Blueberries are one of the most popular berries frequently eaten in the United States of America. And, every dog parent on earth is guilty of spoiling their dogs with human foods like veggies and fruits. But, what about the famous summer fruit like blueberry? Can dogs eat blueberries?
Yes, blueberries are absolutely safe for our dogs to eat. Most dogs and pups love to eat this juicy fruit because the soft texture and natural sweet taste happily satisfies their taste-buds.
Don’t believe it? Try to pop a blueberry or two in your dog’s mouth and he will gobble it in seconds. Why? Because, dogs are omnivores, which means that they like to eat both meat and greens.
Dogs may not ritually need veggies and fruits in their diet, but they do need vitamins and fibre. They also love treats and varieties of foods just like we do. And, what can be better than a fresh, yummy snack like blueberries.
What’s more, this low-calorie fruit is the ultimate superfood for both you and your dog. Here’s how.
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Benefits of blueberries
Vitamins and fibre are two very important elements of a dog’s nutritional diet, and blueberries are full of these two components. Even though so small in size, blueberries are a pack of healthy punch for dogs of all ages.
Some of the health benefits and features of blueberries include:
- Antioxidant property – Blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants (including Flavonoids) in all fruits. Antioxidants neutralize harmful free-radicals in the body that cause cell-damage. They also support healthy aging and keep away cancers.
An interesting research conducted on antioxidants and cellular damage in sled dogs found amazing benefits when blueberries were added to the dogs’ diets after strenuous exercise. The results showed that blueberries reduced the recovery time of the dogs after heavy exercise and running.
For active dogs like Siberian Huskies, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, etc., this can be an enormous benefit that may increase their mobility as they age.
Many research studies have also found that antioxidants can slow down the aging process or cognitive dysfunction in older dogs.
- Anthocyanin – The blue/purple color of blueberries are due to the presence of Anthocyanins. These pigments work with the antioxidants to lower the risk of heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer, and also help boost the immune system.
- Vitamins & Fibre – Rich in vitamins A, C and K, blueberries can improve your dog’s immunity, reduce inflammation, and enhance quality of skin, coat, muscles, nerves.
- Vital Minerals – Blueberries are loaded with minerals like Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium that support bone growth and a body’s ability to use vitamins and minerals more effectively.
- Phytochemicals – This is a special chemical compound found in plants and the blueberries are full of it. Scientists have found that these phytochemicals fight cancer and help regulate hormones.
- Blueberries are low in calories and fat, and also offer decent amount of fibre
- Blueberries have 85% water content which can help keep your dog hydrated.
Ways to feed blueberries to your dog
Your dog can eat fresh and unsweetened blueberries every day in moderation and they can be given as special treats in these different ways:
- Fresh whole blueberries in the most natural, raw form is soft and not much of a choking risk to a dog.
- Frozen blueberries are a special cool treat on hot summer days, but can present a choking hazard in small breed dogs. However, you can thaw them out and crush them before giving it to your dog.
- Chopped blueberries can be added to your dog’s diet to give it a nutritional punch. You can also combine it with other berries like strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries to create a berry-salad or toppings. Just keep in mind that all these should just add up to be only 10% of your dog’s balanced diet.
- Pureed blueberries can be added to unsweetened yogurt or fresh coconut water and put into ice cube trays to freeze. These cool blueberries treats can be a super-hydrating snack during summer.
- Smoothies are another splendid idea to give your dog blueberries and he will eagerly lap it up all in seconds. Blend some blueberries along with other fruits and vegetables your dog already likes and he will love you more. In dog-friendly recipes, blueberries combined with raspberries, blackberries, bananas, watermelon, and cranberries, to name a few possibilities, make delightful additions.
Never feed your dog canned blueberries as they may be packed in sugar syrup, and these foods might have added preservatives and artificial sweeteners like xylitol which can put your dog’s life at risk.
Sometimes packed bottles have rotten and moulded berries along with fresh ones.
If possible, always aim at buying organic blueberries, and thoroughly wash the fruits to get of any dirt prior to serving it to your dog.
Can dogs eat blueberries every day?
Blueberries are very versatile fruits, and most dogs eagerly accept them every day.
However, a ‘daily or weekly’ treat totally depends on the dog’s tolerance for blueberries. As with any fruit, an overdose of it can cause your dog to have soft stools or even diarrhea.
If your dog vomits or passes runny stools after eating blueberries or any other food, you must stop giving that food to your dog.
How many blueberries in a day?
When it comes to feeding any fruit to a dog, we should use the 10% rule. Portion control is very important when we include fruits and veggies in our dog’s diet.
Treats like blueberries should only comprise 10% of your dog’s total diet and must be given as an occasional treat.
For most small dogs, 8-10 blueberries would do no harm. Medium to large breeds can safely have 15-20 blueberries, but remember to keep the ratio of 10% in mind when offering them any fruit, including blueberries.
Also, if your dog is a pup or of a smaller breed, they can choke easily on frozen blueberries especially if they eat too fast without chewing. This can cause a tummy ache and indigestion in the pup.
Several people grow blueberry bushes in their gardens and their dogs can have easy access to overeat the sweet berries. In such places, keeping the bushes fenced and separated from your dog would be a smart idea.
Particularly, if you use pesticides and insecticides, your dog can get sick when he accidentally sniffs or licks the bushes.
It is also possible for some dogs to show intolerances or even allergies to new foods.
When you give your dog blueberries for the first time, keep an eye on your dog for itchiness, ear inflammation, red spots, hives, gastrointestinal upset, or chronic gas.
If these happen to your dog after eating blueberries, stop the berries and call the vet right away.
Can dogs eat blueberries muffins?
Now that you know that dogs can eat blueberries on occasions, you may wish to take things ahead and think can dogs have blueberry muffins?
Sorry, the answer here is hard NO. Although blueberry muffins make your dog drool, it’s probably best to keep them away from your dog.
Dog health experts say that like most baked goods, blueberry muffins contain unnecessary sugar, and “sugar-free” muffins may be sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sweetener which is toxic to dogs and pups.
Are dogs allergic to blueberries?
Blueberries are called superfoods, but can dogs eat blueberries safely with no side effects or reactions?
According to veterinarians, very few dogs have a true allergic reaction to blueberries. And, most of the fruit-allergies in dogs are due to organic or synthetic chemicals applied when berries are being grown or stored.
So it is always recommended to buy organic blueberries and before you feed them to your dog, clean and wash them carefully.
Can dogs eat blueberries? Yes, as long as you portion the treat appropriately, blueberries can be very safe for your dog.
The nutrient-dense fruit provides “one-stop nutrition” and so, many dog-food manufacturers are using them as an ingredient in their dog food formulas these days.
Loaded with so many disease-fighting nutrients, blueberries are indeed worthy of the title – superfoods.
So, go grab a handful of fresh blueberries and treat your fur baby today. He will tippy-tap eagerly and enjoy the juicy treat berry much.
Share this very informative article with all the dog lovers out there. Thank you