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Dogs and Blueberries: Everything You Need to Know

Dalmatian dog eating fruit selection

In this day and age, we all take steps to be as healthy as we can, with exercise, responsible choices, and of course, “superfoods” in our diet. One such food is the humble blueberry, which has become a revered part of muffin recipes, overnight oats, and yogurt parfaits. But do dogs and blueberries get along as well as we do with the little fruit?

Are blueberries safe for dogs, how many can they eat, and what’s the best way to get blueberries into a dog’s diet? We put together this blog to answer all these questions and more.

Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?

We know that dogs can’t eat a variety of foods, such as chocolate, onions, garlic, and macadamia nuts, among various other things. But are blueberries toxic to dogs, or can they eat the superfood safely?

In short, yes, dogs can eat blueberries. Except for specific cases where dogs have allergies to blueberries, they are generally safe for dogs to eat, and will likely be something that they enjoy. However, while dogs and blueberries are a safe combination, you can’t just feed them to your pooch willy-nilly, and there are a few more things that you need to consider before introducing them to your dog's diet.

Can Puppies Have Blueberries?

Now that we’ve classed blueberries for dogs as okay, it’s important to consider how the fruit will affect the constitution of a smaller, younger dog. Generally, a puppy will be able to handle blueberries similarly to fully-grown dogs, of course, adjusted accordingly to their overall diet. It’s still vital that you take your puppy in for an allergy check-up with a vet before introducing anything new into their diet, as you don’t want to find out the hard way.

Are Blueberries Good for Dogs?

With everything we’ve learned so far, the question is no longer “can dogs have blueberries?”, but rather, are dogs and blueberries a truly healthy partnership to encourage? Blueberries have countless qualities that can be beneficial to people, but do these benefits translate to our canine compadres?

Blueberries are Nutrient-Rich and Low-Calorie

One of the clearest, umbrella qualities of blueberries is the fact that they’re high in a wide variety of nutrients, without being very calorific at all. While you still need to control your dog’s intake of blueberries, you can trust that with responsible feeding, they won’t contribute to your dog gaining weight or becoming diabetic.

Blueberries are Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Blueberries are absolutely packed with a variety of different vitamins and minerals, which benefit the health and lives of dogs in much the same way they do humans.

  • Vitamin C: This vitamin is a cornerstone of a healthy diet, helping to protect cells, maintain healthy skin/coat, and improve healing.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is known for supporting the immune system, along with benefitting healthy reproductive function, and aiding in general growth.
  • Vitamin K: This nutrient is important for the creation of proteins in the body that support healthy bone growth and the prevention of blood clots.
  • Calcium: Calcium is a vital nutrient, needed for the proper growth and maintenance of healthy bones, heart, and nerve function.
  • Phosphorus: Phosphorus is essential in how the body processes carbohydrates and fat, supporting the growth of healthy bones and teeth.
  • Potassium: All of the cells in a body need potassium to function, with it supporting the absorption of food, regulating heartbeat, and ensuring proper muscle function.
  • Magnesium: This mineral is vital for the proper production of energy, along with supporting general muscle and nerve function.

With all these amazing nutrients to be found in blueberries, you might think that blueberries should become a major part of a dog’s diet, but things aren’t that cut and dry.

How Many Blueberries can a Dog Eat?

So, knowing that dogs and blueberries can actually get along quite well, how much should the superfood really feature in the canine diet? Well, being a fruit, blueberries are still classified as a “treat” for dogs, the same as all raw fruits and vegetables. With a high sugar content along with a lack of protein and carbohydrates, they shouldn’t become a key part of the doggy diet.

Treats shouldn’t occupy more than 10% of a dog’s diet, meaning if you want to feed your dog blueberries, then you need to find a way to incorporate them into this 10%. Whether blueberries become a key treat in their food plan, or something they have once in a while is up to you, and of course, up to them depending on how much they enjoy them!

How to Feed your Dog Blueberries

You can feed a dog blueberries in a variety of ways, from giving them a small handful of the fruit either fresh or frozen, or prepared as part of a more intricate treat. A great way to get blueberries into your dog’s diet in a more well-rounded, nutritious way is by baking them into treats with peanut butter, oats, flour, and eggs.

Dogs and Blueberries: Final Thoughts

So, to sum up: can dogs have blueberries? Yes, but only in moderation. When are blueberries bad for dogs? Only in the case of a food allergy.

It’s a lot of fun to share your favourite foods with your favourite furry friends, but it’s important to remember that their natural, healthy diet should always come first. There’s not really any need to feed your dog blueberries, but if you’re going to, make sure to do so responsibly.

Pet insurance in Canada can be a useful tool in protecting against unexpected health needs for your pet + protect your household budget too. 

For more interesting and useful pieces on pet ownership, check out our blog! You can also find other other pet care and food articles available from us here:

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Your Guide of Dos and Don’ts

Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream? The Essential Guide for Your Pet

Can Cats Eat Eggs? Everything You Need to Know

Can Dogs Eat Bananas Safely?


Featured Image (above) by Rarnie McCudden on Pexels