Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
If you are eager to give your dog's health a boost and want to add some fruit to their diet, perhaps you have found yourself wondering – can dogs eat blueberries?
Blueberries are incredibly healthy for humans, after all, and kids love them, so why wouldn't your dog?
Keep reading to find out if it is safe to feed blueberries to your dog, and what the health benefits and risks are.
Yes, dogs can eat blueberries.
Blueberries are a excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and more. Adding a few blueberries to your dogs meal are a great way to give them a treat that is healthy.
In this article, we will discuss:
- About blueberries
- Are blueberries safe for dogs?
- How to feed blueberries to your dog
- What are the health benefits of blueberries for your dog?
- When are blueberries bad for dogs?
Blueberries are considered, in terms of a human's diet, a superfood.
This means they are rich in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, fibers, antioxidants, etc. and they offer a range of health benefits.
"Superfood" is essentially a marketing term for foods with exceptional nutrient density, which are therefore highly beneficial to your health.
We eat blueberries fresh, frozen, and made into sauces or jams, or mixed into a delicious healthy smoothie breakfast drink or juice. They are easy to find in the supermarket and relatively inexpensive.
They sound great, don't they? And they are! So let's look at whether or not our dogs can benefit from this little blueberry that packs a punch of goodness.
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Are Blueberries Safe For Dogs?
The great news is that blueberries, unlike some other fruits, are not toxic for your dog. This means that your dog can safely enjoy blueberries as treats and supplements for a healthy, balanced diet.
Don't be fooled into thinking that just because blueberries are safe for dogs that other similar fruits are perfectly safe too.
Grapes, for example, are highly toxic to dogs in minimal quantities.
Both fresh grapes and their dried versions, which you may know better as raisins and sultanas, should be carefully avoided.
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It would be best if you did not feed these to your dog, and for this reason, it is wise to be careful when offering mixed fruit or mixed dried fruits to your dog and make sure that you know exactly what the mix contains.
Watch your dog around things like kid's breakfast cereals and cake, because these foods commonly contain raisins and plenty of them!
How To Feed Blueberries To Your Dog
Because fresh blueberries do not contain any pips or seeds, it is safe to offer your dog fresh whole blueberries straight from your fridge or cupboard.
The key is to feed in moderation. It may be tempting because the berries are so small to feed your dog a whole handful or two of blueberries at a time, but if you do, you may give your dog an upset stomach.
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A few blueberries here and there is enough, mainly if your dog is not used to eating blueberries or fruit in general, or if you have a small dog with a tiny stomach, where a little goes a long way!
Start with just two or three single blueberries, and if your dog seems fine after some time, you can offer two or three blueberries a few times a day when you have them in.
Watch out if you have a blueberry bush in your garden, because as soon as those berries ripen, your dog is likely to have a feast if he has free access to the garden, and to the bush!
To avoid very loose stools, you may want to assert some control over the situation.
Your dog's nose will be able to pick up when the berries are just perfect for eating, so it is better to section that area of the garden off to avoid a berry binge.
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You can also feed frozen blueberries to your dog. Your dog will probably appreciate these in the warmer months as a refreshing treat.
You can even freeze a few blueberries in a container or Kong toy with water for your dog to lick, and he will get a great treat when he licks the ice down to the fruit.
This is the right way of helping your dog to stay cool and hydrated in the summer, with a little boost of berry goodness thrown in.
You should always avoid feeding anything that contains added sugar and other ingredients that don't go down well with dogs, like dairy.
This means blueberry desserts, jams, and blueberry-flavored yogurts are not a good option for your dog. Save those for yourself and the kids.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Blueberries For Your Dog?
Adding new foods that are safe to your dog's diet is a great way to provide a variety of different nutrients and health benefits.
Your dog also gets to enjoy all of the different flavors of life, which is mentally stimulating and can provide dog owners with lots of pleasure to see their pets enjoying something new that is good for them.
- They are low in calories and relatively low in sugar when compared to other fruits
- Blueberries have high amounts of vitamin C and fiber (both essential components of a healthy dog's diet.)
- They are high in phytochemicals
- Blueberries are also filled with antioxidants, helping to boost the immune system, and fight aging in the brain, along with arthritis pain and cancer!
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When Are Blueberries Bad For Dogs?
Blueberries are generally suitable for your dog's health. However, they are high in fiber, and this can cause your dog to have an upset stomach or diarrhea if they eat too many.
This is why it is crucial to keep an eye on your dog f you grow blueberries in your garden.
You don't want your dog helping himself to the blueberry buffet out there when your back is turned, and then messing up your flowerbed with the after-effects.
Don't forget that just because blueberries are right for your dog, it doesn't mean that all blueberry-flavored foods are good too.
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These often contain extra chemicals and preservatives that are not healthy for your dog to consume.
Products that contain actual blueberries are not necessarily good for your dog either, as they will more than likely contain extra sugar or artificial sweeteners.
When feeding frozen blueberries, if your dog is not used to chewing them, they may pose a choking hazard, especially if you have a small dog.
You can avoid this by merely thawing the frozen blueberries before offering them to a little dog.
It is essential to wash blueberries before offering them to your dog, just as you would wash fruit before eating it yourself, to ensure that any insecticides or other chemicals are washed off before eating.
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Blueberries are a great little treat for dogs when offered when fresh and in moderation. Not only will your dog love them, but they will also benefit from them greatly.
Just follow the tips and advice set out in the article, and your dog can safely enjoy blueberries as a healthy supplement to his regular diet, not to mention a yummy treat for being a good boy!