Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?

dog begging for blueberries at table

Blueberries are extremely beneficial for people, but should you share them with your pet? This particular plant-based food is okay for your dog to eat. Blueberries provide a wealth of health benefits. While there are some health and safety issues related to letting your dog eat blueberries, you can both enjoy this treat in moderation. 

Can Dogs Have Blueberries?

Many people wonder if they can let their dogs eat blueberries since this is a healthy snack for people. While it’s certainly much better than feeding your dog donuts, you should still avoid letting your dog overindulge in this treat. Too much of any food isn’t good for your dog.

Although they are small, blueberries are very high in sugar. You’ll find about 15 grams of sugar in one cup of blueberries. By way of comparison, a cup of raspberries only has 5 grams of sugar. Dogs suffering from obesity or diabetes should avoid eating blueberries. 

Healthy Treats: Blueberry Benefits for Dogs

When reviewing blueberries’ nutritional benefits, it’s clear why nutrition experts recommend this food for the value it offers to dogs. In addition to being a powerhouse of antioxidants, blueberries provide vitamin C health benefits for dogs. Also, the phytochemicals in the skin of blueberries help your dog’s body resist cancer and heart disease. 

Blueberries are low in calories and high in fiber, helping to somewhat counteract the high amount of sugar. Additionally, blueberries are an excellent source of the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

While blueberries aren’t a good source of most B vitamins for dogs, they do provide vitamin B6. This nutrient is essential in regulating your dog’s glucose level, hormone production, and nervous system response. 

Safety Concerns in Feeding Your Dog Blueberries

The health benefits of blueberries for dogs may make this a health-conscious choice in finding new treats for your dog. Just make sure to prepare them properly. Mix one cup of white vinegar with a bowl of water and soak the blueberries in the mixture for 15 minutes. This will remove pesticides from the skin.

Due to the small size of blueberries, there is a choking hazard for small and medium-sized dogs. It’s a good idea to smash blueberries up into a pulp before giving them to your dog. This will let your dog enjoy blueberries safely.

many blueberries for dogs

Preparing Blueberries for Your Dog

While simply washing raw blueberries will make them safe for your dog, other preparation methods might alter the fruit. In particular, be cautious of processed foods containing blueberries since manufacturers likely add additional ingredients.

Frozen Blueberries

Can dogs eat frozen blueberries? You can create a delicious summertime treat for you and your dog by freezing fresh blueberries. They’re just as beneficial as room-temperature blueberries, and they can help your dog cool off in the hot weather.

Dried Blueberries

Can dogs eat dried blueberries? While your dog can eat dried blueberries, it’s better to buy a food dehydrator and prepare them at home. Manufacturers may add sugar and preservatives to packaged dried fruits. In particular, watch for xylitol since this sweetener is toxic for dogs.

Blueberry Muffins and Cake

It’s common to find blueberries in baked goods. While baking blueberries doesn’t make them unsafe for dogs, consider the other ingredients in muffins and cakes. Sugar, xylitol, and more artificial ingredients will compromise your dog’s health. Lactose intolerance might also be an issue. Stick to raw or frozen blueberries for a healthy treat.

How Many Blueberries Can Your Dog Eat?

Even though blueberries are a healthy snack, the high sugar content can make your dog sick. If your dog vomits or experiences diarrhea after eating blueberries, avoid giving them blueberries in the future.

Use these guidelines to determine how many blueberries are okay for your dog to eat:

  • Extra-small dogs (up to 20 pounds): Less than 1 tablespoon
  • Small dogs (21-30 pounds): 1 tablespoon
  • Medium-sized dogs (31-50 pounds): 2 tablespoons
  • Large dogs (51-90 pounds): ¼ cup
  • Extra-large dogs (over 91 pounds): ⅓ cup

Signs that your dog has eaten too many blueberries or that they might have an allergy include lethargy, loss of appetite, gulping or licking their lips, and nausea. If you notice these symptoms, consult a veterinarian right away.

You Can Share Blueberries With Your Dog

The broad range of health benefits you and your dog receive from eating blueberries make this a desirable treat. While your dog should only eat blueberries in moderation, they make a good treat that can boost your pet’s health. If you’re looking for a way to add more variety to your pet’s diet, feed them blueberries from time to time.

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Paul Buonopane

Have you ever heard the adage, "Once a cat person, always a cat person"? Well, prepare to have that myth charmingly dispelled! I grew up a cat lover but these good boys just couldn't be denied and I'm officially a convert.

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