Ever look down into your puppy’s cute little eyes while eating a snack and find yourself fighting the urge to share? Dogs can have very sensitive stomachs and unfortunately, many things that we consider delicacies can be toxic to our four-legged friends. Knowing what “people foods” are appropriate for your pet is extremely important to avoid a potentially urgent vet visit in the event that they ingest a toxic food or other substance they shouldn’t have. Can dogs eat grass? Can dogs eat apples? Can dogs have blueberries? The answer is actually yes! Many fruits make safe, nutritious snacks for a dog. One underrated food that can make a great healthy snack for your pup is blueberries. Yes, they are a nontoxic, low-calorie, tasty treat! Discover the potential health benefits and recommendations on feeding your pup this superfood.
Benefits of Blueberries for Dogs
Snacks and treats should only make up 10% of daily calorie intake for a dog, the other 90% should be a well-balanced diet. Blueberries are a perfect addition as a small snack as they are low in calories, high in fiber and are packed full of nutritional benefits for your furry companion. This bite-sized fruit contains several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C and Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese. Antioxidants and phytochemicals are additional advantages of blueberries, working to combat the cell damage caused by free radicals in our bodies and in turn reducing the risk of certain diseases and cancers.
Potential Concerns and Precautions of Blueberries for Dogs
Just like anything, too much of a good thing can have consequences. Blueberries should be fed to your furry friend in moderation, not only to prevent feeding too many calories, but for a few other reasons as well. Blueberries contain natural sugars that when fed in excess can lead to stomach upset for your precious pup. Due to this sugar content, they may also not be recommended for patients who are obese or diabetic.
Just because fresh, plain blueberries are safe for Fido, does not mean all foods with blueberries are created equal. Take blueberry muffins and store-bought blueberry yogurt, for example. Blueberry products and baked goods often contain extra sugars, sweeteners such as xylitol, or even chocolate or nutmeg that are toxic to dogs and therefore must be avoided. It is always best to consult with your veterinarian prior to adding something new to your pet’s diet.
How Many Blueberries Can Dogs Have?
Keep in mind, dogs can range in size from a petite Chihuahua to a huge Great Dane. The recommended amount of blueberries varies greatly depending on the size of your pooch. Small breed dogs such as a yorkie or shi tzu can have 1-3 blueberries as a snack per day while large breed dogs such as a Labrador Retriever or German Shepherd can handle a larger amount, think 5-8 blueberries.
Feeding Blueberries to Dogs
Feel like your pup may be getting bored of the same old snacks? Blueberries can be fed in different ways to add variety for your fur baby. They can be served fresh, frozen, mashed or even dehydrated.
When feeding fresh, be sure to wash off any dirt or preservatives and serve without the stem, just as you would for yourself. Frozen blueberries can pose a higher risk of choking, so should be given with caution in smaller breeds and under direct supervision only. Dehydrated blueberries can be given but should be dehydrated by you at home. Store bought dehydrated blueberries can contain preservatives or other artificial flavors or additional sugars that are best to avoid.
Are Blueberries Good for Dogs?
While blueberries are safe and nontoxic, it is always important to ask your veterinarian for advice before introducing new foods as there are many foods out there that can be harmful to dogs even when ingested in small amounts. In the unfortunate event that your pet gets into something it shouldn’t and needs an urgent trip to the vet, getting dog health insurance is the best way to protect yourself from the financial strain that can come with the unexpected. Embrace offers coverage for illness and injury to provide you and your pup with a safety net to ensure their health and well-being in these sometimes-scary situations.
Blueberries offer numerous benefits as a safe snack for your pup. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants offer nutrients and protection from cell damage that are vital to your four-legged friend’s health and well-being. Enjoy the look on your pup’s face as you both enjoy this tasty superfood together.