Can Dogs eat Blueberries & Bananas?

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Question:

Is it safe for dogs to eat blueberries and bananas? If not, why? Please explain.

Answer:

Blueberries and bananas are very healthy for dogs. Blueberries are a great source of a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins. They also contain vitamin C (another antioxidant that also supports the immune system), vitamin K, manganese, and fiber. Bananas contain a lot of potassium as well as B vitamins, vitamin C, and other antioxidants and phytonutrients. Blueberries and bananas are best thought of as treats for dogs but can also be incorporated into a homemade diet. A veterinary nutritionist should always be involved in preparing appropriate recipes based on a dog’s particular needs. Recipes that are available online or in books are almost never nutritionally complete and balanced. Any new food can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs. Feed just a small amount at first to see how your dog reacts. Keep treats of all sorts, including blueberries and bananas, to just 10% of a dog’s diet to avoid nutritional imbalances. Call your veterinarian for advice if your dog gets into a large amount of any type of new food.

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If you have any specific health concerns related to your pet, please be sure to take the pet to your vet or an emergency vet, or if you have concerns related to something your pet may have eaten another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

Dr. Jennifer Coates
Dr. Jennifer Coates was valedictorian of her graduating class at the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and has practiced in Virginia, Wyoming, and Colorado. She is also the author of numerous articles and books including the Dictionary of Veterinary Terms: Vet-Speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian.