Blueberries are my kind of fruit. I could never get enough of those cute little indigo pearls. They are one of my most favourite things in this world alongside my canine pet, Mr. Paw.
One day while I was helping myself to some blueberries, I saw Mr. Paw making googly eyes. I hoped he was staring affectionately at me but I realized he was actually looking at the bowl of blueberries I got in my left hand. At that time, I did not know if dogs are allowed to eat blueberries or not. So I didn’t give him anything. Not because I’m selfish, but because I’m responsible (which may sound like an excuse for the fact that I kept the blueberries all to myself).
So I reserved some of my time to do a little research to clear this up once and for all. That is why today we are going to answer the question, “Can dogs eat blueberries?”
About Dogs And Blueberries – Facts You Need To Know
Dogs are omnivores. This means that they could eat both plants and animals and live on a diet of fruits, vegetables, and meat just like us, humans. Blueberries are fruits, so does that mean dogs can safely eat the stuff? I know you already want the answer but let us discuss more about the dog diet and more about the blueberry fruit.
A lot of dogs like to eat fruits but it has come to my attention that there is only a list of fruits that are good for dogs. Canines are herbivores but that does not mean all kinds of plant-based food is safe for their consumption.
It is not wise to assume that canines and people have the same appetite for food just because humans and dogs are both herbivores. Not all food made for people can be fed to our pet dogs.
What about blueberries?
It didn’t come as a surprise when I found out that blueberries are considered to be one of the healthiest fruits in the world. They contain these very special anti-oxidants called pterostilbene and resveratrol which is comparable to phenol. The words may sound gibberish so let me explain what antioxidants are and what they do to our bodies.
Antioxidants do a really good job in health optimization. This is because they are capable of targeting free radicals which have the capacity to damage our cellular structure.
Studies also show that they could help improve memory and other functions of the nervous system. But not only that. It is also a good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Manganese, Copper and Fiber. Vitamin K is in charge with blood clotting and bone health. Vitamin C improves the body’s immunity against diseases. Manganese is great to control blood sugar and to keep the skin healthy. Copper provides energy and bone and tissue integrity.
Lastly, fiber aides digestion and helps the body achieve easy and regular bowel movements. Imagine all these things in a handful of tiny round fruits.
The nutritional value of blueberries is quite impressive. But the real question is, are blueberries safe for our canine’s tummy?
Can dogs eat blueberries? – Answer: Yes
Dogs can eat blueberries. They would not cause an allergic reaction or any kind of toxins that poses a poisonous hazard for our best friend. In fact, the fruit is very healthy for them, as well as other kinds of berries like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. But today we are going to focus more on the blue ones.
Now that you know this, you can share some of your store-bought blue berries with your dog without worrying if their body would accept or repel it. Perhaps, you could buy a little extra to satisfy the both of you.
Blueberries taste a little sour and a little sweet too. They are delightful not only for us humans but also to our dog’s taste buds. But blueberries are more than its flavors. It also smells so good, its aroma will be able to attract dogs.
Trivia: Dogs have a really good sense of smell with 220 million olfactory receptors. Humans only have five million. With this outstanding asset, our dogs will be able to know just by the scent if there are ripe blueberries nearby. And we can’t stop blueberries from emitting the aroma it fills in the air.
So if you have a blueberry garden in your backyard, make sure to put a fence around it or you’ll never get a taste of your ripe blueberries when the time comes.
Your dogs will surely love blueberries. You might even find yourself in the position to give him the last bit of blueberry even if you badly want it for yourself. But because you love your fury little fella, you’d probably give up that tiny ball of goodness. Then again, don’t get your dogs to eat too much of it.
“Everything in moderation” as what they say. Yes, blueberries may be full of healthy goodness but an excessive amount can be bad.
Now that you know dogs can eat blueberries, perhaps you might want to learn more. There are lots of other things to find out. Feel free to read on.
Why Do Dogs Like Blueberries?
Now I’m very curious why dogs like blueberries. I mean, I have not really imagined a canine helping himself to a bush of berries. When I was young, I thought dogs only ate big buffalo bones and nothing else. At least, that’s what my favorite cartoon shows told me to believe. Not until I had my first puppy.
It was then that I realized that they actually had a lot of options. Still, it was not until recently when I found out that dogs are into blueberries.
So I dug a little deeper to understand the story behind a canine’s inclination to blueberries.
Once upon a time, dogs were not pets and they didn’t have homes with human owners. And you guys will be, “That’s hilarious! How were they supposed to survive without a home?”
Well, dogs did not need people to survive in the pre-historic ages. They used to be wild and are identified as opportunistic hunters which eat anything they could find. And do you know which kind of food are abundant in the wild?
That is why they developed a connection with blueberries. Their bodies have been accustomed to it that even though dogs have become domesticated, it seems like they haven’t forgotten their cravings.
However, they remain meat eaters which get most of their nutrients in animal tissues. They may be omnivores but they are more carnivorous than herbivorous, if you know what I mean. Anyway, that is the short narrative of why dogs love blueberries. I hope you got something from that.
Blueberries – are there any benefits?
Are blueberries beneficial to dogs?
Yes, they are!
Humans are not the only ones who can enjoy the benefits of blueberries. Even dogs, too!
As I have mentioned before, blueberries are packed with antioxidants. It is so full of it, the antioxidant pigment called Anthocyanin made them blue! Let’s go over the health benefits antioxidants can offer our pet dogs.
Blueberries neutralize the free radicals in our dog’s body. Free radicals are the ones responsible for cell and tissue damage. Some of the effects of tissue damage are the following:
- Eye conditions like cataracts and glaucoma
- Varicose veins
- Peptic ulcer
- Diseases of the heart
All these can be prevented by blueberries!
But not only that.
- Blueberries are also good for our dog’s vascular system.
- It improves the integrity of capillaries. Let’s say you have some broken capillaries that needs healing. Trust on blueberries as they can do the job.
- They help improve eye sight. Blueberriescontain two very essential eye healthy carotenoids which are called lutein and zeaxanthin. Now don’t feel bad if it’s the first time you have heard about this. But we may not have the time to explain this in detail. All I know is that the fruit also contain anthocyanins which are phytonutrients that are nourishing for the canine eyes. As what most of us know, dogs have the power of night vision and this nutrient will really help improve that asset. But the list doesn’t stop there. Well, not yet. Flavonoids such as rutin, resveratrol and quercetin are also carried by blueberries. These are very helpful stuff which could prevent macular degeneration among dogs.
- The fruit makes Vitamin C more effective!
- Blue berries improve the cognitive functions of dogs in older ages. The fruit also reduces the risk of dementia among humans. This sounds like a super fruit!
- They are also healthy for puppies and small dogs!
- The fruit control blood sugar levels. Blueberries would be good for dogs with diabetes. Antioxidants could enhance insulin activity. However, this is not the ultimate cure. Diabetic dogs still need to adhere to a healthy lifestyle.
- It rejuvenates the canine’s pancreas. Blueberries are actually one of those foods which heals pancreas. They will be able to avoid pancreatitis among canines and reduce inflammation.
- Blueberries reduce stress among dogs. You may not know it but humans are not the only ones who feel stress. If you notice your dog being unusually aggressive, perhaps a little too sad to be active or simply want to spend the day in isolation, then your dog is probably stressed. Blueberries can relieve high stress levels.
When Are Blueberries Bad For Dogs?
It’s nice to know that blueberries are good for dogs. Then again, one should never over-do the feeding. It’s not like feeding our dogs lots and lots of blueberries will make them live forever. So we should keep in mind a dosage limitation.
So what happens to dogs when fed with too much blueberries? Will they grow round and turn blue just like the girl who ate the blueberry in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory?
That’s just in the movie, silly you! On a serious note, too much blueberry will result an upset stomach. The manifestations are diarrhea and vomiting.
That is why it is always better to feed your dogs some proper dog chow that is formulated specially for canines. You do not want to feed your dogs blueberry alone for the rest of their lives. I mean, yes. I get it. Blueberries are yummy. But dogs also need animal-based food, too.
Still, blueberries would be a great snack.
Tips on feeding blueberries to dogs
Giving your dogs blueberries do not require of you to learn an intricate recipe for blueberry pies or desserts. You can actually give it to them as they are. Still, there are a number of things to remember when feeding our dogs the indigo fruit.
If you are feeding your dog blueberries for the very first time, you should first run a food trial to make sure that he will be able to tolerate the fruit. This is necessary to prevent unnecessary emergency trips to the vet if ever blueberries are not for Barky. But as to what I have known, blueberries carry very little to no danger. This is actually a fruit made in heaven.
At first, you could give him a couple or three blueberries. Observe his reaction after finishing the fruit. If you see no negative manifestations from eating the fruit, you could feed your dogs no more than eight blueberries several times a day.
Also, here are some tips to prepare blueberries before giving them to you dogs.
- First of all, when giving your dog raw blue berries, never ever forget to wash them first especially if they are store-bought. We do not know where it has been or what kind of stuff is on the blueberry skin. It may sound like it is no big deal but just to be safe, I hope you will heed to my advice.
- Do not give your dogs a full two hands of blueberries. It does not pose a choking hazard but we do want to control their blueberry intake.
- The thing about blueberries is that they could be fed to dogs fresh or even frozen. Turns out, freezing blueberries does not affect the antioxidants they carry. It makes the fruit a lot more exciting!
- We may want to experiment with blueberry dog treat recipes and it is good to be creative. However, in raising a dog, our creativity should also be well researched before being carried to action. Just last week, I came across a canine recipe with blueberry ingredients and MARSHMALLOWS. This is NOT good for dogs. You see, blueberries already have a lot of sugar and we do not want to overdose our canines with the sweet stuff. So my point is, when trying to develop a blueberry recipe, take into consideration the other ingredients. Having blueberries in the food does not mean it should be able to cancel out the bad that is in the other components.
- If you want safe alternatives, there are commercially produced dog foods incorporated with blueberries. There are a lot of beef and duck dog treats mixed with real berry bits so you do not have to make up your own concoction. I also found some blueberry shampoo which I would like to get for my baby! It is not something to feed him, though. I guess that’s obvious but I do not want to be the person you guys would think would feed her dog bath wash.
- Lastly, giving your dogs organic blueberries are the way to go. No pesticides or harsh fertilizer to mess up the purity of the fruit – that sounds unreal! You better believe it. Maybe starting a garden is actually a good idea.
Bottom line: Dogs and Blueberries
So you got a full answer for “Can dogs eat blueberries?” Blueberries are safe for a dog’s consumption. As a matter of fact, this fruit is pretty healthy for canines. It offers them a lot of benefits which would help their body function in its most optimal form. It is packed with a lot of nutrients, each one serves a function to improve their vision, strengthen their vascular system, repair their tissues and a lot more. It poses no harm to canines unless we over feed it to them.
Before I end this article, I would like to remind you that eight blueberries should be enough to satisfy your dog. Otherwise, you might find yourself cleaning some smelly stuff. I would not be there to say “I told you so” but you’ve been warned.
I really hope you enjoyed reading the article. And I really appreciate that you got to the last part! If you have anything in mind, drop by the comment section and tell us what you got. You are also free to share the article to other dog-parents who are in perpetual concern of what they feed their canine pets. For now, ciao!