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Blueberries have gained popularity in the last few years as a superfood. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this popular berry is a delicious and healthy snack for people. But can dogs eat blueberries? For the most part, yes. Although there are some things to watch out for if you want to share your blueberries with your best friend.
Blueberries are full of vitamins and nutrients that can give dogs a great boost of health, and they are small and soft, so they do not pose a high risk of suffocation. Many commercial dog foods include them in their formulas.
However, too much good can be a bad thing. Blueberries are high in fiber, and although this is beneficial in adequate amounts, too much fiber can lead to gastrointestinal disorders and diarrhea.
It would be best if you asked your veterinarian before sharing human food with your dog, and blueberries are no exception. When properly offered to dogs, they can be a delicious and healthy snack. Here’s what you should know if you want to give blueberries to dogs.
Benefits of blueberries in dogs
Blueberries are known to be high in nutrients and low in calories. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and K.
- Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for dogs. Essential means that your dog needs this in its daily diet. It is used for a healthy dog’s skin, fur, and well function of the muscles and even nerves.
- Vitamin C, in addition to strengthening your dog’s immune system, helps eliminate free radicals from the body. Free radicals are molecules that have unpaired electrons. The problem with them is that they will pull an electron out of other cells, causing tissue damage that can then lead to inflammation and even cognitive dysfunction. Not only can an intake of vitamin C help your older dog’s arthritic joints and keep its mind sharp, it can also help dogs of all ages who may suffer from an inflammatory disease.
- Vitamin K helps the dog’s clotting factors work properly, minimizing bleeding.
These berries are full of minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. These minerals are essential for bone growth.
Blueberries are also rich in something called phytochemicals. These compounds are found only in plants and are usually produced by them to remove any fungal, bacterial, or even viral organisms. The phytochemicals in blueberries are known to be anti-inflammatory and fight cancer in humans and pets.
There are a lot of beneficial antioxidants in blueberries. In fact, they are known to have the highest concentration of these out of all berries, even higher than acai fruits. Antioxidants, similar to vitamin C, help fight free radicals.
Finally, blueberries are high in fiber, which can help your dog feel fuller and keep things moving in the gastrointestinal tract.
Are blueberries good for puppies?
This fruit can be a beneficial treatment for large-breed puppies who are prone to an orthopedic condition known as panosteitis, sometimes called growing pains.
Potential health problems related to blueberries in dogs
Blueberries are small, which makes them a convenient treat for training, especially when frozen. However, they may vary in size. Depending on how big they are and how small your dog is, they may pose a choking hazard when frozen. If you have a smaller breed dog, offer it blueberries only when you can see it eating them. You can also feed dogs wild blueberries, as they tend to be smaller than farm blueberries.
If your dog seems like it is thinking about whether or not to eat blueberries, it is possible it has some gastrointestinal disorders. Too much fiber is not always a good thing. Because blueberries are already high in fiber, if your dog eats a large amount of them in a single session, this may cause diarrhea, and its abdomen may be sensitive to touch.
Blueberries are also used extensively in some prepackaged foods for humans. Processed, prepackaged foods are not always the healthiest option for humans, and this is the same for our dogs as well. Prepackaged foods contain added preservatives and sugars, both of which can cause gastrointestinal disorders and other problems in your dog.
Artificial blueberry flavor products are also not good for dogs. They often contain chemicals, preservatives, or other substances that are harmful to canines.
Other ways to feed your dog blueberries
There are other ways your dog may enjoy blueberries besides fresh, raw berries or fresh, frozen berries.
Some brands begin to incorporate blueberries into dog food. You can also find online recipes for homemade delights for dogs that use blueberries.
If you are worried that your little dog is choking on a blueberry, you can crush the berries and feed them as a topper for their food. You can even treat your dog with some DIY yogurt with fruit in it. Simply mix blueberry puree and plain yogurt together as a treat or as a food topper. Alternatively, you can feed your dog another friendly fruit, such as an apple, banana, melon, or watermelon without seeds.
Some people make blueberry puree and add it to their dog’s food for a tasty health increase. It can also be used in treatment recipes or mixed together to create a smoothie.
Most of the time, however, they are given raw to dogs. Because they are low in sugar and calories, they can make an excellent reward during training sessions.
Although they can be a safe and healthy snack for you and your dog, some dogs may be allergic to them. As with any new food, always consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog and gradually introduce the food to its diet.
Always be sure to choose organic blueberries that have not been exposed to herbicides or pesticides, as they can make dogs sick, and be sure to wash them before feeding them to dogs.
Some people like to freeze them for a refreshing summer treat, but it’s important to remember that freezing blueberries makes them hard, which can pose a choking hazard for small dogs.
Some dogs find the taste bitter and unpleasant. For those dogs, there are many other healthy fruits, including strawberries and bananas.
Beware of gas, vomiting, or diarrhea
Some dogs are more sensitive than others and may have flatulence, gas, vomiting, and/or diarrhea if given fruit. Even dogs with a healthy stomach can have gastrointestinal disorders, vomiting and diarrhea, if they are given too many fruits, due to their high fiber content.
If you want to give your dog fruit as a snack, watch out for any signs of gastrointestinal disorders. If you notice any signs of gas, vomiting, or diarrhea, stop feeding your dog fruit and call your veterinarian.
How many blueberries can I give my dog?
As with any fruit or vegetable, portion control is important. Sweets should comprise only 10% of your dog’s diet and be considered an occasional treat. For most small dogs, 10 blueberries would be an adequate amount.
How many blueberries can dogs eat in a day?
Generally, 8-10 blueberries a day, depending on your pet’s size and tolerance for this fruit. Blueberries should be served as a treat and can even be offered every day if you take into account the daily number of calories recommended by the veterinarian.
It would be best if you asked your veterinarian before feeding your dog human foods, including blueberries. They can instruct you on the correct serving size and ensure that your dog’s health will not be adversely affected by blueberries. Once you receive confirmation from your veterinarian, there are many ways to offer them to your dog.
The best way for your dog to have blueberries is exactly as they are – raw and fresh. This is because they are the most beneficial and nutritious then. If it is not fresh, your dog may have stomach problems. Blueberries have been shown to improve night vision, help prevent cell damage, and help in good mental functioning in older animals.