Can Dogs Eat Blueberries? -benefits of blueberries for dogs

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Are Blueberries Safe for Dogs?


I was in the kitchen, making us some blueberry and banana parfait. It was early in the morning and I was still feeling groggy. Of course, my pug puppy Bunk was right by my feet, starting back at me with a tongue hanging out and an unforgettable hunger in his eyes that begged for food. All of a sudden, my grogginess got the best of me and I dropped a bunch of blueberries on the floor. “OH NO! BUNK!” was my immediate reaction. The first thought that crossed my mind was, “Are blueberries poisonous for dog? Can he have them? Should I call the vet??”

According to our friends at Raising Healthy Dogs, most dog guardians today want to feed their dog a healthy diet, but aren’t always sure exactly what foods are healthy.  Take berries, for example.  If you check the Internet, you will find lots of different information about berries.  People seem confused about whether or not berries are good for dogs, or even safe to feed dogs.  You can rest assured that there are many kinds of berries that are perfectly safe and healthy for your dog to eat.

Dog looking at a blueberry

Dogs Love Berries

Dogs love many of the same kinds of berries that you probably like yourself:  blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries.  All of these berries are healthy and safe for your dog to eat.

Some Berries are Poisonous For Dogs

When people refer to berries that dogs should avoid, those berries include fruit that contains pits, such as cherries.  It is possible for a dog to choke on these large pits or “stones.”  Additionally, some of these pits contain chemicals, which can be harmful to your dog if eaten.  Dogs should also avoid eating holly berries, juniper berries, baneberries, pokeberries, and mistletoe berries.

Health Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Berries

Just as there are health benefits for you when you eat blueberries and other berries, there are also lots of health benefits for your dog.  Berries are known for their antioxidant properties, which mean that they can protect your cells against the effects of “free radicals.”  Free radicals are normally produced when your body goes through the process of breaking down food, or whenever it’s exposed to many everyday assaults from things like tobacco smoke or ordinary radiation in the atmosphere.  Free radicals can cause damage to our cells.  It is believed that these harmful molecules can affect us in ways that cause cancer, heart disease, and other health problems.  So, antioxidants, which come from berries, can help protect us, and our dogs, from the harm caused by free radicals.  Giving your dog berries may help prevent cancer, heart disease, and other health issues.

Pug looking at a blueberry in the shadow

Studies have also suggested that blueberries are beneficial to older dogs and help them keep their cognitive functions.  This is especially important for dogs that might be experiencing canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome.

Cranberries offer dogs the same benefits that they offer humans and can improve urinary tract health.  They are especially beneficial to dogs experiencing any kidney issues.  Cranberries are particularly high in vitamin C.  Cranberry juice is acidic and when you give it to your dog it helps to lower the pH of your dog’s urine.  This makes the urinary tract inhospitable for bacteria.

It is said that blueberries are also a good source of silicon, which is said to help rejuvenate the pancreas.

Your Dog Trying Berries

Many dogs enjoy eating blueberries right from your hand, or you can put some berries in their dish with their dog food.  In other cases, as with cranberries, you can give them some cranberry juice to add berries to their diet.  Berries can be fed in berry form, pureed, or you can add them to a favorite dog cookie recipe.  Berries also make excellent treats for your dog.

Fruits that have a peel around them like blueberry are hard for your carnivore friend to break down in their belly. As a result, if you see the blueberries come out in your pet’s stools, you may want to slice them in half before feeding another time… or if you are like me, you just grab a handful, put them on the floor and let your dog eat them with joy… I don’t worry too many how well my dogs will digest them because my dogs simply love blueberries and that’s good enough for me.

Pug about to eat a blueberryA lot of dogs also like frozen blueberries, so that is something you might want to try (especially for teething puppies!).

If you haven’t offered your dog berries yet, purchase a couple of different kinds and see how your dog likes them.  Chances are that your dog will quickly become a big fan of berries.  And you’ll be a big fan of their health benefits to your dog.

If you do not want to give a raw blueberry, here are a couple of great blueberry treats that you might want to treat your dogs. They are amazing, smell fresh, taste like the fruit and are made with all natural products.

Pug licking a blueberry

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    • OHH strawberries! That’s a new one. I think I am going to follow Nola’s suggestion and go get myself some! Thanks for the heads up!

    • They are amazing right? My humans use them as bonding treats with me. This is what it looks like. The female human gets out a box of blueberries from the fridge. She sits down on the ground and tells me to “Sit” and “Stay”. Then she takes turns feeding herself a couple and feeding me one. We can go back and forth for 5 minutes. It is ridiculous actually.

  1. Our doggies love the Natural Choice blueberry cookies. We gave Storm cranberry pills until her first season to ward off uti’s. Worked for her, she never had one.

    Go ahead eat that berry Bunk!

    • Cranberries! The humans always told me it is good for them but I didn’t know if it is also good for me (You know how humans always eat random, weird stuff? Who knows what is in it!). Now that you assured me you ate it, I am going to go try!:)

  2. Yup, we are blueberry and strawberry fans here. I am ALL over the strawberries especially..can smell them a mile away. We love the Zukes treats with blueberry as well.

    • Ohh! I have been meaning to try Zukes! Did you like it? I am a big Dogswell fan but ever since they started manufacturing in China, my humans have been a little weary about feeding those to me. They are thinking about Zukes and I told them I wanted to try the peanut butter treats they make. The lamb ones look good too. Have you ever tried those?

    • You know Minnie and Mack,

      The humans keep me around as a comic relief. With their hectic lives, I think the laughter and ridiculousness I give them keeps them alive and well. Thus, it is in their best interest to research what they feed me before it goes in my pug mouth!:)

  3. Diane - Whittier, CA on

    I enjoyed visiting Bunk’s Blog. My two terriers love dried cranberries. They will eat blueberries and raspberries once in awhile. Strawberries they don’t seem much interested in for some reason. I have to be careful how many figs they eat from my trees in the backyard. Dogs like raw carrots, but too many too often are toxic enough to kill. So, like anything, moderation in even healthful treats is important. Thank you, and keep up the good work!

    • I haven’t heard that about carrots, but thanks for the tip. I also like that you used the word “healthful” and not “health” 😉

  4. My dog loves carrots and I had some fresh blueberries and wanted to know if he could have ’em and read your blog about it. Gave it to him and he ate them all. You have such a cute pug, reminds me of my boston terrier.

  5. Puppies and dogs don’t “speak” a language, however|Neverthelessunderstand sign language, and putting them on the newspaper or taking them outdoors is sign language. Puppies evacuate|Clear immediately|As soon asleave|Leave behindNourish|Give food toclear|Clear outwithout delay|Right away

  6. I am an older chocolate lab (I’ll be thirteen this month!). Just a few minutes ago, my person gave me blueberries for the first time. WOW! Those are really good. Now my person tells me that blueberries are especially good for senior dogs like me. YAY! That must mean I’ll be getting more!

  7. My little long-haired Dachshund (a.k.a. wiener dog) cannot eat any kind of berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries). Just eating one will make her vomit.

    • That’s really interesting! I love berries and wish everyone was able to eat them. Hey, it’s ok, it’s not the only food in the world. 🙂

  8. Oh thank goodness these are ok for me to eat! My owner got freaked out when I ate some blueberries that she dropped. She’ll be happy to know that they are ok for me to eat! Thanks!

  9. My black pug like bunk eats everything taking tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries straight from the bush as snacks. Glad to know that what he has been having is good for hime

  10. Do you know if Japanese Blueberry trees are toxic for dogs? They have a berry and before i plant the trees want to make sure they are safe.

    • I would consult your vet about this one because you are talking about both the berries remnants of fallen tree particles.

  11. Do you think I can throw in a handful of blueberries in my older dogs food everyday? Or is that too much? Thank you for the awesome article!

  12. Our English Bull Terrier, when he was still with us, LOVED blueberries and couldn’t get enough of them. We had a blueberry bush and he would just
    go and prune the berries directly off of the plant!

    But then, he ate his corn right off the cob (yes, we held the cob and turned it for him!) as he munched the kernels off the cob!

    Popcorn? Only without butter… every time we made popcorn and some of them would drop onto the floor, ole Butkas would be on them faster than… well, you get my drift!

    He was a great dog and we do miss him… so, feed your friends the good stuff!

  13. My human came across your blog when she Googled about blueberries being safe for me. Needless to say, she AND I were very happy to find out that indeed they are good for me!

    I’m a young 10 yr old Rottweiler/Lab…and my human told me she will now feed me blueberries, bananas (my fave!!), apples (another fave!), baby carrots…but only as a special treat when I’m a good girl (lucky for me, I’m well behaved almost all the time!). Thank you, Bunk…my human & I will continue to follow your blogs & come to your website for more information.

    Happy tail wags to you!

    Emma Rose & her human, Kelly

  14. well i gave my dogs blueberries and was affraid to give them to them i gave them 2 bishon friese and shit zu and american akita and pitbull cross with a staff but i saw no problem wath so ever so contiued feeding them

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