of your four-legged friend!😊

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