Have you ever wondered: can dogs eat blueberries? The short answer is yes! Blueberries are a nutritious snack that is safe for dogs to eat in moderation.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of blueberries, how many to feed your dog, and tips for preparing them.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries? Let’s Dive Right In…
Blueberries contain important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide health advantages for your canine companion. Some of the ways blueberries are good for dogs include:
- High in fiber which aids digestion
- Low in calories so perfect for weight control
- Helps urinary tract health
- Supports cognitive function and brain health
- Antioxidants fight aging and inflammation
The ASPCA recommends waiting until your puppy is at least 6 months old before introducing blueberries since they have sensitive digestive systems.
Take Precautionary Measures
When feeding blueberries to your dog, moderation is key. As a general rule, larger dogs can consume 1-2 blueberries per pound of body weight per day.
Small dogs should only eat a few berries at a time – start with just 1 or 2 to see how they tolerate it. Too many blueberries could cause diarrhea or an upset stomach.
One creative way to incorporate blueberries into your dog’s diet is with these simple homemade blueberry dog treats:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1⁄4 cup plain yogurt
- 1⁄4 cup blueberries
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, mix together flour, yogurt, blueberries and egg.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1⁄4 inch thickness.
- Cut into shapes and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. Cool before serving.
This recipe adds antioxidants and fiber while limiting calories and sugar. The yogurt provides an extra boost of protein. Make an entire batch and store any uneaten treats in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Go Berries! Why Blueberries Are a Nutritious Treat for Your Dog
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of blueberries for dogs, let’s look at some important questions when feeding blueberries to make sure you do it safely.
Many dog owners wonder – how many blueberries can dogs eat? As a general guideline, larger dogs can have 1-2 blueberries per pound of body weight per day. For example:
- Small dog (under 25 lbs.): Just a few blueberries at a time
- Medium dog (25-50 lbs.): 25-50 blueberries
- Large dog (over 50 lbs.): 50-100 blueberries
These are just estimates. Start slowly with a few berries and monitor your dog. Reduce the amount if they experience diarrhea or constipation.
Can You Feed Your Dog Frozen Blueberries?
You can feed dogs both fresh or frozen blueberries. Thaw frozen berries first or use fresh. Wash them thoroughly. Blueberries contain antioxidants whether raw or frozen. Remove any stems, leaves or debris.
When giving blueberries as treats…
- Cut larger berries to prevent choking
- Mix into their regular food
- Offer as training rewards
Avoid canned or processed blueberries with added sugar or ingredients. Check labels on packaged blueberry products.
Dried blueberries are okay occasionally but easy to overfeed – they contain more concentrated sugar than fresh berries.
For small dog breeds, only give 1-2 tiny pieces of blueberry at a time. Large quantities of fruit can upset their digestive systems.
Puppies can start eating a few blueberries treats after 6 months old. Wait until your puppy is finished teething to introduce them.
Start with just one blueberry and monitor for any diarrhea or allergic reaction. Increase slowly to a few berries.
Pupsicles & Pupcake Recipes: Tasty Ways to Feed Your Dog Blueberries
We’ve covered the health benefits of blueberries and how to feed blueberries to dogs safely. Now let’s look at some additional questions about blueberries for dogs.
While blueberries are safe for most dogs, here are some precautions:
- Remove all stems, leaves, and debris, which can cause choking or digestive issues
- Introduce slowly to check for allergies or stomach sensitivity
- Avoid excessive amounts which may cause loose stool
- Not ideal for dogs with diabetes due to natural sugar content
Overall, blueberries are low risk and most dogs enjoy them as treats. Monitor your dog for any reactions the first few times. Discontinue use if you notice vomiting, diarrhea, or other signs of intolerance.
It’s also important to avoid the leaves and stems of blueberry plants, which contain higher concentrations of toxins.
The Bad Side of Feeding Blueberries to Your Pooch
The berries themselves are safe, but ingesting other parts of the bushes could cause gastrointestinal or neurological issues.
For picky pups who won’t eat plain blueberries, try making these simple blueberry pupcakes or pupsicles:
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Mix together ingredients in a blender until smooth. For pupcakes, spoon into baked cupcake tins. For pupsicles, pour into plastic molds or small paper cups and freeze.
The banana and yogurt provide protein while the blueberries add antioxidants.
In addition to blueberries, dogs can eat other fruits in moderation, such as:
- Apples – Remove core and seeds
- Bananas – High in potassium
- Cantaloupe – Provides vitamin A
Fruits to avoid include citrus, grapes, and avocado. Always introduce new foods slowly and monitor for any stomach upset.
While most puppies shouldn’t eat blueberries until over 6 months old, once weaned they can occasionally have a few small pieces.
Start with just one blueberry and gradually work up to 1-2 berries per pound of body weight.