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.
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.
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.
A 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.