The benefits of blueberries for dogs

We couldn’t wait to launch our Wild Irish venison with free-range duck heart back in 2021 as it contains one of our all time favourite ingredients – Organic Wild Blueberries!!
We have a blueberry smoothie almost every morning, as we know how good they are for us. I can almost feel the goodness racing through my veins as shes drinks it down.

Can dogs eat blueberries?

Yes, dogs can eat blueberries. Blueberries are a superfood and we’ll have a deep dive into their benefits below.

Fun facts

– Wolves in Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota eat so many berries in late summer, it accounts for two-thirds of their overall diet!

– Catch me if you can… Are you trying to teach your dog how to catch a treat in the air? Try blueberries, they are easy to spot for your dog and make a great alternative to store-bought treats.

What are the benefits of blueberries for dogs?

Honestly… there are so many, I am sure i could write a book! But below you will read all the wonderful reasons why we add blueberries to our recipe, not to mention they are delicious!!!

Blueberries help maintain a healthy gut in dogs

Every creature on the planet contains their own community of microbes. We can’t see anything with the naked eye. If our own cells or our dogs cells were to disappear, you may see left behind a misty shimmer of cells, where a body once was! We co-exist together, the microbes helping the host in return for being housed and fed. When the gut microbiome isn’t healthy, it causes a range of disorders – both mental and physical in dogs and humans alike.

Blueberry fibre is an incredible prebiotic, which feeds these microbes in the gut!  Research shows that eating blueberries increases the amount of friendly bacteria in the gut, specifically bifidobacteria, which helps us maintain good health into our later years. Blueberries also help strengthen your dog’s gut wall (helping with allergies) and  reduces overall inflammation in the body (the root of all illnesses)***. 

Blueberries decrease oxidative stress in dogs

Blueberries contain flavonoids, anthocyanins and phenols… some of the most beneficial types of antioxidants found in foods. A study on sled dogs supplemented with blueberries showed elevated antioxidant levels in these dogs*. Antioxidants fight harmful free radicals that are known to cause cellular damage, helping reduce the risk of disease such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The immune system has no protection against these free radicals, so eating blueberries can help control the damage they cause in our dogs.

Blueberries support brain health in dogs

Studies show that antioxidant rich food such as blueberries, helps improve cognitive function and memory in dogs * The anthocyanins found in blueberries, the antioxidants that give them their rich blue colour, can cross over the blood-brain barrier to help protect against neurodegenerative disorders. I wonder if this may be one of the reasons Alfie stopped showing symptoms of canine dementia?
At Phoenix bark we use organic wild blueberries, which are richer in anthocyanins… offering more than twice the amount!

Blueberries support heart health in dogs

Blueberries are rich in polyphenols, naturally occurring compounds found in plant foods. Research shows that these polyphenols support cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure and limiting the effect of cellular ageing.

Blueberries reduce inflammation

Blueberries contain quercetin, helping reduce allergy symptoms in dogs as it suppresses the release of histamine (this causes inflammation in the body)
Anthocyanins are also anti-inflammatory and can help reduce chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis in dogs.

Overall health and well-being in dogs

Blueberries are nutrient power houses, packed with Vitamins A, C, E, K, choline and folate. As well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus and potassium!

All these nutrients help boost immune function, assist in bone health, kidney and liver function, improve skin and coat quality, joint health… So yes… we generally don’t like to overuse the word but they are most definitely a superfood!!

Find our delicious wild blueberry filled Venison recipe here!

Studies

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29490092/ – Blueberry Supplementation Influences the Gut Microbiota, Inflammation, and Insulin Resistance in High-Fat-Diet-Fed Rats

* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3696070/ – Lowbush Wild Blueberries have the Potential to Modify Gut Microbiota and Xenobiotic Metabolism in the Rat Colon

* https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf402495k – Differential Modulation of Human Intestinal Bifidobacterium Populations after Consumption of a Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) Drink

* http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520073 – Total antioxidant power in sled dogs supplemented with blueberries and the comparison of blood parameters associated with exercise

* https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12392784/ – Brain aging in the canine: a diet enriched in antioxidants reduces cognitive dysfunction* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820045/ – Polyphenols: Benefits to the Cardiovascular System in Health and in Aging

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