If your dog loves to gobble up blueberries when they roll on the floor, you might be wondering: Can dogs eat blueberries and are blueberries good for dogs? The answer is most definitely! This summer fruit can have a huge positive impact on your dog’s health. Those midnight blue little orbs are jam-packed with canine nutrition. Perfectly-sized to serve as a training treat (try them frozen!) or as a superfood sprinkled in the dog bowl, this fruit is a great addition to a balanced diet for your dog.
Why Are Blueberries Good for Dogs?
Blueberries are packed with vitamins and minerals that make them a healthy choice for dogs. They contain a class of compounds known as flavonoids, a group of nutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These flavonoids give blueberries that deep, vibrant color and also make them good for dogs.
Blueberries are Good for Dogs’ Cardiovascular Health
Antioxidants in blueberries are beneficial to your dog’s heart health. They work to protect against free radicals that cause cell damage and are particularly beneficial for red blood cells that transport oxygen from the lungs throughout the body. They may help prevent cardiovascular disease and keep a dog’s ticker going strong.
Blueberries Help Dogs Stay Agile
The anti-inflammation properties in blueberries intercept signals that tell cells to get inflamed by inhibiting specific enzymes (cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase). The result? Dogs are potentially less likely to have inflammation which would cause pain and swelling in their joints. All that healthy cell activity leads to better agility in dogs, especially as they age, because cells (and therefore bones, joints and muscles) have been protected from harsh wear and tear over the years.
They Ward Against Cancer in Dogs
Multiple studies—in humans and dogs—show a link between blueberries and the prevention of certain types of cancer, including colon, bladder, and small intestine. One study, published in Pathology & Oncology Research concluded that blueberries “exhibit inherent abilities to prevent carcinogenesis, inhibit the proliferation of neoplastic cells, and reduce the risks of recurrence in patients in remission.” This (Three cheers for cancer prevention!)
Blueberries Improve Dogs’ Memories
A recent study found that when dogs were given higher amounts of anthocyanins (one of blueberries' flavonoids), they exhibited improved memory skills, especially as they aged. So while your dog may not be ready to do your taxes yet, he might finally master that trick where he brings you the remote control. Reward him with a blueberry of course!
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Blueberries for Dogs Prevent UTIs
And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, new research suggests that blueberries also help prevent against UTIs (urinary tract infections), which are common in dogs and uber painful. The fruit contains a compound that prevents bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall and tissues of the urinary tract.
What’s the Best Way for Dogs to Eat Blueberries?
Dogs can eat blueberries raw or frozen, mixed in food or as a snack. All of these benefits are why Ollie uses blueberries in many of its balanced recipes.
The only reason a dog couldn’t (or shouldn’t) eat blueberries is if the berries were mixed with any sugar or spices. Never give your dog blueberry jam as that may contain xylitol, which is a toxin for dogs.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.