Are blueberries good for dogs? Blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits for dogs. They are high in antioxidants, which do a lot of wonders for the canine body. These compounds fight free radicals and suppress the development of many diseases.
With that said, there are some things you should know more about blueberries before sharing them with your dog.
7 Health Benefits of Blueberries for Dogs
Hailed as a superfood, blueberries are dense with nutrients that help keep your dog in optimum health. Some of the wonderful health perks they provide are:
1. Protecting the liver from deterioration.
Blueberries are naturally enriched with antioxidants, which ward off oxidative stress from the liver. They also contain vitamin K, which is necessary for the organ to produce blood clotting and coagulation compounds.
Are blueberries good for dogs with liver disease? Dogs with liver disease can benefit from having blueberries in their diet. Their condition is often accompanied by high levels of oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
The anthocyanins in blueberries function as antioxidants, which aid in eradicating these harmful compounds.
2. Helping retain mobility.
The free-radicals-eliminating abilities of blueberries can slow down a dog’s aging process. These fruits can repair DNA damage and modify genes associated with aging too. This, in turn, allows dogs to retain healthy joints and muscles.
It was found in a study that the consumption of blueberries could help cut down the recovery time of sled dogs after strenuous exercise. It can be beneficial for canines with difficulty moving around as they reach old age.
3. Promoting better eye health.
Are blueberries good for dogs’ eyes? Blueberries are good for your dog’s vision as it houses eye-nourishing carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin. The anthocyanins they carry are shown to improve night vision.
Blueberries also produce flavonoids such as rutin, resveratrol, and quercetin, which reduce the risk of macular degeneration. These fruits are rich in other eye-supportive nutrients, including selenium and zinc.
4. Mitigating chronic inflammations.
Inflammation is a natural occurrence in dogs’ bodies. However, it can become detrimental when it becomes a chronic condition.
Persistent inflammation is a gateway to several serious canine health issues, such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
The anthocyanins in blueberries serve as anti-inflammatory compounds. They help in stabilising the natural inflammatory response of dogs, lowering the chances for health issues to develop.
5. Preventing the advancement of diabetes
Are blueberries good for diabetic dogs? Yes. Diabetic dogs can eat blueberries. The fruits are low in sugar and packed with fibre, making them a suitable food option.
Dietary fibre slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and prevents glucose levels from rising abnormally.
The anthocyanins found in blueberries are believed to improve insulin sensitivity in diabetic dogs. It means they may lower insulin resistance, allowing the bodies of affected canines to respond well to insulin medications.
6. Enhancing cognitive health.
Dogs’ brains are not safe from oxidative stress induced by free radicals. It weakens cognitive function and hastens the development of neurodegenerative disorders.
Research shows that old dogs supplemented with blueberry grape extract have reduced oxidative stress. This could help combat senility and other cognitive problems senior dogs tend to suffer from.
Moreover, the anti-aging properties of blueberries prevent cellular and molecular damage, diminishing the effect of cognitive decline.
7. Good for cancer prevention.
The anti-inflammatory properties, polyphenols, and phytochemicals present in blueberries work together in reducing cancer. They contain a compound called ellagic acid, which acts as a barricade in metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer.
Are blueberries good for dogs with cancer? Yes, blueberries can hinder the development of cancer in affected dogs. Their powerful antioxidants strengthen the immune system and protect healthy cells by inhibiting tumour growth.
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2 Potential Hazards of Blueberries to Dogs
Blueberries are healthy treats for dogs, but they should be prepared properly and served in moderation. Giving them to your furry pal without care can lead to unwanted side effects and dangers like:
1. Stomach problems
Can blueberries upset a dog’s stomach? Yes, consuming too many blueberries can upset your dog’s stomach. The dietary fibre in these fruits is beneficial to canine health when consumed in the right amount.
However, consuming more than necessary may trigger gastric discomfort and diarrhoea.
2. Choking hazards
Blueberries present choking risks to small dogs and pooches that inhale their food. When preparing them, be sure to slice them into small pieces. This prevents blueberries from going down the wrong pipe as your canine companion eats.
Can dogs eat frozen blueberries? Yes, frozen blueberries can be served to dogs, but we advise against it. They are hard to chew, which can lead your pooch to swallow them accidentally. For safety reasons, offer them thawed to him.
You can also mash fresh blueberries and use them as a food topper. During hot summer days, puree and freeze them on a lick mat. Or simply blend frozen blueberries into a healthy and nutritious dog smoothie.
Recommended Serving of Blueberries to Dogs
Are you wondering: “How many blueberries can I give my dog?” Remember that treats, including fruits and vegetables, should not go over 10 percent of your dog’s daily diet.
Here is a serving guideline for blueberries according to your dog’s body weight:
- 2–20-pound (0.9–9-kilo) dogs: 1–2 blueberries
- 21–30-pound (9.5–13.6-kilo) dogs: 2–3 blueberries
- 31–50-pound (14–22.6-kilo) dogs: 3–5 blueberries
- 51–90-pound (23.1–40.8-kilo) dogs: 5–6 blueberries
- over 90-pound (40.8-kilo) dogs: up to 10 blueberries
When feeding blueberries to your dog, serve them in small amounts first. This helps his stomach adjust to the new food in his meals. Gradually increase the fruit’s quantity if he does not experience stomach upset.
When choosing blueberries for dogs, opt for an organically grown wild variety. Although they are smaller than cultivated blueberries, their anthocyanin content is more than twice the amount.
Safe and Healthy Alternatives to Blueberries for Dogs
What fruits can dogs eat? There are many safe and nutritious fruit options for dogs, such as apples, strawberries, and watermelons. Let us examine what they have to offer to your furry pal:
Why are apples good for dogs?
Yes, apples are healthy snacks for dogs because they contain fibre and plenty of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K. Minerals like calcium, potassium, and phosphorus can be found in these fruits too.
Care should be taken when preparing apples. Feed your dog apple skin and flesh only. Remove the core since it is a choking hazard. The same should be done to the fruit’s seeds as they store traces of cyanide.
Why are strawberries good for dogs?
Ye, strawberries are good for dogs because they offer the same health benefits as blueberries. These fruits contain antioxidants that help slow the aging process and boost the immune system.
As with any high-fiber food, strawberries should be offered in minimal portions. Otherwise, they will irritate your dog’s stomach and induce gastrointestinal distress.
Why are watermelons good for dogs?
Yes, watermelons are great for your pooch due to their high water content. It is composed of around 90% water, which provides additional hydration, especially on a hot day.
Ensure to eliminate all the watermelon seeds before serving this fruit to your dog. They are choking hazards that can block his digestive tract, which can lead to life-threatening consequences.
Dangerous Human Foods
What can dogs not eat? Certain types of human foods are not dog-friendly, such as coffee beans, sweets containing xylitol, and chocolate. All of them contain poisonous agents that are potentially fatal to dogs when ingested.
Here are the reasons why dog owners must avoid feeding the aforementioned human foods to their pets:
The stimulating chemical called caffeine is present in coffee beans. Canines are highly sensitive to this compound.
Ingesting large amounts of coffee beans can make them restless and hyperactive. In severe situations, they may experience high blood pressure, tremors, and seizures.
Xylitol is a popular artificial sugar substitute known to be highly toxic to dogs. Consuming it, even in small amounts, may lead to drastic side effects such as hypoglycaemia and liver failure.
Xylitol is not only used in baked goods and sweets but in other human commodities as well. These include skin care products, chewable vitamins, and nasal sprays. If you own any of these at home, always store them in places inaccessible to your dog.
Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which dogs cannot metabolise properly.
If your pooch has consumed this human food, look out for symptoms like irregular heart rate, fast breathing, and muscle twitching. Severe chocolate poisoning can bring out more serious side effects like seizures and internal bleeding.