Welcome to “Can My Dog Eat That?,” our new series that answers some obvious (and not-so-obvious) questions about what your dog can and can’t safely eat. Read on!
For humans, blueberries are arguably a perfect snack. They’re poppable. They’re loaded with nutrients like fiber and vitamin C. They’re low in calories because of a high water content. And, possibly most importantly, they taste good!
But like with many delicious human foods, you’ll often see some puppy-dog eyes (both real and metaphorical) peering at you while you snack. Is it ok to indulge your dog in a few of these sweet treats, either whole or in any other format?
No Blues with These Berries
Yes, your dog can eat blueberries in all forms. Though it’s always a good idea to consider opting for blueberries as an ingredient in trusted dog food, you can feed your beggin’ buddy fresh or frozen blueberries in moderation. Be wary, though. Blueberries are generally small treats, but they can be a choking hazard, especially for small breeds or puppies.
A Superfood with Super Benefits
Because of all the nutrients blueberries offer in one tiny package, they’re often labeled as “superfoods.” These nutrient-packed foods are key sources of antioxidants, omega fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein. In pet food, superfoods are also functional ingredients. Functional ingredients provide bonus benefits beyond basic nutrition when they are part of a complete and balanced diet. Antioxidants, omega fatty acids and fiber provide some of these benefits.
Blueberries’ main claim as a superfood is that they are rife with antioxidants, which is good news for pet owners. Antioxidants protect your dog from the damaging effects of free radicals, which, if left unchecked, can result in health issues like cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants in superfoods like blueberries can work with the antioxidants naturally produced by the body to control these free radicals. Antioxidants also support the immune system and maintenance of healthy skin, and it’s been proven that they can help slow your dog’s mental aging.
But the benefits don’t stop there. The fiber offered by blueberries supports healthy digestion, which is something that both dogs and dog parents can appreciate.
As Always, Treat in Moderation
General consensus is that your dog’s diet should consist of no more than 10 percent of his or her daily calorie intake. But for that 10 percent? You can’t go wrong with blueberries. If you’d prefer to offer blueberries as part of your dog’s regular food, we have a few suggestions.
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The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.