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Can Dogs Eat Blueberries? What You Need to Know
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We all know blueberries are a delicious and healthy snack for humans - we enjoy them in a fruit salad as much as in a muffin. But, what about our pets - can dogs eat blueberries? Yes, they can. While there is some fruit you shouldn’t feed dogs, blueberries are perfectly safe for your pet. Although, whether they will want to eat them or not is another matter.
Can dogs have blueberries?
Whatever we’re eating, dogs tend to look at it with their best puppy dogs eyes in the hope they will get a nibble. They don’t know that certain foods are bad for them or even toxic. They’ll try to eat it even if they shouldn't, which is why we need to make sure we aren’t giving our dogs any food that is going to be bad – or even dangerous – to their health. It’s down to us pet parents to make those decisions on behalf of our dog.
So, if you’ve been enjoying some juicy blueberries and that longing look has made you wonder “can my dog eat blueberries?” - you’ll be pleased to know that dogs can have them. Most fruit and vegetables are both healthy and beneficial to your pet, but it’s always best to check first.
Blueberries are a low-calorie snack for dogs that contain vitamins and nutrients, as well as antioxidants. This is perfect if your dog enjoys them - they’ll make an excellent addition to their diet. But, not all dogs will like the taste of blueberries. Despite their desperation for one, they may spit a blueberry out when you offer it to them.
You also want to avoid giving blueberries to dogs with food sensitivities or those on a special diet to manage medical conditions.
How many blueberries can a dog eat?
Firstly, make sure you’ve washed the blueberries thoroughly. Then, it’s best to start slowly, giving your dog just a few to let them get used to the taste and see whether they like them or not.
It’s important to keep in mind that blueberries could give your dog an upset stomach, particularly if you overfeed them. This could result in diarrhea. They also contain sugar which should only be fed to your dog in moderation.
As a general rule, you don’t want to give your dog more than eight to 10 blueberries a day. That’s not a lot; it’s a small handful, at most.
However, before you give dogs blueberries, you may want to speak to your vet just to double check. Then you can ask them what they would recommend based on the specific dog’s size and weight. Once you know this you can decide when and how often to incorporate it into their diet.
Have you considered a wellness plan for your pooch? It covers routine examinations of your pet which are the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you may have about their diet.
Are blueberries good for dogs?
Yes, just like blueberries are healthy for humans to eat, they can be incredibly good for dogs too.
They are high in:
Vitamin C and K
As well as fighting cancer and heart disease, these little berries can prevent cell damage, help preserve brain health and contribute to healthy digestion. The fact they are also low-calorie is a bonus.
Blueberries for dogs - how to feed them?
Now you know blueberries are good for dogs, you might be wondering how to feed them. There are several ways to incorporate these juicy berries into their diet; here’s a few to get you started:
- Offer them a handful of this nutrient-packed fruit to see if they like them. Allergies to blueberries are rare, so you’re really just finding out if blueberries tickle your dog’s fancy. After all, dogs are, to a certain extent, the same as people. They have their own tastes and preferences. Watch your pup to see how they react. It will be obvious if they don't like the taste or texture because they will either sniff the berries and then walk off or put them in their mouth but spit them right back out.
If your curious canine takes the blueberries but doesn’t seem to chew or swallow, watch to see if they take them somewhere to spit out. Like a lot of dogs, they'll most likely eat the treat and beg for more.
- Give blueberries as special treats. If your dog likes blueberries, you can use them as reward treats during training or as a great low-calorie substitute for some of the higher calorie processed treats. Since they’re small, you don’t have to chop them up and it’s easy to carry them in a small bag or plastic container on a hike.
Most dogs will be grateful for a few blueberries on a hot day. A handful, given a few at a time, makes a cool and crunchy snack. You could even freeze the blueberries to make sure they are extra refreshing for them.
- Incorporate fresh blueberries into your dog’s meals. You can mix a small portion in with dry or wet food to add flavor and nutrients, and as a low-calorie filler. However, you need to be careful not to overdo it. Alternatively, buy some of the higher-end manufactured dog foods that incorporate blueberries as an ingredient.
These foods usually pair blueberries (sometimes along with strawberries and cranberries) with chicken, quite often in grain-free or low grain foods for dogs with grain allergies or weight problems.
Can dogs eat blueberry muffins?
If dogs can have blueberries, perhaps you can share your next blueberry muffin with them? Technically yes, a bite of your blueberry muffins won’t be toxic to them. However, they aren’t healthy. While blueberries themselves are a low-calorie, superfood - add the muffin and they become high in sugar and fat - too much of which can become harmful to your dog’s health. For this reason, it’s best to stick to just feeding them fresh blueberries.
Alternatively, rather than sharing your blueberry muffin with your dog, why not search for blueberry dog food recipes and make them a delicious homemade treat with their favorite fruit instead?
You want to ensure your dog is enjoying the best possible diet. Not only is it important that they enjoy the food they are tucking into but you also want it to be beneficial to their health. Check out our friends over at Dog Food Advisor for tips and advice such as the best fresh dog food and the best natural dog food.
What fruit can dogs eat?
You know dogs can eat blueberries. You have given them to them and they have enjoyed it. Now, you might want to mix up the fruit they have and so are probably wondering what else they can have. Can dogs eat strawberries and blueberries? Could you give them an apple or banana instead?
Fruit dogs can eat, include:
Fruit dogs can’t eat, include:
If you suspect your dog has eaten toxic fruit such as grapes then they need to be seen by a vet as soon as possible. Browse and compare the best pet insurance plans to make sure you are covered for vet treatment and medications.