Careful! Not everything you eat can be fed to your dog. While humans and dogs both need to have a balanced and nutritious diet to stay healthy, our bodies metabolize food differently. This means that some foods that are healthy for humans can be very dangerous, and even deadly, for dogs.
Grapes and raisins, for example, are healthy, fruity treats for humans but toxic for dogs. Animal care experts suggest that it might be due to the fungus mycotoxin, or salicylate which is a naturally occurring substance that affects dogs’ kidneys.
You might think, “Okay, so what foods can I feed them?”. One food that dogs can munch on is fresh blueberries, and we say fresh because blueberries included in human food are a different story.
Before we go there, you need to know that there isn’t a single best healthy diet for dogs. Their breed, size, age, and health, and their stage of life are all important factors you need to consider. It is essential to consult your veterinarian regarding your fur ball’s nutritional requirements to keep them healthy and happy.
Benefits of blueberries
Blueberries are perfect, little treats for dogs when given in moderation. They are low in calories and high in dietary fiber, vitamin C and K, and antioxidants which are beneficial to their digestion, immunity, and brain health.
Studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidants positively affects cognitive functioning in dogs. Antioxidants help reduce cellular damage which combats general problems that come with aging and bring back your dog’s good health. Vitamin C, the antioxidant found in blueberries, enhances collagen production, helps heal wounds, and enhances resistance to infections and allergies.
It’s best to give washed, fresh blueberries to your furball but you can also feed him/her frozen ones for a crunchy texture. You can sprinkle fresh or frozen blueberries to his/her commercial dog food or dog treats to make it healthier and well-balanced. Frozen blueberries become hard and may cause choking, especially to smaller dogs, so be careful.
Also, because blueberries have higher sugar content than other snacks, they may result in digestive distress and cause tooth decay and diabetes in dogs when taken too much. A safe amount can vary according to a dog’s size, weight, and age among other factors, so it’s best to consult your vet. Nutritionists would advise that treats, even those low in calories, must not be more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories.
If you find yourself wondering if you’ve been feeding your dog too many blueberries and other treats high in sugar, be observant of the following symptoms (these are only some):
- Increased thirst and dehydration
- Increased urination
- Excessive hunger
- Non-healing wounds
When these symptoms are present, go to your vet as soon as possible to determine if these are caused by high blood sugar levels or other conditions.
Can dogs eat dried blueberries?
Dried blueberries are not very favorable for dogs because they have an even higher sugar content than fresh blueberries. Some brands even incorporate corn syrup in it which you wouldn’t want for your dog.
If your dog has eaten some, he/she will probably experience an upset stomach but it’ll pass and he/she is going to be fine. The point is, your dog is better off eating washed, fresh blueberries. They’re more beneficial for your dog’s health.
If you think you’ve been too generous with dried blueberry treats, look out for the same symptoms mentioned above. Better yet, don’t take any chances and go directly to your vet to have your little’s dog’s blood sugar levels tested.
Can dogs eat blueberry muffins?
Blueberry muffins, pancakes, or pies are a big no-no for dogs. The berries are not the problem; it’s the high sugar content of these treats. Other ingredients in muffins are high in carbohydrates, and carbohydrates turn sugar glucose in the blood which poses risks for your dog.
The bottom line is that blueberries are best served on its own and in moderation. You just have to make sure that they’re washed and clean whether you serve them fresh or frozen.
Other Fruits and Veggies Doggos Can Eat
Oranges (eaten in moderation) are healthy for your dog as long as you don’t remove the seeds and peels. Fresh strawberries (also eaten in moderation) are also great for your dog because they are high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. Other fruits that your doggo can eat are apples (seeds and core removed), watermelon (seeds and rind removed), frozen bananas, and pineapple (best served in small amounts).
Carrots and celery are healthy and can be served both raw and cooked. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals. Make sure to cut them into bite-size pieces first before serving to avoid choking and aid digestion.
Raw or cooked broccoli is another healthy option that is low in calories and high in nutrients. They’re best served occasionally because too much can irritate your Dog’s stomach. Mushrooms bought in stores are safe for dogs as long as they’re not combined with other ingredients such a clove of garlic and onions.
Nutrition is the foundation of our health. Eating food as medicine is more preferable than consuming medicine as food. This is true not only for humans but also for dogs. We must treat our furry house companions as individuals with specific nutritional needs because their bodies have unique health requirements.
Even with all the food options available, we must always be mindful. Keep in mind that no matter how healthy a certain food is, too much of it is still bad. As are other things in life, moderation is key. Balance in food and diet is most desirable.
When uncertain, always do your research and consult your vet. Not only should you ask what food your dog should eat but what symptoms to observe to know when he/she is in distress. After all, there’s no such as being too careful when it comes to health.