If you have a dog, have you ever wondered “Can dogs eat blueberries?” You’ve probably noticed that dogs make a beeline for fruit (as well as other people food). But all responsible pet owners know to do research before letting their dog eat human food. Can dogs have blueberries, apples, strawberries, and other fruits that are usually around the house?
In this article, we will talk about everything you need to know about dogs and blueberries, if blueberries are OK for dogs, if yes, and how many blueberries your dog can eat.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
There is no need to worry if your dog snaps up a blueberry you drop on the floor. They are a healthy snack for your canine friends! In fact, blueberries are an excellent source of important vitamins and minerals for your dog, so feel free to let them snack on these nutritious berries.
Most dogs love eating blueberries, and they are a healthy choice for any breed, large or small.
Health Benefits of Blueberries For Dogs
Blueberries are considered one of the healthiest fruits you — or your dog — can enjoy. They have a low calorie count and are high in essential vitamins and minerals. These include:
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an important part of your dog’s diet. Unlike humans, dogs make their own vitamin C, but adding a supplement can be helpful, especially for older dogs.
Vitamin C contains antioxidants that fight inflammation and slow aging. If you have an older dog with arthritis, dementia, or other conditions causing inflammation or brain aging, a vitamin C supplement might be a good choice. Blueberries are just one way to provide this!
Like humans, dogs need a good amount of fiber in their diet. This helps regulate digestion, improve the quality of bowel movements, and manage healthy weight.
Ideally, your dog should be getting most of its fiber from its food. Choose healthy fibers from fruits and vegetables rather than unhealthy fibers from cellulose-packed commercial kibble, which can create more digestive issues.
If you want to supplement your dog’s fiber intake, blueberries are a great way to do it! They are full of healthy fiber that will promote good digestion and possibly reduce your dog’s risk of colon cancer.
Fiber supplementation is also a great choice for dogs who are older, overweight, or diabetic. That is because it helps regulate weight and blood sugar. Even if your dog isn’t diabetic, obesity can lead to many other health problems, especially as they get older.
While you probably know that vitamin C and fiber are vital for dogs, just like humans, you might not be as familiar with the benefits of the other components.
Phytochemicals have many health benefits. But they have been shown to have cancer-fighting properties for humans, which might help canines as well. By reducing cell damage, they may help keep cancer development in check. Phytochemicals are also found in carrots, soybeans, spinach, and many other fruits and vegetables.
The antioxidants in blueberries provide important health benefits for humans and animals alike. One particular benefit is their ability to fight brain aging, making them an excellent treat for older dogs.
Antioxidants can also fight inflammation, which is often a concern for dogs. Certain dog breeds, such as German Shepherds, are prone to developing hip and joint pain as they grow older. Antioxidant supplementation may help fight these issues.
Health Concerns Of Blueberries for Dogs
Despite the health benefits of blueberries for dogs, it isn’t a good idea to let them go wild. Blueberries should be viewed as treats or supplements, which should not make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet.
Since blueberries are small, you don’t need to cut them up. However, you should monitor your dog closely for signs of choking, especially smaller dogs.
Make sure to wash any produce before giving it to your dog, just as you would for yourself. Dogs are not immune to food poisoning, so it is important to reduce the risk of foodborne illness by removing any potential chemicals or bacteria.
How To Get Your Dog To Eat Blueberries
Most dogs don’t need any encouragement to eat blueberries. Most animals love them and will eat them without prompting!
Both fresh and frozen blueberries are safe for dogs to eat. You can feed them individually to your dog, mix them into food, or include them in homemade treats. All of these are excellent options and will get your dog the nutritional benefits they need.
Some Blueberry Dog Treat Recipes
Making your own dog treats is a great way to provide healthy and tasty snacks for your dog without the fillers found in commercial dog treats. There is essentially no end to the ingredients you can use, from peanut butter to pumpkin, spinach, and of course, blueberries.
This also gives you the chance to give your dog a healthier treat that is catered to their unique health needs! Many commercial dog treats are high in sugar or not safe for dogs with food sensitivities.
There are some great choices for homemade dog treat recipes containing blueberries, such as these vegan treats made from flax seed, oats, coconut oil, blueberries, and flour. This recipe is made with peanut butter, oats, applesauce, and eggs to provide a protein punch with a bit of fruit. This one uses fresh blueberries, freeze-dried blueberries, and blueberry baby food puree for an extra fruity dog treat.
If you have more questions about giving your dog blueberries, you’re not alone! Here are some of the top questions other people have about the health benefits of blueberries and feeding their dog a healthy diet.
How Do Blueberries Protect The Brain?
There are a few essential ways that blueberries protect the brain. Their high level of antioxidants helps fight cell damage, especially in relation to aging and loss of brain function. For this reason, they are considered helpful as a supplement to fight dementia, especially in animals. Antioxidants also help stimulate the connection of neurons, which can also protect the brain from cell damage.
How Can I Add Fruit To My Dog’s Diet?
There are many ways to add fruit to your dog’s diet, and they don’t have to be complicated! Dogs benefit from many fruits, including blueberries, apples, apricots, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, pears, and watermelon.
Feel free to feed these to your dog raw, but make sure to cut them up, especially if they are large or crunchier fruits. Always monitor your dog for signs of choking and learn how to give your dog back blows. If you prefer, you can give your dog fruit purees like applesauce or incorporate fruit into homemade dog treats.
How Many Blueberries Can I Give My Dog?
As we said above, treats like fruit should make up no more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet. If you don’t feel like doing the math, you can think of it in more general terms: a handful of blueberries is probably OK, or about 10 blueberries for a small dog.
Not only are blueberries OK for dogs, they are a great choice! Blueberries are a safe and healthy snack for dogs with many nutritional benefits. However, they should be considered treats and given in moderation. If your dog loves snacking on blueberries, share your favorite homemade treat in the comments!
Excited for more blueberry content? Then check out our blueberry page to learn all about how to grow, care for, and harvest this delicious fruit!