Can Dogs Eat Strawberries, Blueberries and Blackberries? - Cooper's Treats

October 28, 2020 9 min read

Nothing quite hits the spot on a nice summer day like a fresh bowl of mixed berries. Serve them with a little whipped cream or maybe some vanilla ice cream, and you've got yourself a perfect snack. They're refreshing and sweet, and we certainly love them.

Of course, any time our dogs see us loving a food, they want to join right in and get some for themselves. If you're here reading this, you're probably in the same situation - adorable eyes looking up and you, and maybe a little nose gently nudging your leg.

But before you toss a berry to your pup, let's take a look at the important question about all the berries in our bowl - can dogs eat strawberries, blueberries and blackberries?

CAN DOGS EAT STRAWBERRIES?

Yes, dogs can have strawberries! Of course, it depends how you get those strawberries - ripe, fresh ones right from the farmer's market are perfect. Strawberries from a can, on the other hand, might be problematic. And of course, strawberry shortcake is out of the question (but I for one am glad I don't have to share!).

Overall, though, strawberries do have several beneficial nutritional properties that make them suitable for dogs, as long as they're given as part of a healthy diet. And if you ever have any questions about whether it's okay to feed your dog strawberries or anything else, your best bet is always to call your veterinarian.

ARE STRAWBERRIES GOOD FOR DOGS?

Strawberries have a number of nutritional benefits for dogs. They're high in fiber and vitamin C, both of which are important in any dog's diet. They're also full of antioxidants, which are important in a number of different ways when it comes to helping your dog age well - they help with not only brain health but also joints and other parts of the body.

Another big plus of strawberries is that they're low in calories, so you're not going to risk having an overweight dog if you throw a few his way. It also means that if your dog loves strawberries, you can cut them into small pieces and use them as the perfect training treats. 

Ultimately, strawberries are pretty much all good - they can help with everything from a dog's immune system to her teeth. Talk about a wonderful snack for your best friend! And of course their natural sweetness makes them highly appealing to many dogs. 

RISKS OF GIVING STRAWBERRIES TO DOGS

The risks of feeding strawberries to your dog are very minimal. The one major thing to bear in mind is that because of their size, they can present a choking hazard. You should definitely keep an eye on your pup while he's snacking on strawberries. And of course if you want to stay extra safe, you can just cut your strawberries into small pieces that don't risk getting stuck anywhere.

As with any snack, you should of course give strawberries alongside a balanced diet that has all the protein, vitamins and nutrients your dog needs. Just because strawberries are great doesn't mean that's all your dog should eat!

While strawberries are definitely healthy, that doesn't mean that anything strawberry-flavored is. Any candy or other sweets that come in strawberry flavors are going to have far too much sugar for a dog (and they probably won't even have real strawberries in them). Stay away from strawberry shortcake, strawberry Starburst and strawberry hard candy. Also, just because you're eating your strawberries with cream doesn't mean you should give them to your dog that way. Just serve them plain - your dog doesn't need any extra sweetness with them! 

Similarly, it's best to avoid canned strawberries because of the way that they're prepared. They're often packed in a sweet syrup that is extremely high in sugar, and even if you take them out of it, they'll still have absorbed some. That's going to be way too much for your dog's system, so definitely stay away from anything in a can. Besides, strawberries have more than enough natural sugar for your dog, so she won't be missing out on anything if you don't add any more!

And the final risk of strawberries is that they'll definitely stain your clothes, so watch out for your dog's tongue after he's chowed down on them! 

SO CAN DOGS EAT STRAWBERRIES?

Strawberries are a great snack for dogs, and they can be a wonderful addition into any pup's diet. They're deliciously sweet, which your dog will probably love, but they're low in calories and full of nutrients. You can serve them whole to your dog (though watch out for choking and consider cutting them up first) or puree them and spread them on top of kibble to make mealtime even better.

One of our favorite ways to serve strawberries is with yogurt. If you're going to do this, the key is to do it with the right kind of yogurt. Flavored yogurts are packed with sugar, so you want to stick to something plain. We always recommend plain Greek yogurt, because in addition to not having any added sugar, it's also low on lactose, which can be tough on a dog's stomach. You can either mix strawberries straight into some yogurt and serve it, or you can puree them together with some ice for a healthy dog smoothie. If you want to make it last even longer, make that smoothie and pour it into an ice cube tray (or the adorable bone- and paw-shaped ice cube molds that come with our Pupsicle Starter Kit), then hand those cubes out one at a time.

Of course, as always you should keep an eye on your dog while introducing any new food into her diet and consult your veterinarian if anything seems out of sorts. You should also make sure that all of your dog's treats, whether they're plain strawberries or our Baked Biscuits, don't make up more than 10% of your dog's diet. 

But if your dog responds well to strawberries, let her enjoy a few every now and again!

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!

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). 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!

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. 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!

Whether you happen to have some blackberry bushes on your property or you just picked up a basket of them at the grocery store, you may be wondering if it's okay to toss one to your pup. Good for you for double checking before giving in to those puppy eyes!

CAN DOGS EAT BLACKBERRIES?

They sure can (unless you're referring to your old cell phone from the early 2000s, in which case no, we recommend keeping those out of dogs' mouths)! Blackberries are healthy and full of nutritional benefits, so you can definitely hand a few over to pooch. Just be careful not to let him get his mouth near your white clothes, because the blackberry juice on his tongue will stain!

ARE BLACKBERRIES GOOD FOR DOGS?

Blackberries have a number of antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects and can also help reduce heart disease risk and increase cognitive function. They're packed with fiber, which is important for keeping your dog free of gastrointestinal issues. They have vitamins A, B, C, E and K, which are helpful with all kinds of things, from digestion to improving your dog's immune system to increasing energy levels and reducing inflammation. Last but not least, blackberries have omega-3 fatty acids, which will help your dog's coat, skin and teeth all look their absolute best.

Blackberries are very low in calories, so you don't need to worry about your pup packing on the pounds (though as with all treats, they should be given in moderation).

RISKS OF GIVING BLACKBERRIES TO DOGS

Blackberries don't come with a lot of risks for dogs, so you can feel good feeding them to your pup. The main thing to avoid is overindulgence - even though blackberries are good, too much of a good thing can cause stomach issues. 

can dogs eat blackberries

HOW TO PREPARE BLACKBERRIES FOR DOGS

The good news is that you really don't need to do much of anything to blackberries to prepare them for your dog. As with all fruits and veggies, it's best to wash the outside to ensure they're free of pesticides and other chemicals that may have been used while they were growing.

That said, blackberries are great and so we have a few recommendations on how to give them to your dog:

  • Raw - There's nothing wrong with just giving them a wash and tossing some to your dog. If you're going to go this route, we strongly recommend making a slo-mo recording of your dog trying to catch them, because if your dogs are as bad as ours at catching treats, you'll get some great laughs from your footage.
  • Frozen - Dogs love a little crunch to their treats, and if you freeze blackberries they're like delicious, nutritious ice cubes.
  • Pureed - Is your dog getting bored of regular kibble? Throw a handful of blackberries in a blender and pour the puree over their food - suddenly it's gone from bland to spectacular! (Though if you're looking for something to spice up your pup's kibble, we'd be remiss not to remind you that our Pupsicle mix makes excellent dog food seasoning!)

SO CAN DOGS EAT BLACKBERRIES?

Absolutely! Everything about blackberries makes them a fantastic snack that your pooch will enjoy and that you can feel good about. Just don't overdo it!