As you pull a fresh tray of warm blueberry muffins out of the oven and catch a whiff of the wonderful aroma that suddenly fills your kitchen, you might find yourself wondering if your attentive pup can partake in the deliciousness, too. Unfortunately, it’s not a great idea to feed your dog blueberry muffins – no matter what they might try to tell you. It can be hard to avoid their longing, puppy-dog eyes, but blueberry muffins are not suitable snacks for dogs…we’re not even sure people should eat them either. Let’s talk about why.
Fat, Sugar, and Flour
Any blueberry muffin recipe you find will have some form of fat, sugar, and flour at its core. None of these ingredients are easily processed by a canine digestive system, and in large quantities – as you find in blueberry muffins – they can cause a range of problems for your little buddy.
Dog’s bodies aren’t designed to handle the omnivorous diet humans have evolved to eat, and if you feed your dog fatty foods packed with sugar, they can develop health problems. The least severe outcome is a simple upset stomach. Your dog might be able to digest a piece of a blueberry muffin without any outward signs of distress, or you might notice increased flatulence or more trips outside to do their business. Some dogs won’t handle a blueberry muffin well and could experience vomiting or diarrhea in some cases.
One of the worst complications your dog might develop if you give them a piece of a blueberry muffin is a bout of pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas. When your dog consumes fatty foods, there is a chance its pancreas will become inflamed from trying to process the unusual fatty load.
Symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting and lethargy, so if you notice your dog exhibiting these signs, it’s best to take a trip to the vet to be safe. Your vet might not be able to diagnose your dog definitively if they have pancreatitis, but their recent dietary history can provide a strong clue.
Unfortunately, pancreatitis isn’t curable, and there is no treatment. Over time, the inflammation will subside, but it could leave your four-legged friend with lasting health issues. The best approach is to avoid pancreatitis entirely by not feeding your dog rich, fatty foods. Sometimes this means being stern with house guests who insist that “a little bit won’t hurt them.”
Acute problems like pancreatitis aren’t the only risks associated with giving blueberry muffins to your pet. If you feed your dog table food in general, but especially fat-laden, sugary food like muffins, you increase the chance of making your dog obese. Obesity is a serious problem for dogs and can cause heart conditions, joint pain, and a slew of other unsavory health problems.
It can be hard to resist giving your dog a bit of muffin when they just look so cute sitting there watching you enjoying your food. There are plenty of healthy snacks for dogs and many better options if you must give your dog human food.
What About Blueberries?
One such healthy alternative is blueberries. They have tons of cancer-fighting antioxidants, are low in calories, and contain important vitamins and nutrients like vitamin K, iron, zinc, and calcium.
Blueberries are high in fiber, so you shouldn’t give Fido too many. If you’ve never given your dog blueberries before, start with only one or two and see how they do. Make sure your dog’s system can handle them before you make blueberries a regular snack.
Frozen blueberries are somewhat dangerous because they can be a choking hazard, especially for smaller dogs. We recommend sticking with fresh, washed blueberries since they’re soft and easy to swallow.
Sometimes our sweet tooth gets the better of us, and we can’t help but bake up a delicious batch of blueberry muffins. We know they’re not good for us, but – in moderation – they won’t cause lasting harm to humans. The same cannot be said for dogs, and it’s best to avoid feeding your pet blueberry muffins intentionally.
If your furry friend happens to grab a crumb that falls off the counter, there’s no cause for alarm, and you don’t need to rush them to the vet, but if you have a choice, don’t give them any baked goods. Blueberries are a healthy alternative that dogs love and will keep them healthy in the long term.
Featured image credit: congerdesign, Pixabay