Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?

Dog Tips

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We think of our dogs as family. Just as we would with family, we want to make sure that they have the best of the best, whether it be water, toys, or food. We also want to protect them from foods or ingredients that could harm them or give them an upset stomach, especially in the food department.

Many fruits are good for dogs, and many others aren’t so good — grapes, raisins, chocolate, avocado, and onions are all foods that veterinarians will tell you are unsafe for dogs to eat. We can’t determine what is and what isn’t toxic for dogs based on human diets. We’re much larger, and some toxins that affect dogs aren’t toxic for us.

We also can’t determine this by just looking at the fruit, either. There aren’t any physical similarities between fruits that are okay or fruits that are toxic. We must rely upon research to determine what we can give our dogs.

Can dogs eat blueberries? 

Blueberries are a fruit that almost everyone likes. The health benefits of blueberries for humans are well-known, but can we share this delectable fruit as a dog treat? 

Yes! Dogs can eat blueberries. If you’ve been worried about someone accidentally spilling a carton, put your mind at ease. Your dog can help you clean them up. However, blueberries are probably not the best pick for daily dog food.

At Spot Pet Insurance, we want you to know what you can and can’t feed your dog. We’ll help you figure out what they need to live long and happy lives with you.

We want to empower you to be the best pet parent you can be. We hope that the information we provide will help you care for your furry loved one. Recorded below are the most important facts you need to know about feeding your dog blueberries.

What is a superfood?

A superfood is a fruit, vegetable, or meat packed full of nutrients necessary for life. Superfoods tend to have high amounts of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fatty acids and proteins. They can also contain antioxidants.

Nutritionally dense foods, like the blueberry, can assist in balancing out our diets. They can help the body by providing it with energy, protecting it from damage on a cellular level, or assisting it with functions necessary for life. 

Superfoods are typically discussed as benefiting humans, but some superfoods provide the same benefits for dogs. Others might be harmful, so it’s best to make sure superfoods you like are safe before you share them with your pup.

Blueberries are an excellent food for humans since they have many different nutrients. We now know that dogs can eat blueberries without harm, but are the vitamins and minerals in the blueberry beneficial for dogs?

Do blueberries provide nutritional value for dogs?

Dogs can eat quite a few foods without any harm, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those foods are good for them. Blueberries, however, do have a great nutritional value for dogs, as long as you give them to your pup in moderation. 

Dogs are omnivores, which means they need both meat and plants in their diet. They don’t need as many fruits or vegetables as humans, but some of the nutrients in plants are essential for pups.

Even though blueberries are small, they are packed with nutritional goodness! Plus, they don’t have a lot of calories. You can give them to your dog without worrying that they’ll fatten your pup up. 

Blueberries have high levels of:

  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin A
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Phytochemicals
  • Vitamin C
  • Antioxidants

Fiber and vitamin C are both necessary nutrients for dogs. Vitamin C, in particular, might help strengthen your dog’s immune system. Phytochemicals have been known to fight cancer in humans. There hasn’t been as much research on the effect of phytochemicals on canine cancer, but they can benefit your dog’s health in other ways.

Blueberries may also improve night vision. Although most dogs sleep during the night, good night vision could be helpful in case of emergency.

Can dogs eat other kinds of berries?

Blueberries are a wonderful superfood for your dog to enjoy. What about other berries that we all know and love? Can our dogs enjoy those too?

Some other fruits and vegetables are also beneficial for dogs. They can eat:

Be careful of how many blackberries and raspberries your dog eats, as they do have a toxin called xylitol that can be harmful in large amounts. A couple of berries won’t hurt, but, as with any food, you should do your research before feeding it to your pup.

It may also be helpful to ask the advice of a licensed vet. They will have a good idea of what is best to allow in your dog’s diet. Spot Pet Insurance plans allow for visits to any licensed vet in the United States and Canada for covered conditions. Policyholders also have access to a 24/7 telehealth line.

Is there anything I should worry about with blueberries?

It almost seems as if blueberries are too good to be true, doesn’t it? Rest assured, blueberries have all the benefits with very few side effects. Most of the problems that come with blueberries are preventable or just part of the process of learning what’s good for your dog.

Dogs need some fiber as part of a balanced diet, but too much fiber can cause problems. If your dog eats too much fiber, it can cause a gastrointestinal upset.

This shows itself through diarrhea, chronic gas, or vomiting. If you haven’t given your pup a lot of fruit, one of these symptoms could mean that they’re sensitive, and you shouldn’t feed them any more. 

If you’ve been giving your dog lots and lots of blueberries, these issues are telling you to cut back on them. If such symptoms persist, you should have your dog checked out by a vet.

This is why balance and moderation are so important in your dog’s diet. Too much of a good thing can cause as much harm as too little. We want to make sure you and your dog find the perfect balance.

Store-bought blueberries need to be washed before you give them to your pet. They sometimes have pesticides or dirt on them, and we want our dogs to have the best and cleanest fruit possible.

If you have a small dog, blueberries can be a choking hazard. It’s best to keep an eye on them after giving them a blueberry. 

Blueberries in the wild

You and your dog might love going on adventures together, whether hiking a trail or wandering through a forest together. If you and your pup are adventurers, you may come across wild blueberries.

Although berries in the wild can be more delicious than store-bought berries, it’s better to leave them alone. Plants can be tricky to identify. Blueberries are great for your dog; other plants that look similar are toxic for dogs and humans.

Unless you’re a botanist and know what you’re doing, it’s best to leave wild berries where they are, just in case. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.

What are antioxidants?

One of the key nutritional perks of blueberries is the antioxidants. They prevent damage to the cells in your body by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are a byproduct of oxidation, a natural process in our bodies (and our dogs’ bodies) that occurs when we exercise, injure ourselves, or have an infection.

Normally, during an infection, free radicals are sent to destroy the invading virus or bacteria. Once they have completed this task, the body produces its own antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals by giving them electrons.

One of the side effects of infections and injuries tends to be inflammation, which is how the free radicals are produced. The body’s antioxidants are produced as the inflammation is supposed to be finishing up.

There are times when the body does not produce enough antioxidants. The inflammation lasts for too long, which leaves the free radicals to go on a rampage, stealing electrons from the surrounding cells. 

By eating foods rich in antioxidants, there are more antioxidants around to neutralize free radicals.  These prevent further harm to the body.

How do antioxidants help my dog?

Antioxidants have been found to have many benefits for dogs. As they reduce inflammation, they can assist in alleviating chronic arthritis and allergic dermatitis

Some studies link the antioxidants in blueberries with improved brain function in senior dogs. They help reduce brain damage caused by oxidants. The damage usually prevents proper cognitive function. After it’s repaired, the brain can function like it did when the dog was younger.

If you have a dog that’s getting up there in age, blueberries could be a great treat for them to enjoy. It would be beneficial to their continuing health, and it tastes good!

How often can I give my dog blueberries?

Although blueberries are a tasty treat for your dog, you shouldn’t give them to your four-legged child as a regular meal. It’s best only to give blueberries to your dog occasionally. Even though they are low on calories, high amounts of fiber can cause gastrointestinal issues.

Blueberries are technically a part of the “Treat!” category of a dog’s diet. Most vets will recommend that treats only be about 10 percent of your pup’s diet. You don’t need to do the math to determine how many blueberries would be included (unless you want to!); just replace a normal treat with this new one!

What’s the best way to give my dog blueberries?

You shouldn’t exactly be placing a bowl of blueberries on the floor for your canine companion to eat. That would be way too many. Instead, consider using them as a reward for obedience or completing a trick.

Now that we’ve discussed the method for feeding your dog a blueberry, we should go over the kinds of blueberries your dog can enjoy. After all, we humans can enjoy blueberries in many forms. Can our dogs enjoy these with us? Well, that depends.

Dogs can eat blueberries that are either fresh or frozen. These forms of blueberries are also easy to use as a treat. Be careful, though. Frozen blueberries tend to have stronger pigmentation, so they can potentially stain your carpet or clothes.

Remember to wash fresh blueberries, just as you would with blueberries for yourself. Pesticides, herbicides, and dirt aren’t healthy for anyone. Dogs are part of our families, and we want to protect them from any potential harm.

Many humans also enjoy things like blueberry jam or blueberry syrup. Although these won’t necessarily harm your dog, the high amounts of sugar aren’t good for your dog to consume. This rule also applies to blueberry pie filling.

If it’s a form of blueberry that has extra sugars, like blueberry yogurt, don’t feed it to your dog. If they accidentally manage to eat some, it’s not a big deal. It shouldn’t be a regular thing, as an excess of sugar leads to weight gain, which leads to other weight-related issues.

What about blueberry muffins?

We humans love to put blueberries in treats like pancakes, muffins and other delicious baked treats. Can we share them with our canine friends?

Unfortunately, no. Although it won’t harm your pup if they sneak one off the table, blueberry muffins, pancakes, and the like have too much sugar for you to give your dog as a meal or a treat.

If you can find a recipe, blueberry muffins can be made especially for your dog to have as an occasional treat. They would be something like dog biscuits, but with blueberries! They are treats, though, so they should only be given as part of that 10 percent mentioned above.

It’s also best to keep any blueberry pastries or pancakes away from the edge of the counter or tables. They may not be harmful, but they aren’t helpful either. If Your dog could speak, they would tell you that you deserve a treat too!

Treat your pup to some blueberries!

Just like we enjoy the occasional piece of candy or chocolate, our dogs can enjoy blueberries and other kinds of fruit! Their treats just happen to be healthier than ours. 

They may be small in size, but they pack a big nutritional punch! They’re a good source of fiber, vitamin C, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, all of which are great for your pup! The antioxidants can also help them in their old age since they help reduce brain aging, so your furry family member can still learn tricks. 

The high amount of fiber means that too many blueberries can cause your dog some gastrointestinal issues, so keep an eye on how many you give them! A blueberry is a treat, and treats should only take up 10 percent of their diet. Blueberries are low-calorie, though, so you don’t need to worry about it affecting your pup’s weight!

Your dog can enjoy blueberries when they’re fresh or frozen! However, jams, fillings, and syrups have too much sugar for your dog, which can cause them to gain weight. The same rule applies to blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes, and blueberry pastries.

If you’re a pet parent who loves to bake, you can find a recipe for special blueberry muffins that your pup would love as a treat! It’ll take lots of time and effort, but seeing that tail wag with joy will make it all worth it!

Keep your pup happy and healthy

Our greatest concern is for your dog’s health. We want them to have a long life to enjoy alongside you. Blueberries can help improve your pup’s quality of life, just as they improve yours. 

Your pup will be grateful for the delicious treat of a blueberry! They’re nutritious and delicious. For advice on other foods that your dog may love, check out Spot Pet Insurance’s webpage! We have tons of educational materials for members to help you provide your pet with the best and longest life possible.

Whether you want to try treating your dog with blueberries, or you have other ways to keep your pup’s diet properly balanced, Spot Pet Insurance is here to support you! We offer personalized pet insurance plans to help keep your dog protected, healthy, and happy. 

There’s nothing greater than the bond between you and your pup, not even a blueberry. We want to ensure that your bond can last for a long and happy life. 

 

Sources

Antioxidants | VCA Animal Hospitals (vcahospitals.com)

Brain aging in the canine: a diet enriched in antioxidants reduces cognitive dysfunction | PubMed (nih.gov)

Can Dogs Eat Blueberries? Are Blueberries Good For Dogs? | (akc.org)

Understanding antioxidants | Harvard Health

Which Fruits Can Dogs Eat? Can Dogs Eat Strawberries, Blueberries, Watermelon, Bananas, and Other Fruits? | PetMD

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