If dogs are a man’s best friend, they should be able to eat and appreciate man’s best food, right? Blueberry muffins are a morning favorite that many enjoy. It can be hard to eat the delicious pastry knowing two canine eyes are locked in on our hand’s every movement as it lifts the crumbly treat from the plate to our mouth.
So, what if we want to share? When it comes to blueberry muffins, it is best to keep them away from our furry friends. Contrary to the popular saying “a little won’t hurt” that is not the case here. Let’s break it down.
No, dogs should not have blueberry muffins. They are not often toxic, but are not a recommended food for many reasons.
Can My Dog Eat Blueberries?
When it comes to dogs eating fruits, blueberries are safe! The tiny berries contain several different kinds of phytochemicals. These are compounds that are produced by plants and are believed to protect human cells from damage that could lead to cancer. This benefit may extend to dogs. The compounds may also help reduce cognitive dysfunction in aging canines.
In addition, blueberries are filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, low calories, and antioxidants. That is a lot for such a small fruit! These nutrients support the immune system and positively affect overall health. Blueberries also contain minerals and vitamins that help improve calcium absorption and support bone health.
What’s inside a blueberry?
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Low calories
- Low in sodium
In 2006, a study conducted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and published in the National Institutes of Health showed sled dogs were fed blueberries as dietary supplements while exercising. The results show that the sled dogs had increased levels of antioxidants in the blood.
This suggests that dogs fed blueberries while exercising as compared to dogs fed a control diet while exercising may be better protected against oxidative damage.
However, this isn’t to say that all canines should eat blueberries every day. They should be considered an occasional treat.
Side Effects of Blueberries in Dogs
The amount that your pet should consume is dependent on their body weight. A good rule of thumb is to feed dogs of any size only a few blueberries in one sitting. If they eat more, your dog could suffer from gastric upset or diarrhea. The tiny fruit can also pose a choking hazard to small dogs. If your dog has had stomach or digestive problems in the past, first consult a veterinarian before giving them a juicy blueberry.
It is also important to make sure the blueberries are fresh and rinsed. If they are moldy or old, throw them out! Like humans, our furry friends will get sick if they eat old fruit.
In the end, adding fresh blueberries to your dog’s diet is a great way to help keep them happy and healthy!
Now, let’s talk about the muffin.
Can My Dog Eat a Blueberry Muffin?
The short answer is no. It is best not to feed your dog a blueberry muffin that is meant for human consumption. Even though the fruit can be beneficial, the rest of the delicious treat is not. The high sugar and fat can be detrimental to a dog’s health.
Dogs’ bodies are not made to handle foods that are baked for humans. If you feed your dog fatty, sugary foods, like a muffin, they can develop health issues, including pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas.
An upset stomach would be the least severe outcome. Even if your dog looks like the muffin didn’t affect them, it can still cause problems that can’t be seen from the outside.
Some dogs can experience vomiting, diarrhea and increased flatulence. All of these are signs that your dog may have eaten something high in sugar or fat and their body is having a hard time digesting it. However, more life-threatening health conditions may occur.
Pancreatitis is one of the most severe health issues your dog could develop. After eating fatty foods, the pancreas can become inflamed due to the dog’s body trying to process an unusually large amount of fat. Vomiting and lethargy are symptoms of pancreatitis. So, if you notice your dog exhibiting those signs, it’s time to take them to the vet!
Unfortunately, there is no cure or treatment for pancreatitis. Over time, the inflammation will reduce, however, the issue could leave your furry friend with lifelong health problems. The best approach? Avoid feeding your dog fatty and sugary foods.
So, the next time your dog peaks its head up to see what is on the counter or tries to steal food off the table, make sure the muffins are out of reach!
There are more risks related to feeding dogs blueberry muffins. The fatty, sugary treat can also increase your dog’s chance of becoming obese.
Obesity is a significant problem among canines and can cause a number of other health issues, including joint pain and heart conditions. Approximately half of all dogs in American homes are overweight or obese.
How Can I Feed My Dog Blueberries?
Once you consult your dog’s veterinarian, feel free to serve the suggested amount of blueberries to your furry friend. Don’t be afraid to serve them frozen blueberries as well! They can be eaten individually as a sweet treat or sprinkled on dog food.
Some dog foods already contain blueberries, but may not contain a significant enough amount to provide nutritional benefits. The fruit, however, is typically added for variety in your pup’s diet.
When it comes to treats, they should be limited. ATreats should only make up less than 10 percent of your dog’s daily calories–even if the treats are low calorie and a healthy option (such as blueberries).
Avoid sugary human snacks! Instead, try making a homemade blueberry dog treat. This way, you can ensure all the ingredients will make a positive health impact on your dog.
While you may have to rule out feeding your pet a muffin, tiny berries are OK. In moderation, blueberries can have many health benefits for your furry friend!