The Short Answer is:
Absolutely blueberries are safe for dogs to eat and they are as nutritious a treat for them as they are for us. It is important to feed blueberries in moderation so as not to upset your dog’s digestion.
In this research you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Blueberries? Analysis of Proven Benefits“.
- 1. The high antioxidant content in blueberries helps fight aging and cancer
- 2. Silicon in blueberries helps strengthen bone and skin structures
- 3. Vitamin A promotes eye health
- 4. Vitamin B complex helps maintain multiple body functions
- 5. Blueberries have Vitamin C an important antioxidant for the body
- 6. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and promotes cell metabolism
- 7. Vitamin K improves a dog’s blood and liver health
- 8. Selenium encourages the development of a healthy immune system
- 9. Zinc is necessary for proper metabolic body processes
- 10. Iron is key to the development of hemoglobin and enzyme functions
- “So can I give my dog blueberries?”
People love blueberries because they are bursting with vitamins and minerals. Are blueberries safe for dogs to eat?
Is it safe for dogs to consume blueberries?
Do dogs benefit from eating blueberries and are there any side effects?
Lets examine it in more detail.
If you have been asking yourself “Can I give my dog blueberries?” the answer is YES – dogs can eat blueberries and they are not toxic to them.
In fact feeding blueberries to a dog may be a very good idea due to the high amount of nutrients and antioxidants they provide.
However dogs can only enjoy blueberries occasionally and in moderation.
Dogs should not be given them as a regular snack but instead use as a healthy treat or in homemade dog food.
This research will examine how blueberries may affect dogs from a scientific perspective.
What are blueberries?
The Blueberry is a low-calorie highly nutritious and sweet-tasting fruit (botanically known as a berry) that belongs to the Vaccinium genus.
As they ripen the blueberries become dark purple or blue. The blueberry shrub produces greenish-blue berries.
Blueberries grown in the wild are considered wild-grown while highbush blueberries are domesticated.
In comparison to other popular berries such as raspberries and strawberries they are more closely related to huckleberries and cranberries.
This is what fresh raw blueberries look like:
Since ancient times blueberries have been considered to be one of the healthiest foods.
Because of the nutrients vitamins minerals and antioxidants they provide they are considered a superfood for dogs and humans.
The following is a list of all their advantages.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
Do dogs consume blueberries in the same way that humans do?
Absolutely blueberries are safe for dogs to eat and they are as nutritious a treat for them as they are for us.
It is important to feed blueberries in moderation so as not to upset your dogs digestion.
One study found that blueberry extract can be healthy and safe for dogs when mixed with grape extract (1) which was surprising since feeding grapes to dogs in general is considered a risky practice.
Here are a few of the most important vitamins and minerals found in blueberries that are good for dogs:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Like many other berries we have already discussed blueberries can improve both human and animal health when given in moderation.
As an example feeding your dog two or three blueberries as a treat bi-daily can provide some health benefits over time.
According to some studies feeding blueberries to working dogs may help prevent oxidative damage that results from strenuous exercise.
In human clinical trials about which I talk below the exact same result was observed from blueberries.
We can conclude that blueberries are particularly beneficial for athletic dogs.
Here is a look at some of the scientific research on blueberries and their proven benefits as observed in both human and animal studies.
Blueberries contain some of the most powerful plant compounds:
Quercetin: a flavonol that lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease
Anthocyanins: antioxidants that may reduce the risk of heart disease
Myricetin: A flavonol that may reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer
These three plant compounds are responsible for some of the most important health benefits of blueberries.
In addition to these blueberries also contain Vitamin C Vitamin K1 and Manganese which make them one of the best superfoods.
Blueberries are healthy for humans and dogs and they can be added to your dogs diet in moderation for several reasons:
- Blueberries contain the most antioxidants of all fruits and vegetables
- Blueberries protect cholesterol from damage and improve cardiovascular health
- Blueberries improve blood pressure
- Blueberries prevent aging and cancer
- Blueberries may prevent heart attacks and strokes
- Blueberries reduce blood sugar levels
- Blueberries help fight urinary tract inflections
- Blueberries reduce oxidative stress and muscle damage
- Blueberries enhance memory and mental performance
This is just a brief overview of studies about blueberries and how they affect humans and animals.
I was able to find about 100 more papers about the benefits of blueberries but I will not bore you with them.
There are a number of good reasons to consume blueberries and since blueberries for dogs are safe and non-toxic you could consider including them as part of your dogs diet.
Blueberries are associated with health benefits that have been observed in human clinical trials but only a few studies have been done with dogs.
Can dogs drink blueberry juice?
Its safe to assume that since blueberry juice is basically blueberries in liquid form – a blueberry extract – that dogs can safely consume blueberry juice as long as a small amount is given at a time and its not a regular part of your dogs diet.
While blueberry juice will provide dogs with many of the health benefits of whole blueberries it will also lack fiber. Dogs’ bodies require fiber in many ways especially when consuming sweet fruit such as blueberries that contain high levels of natural sugars.
It is best to avoid giving your dog any kind of artificial or processed blueberry juice. Please make sure that the juice is natural and freshly squeezed if you want to give a little.
Berries for dogs
We have previously examined several types of berries for dogs all of which are safe and healthy for dogs to consume in moderate amounts. The same can be said for blueberries as studies clearly demonstrate how much they can offer.
Dogs can eat the following four types of berries:
By adding any or all of these berries to your dogs diet or giving them occasional treats you can improve your canines health and wellbeing. Lets examine the specific health benefits of blueberries for dogs and where they come from.
10 Potential Benefits of Blueberries for Dogs
The answer to the question “Can I feed blueberries to my dog?” is clear and since blueberries are safe for dogs it might be a good idea to begin giving them to your pet now and then in small to moderate amounts.
Dogs can reap the following ten potential health benefits from consuming blueberries:
1. The high antioxidant content in blueberries helps fight aging and cancer
According to the above-mentioned studies blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all vegetables and fruits on earth.
Both humans and animals can benefit from these antioxidants because they prevent DNA damage caused by free radicals. DNA damage can cause cancer and premature aging.
As a direct result of the antioxidants in blueberries they directly fight the aging process by maintaining brain function and increasing memory.
2. Silicon in blueberries helps strengthen bone and skin structures
Blueberries contain a moderate amount of silicon a mineral that may contribute to healthy bone growth and strengthening of connective tissues in dogs.
It may help your dogs joints remain flexible and prevent osteoporosis and arthritis as it ages. Additionally silicon promotes a healthy coat nails and skin.
3. Vitamin A promotes eye health
Blueberries contain beta-carotene which is a form of Vitamin A that is beneficial for overall eye health. The vitamin is still present in blueberries even though they are not its primary source.
Dogs’ coats and skin may also benefit from this vitamin. Moreover Vitamin A promotes bone growth and other bone-related processes in the body as well.
4. Vitamin B complex helps maintain multiple body functions
Vitamin B complex is found in small amounts in blueberries meaning a variety of B vitamins. Vitamins play an important role in many aspects of cell development such as the production of energy and cell division.
Vitamin B complex may also promote the regeneration and growth of neurons in the dogs body as well as the prevention of bladder stones.
5. Blueberries have Vitamin C an important antioxidant for the body
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is found in significant amounts in blueberries which may improve several different vital parameters within a dogs body.
It reduces oxidative stress and improves the immune system as well as prevents cancer and autoimmune diseases in dogs.
6. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and promotes cell metabolism
In blueberries vitamin E is an antioxidant that also produces cell membranes fat metabolism and cell respiration.
7. Vitamin K improves a dog’s blood and liver health
Vitamin K is a component of blueberries that has a significant impact on the health of your dog.
Dogs’ blood and liver health may be improved by vitamin K as well as heart disease and bone disorders may be improved by vitamin K.
8. Selenium encourages the development of a healthy immune system
Your dogs immune system may also benefit from the selenium found in blueberries in addition to Vitamin C. Selenium may also benefit the thyroid gland.
Human clinical trials have also shown that selenium helps with joint health skin and coat conditions as well as the prevention of cancer.
9. Zinc is necessary for proper metabolic body processes
Blueberries contain a small amount of zinc which is vital to the immune system as a whole and also to the production of many important hormones.
It plays a crucial role in the synthesis of DNA and the replication of DNA and RNA.
Also zinc promotes healthy eyesight strong hair skin and nails as well as improves brain function.
The skeletal structure and collagen synthesis depend on it.
10. Iron is key to the development of hemoglobin and enzyme functions
Blueberries provide iron a crucial chemical element that is necessary for the body to survive.
Iron creates hemoglobin and institutes proper enzyme function.
“So can I give my dog blueberries?”
All in all its clear that yes – you can give your dog blueberries occasionally and its a good idea to keep blueberries in your dogs diet.
If given in small amounts blueberries are a very healthy snack for your dog.
You should give them to your dog a few times each week and observe how he reacts to them.
Whole fresh blueberries that have been thoroughly washed are better for the dog than blueberry juice dried blueberries and especially anything processed.
Bottom Line: Blueberries are not only safe for dogs but they are also a superfood that provides your dog with whole-body health.
1 Potential Side Effects of Blueberries for Dogs
Dogs have been tested and studied with blueberries and the berries have been shown to be safe and even beneficial to their health. Dogs can eat blueberries in moderation without experiencing any side effects as long as you monitor them closely.
A dog who consumes too many blueberries may experience the following adverse effects:
1. Gastrointestinal issues in dogs
An excess of blueberries can upset your dogs stomach causing either constipation or diarrhea due to the high level of natural sugars in blueberries.
Blueberries are not recommended for dogs with sensitive stomachs because they are more likely to develop gastrointestinal discomfort and irritability.
Can My Dog Eat Blueberries?
To summarize blueberries are safe to eat for dogs and they are even recommended to be added to their diet especially if you prepare your own homemade dog food.
Blueberries are scientifically proven to be incredibly high in nutritional value and contain the most antioxidants of all fruits and vegetables.
From stronger bones to a tougher immune system to disease prevention they provide tons of benefits to the overall body and brain.
If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.