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October 26, 2020 3 min read

Who doesn't love blueberries? Whether you're having a bowl of berries for breakfast, making a healthy smoothie or baking a delicious pie, blueberries are always a good choice. They've got all kinds of nutritional benefits for people - they can help improve digestion, keep you feeling full and even lower blood pressure. Of course, they also have the downside of being very quick to stain a white t-shirt, so watch out for that!

But all of that is beside the point - what about dogs? Can dogs eat blueberries?

CAN DOGS EAT BLUEBERRIES?

Yes yes yes! Blueberries are one of our absolute favorite snacks for dogs. They've got all kinds of health benefits, they're packed with nutrients, and they're the perfect size for a treat. If your dog likes blueberries, you can absolutely throw a few his way and feel good about it.

ARE BLUEBERRIES GOOD FOR DOGS?

Blueberries are definitely good for dogs. Let's start with the nutritional benefits: blueberries contain a lot of vitamin C and fiber, both of which are very important in any dog's diet. Additionally, they're packed full of antioxidants, which improve dogs' health. You may be familiar with the superfood açai - it's known as a superfood largely because of its antioxidant content, but guess what has even more antioxidants than açai? You guessed it - blueberries! 

Antioxidants are so good that we feel compelled to expound on their benefits a bit here. They have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties that will help keep your dog spry even into her senior years, and they also improve brain health, so she'll stay sharp as a tack. This is because antioxidants help stop the damage of something called free radicals. Free radicals are a byproduct of your dog's metabolic system that build up and do damage to cells and DNA. Over time, damage to DNA causes aging in your dog and can lead to cancer. Unfortunately there's no medication or other treatment that can help reduce instances of free radicals - the only way to help control their presence is through your dog's diet. 

In fact, blueberries have particular antioxidants called anthocyanins that help to protect brain function. Blueberries have a greater concentration of anthocyanins than any other food, so they really are a uniquely good snack. If you want the best blueberries, look for those that are darker in color - those are usually wild blueberries, and the darker they are, the more anthocyanins they have.

The other amazing quality of blueberries is that they're very low in calories but will leave your dog feeling full, so if you have a pup who needs to shed a few pounds, they're a perfect addition to his diet.

RISKS OF GIVING BLUEBERRIES TO DOGS

There really aren't many risks when it comes to giving blueberries to dogs. Of course, as with any snack, you should give them as part of a balanced diet, but the reality is that because blueberries are low in calories and high in nutritional value, you're probably not going to overdo it with them.

One important thing to note is that for those with small dogs, blueberries may be the right size to get stuck in a dog's throat. Make sure to supervise your teacup pup when you're giving her blueberries, and if you want to be extra cautious you can mash them up or cut them into small pieces.

And while you've probably picked up that we love blueberries as a snack for dogs, the same is not true of most blueberry-flavored foods. If you buy a blueberry smoothie, it'll likely have extra sugar that won't be great for your dog. Similarly, blueberry pie and blueberry candy are sadly to be kept away from dogs (though you don't have to be too sad about not having to share your delicious blueberry pie).

The last thing to bear in mind is that blueberry juice does stain, so remember that your pooch's tongue is going to be covered in it - keep her away from your clean white pants!

SO CAN DOGS EAT BLUEBERRIES?

Absolutely, unequivocally yes. You can feed your dog fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries (the latter may be a bit more enjoyable because they have a nice crunch to them). If you'd like blueberries that last a bit longer, you can get them freeze-dried as well. You can also crush or blend them into a paste and add them to your dog's food for some extra flavor and a big boost of antioxidants. As long as you stick to just plain old blueberries and avoid blueberry-flavored foods with added sugar and other bad stuff, you're good to go!