You might have heard that blueberries are considered a ‘superfood’ - they’re bursting with vitamins, antioxidants and goodness. But can dogs eat blueberries, and reap the same benefits?
They’re great for you, work well in smoothies and bakes and they still taste delicious. It’d be great if you could share this superfruit with your pooch, right? Well, you’ll be pleased to hear the answer to the next question...
Can dogs eat blueberries?
Yes, dogs can eat blueberries! In fact, blueberries make a fantastic treat for your dog - though they must be given in moderation. They’re just as good for dogs as they are for us and most dogs seem to love the taste of them, too. Winner!
Are blueberries good for dogs?
Can dogs eat blueberries? Yes, and they’ve got a ton of health benefits, too! This delicious, juicy berry is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids which do wonders for a dog’s long-term health. Check out the nutritional value of 1 cup (150g) of blueberries:
- 85 Calories
Vitamin K – 32% Daily Value
Manganese – 25% DV
Vitamin C – 19% DV
Dietary Fiber – 3.6 grams
Vitamin B6 – 5% DV
Sugar – 15g
Copper 9 % DV
Aside from the sugar, it’s all great stuff! Blueberries have been proven to be health-beneficial study after study. They’re a low-calorie food, rich in antioxidants, a rich source of potassium and a super boost of vitamin C, silicon and fibre.
We won’t get too sciency on you, but all these things will help your dog to lead a happy, healthy life and lower their risk of a huge range of illnesses. But we think the most interesting thing about blueberries for dogs, is this:
Blueberries lower your dog’s risk of cancer
“Blueberries contain a phytochemical called pterostilbene. A derivative of resveratrol, pterostilbene is a powerful, dog-approved antioxidant that has been shown to contain potent cancer-fighting properties in animal studies and is especially toxic to breast cancer cells,” explains W. Jean Dodds, DVM in CANINE NUTRIGENOMICS.
Are blueberries bad for dogs?
Overall, blueberries are a healthy and safe treat for dogs. However, as with most fruits, moderation is key.
Fruits tend to contain a lot of natural sugars - and natural doesn’t necessarily mean healthy! Blueberries might have less sugar than other fruits, but the sugars could still cause digestive problems and affect blood sugar if consumed in excess by dogs.
Because of their small size, blueberries might be a choking hazard for some dogs. If your dog is particularly small, it’s best to be on the safe side and cut them up into smaller chunks.
Oh, and never be tempted to give your dog some of your blueberry muffin or cookie - human foods are likely to be jam-packed with added sugars and other nasties which won’t agree with your dog’s sensitive digestive system.
How to serve blueberries for dogs
We might have answered yes to the “can dogs eat blueberries?” question - but that doesn’t mean you should dive straight in and feed them to your pup.
We’d always advise checking with your vet before introducing a new food for your dogs. They’ll be able to advise you on the recommended portion depending on your dog’s breed, size and age.
Before serving blueberries to your pooch, make sure you remove any leaves, dirt or stems let on the fruit - you should only be giving them the flesh. It’s best to give them a rinse under the tap before giving them to your dog, too.
Always serve blueberries in moderation - don’t give them more than 12 berries in a day. Start small - maybe 1 or 2 berries - and work your way up.
We’d recommend using them as special treats and rewards. They’re low-calorie and super yummy, so it’s a fantastic way to avoid giving your dog highly processed treats. Plus, they’re so easy to carry around in a small container.
In the summer, you can freeze blueberries and use them as a refreshing, cooling cold treat. Another option is to bake your own blueberry treats - here’s our favourite recipe:
This is a great treat recipe for your pup, courtesy of Rick Woodford in Feed Your Best Friend Better. These are crisp, healthy cookies which will ‘make your dog jump over the moon in anticipation.’ You’ll need:
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
¼ cup beef, chicken or fish stock
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 170°C
Microwave the blueberries and water in a microwave-safe bowl on high power for 2 minutes.
Combine the blueberry mixture, canola oil, flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse for about 1 minute, or until the mixture gathers into a ball.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 10-inch square. Transfer to a baking sheet and cut into 1-inch squares with a pizza cutter.
Bake for 25 minutes for a soft cookie or up to 40 minutes for a crunchy cookie.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet before breaking them apart at the cut lines.
So, there you have it! Can dogs eat blueberries? They certainly can - and they probably should! Incorporating blueberries (in moderation) to your dog's diet is sure to benefit their long-term health - they're the perfect healthy dog treat!