Huckleberries are most often confused with blueberries. They are quite tasty, small round berries that dogs might be interested in getting a bite from as well as humans. However, pet parents need to be careful about what their pup is eating to prevent any health issues.
Can dogs eat huckleberries, then? The short answer is yes but if you know what you are giving to your dog and how you should prepare it. There are not many nutritional benefits of huckleberries for dogs and some types of huckleberries can be potentially harmful to your dog. Let us take a deeper look into huckleberries.
What Are Huckleberries?
You’ve probably first heard of huckleberry from Mark Twain’s novel “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” But huckleberry is a berry that grows especially in North America and belongs to the Ericaceae family.
In terms of flavor, it is similar to blueberry, yet it can also be tart. It was also used as a traditional medication for pain, heart diseases, and infections.
What Are the Benefits of Huckleberries?
Even though huckleberries can be potentially dangerous for dogs, there are some health benefits found in them as well.
Huckleberries are high in vitamin C and A. Vitamin C helps to strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation while vitamin A is essential for healthy skin and coat. It is also helpful in developing muscles and growth.
Even though high-quality dog foods have enough vitamins in them, sometimes snacks offer a great addition to a dog’s diet with many benefits. However, remember that excessive vitamin intake can also cause health problems for your pup.
The Dangers of Huckleberries
Harmful Kind of Huckleberries
There are different kinds of huckleberries out there. Therefore, if you are going to give huckleberries to your dog, you need to make sure you are giving him true huckleberries. For example, garden huckleberries, which are known to be a part of the nightshade family, are considered to be harmful to dogs.
Huckleberries have seeds. It is known that seeds are usually harmful to dogs as they are a choking hazard. However, the seeds are also known for causing an intestinal blockage which can be very harmful to pups. In some cases, if not treated, it can also be lethal.
Consuming Too Many
Eating too many huckleberries can also be quite harmful to dogs as with anything else. Therefore, it should be given in moderate amounts to avoid stomach upset, diarrhea as well as vomiting. Huckleberry contains sugar and therefore can lead to obesity if eaten in large quantities for a long time.
How to Prepare Huckleberries?
If you want your dog to have a huckleberry snack from time to time for its taste and benefits, then you should remove the seeds before feeding it to your pup. Also, make sure to give only a few huckleberries to your dog in order not to cause any health issues. If you have any concerns, you can always consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog any type of fruits or vegetables.
What Are Some Other Berries That Are Beneficial For Dogs?
While some wild berries can be toxic for dogs, there are certain berries that are safe for dogs to eat as snacks.
Blueberries are delicious and beneficial both for humans and dogs. They are known to be quite rich in antioxidants which help to minimize the effects of free radicals. Blueberries contain vitamin C which is great for strengthening dogs’ immune system and reducing inflammation.
Who does not love strawberries? Dogs sure love their sweet taste. Similar to the blueberries, strawberries contain vitamin C and antioxidants that are very beneficial for dogs.
Even though strawberries are overall safe for dogs to eat, the number of strawberries that your dog eats should be kept under control as they contain fructose. This means that eating too many strawberries can cause high blood sugar levels.
Blackberries are another great snack for dogs due to containing antioxidants and vitamins that will benefit your dog. Blackberries are rich in vitamin K which improves dogs’ liver and blood health and has positive effects on their heart health as well as bone-related diseases.
Blackberries also contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are quite important for healthy skin and coat. Since blackberries have high sugar levels, be careful of how many berries your dog consumes as it can be addictive and harmful in the long run.
Raspberries are also delicious snacks that your furry friend can enjoy in moderate amounts. Raspberries contain vitamins and antioxidants like many other berries. Raspberries also contain vitamin K, though not as much as blackberries. Still, it can greatly benefit your dog as vitamin K is essential for their health.
Which Berries Are Not Safe for Dogs?
Even though most berries that are safe for humans to consume are safe for dogs in small amounts, there are some berries you need to look out for.
Mistletoe and Holly Berries
Most of these berries are wild and rare to come by. However, mistletoe and holly berries are the two berries that you need to be cautious of. Mistletoe and holly berries are often used during holidays as decoration around the house.
Dogs are naturally curious animals, they might want to get a bite from them. Therefore, make sure to place such decorations out of your dog’s reach.
Pokeberries, Juniper Berries, and Baneberries
The wild berries that are commonly found in the United States include pokeberries, juniper berries, and baneberries which can be toxic for dogs. They may not be lethal for your dog to consume. However, they can cause many serious health problems. Try to avoid wild berries as much as possible if you go hiking with your dog.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Huckleberries?
Huckleberries, just like any other non-toxic fruit, are safe for dogs to get a taste of in moderate amounts. As long as you clean out the seeds and only give your dog a few huckleberries, it should be fine and quite beneficial for your dog as a treat.
However, it is always important to control the number of natural snacks that a dog eats. If your dog consumes more huckleberries than recommended, it can lead to stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.
If your dog has eaten a lot of huckleberries, we recommend that you look out for any symptoms indicating toxication and contact your veterinarian immediately.
If you would like to give huckleberries as snacks in moderate amounts, we also recommend that you consult your veterinarian beforehand to be on the safe side.