As much as fruits and berries can be tasty and healthy for dogs, they can also be harmful, thus causing a range of adverse reactions from renal failure to an upset stomach and even worse.
A common fruit that has been associated with dogs is blueberries and hence the question: can dogs have blueberries?
In this post, I am taking the time to summarize all the information a dog owner will need about blueberries and whether they should be included in your dog’s diet.
Are Blueberries Good for Dogs?
Blueberries are known as one of the most popular fresh food snacks in the world, particularly in America. They are not only enjoyed raw but used in many culinary creations.
The good news here is that as much as they are super healthy for humans, they are also for dogs. Research has shown beyond a reasonable doubt that dogs can eat blueberries and that they are as safe to them as they are to humans.
With these berries, you do not need to be worried about emergency veterinary visits due to the risk of toxicity. In fact, feeding this fruit to your furry friends serves as insurance for their health.
Benefits of Blueberries For Dogs
Dogs can’t do without vitamins and luckily Blueberries are chock-full of them. These vitamins range from vitamins C, A, E, K, folate, and choline.
These vitamins also play a role in the immunity of your pet. These vitamins, particularly C and E function as antioxidants, thereby protecting the body of your pup from the effects of free radicals.
Vitamin K helps in the regulation of blood-clotting factors. With the presence of vitamin A, you can be sure of a healthy coat, teeth, skin, mucus membranes and normal vision for your dog.
A diet rich in antioxidants is especially beneficial to older dogs. It promotes the health of the brain and reduces the effects of brain aging.
The presence of antioxidants in a dog’s diet goes a long way to get rid of free radicals which are detrimental to the health of your pet. Free radicals if left uncontrolled will weaken the immune system.
As such, you need solid support for your dog’s natural defenses and this you can get from antioxidants. This way you prevent the development of various diseases.
Fiber is one nutrient in a dog’s food that has been always underrated. But, they have proven to be beneficial.
To start with, their benefits for your dog’s digestive tract cannot be overemphasized. This nutrient helps regulate your dog’s food intake, thereby avoiding obesity which happens to be a major cause of dog illnesses.
Fibers also help in slowing down digestion, thus reducing spikes of blood sugar levels. Dogs that are diabetic can benefit from this nutrient, as it helps to increase insulin sensitivity and promotes the regulation of intestinal production of glucose.
According to the National Institutes of Health, fiber-rich diets have been linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and thus recommended for dogs with heart disease.
Like vitamins, minerals are essential for the optimum health of your pup. Even though requirements by some dogs differ from others, an adequate supply is necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
Minerals like calcium and phosphorus help in the development of bones and teeth, nervous and muscular systems, and heart function as well.
Also, blueberries contain iron which helps to maintain the health of the blood cells. Zinc and Manganese help in their reproductive functions and immune strength.
5. Low in Sugar
Sugar is one ingredient in dog food that does not just keep the cost of their food down but is necessary for food manufacture.
Technically speaking, they are not bad, as dogs need carbohydrates for energy. But, when in high amounts can be quite harmful to your pet’s body.
In the event that your dog does not use and effectively store sugar, a lot of bodily functions will be affected such the immunity, digestion, body inflammation, muscle tone and so on.
One fruit known to be low in sugar is the blueberry. These make including this fruit in your dog’s diet a necessity.
Are Blueberries Bad For Dogs? Side Effects of Blueberries for Dogs
As you have seen, it is okay to actually feed your dog blueberries as they are healthy and safe for your dog. But, when not fed appropriately or according to veterinarian’s prescription, there are bound to be some potential hazards. Many of those hazards include:
We have already established that blueberries contain a good amount of fiber, particularly the soluble type. Soluble fibers are likely to cause constipation. This is because they absorb water, and when there’s not enough water in the body, causing the stool to become hard and thus constipation.
It is always likely that a dog, not knowing any better, to ensure proper hydration. So too much of its fiber will not be friendly.
But, it is possible that your dog gets to drink more than enough water. This opens up for diarrhea instead of constipation when blueberries are consumed in excess. A little fiber loosens up your dog’s stool and allows for proper stooling.
3. Decayed Tooth
As much as blueberries are low in sugar, when consumed in an unusually high amount, it could lead to your dog’s tooth decaying. This is most likely to occur in dogs where their tooth is not regularly brushed or treated.
Every time your dog consumes much of blueberries and does not undergo tooth brushing, decay is inevitable.
How Can You Feed Dogs Blueberries?
As with most treats, the key is serving blueberries to your dog in moderation. As much as they are very small and do not need to be cut into bits, there’s a potential of choking up your dog, so you want to avoid serving frozen as much as possible.
When introducing blueberries to your dogs, some sort of control should be observed. Understand that dog’s reaction to new food varies from dog to dog.
It is recommended that you take it slow at the beginning; this way you avoid the risk of having an emergency trip to a veterinarian. During this period, you also want to be on the lookout for any signs of allergies or distress.
For dogs that have the tendency to inhale foods, mashing up the blueberries into pulp is advised. You can afterward add as a supplement to their food, or refrigerate for crunchy treats.
Depending on the age and weight of your pup, blueberries should not be considered a daily supplement, but an occasional one instead. For dogs with a history of digestive and stomach problems, be advised to consult a veterinarian before feeding them with this fruit.
Final words On Can My Dog Eat Blueberries
To wrap up, blueberries are safe and healthy for dogs to consume. They have been proven to be nutritious. The benefits they provide for the body are mind-blowing, from boosting the immune to nourishing the brain and so on.
By no means, we can say that they are necessary for any dog’s diet when it comes to their happiness and health.
Do you have any questions on blueberries for dogs? Are you already serving blueberries to your dogs and what are your observations? Feel free to share in the comment section below.
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