October 26, 2020 4 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, it's important to bear in mind that just because blueberries are delicious doesn't mean that smoothie or pie is the healthiest choice, and that's as true for your pooch as it is for you. So when you've got those adorable little eyes staring up at you, begging for a taste of your blueberry snack, you need to think about exactly what's in it before you decide whether to hand it over.
So with that, let's take a look at the important question at hand - can dogs eat blueberries?
Yes yes yes! Blueberries are one of our absolute favorite snacks for dogs, and we keep a bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer so we've always got some on hand. 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.
You should of course bear in mind that blueberry juice is very dark and a pain to clean, so even if it's healthy to give some blueberries to your dog, you shouldn't do it if you're wearing all white!
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.
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). Unfortunately the same is true for virtually all baked goods - blueberry cobbler is out, blueberry muffins should certainly be kept off the menu, and blueberry tart is a definitely no-no.
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!
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. And while I know I said you shouldn't give your dog any of your blueberry smoothie, you can definitely add some fresh or frozen blueberries to yogurt, along with a bit of ice, and blend for a perfect, healthy dog smoothie. That said, you need to be sure it's the right kind of yogurt that's going to be healthy for your pup - we recommend plain Greek yogurt because it's low in lactose, which is tough on many dogs' stomachs, but the most important thing is that you pick a yogurt that is plain and free of sugar.
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!
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