Can Dogs Eat Blueberries? Effects of Blueberries for Dogs as Dog Food

can dogs eat blueberries

Yes, dogs can eat blueberries. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants. This superfood prevents cell damage in canines and humans alike. The high fiber content in blueberries, coupled with the phytochemicals, further enhance the health benefits for dogs. The combination of nutrients in blueberries supports dogs’ immune systems.

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What are the Benefits of Blueberries for Dogs?

The benefits of blueberries, even green blueberries, for dogs are reaffirmed with every new study of dogs’ health benefits. Each new research provides more insight into how they support health.

Some of the health benefits of blueberries shown by research are listed below:

  • Blueberries lower the risks of multiple types of cancer in dogs. About 50% of all dogs get cancer.
  • The antioxidants like anthocyanins and polyphenols reduce the growth of cancer cells and increase cancer cell death in dogs.
  • Blueberries manage tumor-growth contributors like chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, obesity, and angiogenesis in dogs.
  • Blueberries positively affect brain health, and they slow down the aging process in dogs.
  • The anthocyanins in blueberries reduce the risks of chronic inflammation like cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and cancer in canines.
  • Blueberries improve vascular function and reduce arterial stiffness.
  • Blueberries slow fat cell development, thereby helping manage a dog’s weight.
  • The fiber in blueberries improves the digestive health of dogs.
  • Blueberries boost dogs’ gut health.
  • Blueberries manage urinary tract infections in dogs by preventing infection-causing bacteria from invading tissues.
  • Blueberries preserve dogs’ eye health.
  • Blueberries reduce oxidative stress in dogs after exercise.

What are the harms of Blueberries for Dogs?

Blueberries cannot harm dogs. Most canines tolerate blueberries well.

Pointers on safety when giving dogs blueberries are listed below:

  • Safety: Never feed a dog a new type of human food without checking with the vet that it would be safe for the specific dog’s unique constitution.
  • Moderation: Dogs do best on diets that are 100% balanced. Although blueberries are regarded as superfoods, they must be seen as treats. The owner must consider the dog’s breed, age, size, and lifestyle, and then the number of blueberries must never exceed 10% of a dog’s daily diet.
  • Chemical hazards: Herbicides and pesticides on store-bought blueberries could adversely affect a dog. Buying berries that are sustainably raised is safest. A thorough rinse to remove chemical residues, manure, dirt, and germs are essential. However, moldy, dried, or old blueberries must be discarded. 
  • Gradual introduction: Giving a dog blueberries for the first time should start gradually. It is important to begin with two or three blueberries and look out for adverse reactions.

When should a Dog Eat Blueberries?

Dogs can eat blueberries at any time, regardless of the time of day, including blueberry skins. The antioxidants in blueberries reduce oxidation in the dog’s body, thereby reducing overall physical stress. Blueberries can help a dog to have a restful sleep.

When it comes to age, blueberries promote optimal health throughout a dog’s life. It helps build strong bones and teeth in puppies and helps with brain health. Adult dogs benefit from healthy guts and weight management, and the antioxidants slow down the aging process in senior dogs.

How Many Blueberries can a Dog Eat per Day?

The number of blueberries a dog can have per day depends on a few factors. The size of the dog matters and its tolerance for berries. A small dog can have eight to 10 blueberries per day, and bigger dogs can have more.

If it is the first time a dog is introduced to blueberries, two or three blueberries will be enough to check for harmful side effects. Keep in mind that a dog can eat blueberries, but not as part of its diet. It is a treat and should not be more than 10% of the dog’s daily diet.

Which Nutrients in Blueberries are Beneficial for Dogs’ Health?

The various beneficial nutrients in blueberries for dogs are listed below:

  • Carbohydrates: Blueberries consist of 84% water and 14% carbs. They also contain small amounts of fat and protein. Blueberries are considered safe for dogs with diabetes because they have a low score of only 53 on the glycemic index, which measures the speed at which different foods raise the dog’s blood sugar levels.
  • Fiber: 5 ounces (about 1 cup) of blueberries provide 3.6 grams of fiber, an essential part of a dog’s healthy diet. Fiber forms approximately 16% of the carbs in blueberries.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Blueberries are packed with Vitamin C for a dog’s skin, coat, and immune system, and vitamin K1 for bone health and blood clotting. Blueberries also contain manganese, an essential mineral for the maintenance of bone and cartilage in joints in dogs.

The nutrients in blueberries are beneficial for dogs and their human families. Known as a superfood, it is an excellent source of beneficial plant compounds, several vitamins, and antioxidants. Dogs can eat blueberries’ seeds, skins, and their fleshy parts, all packed with nutrients.

A 3-½ ounce portion of blueberries contains:

  • 57 Calories
  • 84% Water
  • 0.7 gram of protein
  • 14.5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 10 grams of sugar
  • 2.4 grams of fiber
  • 0.3 grams of fat

What are the Vitamins in Blueberries that are Beneficial for Dogs?

The vitamins in blueberries that are beneficial for dogs are listed below:

  • Vitamin K1, also called phylloquinone, benefits bone health and blood clotting in dogs.
  • Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is essential for a strong immune system of a dog. It is also an antioxidant that helps with skin and coat health.

Blueberries also have small quantities of vitamin B6 and vitamin E.

What are the Minerals in Blueberries that are Beneficial for Dogs? 

The minerals in blueberries that are beneficial for dogs are listed below:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc

Each of these minerals, including a small amount of copper, is an essential component in building a dog’s bones and maintaining the strength and structure of the bones.

What are the Phytochemicals in Blueberries that are Beneficial for Dogs?  

The phytochemicals, or plant compounds, in blueberries that are beneficial for dogs are listed below:

  • Myricetin: This phytochemical in blueberries benefits dogs in many ways, including helping prevent diabetes and cancer.
  • Quercetin: This is a phytochemical linked to reduced heart disease risks in dogs and lower blood pressure.

What are the Antioxidants in Blueberries that are Beneficial for Dogs?

The antioxidants in blueberries that are beneficial for dogs are listed below:

  • Vitamin C: This powerful antioxidant strengthens the dog’s natural defenses by boosting the immune system. Antioxidants do this by protecting the dog’s healthy cells from harmful molecules called free radicals.
  • Vitamin A: This vitamin is essential in dogs of all ages for vision and cellular health. Beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor, is a powerful antioxidant for reducing dogs’ cancer risks. The body changes beta-carotene into vitamin A as the dog’s body needs it. 

What are the Anthocyanins in Blueberries that are Beneficial for Dogs?

The anthocyanins in blueberries that are beneficial for dogs are listed below:

  • Anthocyanins: These are the primary antioxidants in blueberries.
  • Flavonoids: Anthocyanins are polyphenols believed to provide multiple health benefits to dogs.
  • Delphinidin and malvidin: These are two of over 15 anthocyanins detected in blueberries.
  • Blueberry skins: Anthocyanins give blueberries their deep purple color. This means that blueberry skins contain a concentration of the powerful anthocyanins, making the skin the most nutritious part of blueberries. For this reason, giving dogs blueberries in their skins is more beneficial than giving them without skins.

Which Nutrients in Blueberries are Harmful to Dogs’ Health?

None of the nutrients in blueberries can harm a dog’s health. However, precautions to take when feeding a dog blueberries are listed below:

  • Blueberries could pose a choking hazard to dogs who gulp up the berries fastly.
  • Do not allow a dog to binge-eat blueberries because it could cause digestive problems.
  • Dog owners with blueberries in the garden should limit the dog’s access to it.
  • Overeating blueberries could cause a dog to develop an upset stomach and diarrhea.
  • Although the sugar content of blueberries is low, too much could cause canine tooth cavities.
  • Feeding human food like blueberry muffins or pancakes containing sugar and wheat flour to a pup could lead to tooth decay and gastritis. A better choice would be a blueberry and peanut butter snack.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners and blueberry flavoring, potentially containing harmful chemicals.

Can Blueberries Affect a Dog’s Mood?

Yes, blueberries can affect a dog’s mood. It is a well-known fact that blueberries can make human beings feel better. The same is valid for dogs. Blueberries are packed with folate and antioxidants, both helping a dog’s body to produce serotonin. Serotonin is the primary hormone for stabilizing a dog’s mood, happiness, and feelings of wellbeing.

Can Baby Dogs (Puppies) Eat Blueberries?

Yes, puppies can eat blueberries safely. A pup can have fresh, mashed, frozen, and dried blueberries, but preferably not Blueberry Jacks. Blueberries are soft enough for baby dogs to chew, they don’t have stones to pose a choking hazard, and even blueberry skins are healthy. 

However, limit the portions because too much of any treat could cause gastrointestinal problems.

Can Old Dogs Eat Blueberries?

Yes, old dogs can eat blueberries safely. In fact, blueberries are exceptionally healthy for senior dogs. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Research has determined that added antioxidants in a dog’s diet slow down brain aging effects. So treating an older dog with mashed, dried, or whole blueberries has many benefits.

Can Different Dog Breeds Eat Different Amounts of Blueberries?

All dog breeds can eat blueberries in amounts to suit their size. A Labrador can have substantially more blueberries than a little Yorkshire Terrier.

Blueberries brim with minerals and vitamins, and their antioxidant content is higher than any other fruit. They are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain anthocyanins and phytochemicals, and blueberries have no toxic parts. All of which are beneficial for all breeds of dogs.

Which Dog Breeds are Blueberries More Beneficial for?

Blueberries are not more beneficial for some dog breeds.

Which Dog Breeds are Blueberries Less Beneficial for?

Blueberries are not less beneficial for some dog breeds.

Which Blueberry Recipes and Parts can be eaten safely by Dogs?

Blueberries are healthy, low-calorie snacks for dogs. Blueberries offer powerful nutritional and health bonuses to dogs. All parts of the blueberry fruits can be eaten.

Can Dogs Eat Frozen Blueberries Safely?

Yes, a dog can eat frozen blueberries safely. However, be cautious when giving a puppy or a small breed dog like a Chihuahua frozen blueberries. Because they are hard, they might pose a choking hazard. It might be safer to let the berries thaw and then mash them for small doggies.

Can Dogs Eat Blueberry Muffins Safely?

Blueberry muffins are not safe treats for dogs. Blueberry muffins are typically human treats containing wheat flour, sugar, butter, and other ingredients that provide no benefits for canines. A small bite would not damage a dog’s health, but allowing a dog to eat a whole muffin could cause stomach problems, weight gain, and tooth decay.

Can Dogs Eat Dried Blueberries Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat dried blueberries safely, but it might be a good idea to keep this as an occasional treat. Because all the water is removed in the drying process, the sugar in the dried blueberries is concentrated, increasing the calorie count. Commercially packaged dried blueberries could contain preservatives and even artificial colorants.

Can Dogs Eat Blueberry Pop-Tarts Safely?

Yes and no. A blueberry Pop-Tart contains a small amount of chocolate, but not enough to cause severe damage. However, it also has a high sugar level and starches, with nothing nutritious whatsoever. Yet, a single Pop-Tart will not kill a dog, although, if it is a frequent treat, the dog can gain weight and even be at risk of getting diabetes. Yet, beware of the sugar-free version of Blueberry Pop-Tarts because they contain Xylitol, A toxic artificial sweetener.

Can Dogs Eat Blueberry Cake Safely?

Blueberry cake is not a safe treat for dogs. Blueberry cake is a treat baked for humans and not for dogs. Cakes contain sugar, butter, wheat flour, and other ingredients that provide no benefits for canines. A small bite would not damage a dog’s health, but sharing blueberry cake with a dog frequently could cause weight gain, tooth decay, and an upset stomach.

Can Dogs Eat Blueberry Yogurt Safely?

No, blueberry yogurt is not safe for dogs to eat. In fact, dogs cannot eat any fruit-flavored yogurt safely. That is because flavored yogurt contains xylitol, a toxic synthetic sweetener that can kill dogs. Furthermore, blueberry-flavored yogurt contains harmful artificial flavoring. A better option is plain yogurt or Greek yogurt.

Can Dogs Eat Blueberry Skin Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat blueberry skins safely. The deep purple color of blueberries comes from anthocyanins, the primary antioxidants in blueberries, present in the skins of blueberries. This means that blueberry skins contain a concentration of the powerful anthocyanins, making the skin the most nutritious part of blueberries. For this reason, giving dogs blueberries in their skins is an excellent idea.

Can Dogs Eat Green Blueberries Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat green blueberries safely. However, this variety of blueberries is not as healthy as dark purple blueberries. They grow on the Highbush Blueberry plant, and their taste is very acidic and tart. They contain most of the nutrients found in regular blueberries but significantly fewer antioxidants.

Which Dog Food Brands Add Blueberries to their Dog Foods?

Some dog food manufacturers include blueberries in their recipes for making dog foods. Examples are listed below:

V-Dog Wiggle Biscuits: USDA Organic & grain-free. These treats are more than just tasty; they’re packed with the kind of organic goodness.

  • Our plant-powered ingredients:
  • Buckwheat provides antioxidants
  • Kale packs fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Blueberries freshen breath
  • Coconut oil promotes healthy skin
  • Flax seeds provide omega-3s

The Honest Kitchen Proper Toppers: Pack a punch of nutrients in each tasty bite. Ideal for getting your dog the extra goodness she needs, this mixture contains a balanced serving of real meat and vegetables. 

  • Dehydrated Chicken
  • Dried Apples
  • Dehydrated Pumpkin
  • Dehydrated Kale
  • Dried Blueberries

Beneful Playful Life Dry Dog Food with Farm-Raised Beef: This delicious high protein recipe is perfect for active dogs. We take our #1 ingredient, real farm-raised beef, and blend it to perfection with energy-fueling whole grains and accents of eggs, blueberries, and spinach. It’s 100% nutrition with a taste your adult dog is going to love — plus 25 grams of protein per cup.

  • Protein-rich nutrition to help support an active lifestyle
  • Real farm-raised beef is the #1 ingredient 
  • Made with accents of eggs, blueberries, and spinach
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • 25 grams of high-quality protein per cup to help maintain strong muscles
  • 23 vitamins and minerals to support overall health and wellness
  • 100% complete & balanced for adult dogs
  • Great dog-loved taste
  • Thoughtfully crafted in our own USA facilities

Can Dogs Eat Blueberries When Sick?

Yes, dogs can eat blueberries when they are sick. Blueberries offer powerful nutritional bonuses to dogs that may combat cancer. Blueberries support cardiovascular health, fight inflammation, minimize brain aging in dogs and lessen arthritis pain.

Can An Anemic Dog Eat Blueberries?

Yes, anemic dogs can eat blueberries. Although blueberries are not strong iron carriers, they act as active iron absorbers. That means the high level of vitamin C they contain increases their iron absorption rate.

Can Dogs With Kidney Disease Eat Blueberries?

Yes, dogs with kidney disease can eat blueberries. They are one of the essentials in a kidney-friendly diet because they are low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.

Can Dogs Eat Blueberries to Help With Diarrhea?

Yes, dogs can eat blueberries while having diarrhea. The high fiber content might help settle an upset stomach, although blueberries are not specifically recommended to help with diarrhea. Blueberries are great low-calorie treats for dogs. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins C and K., and fiber, all nutrients that support the dog’s immune system and contribute to overall health.

Can a Nursing Dog Eat Blueberries?

Yes, nursing dogs can eat blueberries. This superfood is full of health benefits for mom and pups, including building strong bones and teeth and optimizing the immune system.

What Else can Dogs Eat together with blueberries?

Many other fresh fruits can safely be added to a dog’s blueberry treat.

The list below contains some examples:

  • Strawberries

Dogs can eat moderate amounts of strawberries along with their blueberry treats. They are nutritious and healthy. However, their sugar content is high, and too much could cause weight gain and tooth decay.

  • Raspberries

Dogs can eat raspberries together with blueberries. These berries share similar nutrients, including many antioxidants. However, raspberries contain trace amounts of xylitol naturally. Too much could be toxic, and even large dogs must only eat moderate amounts occasionally.

  • Cherries

Cherries are not recommended as a dog treat at all. Although the flesh of natural raw cherries is safe for dogs to eat, everything else is toxic. The stems, leaves, and pits of cherries contain cyanide, a potentially lethal poison. Cherry pits can also cause intestinal blockages if a cherry pit gets lodged in the dog’s digestive tract.

  • Yogurt

Dogs can eat yogurt together with blueberries. However, most dogs have problems digesting dairy products. Large dogs like English Mastiffs who are not lactose intolerant should not get more than one or two tablespoons per day, and smaller dogs like Boston Terriers only about one or two teaspoons. 

Which Dog Treat Recipes Contain Blueberries?

There are numerous recipes available for making dog treats containing blueberries. The following three-ingredient combination recipes are widely available:

The main ingredient for these treats is blueberries, added to any of the following:

  • Chopped blueberries mixed with oatmeal and peanut butter for baked cookies.
  • Blended blueberries, greek yogurt, and peanut butter for frozen treats.
  • Pureed blueberries, mixed with goat cheese crumbles or whole wheat flour for baked cookies.
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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.