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The next time you’re at the farmer’s market, you may want to pick up an extra pint of blueberries — for your dog. That's right: plump, juicy blueberries are a tasty and healthy treat for your pup; in fact, most dogs love them. Whether you buy them fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried, they’re a great addition to your dog’s diet. Here are all the health benefits of blueberries for dogs, plus how to serve ’em up.
The Health Benefits of Blueberries for Dogs
Loaded with vitamin C and fiber, blueberries are known to be one of the most nutritional berries for dogs. Their deep blue color comes from anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidants. Studies suggest that antioxidants like those in blueberries can provide significant improvements in cognitive functions in aging dogs.
Blueberries also supply phytochemicals — chemical compounds that are thought to help protect against some cancers. And with one cup containing just 84 calories, they make an excellent low-calorie treat for your dog. Just remember that treats, in general, should comprise no more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet each day.
How to Add Blueberries to Your Dog’s Diet
When giving your dog blueberries, introduce them slowly and in small quantities since gorging on this tasty fruit can give your dog an upset stomach. To serve them to your pup, simply wash them and serve them whole or lightly mashed. You can add them as a topper to your dog’s kibble or use them as treats. You can even incorporate them into homemade treats or try the recipe below. Another option: freeze-dried blueberries — many dogs enjoy their crunchy texture.
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Daniela Lopez is a digital media specialist and long-time contributor to The Bark.