Why Blueberries Are Fantastic For Your Dog: The Benefits And A Dog Treat Recipe!
A healthy diet for your dog includes fresh fruit and veg. There are lots of things that are great for our dogs, but some foods are in fact toxic to dogs. So, can dogs eat blueberries? Absolutely they can! Read on for why it’s a great idea to give your dog blueberries, and for an easy-peasy blueberry dog treat recipe!
6 reasons blueberries are good for your dog
Known as a superfood, there are many reasons to add this beautiful little berry to our diets, and our dog’s, including:
- They are low in calories, but packed full of nutritional goodness. They’re high in vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as several minerals.
- They are full of antioxidants, which help to protect against oxidation damage. Antioxidants fight free radicals (damaged cells)
- They can reduce inflammation, So, essentially that is great for joint support and fighting disease. The blue-purple colour of the berries contains anthocyanins, found in this study to control inflammation.
- They help reduce or manage a variety of cancers (link to study)
- They are good for our brain! Studies have shown that they improve memory in older adults. Other research found that blueberries can help slow the brain’s aging process and eating blueberries improved cognition in older adults. So, if your pooch is getting on, this is great news.
- They are good for our hearts. A UK university study concluded that eating blueberries every day reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
How to feed blueberries
The best and easiest way to give blueberries to your dog is just the way they come – fresh, raw and whole! However, if your dog is anything like my fussy beast, Toxa, you might find the blueberries still at the bottom of the dog bowl when all the rest of the food has been eaten.
So, what can you do? One super quick and easy option is the squish with a potato masher and mix them in with the rest of the food. Alternatively, a short blitz in the food processor will turn them into a puree in seconds and this can be blended in with the rest of the food.
Ideally, both you and your dog should try to eat organic blueberries: there are so many chemicals used in farming these days. However, whether you can stretch to this or not, make sure you wash the berries well before eating.
How many blueberries can I give my dog?
How often can dogs eat blueberries? Ideally, dogs should get around 10% of the diet in the form of fruit and veg, so giving them a variety of different food types over time is best. My dogs get fed a raw diet and their fruit and veg content varies daily, so I don’t give them blueberries every day. In the summer, I might give them one of these frozen blueberry treats a day.
You can safely give a medium to large dog a handful of berries a day in her food. A small dog could have 3-4 berries in her food. Consider what proportion of her daily intake this quantity represents, and whether you are giving her blueberries alongside other fruit and veg.
Blueberry ice pops recipe (for dogs and people!)
With just 2 ingredients, this is such a simple recipe to whip up. Whats more, both you and your dog can enjoy these treats on a hot day!
Kefir / Yoghurt
You can just stir them together but I prefer to blend them. I have a fussy dog who will spit out entire berries, but blending them into the kefir avoids this problem.
Put the kefir/yoghurt and the berries in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds until the berries are partially broken up. It’s not necessary to completely blend them, unless you’d prefer them that way. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. That’s it!
If you like the idea of frozen summer treats, try out these recipes:
Frozen treats that both you and your dog can eat!
Blueberries are a great addition to a dog’s diet, providing many nutrients and health benefits.