In my recent Red White and Blue Frozen Treat recipe post as well as yesterday’s Table Food Topper post, I mentioned the use of blueberries. Blueberries have a wonderful nutritional value and small size, they are a great treat for both large dogs and small dogs and can even be used in food/treat recipes for your pup.
Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, selenium, zinc and iron. High in vitamins C, E, A and B complex for your dog. Blueberries are low in calories and contain high amounts of vitamin C, fiber, phytochemicals (naturally occurring chemical compounds found in plants), and antioxidants. Low in calories, high in nutrients, it’s clear that the blueberry is a tiny juicy fruit bursting with health boosting properties that no doggie diet should be without!
The antioxidants in blueberries help fight free radicals, which are responsible for cellular and molecular damage in dogs. Sources of antioxidants, like blueberries, help strengthen the immune systems by fighting off free radicals naturally. Studies show that by adding antioxidants to a dog’s diet there is a reduction in the effects of brain aging, which is good news for those of us with older dogs. Vitamin C and fiber are vital components of proper canine nutrition, while phytochemicals are linked to several aspects of health, including the ability to fight cancer.
In 1 Cup of Fresh Blueberries:
- 85 Calories
- Vitamin K – 32% Daily Value
- Manganese – 25% DV
- Vitamin C – 19% DV
- Dietary Fiber – 3.6 grams
- Vitamin B6 – 5% DV
- Sugar – 15 grams
- Copper 9 % DV
Blueberries are considered a low calorie food, while also being low on the glycemic index and are high in fiber. In layman’s terms, it means that blueberries make an excellent diet food that can help your pup shed some pounds if needed. Vitamin K, found in blueberries has been linked to promoting strong bones in dogs. Vitamin K makes sure that your dog maintains healthy bone density.
Do blueberries have any side effects? If you look at the nutritional breakdown of blueberries, you can see that blueberries have an unusually high amount of sugar, 15 grams per cup. This means that if you feed your dog too many blueberries, it could speed up the decay of your dog’s teeth. If your dog eats blueberries too often and never gets his or her teeth brushed, it could be bad, so make sure to brush those choppers! A cup of blueberries also contains a good amount of soluble fiber, which is good for your dog, but too much soluble fiber can actually cause constipation. On the other hand, blueberries can also cause diarrhea, so in short, to avoid adverse side effects give in moderation, although any new food poses potential risks.
Please ALWAYS consult your Veterinarian about introducing anything new to your dog, and monitor your dog closely after giving blueberries as a treat for the first time.
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