Can my dog eat… blueberries?

It would be a sin not to talk about blueberries in the heat of summer. These teeny tiny power houses of nutritional goodness are in season right now and worth a note of appreciation.

CAN YOUR DOG EAT BLUEBERRIES!

YES, a big joy-bursting Yes!

My guys love them so much, they know blueberries by name. Even more, I truly think boys see them as a high value treat, too.

The little berries are not only delicious. First and foremost, blueberries contain important vitamins and minerals including vitamin A to support vision, vitamin K essential for blood clotting, vitamin C important for resilient immune system and formation of collagen to keep connective tissue, skin and skeleton healthy, plus manganese for bone development and copper – to support haemoglobin production.

But what you are most likely know about blueberries already is that they are often referred to as “superfoods” because they are packed with antioxidant phytonutrients including anthocyanins, resveratrol, catechin, ferric acids, quercetin, myrecitin, and kaempferol, to name a few. And since a lot of research was carried on animals, we can turn to it and see how the berries can benefit our dogs.

Because of the high phytonutrient content blueberries are the berries known for their anti-inflammatory properties. One study showed that blueberries helped to reduced the symptoms and progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Another study that used sled-dogs showed that blueberries may also reduce the effects of oxidative damage and improve muscle recovery post-exercise in active dogs.

They are also said to support healthy blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease, which is very important for cocker spaniels who may be genetically prone to heart issues.

Another benefit of blueberries is blood sugar support, which can help maintain healthy weight and reduce risk of diabetes in both dogs and humans.

Some resent studies also suggest that the high phytonutrient content may help to reduce the risk of several cancers and support the nervous system and brain health.

Adding blueberries to your spaniel’s meals may support his vitamin K levels after a course of antibiotics. Of course, you will need to check it with your vet first.

So if you think about it, the little berry plays a very important role in keeping most of the body’s systems functioning properly and remaining desease-free.

How much to feed? It is generally accepted that you can feed 1 berry per 1 kilo of your dog’s body weight per day. However, you also need to bear in mind all the other treats your dog may eat on the same day and adjust the quantities accordingly, so the total quantity of treats is no more than 10% of his total daily food intake.

Fresh berries are likely to be more beneficial, but if they have to endure long transit times or are out of season, you can get plenty of goodness from the frozen blueberries, too.

 

Photo credit: image by LC-click from Pixabay

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