Can dogs eat blueberries? That is a very good question, and the answer is a resounding YES! Not only do dogs love the sweet taste of blueberries, they are actually a generally safe and healthy treat for your dog. Blueberries are loaded with nutrients that can help keep humans and dogs healthy, and they are actually considered to be a super food.
So, the next time you sit down to eat a handful of these delicious berries, don’t hesitate to give a few to your dog to enjoy as well. But like anything else, moderation is key; otherwise, blueberries can be bad and toxic at high levels. Let’s take a look at why blueberries are good for dogs most of the time!
Health Benefits of Blueberries For Dogs
There are so many health benefits your dog can get from blueberries that it is difficult to know where to begin. They are rich in antioxidants, which help to keep animals and humans healthy and free of certain diseases. The antioxidants fight free radicals, which can cause cellular and molecular problems, and help to strengthen the immune system. New studies show that antioxidants can help to fight the negative effects in the aging of the brain, making blueberries the perfect treat for older dogs.
Blueberries are also low in calories, making them the ideal treat for overweight dogs. They contain phytochemicals, which are natural chemical compounds that come from plants), as well as many important vitamins and nutrients, including:
- Vitamins B6, C, and K
- Dietary fiber
- Natural sugar
Let’s take a look at some of the many ways that feeding your dog blueberries can help to improve his overall health.
Eating blueberries can help lower cholesterol levels, which in turn is going to help your dog have a healthy heart. Research shows that eating blueberries can also help to lower blood pressure naturally.
Because blueberries are low in calories and high in fiber, they are one of the most perfect foods to eat while on a diet. If your dog is overweight, but you want to give them a tasty treat, feed them a handful of fresh blueberries. Or, give them some dog treats you can make with blueberries; one such recipe can be found at the end of this article.
Vitamin K is known for being important for good bone health, and blueberries are loaded with it. Just one cup of blueberries contains 32 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K for humans. It can also help to keep your dog’s bones strong and healthy.
Negative Side Effects of Blueberries For Dogs
Just because blueberries are incredibly healthy for dogs, it doesn’t mean that there can’t be some negative side effects as well. Dogs are just like us, and not all dogs are able to eat all things. Some foods may upset their stomachs, while they may simply be allergic or intolerant to others. Here are some of the side effects to watch out for if you feed blueberries to your dog.
Blueberries are high in sugar, and can lead to tooth decay if your dog eats too many on a regular basis. Limit blueberry intake to occasional treats, and get into the habit of brushing your dog’s teeth to keep them healthy.
Since blueberries are also high in soluble fiber, they can lead to constipation if your dog eats too many. The stool becomes hard due to the soluble fiber absorbing water, which causes constipation.
On the flip side of the coin, some dogs can get diarrhea from eating too many blueberries. This is actually more common than constipation. The fiber in the blueberries will loosen the stool. Again, it is best to feed your dog blueberries in moderation.
How To Feed Your Dog Blueberries
You should never just give your dog blueberries without washing them first to remove any traces of pesticides. Also, it is important to remove the stems, as they are not easily digested by dogs; the fleshy part of the berry is all they really need. You might enjoy your berries with cream and sugar, but plain is best for your dog. Some people like to freeze blueberries, and give them to their dogs on hot days a as a tasty frozen treat.
Blueberry Dog Treats
Here’s a delicious homemade blueberry dog treat recipe to try.
- 1/8 C fresh or frozen blueberries, mashed
- ½ C almond flour
- ¼ C rice flour or organic brown rice flour
- ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix flours together.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg, olive oil, and mashed blueberries.
- Combine wet and dry mixes together and mix thoroughly.
- Prepare a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
- Drop mixture by the spoonful onto the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes.