Can Dogs Eat Blueberries? Fact Checked By Our Vet
Juicy, sweet and so delicious, blueberries are amazing. But if your pup is asking for a taste, should you cave in? If you’re wondering “can dogs eat blueberries” or if your pup got into the groceries before you could stop them, no worries. Here’s everything you need to know!
Can Dogs Eat Blueberry?
Yes! In fact, blueberries are considered a superfood, meaning they’re full of amazing micronutrients that can boost your dog’s health. In fact, in 2020 researchers found that blueberry consumption might have played a big role in the diet of wild dogs and wolves.
Related: What Fruit Can Dogs Eat?
According to a research paper published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, wild wolves use blueberries to supplement their cubs’ diet in early summer . At this time, deer fawns are more difficult to catch, while beavers stay in the water more often than at other times of the season. While ecologists and biologists knew blueberries were occasionally part of wolves’ diets, the fact that adults were bringing them back to feed cubs is a new development. It means blueberries might be a good chunk of cubs’ diets!
Are Blueberries Good For Dogs? Benefits Of Blueberries
Blueberries, like other berries, are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. These can help round up your dog’s diet and might also have other benefits to their health. Here’s what researchers know:
Great for healthy skin
Blueberries are rich in Vitamin C. In fact, every 100 grams has a whopping 9.7 mg of vitamin C! Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that has been tied to collagen production and a healthy skin barrier . This means that if your dog suffers from flaky skin or a dull coat, increasing their Vitamin C intake might help.
PRO TIP: Vitamin C is very unstable, meaning most supplements can’t fulfil your dog’s dietary needs. The best option is offering naturally available Vitamin C, like in blueberries! This ensures your dog absorbs the most nutrients possible.
Blueberries might keep your dog young
This fruit has a very high Vitamin C content, but they also have important amounts of polyphenols and other antioxidants. Blueberries in particular are currently being researched for their possible effects on long-term cognitive health in animals . A diet high in antioxidants and polyphenols could also be linked to a slower rate of cellular oxidation, leading to a slowing down in the natural ageing process. If you have an older dog or would like your pup to age gracefully, adding antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries might be a good option.
Rich in Vitamin K for stronger bones
Vitamin K is an essential micronutrient that is still pretty difficult to add to your dog’s diet. According to research, Vitamin K is key in maintaining healthy blood clotting processes, regulating blood calcium levels and preventing calcium loss . This means that making sure young dogs and puppies get enough Vitamin K could make their bones stronger in the long run! Luckily, blueberries have a significant amount of Vitamin K that can be difficult to find through other sources.
PRO TIP: Want to add more Vitamin K to your dog’s diet? Try adding spinach, collard greens and kale on top of blueberries.
How To Give Blueberries To A Dog
Step 1. Choose the right blueberries
Dogs can eat both fresh and frozen blueberries, but choosing the right ones will ensure they like them! Ripe blueberries picked in early summer are the sweetest, and your dog is more likely to enjoy eating them.
We also recommend choosing organic blueberries, since they contain no harmful pesticides or other chemicals.
PRO TIP: You don’t need to cut up blueberries before offering them to your dog, but make sure to wash them!
Step 2. Start with one or two
If your dog has never eaten blueberries, start small. Any sudden changes to your dog’s diet might cause GI distress, so only offer one or two the first time they try it.
Step 3. Check for adverse effects
This is important the first few times your dog eats blueberries. After they eat the fruit, watch them and make a note of any adverse effects. These might include:
If after 24 hours they show none of these signs, it’s likely your dog isn’t allergic or sensitive to blueberries! In that case, you can make it part of their treat rotation without fearing adverse reactions.
Step 4. Make it occasional
Even if your dog is already a blueberry fan, you shouldn’t offer them too often. Remember this is a treat, and as such, they should only make up around 10% of your dog’s weekly intake.
Blueberries can be a great snack in moderation: rich in antioxidants, full of nutrients and super tasty, your dog will probably love these little flavour balls.
Do you have a blueberry lover at home? Does your dog love other fruits? We’d love to hear your stories! Let us know what your dog likes to munch on in the comments below!
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- Homkes, Austin (2020). Berry important? Wolf provisions pups with berries in Northern Minnesota. Wildlife Society Bulletin. https://wildlife.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/wsb.1065?campaign=wolearlyview
- Pullar, J. et al. (2017). The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients, 9(8), 866. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/
- Travica, N., et al. (2019). The effect of blueberry interventions on cognitive performance and mood: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials, Brain, Behavior, and
- Immunity. https://publications.aston.ac.uk/id/eprint/39190/1/Blueberry_interventions.pdf
- Blueberries 1010. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/blueberries