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Can dogs eat blueberries?

A lot of dog owners will feed many seemingly safe foods to their pets without really thinking anything of it, and blueberries are common among those foods.

One of top reasons for emergency veterinary visits is the risk of toxicity. Dogs tend to eat a lot of things they shouldn’t and ultimately it’s up to you, the dog owner, to know what’s acceptable or not for your pet.

Are blueberries putting my dog in danger?

What you need to know

Yes, it is technically safe for you to feed blueberries to your dogs. Unlike raisins, which are dangerous to dogs, they pose no toxicity risk to your furry friends. They’re a safer, healthier snack option. Blueberries are a good source of fiber and vitamin C and are low in sugar making it a great treat for diabetic dogs too. 

Reasons you should still be careful

While they are technically safe to eat, that doesn’t mean that blueberries still don’t come with some risks of their own. For instance, a lot of dogs are more likely to wolf down foods that are smaller without much thought for chewing and this means that they could be a choking hazard.

Just like humans, dogs can have food allergies, too. In fact, ten percent of all dogs have an allergy. If you spot any signs like ear inflammation, chronic gas, diarrhea, or any other gastrointestinal issues, you should talk with your veterinarian. After they’ve ruled out other causes they may suggest eliminating and reintroducing foods. Be sure to stick with the new diet a couple months to be sure what is working for your dog.

Blueberries have some specific risks of their own, too. Some people will freeze blueberries so they make the perfect cold, hydrating treat in the summer, but this makes them more likely to act as a choking hazard. What’s more, too many blueberries can lead to an upset stomach, especially if they haven’t been cleaned and checked for mold in advance. Blueberries can make a tasty treat and you can spread some into their normal dog food if you want to, but only in moderation.

Alternatives to blueberries

If you’re worried about the choking hazard that blueberries present, or you find out your dog is allergic to them, some other summer fruits can serve just fine as a juicy replacement. Some foods that are larger and require a little more chewing include:

  • Bananas
  • Watermelon
  • Peach
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apples

There are other similarly sized fruits if your dog proves allergic, too. Raspberries and strawberries are also perfectly fine for dogs and may have some health benefits of their own.

Recipes for feeding blueberries to your dogs

Blueberry crunch treats give the blueberries a more substantial base that the dog can get their teeth into, so they’re not likely to just swallow it all at once and end up choking. Borrow My Doggy has a perfect recipe for creating these crunchy, hard treats with plenty of flavor but less sugar than other cookie-type desserts.

Grain-free blueberry and banana dog treats are a good fit for dogs who already have a substantial grain-based diet - just don’t want to overfeed them.

Frozen blueberry treats are perfect for keeping your dog cool and helping to hydrate them on those hot summer days but without the added risk of choking since they have to be chewed down. Check out Proud Dog Mom’s recipe where she makes them with coconut oil and adds a little sheen to your pup's coat.

While blueberries aren’t technically unsafe for dogs, they have some risks of their own and feeding them too much of any one thing can end up complicating their health in the long-run. Keep in mind some of the alternatives and recipes that make your dog treats a little safer.