Can Dogs Eat Blueberries? And What Amount Is Safe?
Here's what vets had to say about sharing blueberries with your dog.
Most pet parents are wary of feeding their dogs foods that humans enjoy, simply because many human foods aren’t healthy for pups to eat. But what about blueberries? Are blueberries good for dogs, or should they be avoided like grapes and chocolate?
We talked to two vets, who answered all of our burning blueberry questions so that pet parents can have peace of mind next time their pup gets hold of a blueberry — which, after reading what these vets have to say, actually might be more often!
Are blueberries healthy for dogs?
Not only can dogs eat blueberries, but they’re actually really good for dogs to eat!
“[Blueberries] are a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,” Dr. Claudine Sievert, a veterinary consultant for Stayyy, told The Dodo. “They are healthy for large and small dogs. They are low in calories and have a lot of vitamin C, fiber and phytochemicals, [which] are essential for a dog's health, including fighting certain cancers.”
Blueberries are also low in calories and high in water content, which means they’re an ideal treat for dogs who need a bit more hydration in their diet.
Can dogs eat blueberries regularly?
Although blueberries are packed with amazing nutrients that are healthy for your pup, like all good things, they should be consumed in moderation.
“There is not an established daily need, so care must be exercised in feeding blueberries as too much of a good thing could result in giving your pup diarrhea,” Dr. Travis Arndt, director of Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, told The Dodo. “It is best to start small, just a few berries, and see how your dog tolerates them,” he said.
Can dogs eat blueberry pancakes or muffins?
“No, you shouldn't feed your pets blueberries if they're in pancakes, muffins or pies,” Dr. Sievert said. “The problem isn't with the berries but instead with the mixes. They are high in sugar and fat.”
Regularly eating foods high in fat can result in your dog developing health issues like pancreatitis.
However, if your pup snagged a blueberry pancake off the table during breakfast, he should be fine.
“Dogs can eat blueberries if they are in a pancake or muffin,” Dr. Arndt said, though it doesn’t mean they should. “Owners should take care to realize that the quality of the blueberries varies depending on the baked good,” he continued. “Also, as the number of ingredients [is] increased in the baked good, so too does the [chance] of inducing GI upset in your pet.”
“If you are interested in feeding your pet blueberries, it is best to stick to the whole fruit!” Dr. Arndt said.
How many blueberries can a dog eat?
As mentioned, it’s best to introduce blueberries into your dog’s diet slowly to make sure he’s able to eat them without getting an upset stomach.
But once it’s established that blueberries get along with your dog’s GI tract, then feel free to incorporate them into meals and treats.
Dr. Sievert said that it’s important to make sure blueberries are washed and mold-free before they’re fed to your dog.
“Many pets love frozen blueberries, or you can make them into a blueberry dog treat,” Dr. Sievert said. “Just be careful not to overfeed them.”
As should be the case when you start feeding your dog any new food or treat, consult your vet to make sure they agree that it’s a good addition to your dog’s diet. They know your pup best and can give you personalized advice.
But in general, blueberries are a healthy snack that both you and your pup can enjoy together!