Blueberries are well-known for being an incredible superfood for humans. Packed with vitamin c and antioxidants, able to help fight off cellular and molecular damage and even improving the body’s ability to fight cancer, blueberries have quickly become a favorite among the dieting world.
Of course, that’s not to say that blueberries are good for all creatures. As such, for those wondering “can dogs eat blueberries?” we’re here to give you some definitive answers.
Are Blueberries Safe For Dogs?
Firstly, let’s get any drama surrounding whether or not your dog can eat blueberries out of the way. Yes – dogs absolutely can eat blueberries. However, like all good things, this does come with some caveats. Most importantly, your dog should only ever be given blueberries in moderation, with the dog-blueberries ratio being pretty small. Too many, and you run the risk of giving your dog an upset stomach.
Similarly, giving your dog blueberries also means that the dog owner should only feed blueberries in a dog-appropriate manner. Your dog’s health should always come first and – as well as giving your pup a balanced diet – you’ll need to consider the methods and general weight management.
Clearly, nobody should be giving dogs blueberry muffins, because the sugar content will be too high – especially for those with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetic dogs. However, giving your dogs fresh, frozen blueberries in the summer can be a healthy treat that also helps to keep them cool.
Are Blueberries Good For Dogs?
It can be easy to see why some might think blueberries=bad – especially as they’re pretty tasty. And, as we know, many tasty things are usually bad for both you and your dog. However, these special treats are packed with vitamins that can not only offer your pup an enticing occasional treat but also plenty of health benefits, too.
So, not only can dogs eat blueberries, but they can enjoy the many benefits of these, too!
Why Are Blueberries So Good For Us (and Dogs)?
You can often see blueberries being sold as the best thing since sliced bread – but the truth is that blueberries are simply a great addition to diets. Some of the most common reasons why fresh blueberries are seen as having incredible health benefits are as follows:
Antioxidants are easily one of the first things that comes to mind when considering the health benefits of blueberries – and for good reason. In our bodies are something called “free radicals” which – aside from sounding like little anarchists – are actually one of the things that can affect everything in our bodies. Affecting everything from our immune system to causing gastrointestinal upset.
Free radicals can cause a wide range of problems and these unstable molecules can, for example, contribute to aging as well as increasing the risk of cancer.
However, blueberries have a major benefit in providing antioxidants, which help to stabilize and fight free radicals. Therefore lowering the risk of a wide range of different issues! As such, they’re a great treat that can help keep your dog (and you!) happy.
Low Caloric Density
If you’re worried about your dog’s weight, then altering your dog’s diet is key. Just like humans, caloric density is key to making small changes and big improvements.
So, many dog treats can have a high caloric value (being high in calories), but offering very low nutritional value. Blueberries, however, offer a great low-calorie treat for your pip.
That being said, it’s worth noting that, for those wondering about other berries, strawberries have lower caloric content. These berries also have lower levels of sugar and carbohydrates. But they also come with lower levels of fiber compared to blueberries, as well as lower levels of antioxidants.
Read here our article on Weight Management Dog Food.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known vitamins, as it offers such a wide range of benefits for both humans and their dog. There has even been some anecdotal evidence that giving your dog blueberries can help with those who are subject to regular infections, including ear inflammation.
How to Include Blueberries in Your Dog’s Diet
Feeding blueberries (and other fruits) in the right amount, via the right format, is key to balancing your dog’s immune system. Remember that smaller dogs and senior dogs will have very different nutritional needs. In particular, small dogs have an increased risk of choking, when it comes to small fruit.
To avoid choking, and ensure dogs can eat their other fruit and foods without them becoming a choking hazard, be sure to mash or cut the berries before feeding them to your dogs. Also, as with all new foods, be sure to introduce these gently, to avoid any tummy ache or upsets.
If you notice that your dog suddenly has chronic gas after eating their fruits, it may well be that your dog’s stomach can’t quite handle the chemical compounds present in blueberries. As such, you should stop feeding them these treats and, instead, look for alternatives.
How Many Blueberries Can I Give My Dog?
As much as we love them, it’s important to ensure your dog stays healthy by only feeding them treats in moderation. If you give your dog too many berries, then it’s likely they’ll get stomach problems, as the sugars and chemical compounds can be a little too hard to digest for dogs.
Along the same vein, it should be noted that smaller dogs, dogs with eating issues and dogs with digestive problems are more likely to struggle with blueberries as a choking hazard. For this reason, it’s important to keep your treat levels low and slow!
As a general rule, a good guide is to ensure that your dog treats make up no more than 10% of their daily food intake.
Can I Give My Dog Blueberries Daily?
Providing the amount of blueberries your feed your dogs stays within the general guidelines given above, there’s no reason why you can’t feed your dog these fruits and treats, daily.
You’ll also need to be sure that their other foods are also being given in moderation and do check to see if any other supplements or vitamins you feed your dog aren’t counteracting your hard work.
As such, do check your dog food to see if any of the ingredients list blueberries. If they do, dog owners will need to reduce the amount of fruit being given to their dogs. This is because the fruits given in the dog food can effectively overdo the amount of nutrition given, causing potential stomach aches and tummy troubles in your dog.