You’ve probably heard about superfoods – the term has been bandied about a lot in the press recently. A superfood is simply a food that’s full of nutrients and is really healthy and good for us. One of the most commonly mentioned superfoods, and possibly the original superfood as far as the recent trend goes, is the blueberry. Blueberries are incredibly healthy and full of anti-oxidants and vitamins, in particular vitamin K and vitamin C. As blueberries are so great for us humans (not to mention super tasty too!), you may be wondering “Can dogs eat blueberries too?” or “are blueberries safe for dogs?”
These are valid questions for any responsible dog owner. After all, the best diet is one that consists of a quality dry dog food, and not all human foods are as good for dogs as they are for us. Some of them can be toxic for dogs, and some of them can even be fatal. So let’s take a look at whether blueberries are safe for dogs or not.
Can dogs eat blueberries?
The quick and cheerful answer to the question of can dogs eat blueberries is yes, blueberries are just as good and healthy for dogs to eat as they are for us. Dogs get all the same benefits of the vitamins, fiber and anti-oxidants that blueberries are laden with. In fact, you’ll find that blueberries are often one of the ingredients of the dog food and dog treats that you’ll find in the shops.
All things in moderation
Of course, dogs should only be given blueberries in moderation. The safe amount depends on the way you feed them to your dog and the size of your dog. If you’re giving your dog whole raw blueberries then it’s best to consider them as a treat rather than a daily food supplement. Anything up to ten blueberries should be fine for all but the very tiniest of dogs.
Potential side effects
When you first give your dog blueberries to eat, you should keep a careful eye on them afterwards as too many blueberries may cause diarrhea or stomach problems. If your dog already has a history of digestive or stomach issues, then you shouldn’t feed them blueberries without first consulting with your vet about it. Your vet will also be able to advise you on the most appropriate amount of blueberries to give your particular dog.
Ways to give your dog blueberries
Probably the best (and certainly the easiest!) way to give your dog blueberries is simply to give them the whole raw blueberries. You should always wash them first, of course.
An alternative that many dog owners like to give their dogs is to feed them frozen blueberries. Dogs love these crunchy blueberry treats.
You can also give your dog blueberry treats that you can buy in the shops. Again, all treats should only be given in moderation.
Accidental eating of blueberries
There’s always the possibility of your dog eating blueberries of his own accord too, of course, when they are outdoors. If this happens, then it’s unlikely to do your dog any long term harm as wild blueberries are generally safe for dogs to eat. If they eat too many of them though, you may find yourself cleaning up a mess of diarrhea!
The answer to the question “Can dogs eat blueberries?” is yes, blueberries are safe for dogs and can be given to them in moderation. They provide dogs with the same health benefits that they give us humans. Make sure you don’t give your dog too many blueberries though, as this can have side effects. If in doubt, talk to your vet.
Finally, it should be noted that your dog should be getting all the nutrients they need through their normal diet and so you shouldn’t need to give your dog blueberries as a supplement. Keep the blueberries for the occasional special treat for your dog.