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Can Dogs Eat Blueberries? What You Need to Know
There are lots of fruits that are completely dog-friendly. Many fruits are even put into commercial dog food recipes to enhance nutrition. But, of course, it’s always best to check the safety of certain plant-based foods before you offer them to your pet.
So, are blueberries safe for dogs? Absolutely—and they pack a punch of vitamins and minerals in one tiny package. Let’s find out what this superfood does for our canine companions.
Dogs Can Eat Blueberries
Dogs not only can eat blueberries but they really should! Blueberries are packed with nutrients that will have significant benefits to your dog’s body. They have lots of antioxidant power that purifies their blood and reduces certain health risks.
Blueberries are also small and easy to chew. Even with more giant blueberries, you won’t have to worry about these fruits posing any choking hazard. They are soft enough for puppies and seniors to munch on without issue.
A Little About Blueberries
Blueberries are cultivated all over North America. Like many other berries, blueberries grow on small shrubs. Blueberry bushes are closely related to cranberries and huckleberries but trump them in terms of health.
There are two main kinds of blueberry—highbush and lowbush. Highbush is the type you might see in the grocery store or farmers market. They are bigger, bulbous, and dark. Lowbush blueberries are found in the wild. They might be smaller, but they are even higher in nutritional content.
Blueberries serve as a food source for critters everywhere and they’re used in a variety of different food items—even dog food.
Blueberry Nutrition Facts
Why Are Blueberries a Superfood?
Blueberries are considered a superfood because they are low in calories, chock full of nutrition, and super beneficial to the body.
And that’s not even all, but you get the idea. These delicious semi-sweet berries really do their part.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are compounds found in many fruits and vegetables that reduce cell damage and purify the blood, keeping it safe from oxidative damage.
Do Dogs Like Blueberries?
Whether your dog likes blueberries is dependent on them. Some dogs might act overly interested. Other dogs might take a sniff and look up at you, wondering if you have a steak hidden behind your back instead.
The only real test is to offer your dog a berry and see if they bite the bait. If they do, it’s best not to give them blueberries every day since it might cause diarrhea. But you can give them a small handful over top of their regular kibble a few times a week.
Using Blueberries in for Training
When it’s time to train your pup, we all know that they are food motivated. Instead of using commercial dog treats that can be pretty high in calories, carbs, and fat, you can use blueberries instead.
Blueberries are just the perfect size for a quick reward. It’s enough to give your dog a sweet little tasty surprise to motivate them toward the behavior.
If you’re training a puppy, feeding them treats like blueberries can also channel their taste buds to crave healthier foods rather than commercial treats or table scraps.
Serve Blueberries in Moderation
Because blueberries are just one fraction of the nutrition your dog needs in their diet, make sure to feed sparingly. Too many blueberries might cause diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset. But just a few are perfect for your dog to enjoy.
On the upside, blueberries don’t have as much sugar content as some other fruits. So, even though you still have to be mindful of your dog’s sugar intake, this little berry is a good pick.
Dogs and Blueberries: Final Thoughts
From commercial food to homemade treats, many brands and owners rely on the power of blueberries to aid in overall dog health. Blueberries are a perfectly safe and nutritious canine snack. You can feed your dog a small handful or even add to their food bowl at mealtime.
Blueberries are also a fantastic motivator if you use them as treats during training too. Overall, this little superfood gets a 10 out of 10 for being such a powerful fruit for our pups.
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Featured Image: Julian Ackroyd, Unsplash
Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.