Labeled a superfood, blueberries are extremely tasty and nutritious fruit that can do wonders for your overall health. If you enjoy eating blueberries you have probably wondered if your dog will like them as well.
So, can dogs eat blueberries? Yes, dogs can eat blueberries in moderation. Blueberries contain antioxidants and vitamins that can improve your dog’s overall health. Low in calories and high in fiber, blueberries are healthy treats that won’t cause weight gain. However, eating too many can cause diarrhea and an upset stomach.
Blueberries are chock full of essential nutrients and safe for dogs of all ages when fed moderately. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of blueberries and tell you how to feed them to your dog.
Are Blueberries Good for Dogs?
Often regarded as a superfood, blueberries have many health benefits and are completely safe for dogs to eat. Chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, blueberries can be a great treat for dogs of all ages.
Low in calories and high in fiber, blueberries are a healthy snack that won’t cause weight gain or obesity. Naturally rich in vitamins C, B6, K, and E, blueberries can boost your dog’s immune system and improve his overall health.
Since blueberries also have less sugar than other fruits, they might be suitable for dogs with diabetes. Check with your vet to see if you should feed blueberries to your dog if he has pre-existing medical conditions.
Benefits of Blueberries for Dogs
Including blueberries into your dog’s diet can have a major impact on his overall health and well-being. Take a look at the biggest health benefits of feeding blueberries to your canine:
1. Blueberries Reduce DNK Damage
Blueberries have higher antioxidant levels than other common fruits and vegetables (source). Being high in antioxidants gives blueberries the ability to neutralize free radicals that damage your dog’s DNA.
The damage free radicals make is the main cause of aging, degenerative diseases, and cancer. But if you feed your dog blueberries you can minimize the effects of free radicals and prevent age-related issues such as arthritis, kidney disease, and diabetes.
2. Blueberries Support a Strong Immune System
Blueberries are a natural source of vitamin C, which can boost your dog’s immune system and improve skin health. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and can improve your dog’s entire health and also keep him protected against common colds.
3. Blueberries Support Strong Bones
Naturally rich in vitamin K and manganese, blueberries support bone health and prevent bone loss that leads to osteoporosis and other bone disorders. Besides controlling binding calcium in bones, vitamin K is also essential for blood coagulation.
4. Blueberries Promote Good Digestion
Blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber, which supports proper digestion and better nutrient absorption. Eating blueberries can regulate your dog’s stool and the higher fiber count can help soothe gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or constipation (source).
Side Effect of Blueberries for Dogs
Full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, blueberries have many health benefits, but only when offered in moderation. If your dog eats too many blueberries he can experience certain side effects.
Potential downsides of eating blueberries are:
1. Upset Stomach
Blueberries are high in fiber, which is beneficial when consumed in moderation. However, eating too many blueberries can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea.
If this happens, stop feeding blueberries to your dog and give his tummy time to recover from too much fiber. If tummy ache and diarrhea last longer than a day, consult your vet and see if you need to take your dog for a check-up.
2. Potential Choking Hazard
Fresh blueberries are soft and small, so they don’t pose a real choking hazard. But, once frozen, blueberries may cause choking in small dogs.
While chances of this happening are fairly small, you should offer only fresh or defrosted blueberries to puppies and small dogs.
How Many Blueberries Can I Give to My Dog?
While blueberries are safe for dogs of all ages, always talk with your vet before you start feeding them to your pooch. Also, your vet will be able to determine the exact serving size based on your dog’s age, size, and dietary needs.
When it comes to feeding, a general rule is one blueberry per pound of body weight. So, a 20-pound dog can eat up to 20 blueberries per day.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Blueberries?
Canned blueberries and blueberry-flavored products aren’t good for dogs. These products may contain added sugar, artificial flavors, preservatives, and chemicals that are toxic to dogs (source).
While some of these products can be organic and healthy, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding them to your dog.
How to Feed Blueberries to Dogs?
There are many ways you can feed your dog blueberries, just remember to wash them first. Furthermore, try to find organic blueberries that haven’t been treated with chemicals and pesticides that can make your dog sick.
Popular ways to feed blueberries to dogs are:
- Offer fresh blueberries as a healthy treat for dogs
- Mix raw blueberries with dog food
- Feed frozen blueberry as a refreshing summer treat
- Make a homemade blueberry dog treat with eggs, coconut flour, and pumpkin puree
Note, some dogs don’t like fresh blueberries and find the taste to be bitter. If this is the case, you can get your dog to eat blueberries by adding them to a banana smoothie.
Tasty, nutritious, and healthy, blueberries are all the rage right now and should be a part of your dog’s diet. Feeding blueberries will offer variety to your dog’s diet and also include antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals.
Low in calories and fat, blueberries are safe for dogs to eat and should be offered as healthy snacks or an occasional treat. And if your pooch is a picky eater and doesn’t like the taste of raw blueberries, try feeding him frozen blueberries or making blueberry dog treats.