It's nice to give our pets special treats from time to time, and dogs definitely seem to have a hankering for bites of human food! If you're looking for an occasional sweet treat, you might be wondering - can dogs eat blueberries? Are blueberries good for dogs?
Below, we'll tell you all about whether you should let your dog eat blueberries and how to feed them this healthy treat!
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
Yes, dogs can eat blueberries! In fact, not only are blueberries perfectly safe for dogs to eat, it's actually incredibly healthy for them.
Health Benefits Of Blueberries
Blueberries are the perfect healthy snack for dogs because they have many nutritional benefits!
Blueberries contain vitamins C, B6, and E. Vitamin C boosts the immune system, and although dogs can produce their own vitamin C, they often can't synthesize it well as they age. Supplementing with additional vitamin C is a great way to make sure they have enough! Vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties.
Blueberries contain potassium and magnesium. Potassium reduces blood pressure, strengthens bones, and helps the kidneys. Magnesium keeps the brain and heart functioning well and is useful in regulating blood sugar levels.
Blueberries are perhaps the most well-known for their antioxidants. In fact, blueberries have a specific type of antioxidant not found in any other plant - stilbenoid! This nutrient fights against free radicals that can cause cellular and molecular damage that results in chronic disease and disability.
Many nutrients are not included in most kibbled dog food because they are considered non-essential. However, the majority of dogs will still benefit from them. Some of the phytonutrients found in blueberries are anthocyanins and flavanols. These reduce oxidative stress and strengthen the cardiovascular system.
Berries are low in sugar and low in calories. This makes them a great tasty treat or snack to use for training!
The Downside Of Dogs Eating Blueberries
There aren't many downsides to feeding blueberries to your dog, especially if you only feed a few berries at a time! However, too many blueberries can cause problems.
High In Fiber
A dog's natural diet is not particularly high in fiber. Most dogs aren't bothered by the fiber in blueberries. In fact, your dog's stomach may benefit from it! However, some dogs' digestive systems can't break down all of the fiber, and they experience an upset stomach. You can avoid this by feeding blueberries only one or two at a time and by mashing the berries up first.
What Is The Best Way To Have Dogs Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are the perfect healthy snacks for dogs because they require no prep work on your end! Other fruits and vegetables must be peeled, their seeds removed, and cut into suitable chunks before they can safely be fed to dogs. Blueberries, on the other hand, are good to go, making them a great training treat! For smaller dogs, whole blueberries might pose a choking hazard. If you have a small breed of dog, consider cutting the blueberries in half.
Fresh blueberries, served raw and uncooked, are the best for dogs. If you can, try to find organic blueberries. Because berries are not peeled and have such tender skin that a thorough scrubbing would smash them, they often have large amounts of residual pesticides and herbicides on them. It's best for both you AND your pet to buy organic berries.
Feed your dog blueberries in small amounts. How many blueberries you should feed your dog at a time depends on the size of your dog. Start by giving your pet a half gram of blueberry for every pound they weigh. So, smaller dogs may only eat a couple of blueberries, while larger ones could have a decent handful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Blueberries?
Yes! Frozen blueberries are a great option, especially on hot summer days. In some ways, they may be preferred to fresh blueberries. Frozen fruits are picked and frozen at their peak of ripeness, and fresh fruits are often picked early, expecting to ripen in transit to the grocery store. Double-check that your bag of frozen blueberries has no added sugars or preservatives!
Can Dogs Eat Canned Blueberries?
No! Canned blueberries almost always have added sugars and preservatives. While high quantities of sugars and preservatives aren't healthy for anybody, some of these sugars are not only unhealthy for dogs - they're downright deadly.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Blueberries?
Yes! Dried blueberries make great dog treats. However, it's best if you dehydrate the berries yourself, and this is because most store-bought dried blueberries have added sweeteners.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberry Muffins?
No. They're delicious, and I'm sure your dog would love to have a taste, but blueberry muffins (and other blueberry baked goods) are too full of sugar to be safe for your dog to eat.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberry Yogurt?
No. Yogurt is in many dog treat recipes, so you might think that using flavored yogurt would be a fun way to change things up. However, blueberry yogurt is typically flavored with artificial flavoring - not real berries. So, there isn't any nutritional benefit, and they also have too much sugar added to them.
What If My Dog Doesn't Like Blueberries?
Dogs have taste preferences, just like you and I do. After reading about how healthy blueberries are for dogs, you might be worried if your pet has no interest in eating them or tends to pick them out of its dog food. Don't worry, a dog's diet does not require blueberries, and there are many other fruits that have health benefits for dogs that you can try instead.