Blueberries are awesome fruits which are highly recommended by many fitness experts. Blueberries are high in fibre, low in calories and fat, and are a rich natural source of vitamins A, C, E, and K. In addition, they have plenty of anti-oxidants and contain important minerals like manganese, iron, and potassium.
Can Dogs Have Blueberries?
If you have been wondering if you can feed your dog blueberries, the answer is absolutely, yes! You can. In fact, blueberries are not just good for your dog, but they actually offer an array of health benefits. Many food experts and veterinarians have actually proved that blueberries are great for dogs when used in moderation. This is also evident in the fact that blueberries are usually included in the commercially made dog treats and dog foods.
Many dogs actually love eating blueberries and they can eat them without experiencing any negative side effects or allergic reactions. As mentioned earlier, blueberries are rich in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals which are very good for a dog’s health; this makes blueberries an excellent food to include in your dog’s diet. The same health benefits humans get from eating the blueberries, your dog will also get them from eating this fantastic fruit.
How Much Blueberries Should a Dog Eat?
It’s important to note that, you should not give your dog blueberries as a daily supplement. Rather, they should be given occasionally. The amount of blueberries you can feed to your dog generally depends on your dog’s weight and health condition. Normally, 10 or less blueberries are good for dogs, except if your dog is very small, in which case the amount should be reduced. If you give a small dog a large amount of blueberries, that might cause diarrhoea or gastric upset. Also, if your dog has a history of gastric upset or diarrhoea, then it is best to avoid giving him/her blueberries.
Remember, when you feed your dog blueberries for the 1st time, it’s important to wait and see whether he/she will develop any adverse side effects or allergic reactions to the blueberries. To feed your dog blueberries, you can start by giving him/her only 2 to 3 blueberries and then keenly observe his/her behaviour. If there aren’t issues at all, you can feed the dog 2 to 3 blueberries a few times a day.
Benefits of Blueberries For Dogs
Blueberries are known as an amazing superfood because of their high level of antioxidants which are just as helpful to dogs as they’re to humans. The antioxidants in blueberries boost the dog’s health and reduce the risk of illnesses by destroying the free radicals in the body, which are responsible for cell damage which often leads serious diseases like cancer, heart diseases, and various other chronic and life threatening illnesses. The antioxidants strengthen the dog’s immune system and this is especially important for the dogs that are physically active, those that are fighting chronic illness, or the dogs dealing with very stressful situations which might compromise their immune system.
Blueberries are known to be very beneficial in terms of enhancing the cognitive functions in dogs. The antioxidants contained in blueberries help in slowing the degenerative effects of ageing on a dog’s brain; this means that the antioxidants might do a lot more than just extend your dog’s life, they can also help preserve dogs’ cognitive functioning in the twilight years. Thus, blueberries are particularly beneficial for elderly dogs. Blueberries have also been shown to be very beneficial in dogs suffering from cognitive dysfunction syndrome. Moreover, they prevent dogs from developing cognitive diseases like serious mental disorders.
Since blueberries are packed with lots of micro-nutrients, your dog will be able to boost his/her vitamin intake without increasing the intake of calories by much. This is actually 1 of the biggest arguments that’s in favour of giving dogs blueberries, especially during obedience training. The blueberries are safe, small, portable and low in calories such that you can give your dog(s) several blueberries without worrying about the risk of gaining weight. As a matter of fact, blueberries are seen as the perfect treat for the dogs who need to lose some weight.
Blueberries are very rich in fibre which helps in facilitating digestion. Fibre is an all natural component which helps the dog’s digestive system to work in a much better way. However, feeding your dog an excessive amount of blueberries may reverse the benefit completely.
Other benefits of blueberries for dogs include:
- Blueberries contain silicon which is believed to help in pancreas rejuvenation process.
- Blueberries can help keep your dog’s blood sugar levels down and also improve their cardiovascular health.
- The Vitamin C found in blueberries helps keep your dog’s teeth very healthy and the breath fresh.
- Blueberries help in preventing hypertension, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.
- They help fight inflammation and help prevent urinary tract infection.
How Should Dogs Eat the Blueberries?
Blueberries generally can make an excellent treat for dogs as they don’t contain any seeds or/and pit, so you don’t need to worry about your dog choking. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can feed your dog blueberries;
One of the easiest ways to feed your dog blueberries is to give him/her raw blueberries; when feeding a dog any type of food, it is best to try and keep it as close to its’ natural state as humanly possible. This way the dog will get most of the minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. Always remember to wash them thoroughly with water so that you can get rid of any chemicals and pesticides as they’re harmful for dogs.
You can feed your dog frozen blueberries as frozen crunchy snacks. Freezing blueberries doesn’t affect their nutritional value and there are some dogs who might prefer to eat them this way. Teething puppies also prefer frozen blueberries. Just remember to feed your dog in moderation.
You can feed the blueberries to your dog as a topping to pancakes, cookies or muffins which you can make for the dog as breakfast. This helps add a richer flavour and better taste to the meals.
You can also feed the blueberries as smoothies, however, it’s important to keep sugar levels low in smoothies because the blueberries are very sweet naturally. Feeding your dog too much sugar is harmful.