NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be okay for one dog might not be good for your dog, depending on multiple factors, such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.
Blueberries are a great snack choice for most dogs and puppies. They are bite-sized superfoods with numerous health benefits.
Check out the advice below to find out how many blueberries dogs can eat, tips on what to be careful of, whether dogs can have certain foods containing blueberries, and other important feeding tips.
Are Blueberries Good for Dogs?
Blueberries are safe fruits for dogs to eat, and they also provide many nutritional benefits. Blueberries are known for their disease-fighting properties, called phytochemicals, that battle things like cancer and heart disease. They also provide antioxidants and vitamin C.
Blueberries are also low in calories and high in fiber. They help prevent cell damage, can improve night vision, and can even help promote mental function in senior pets. Here’s a list of the vitamins and minerals in blueberries:
Can Blueberries Be Bad for Dogs?
Typically, no. Blueberries aren’t bad for most dogs. However, if your dog has diabetes, has food sensitivities, or is on a prescription diet to manage a medical condition, they should not be fed high-sugar fruits such as blueberries. There is also a potential choking hazard with blueberries if you have a small dog, or if you give your dog frozen blueberries.
And even though blueberries are healthy, too much of anything can give your dog an upset stomach—especially when there’s sugar involved. Organic blueberries are always best, but be sure to thoroughly wash them before feeding them to your dog.
Wild blueberries are also safe for dogs, but don’t let them eat an excessive amount. And make sure they are actually blueberries, as certain other wild berries can be poisonous for dogs.
Can Dogs Have Blueberry Muffins?
If you’re thinking about sharing your blueberry muffin, don’t. It’s not healthy for your dog. Although dogs can eat blueberries, they shouldn’t eat all the extra sugars and fats that are in foods like muffins. And depending on the ingredients, there could be something toxic to your dog in the muffin such as chocolate, xylitol, or nutmeg.
If your dog eats a small piece of a blueberry muffin that fell on the floor, they should be fine. But if the muffin did contain any ingredients that are toxic to dogs, or your dog happened to sneak a whole pan of muffins, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Can Dogs Have Blueberry Yogurt?
Blueberry yogurt purchased at the store isn’t a good choice for your dog either. It will probably have a high sugar content, and too much sugar can upset your dog’s stomach. Over time, too much sugar can also cause obesity and diabetes, and it may lead to cavities.
Blueberry yogurt could also contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Instead, try mixing a handful of blueberries with a plain, sugar-free, xylitol-free yogurt. Give a little bit to your dog as a special treat.
If your dog eats blueberry yogurt and you know it contains xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Blueberries?
Dried blueberries can be a great way for you and your dog to have a healthy snack. But the best way to do this is by drying them at home with a dehydrator.
Store-bought dried blueberries often contain preservatives, as well as a very high sugar content. That isn’t healthy for your dog and could cause stomach problems. Check the nutrition facts and ingredients list first to see what has been added to the fruit.
How Many Blueberries Can Dogs Eat?
Even though blueberries are very healthy, they should only be given to dogs in small portions. Treats of any kind should only make up 10% of your dog’s overall diet. The other 90% should come from a well-balanced dog food.
Here are some general guidelines for feeding blueberries to your dog:
Extra-small dogs (2-20 lbs.) = 1-2 blueberries
Small dogs (21-30 lbs.) = 2-3 blueberries
Medium-size dogs (31-50 lbs.) = 3-5 blueberries
Large dogs (51-90 lbs.) = 5-6 blueberries
Extra-large dogs (91+ lbs.) = small handful of blueberries
If you’re concerned that your dog may have eaten too many blueberries, watch for signs of an upset stomach. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms:
Decreased appetite or loss of appetite
Gulping or licking their lips, the air, or objects
Take your dog to the vet immediately if you see vomiting, excessive diarrhea, blood in their vomit or stool, weakness, or collapse.
How to Feed Your Dog Blueberries
If you’re looking for fun ways to feed blueberries to your dog, here are several options:
Fresh: Feed your dog fresh washed blueberries without the stems.
Frozen: Give your dog frozen blueberries as a refreshing treat with a fun, crunchy texture.
Mashed: Mash up the blueberries and mix them into your dog’s regular food.
Dried: If you have a dehydrator at home, make your own dried blueberries for special treats.
Pureed: If you’re feeling fancy, puree the blueberries with some other fruit like bananas and strawberries. Then mix it with a little plain, sugar-free, xylitol-free yogurt or peanut butter. Put the mixture into an ice cube tray or your dog’s KONG, and freeze it for an icy treat.
In a Cake: Try this recipe for a DIY blueberry birthday cake for dogs.
Featured image: iStock.com/Ivar Østby Simonsen
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