The little, round huckleberries are just the right treat for your taste buds. And dogs sure do enjoy them.
But, can dogs eat huckleberries? Huckleberries can be given to dogs, but there is no evidence of them providing any health benefits. Nevertheless, some huckleberries can pose health risks, such as the ones that contain seeds.
People are generally confused between huckleberries and blueberries, and often mix up the two. But the truth is that both of them are different.
It is important to know exactly what you are feeding your dog so that you can avoid any associated health risks. Read further to know more about huckleberries and their significance in your dog’s diet.
What exactly are huckleberries?
The term huckleberry is used to refer to various plants of the Ericaceae family.
Huckleberries are small, round, and quite tasty. However, people often mistake them with blueberries, even though both of them are different.
Huckleberries can be bright red, blue, or purple. Red huckleberries have a tart taste, while the purple and blue huckleberries are sweeter.
Can dogs eat huckleberries?
The topic of whether huckleberries are good for dogs or not is quite controversial. Many believe them to be hazardous to dogs, while others say that these berries are harmful to dogs.
PetMD, a reliable source of information, however, does not list them in the category of harmful foods.
If you do plan to treat your dog with huckleberries, make sure these are “true” huckleberries.
There are certain forms of huckleberries that are, in fact, harmful to dogs and it is best to avoid them. The garden huckleberries that are part of the nightshade family are known to be harmful to dogs.
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Considering some types of huckleberries are not hazardous to dogs, do they provide any health benefits?
Huckleberries contain vitamin C which helps in strengthening your immune system. However, recommended dog foods have enough vitamin C in them, that feeding them huckleberries is meaningless.
And even if your dog is deficient in vitamin C, it is unusual for your vet to recommend huckleberries, instead of a dietary supplement to overcome the deficiency.
Huckleberries also contain vitamin A, which is good for your dog’s skin and quality of coat. Vitamin A also helps in muscular development.
But too much vitamin A in your dog’s diet can also cause health problems.
Some huckleberries contain seeds that can cause choking. These seeds are quite small. So, choking is not a problem in larger breeds of dogs.
However, these seeds should still be avoided, as they can cause intestinal obstruction or blockage. Such a condition can be seriously harmful and in certain cases, it can even be lethal.
Eating too many huckleberries can upset your dog’s stomach. This can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
Moreover, eating too many huckleberries can lead to obesity as these fruits contain a lot of sugar.
How to give my dog huckleberries?
If you want to feed your dog huckleberries, take proper caution of the following:
Before giving your dog any huckleberries, make sure you remove any leaves, stems, or seeds attached to the berry.
Always give your dog fresh berry and nothing else.
Do not give too much
Never give too many huckleberries to dogs. Giving huckleberries as occasional treats is alright.
But remember not to make a habit of it.
Consult your vet
This not only true for huckleberries, but also for any other fruit or vegetable. Always seek a vet’s confirmation before feeding anything to your dog. Your vet can provide valuable insights, that would help keep your dog from any harm or associated health risks.
Types of berries that are harmful to dogs
Where there are berries that are good for dogs, there are also certain types that are harmful to them. Here are a few of the most common among them for you to know so that you can avoid feeding them to your pup:
Holly berries are easily recognizable because they are used for decoration during Christmas.
Holly berries contain harmful substances such as saponins, methylxanthines, and cyanogens. If ingested, these berries can disrupt the digestive process causing diarrhea and vomiting.
Moreover, holly berries come with spiny leaves that can cause internal injuries if ingested.
Holly berries are not only harmful to dogs, but also to humans.
Another familiar kind of berries common in Christmas decor are the mistletoe berries.
Harmful compounds such as lectins, polysaccharides, and alkaloids are present in these berries that harm a dog’s internal organs.
If ingested, these berries can cause:
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal heart rate
One of the most toxic berries, the baneberries grows in regions with a temperate climate.
It contains glucoside and ranunculin compounds that cause poisoning.
Even six baneberries can be fatal to humans and dogs which, as you know, is not the case with huckleberry, or any other berry for that matter.
Native to the US, pokeberries are toxic to both humans and animals. That is why no one cultivates this species of berries, unlike huckleberry. In fact, pokeberries are considered a pest species.
Eating pokeberries can be lethal. Nevertheless, there are some symptoms that you can look for if you think your dog might have eaten some:
- Bloody stool
- Low blood pressure
- Inflammation of intestine or stomach
Juniper berries are not like a huckleberry or strawberry. They can be more accurately classified as seed cones.
Although used for various cooking purposes, Juniper berries are poisonous to dogs.
Eating too many Juniper berries can cause seizures, kidney problems, and low blood sugar in dogs.
Should I give my dog blueberries?
Blueberries are good for dogs as they contain several minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants.
The best thing about blueberries is that they are low in calories. Moreover, these berries also contain vitamin C and fiber that are known to be integral components of a dog’s diet.
Therefore, eating blueberries can have positive effects on your dog’s health.
But, remember to feed blueberries, or any other treat for that matter, in moderation. As a general rule, make sure the treats do not include more than 10% of your pup’s total daily diet.
Are strawberries good for dogs?
Although strawberries do not harm dogs, whether they are beneficial for them or not, is not yet tested.
Strawberries can be a good, natural treat for your dog, as they contain vitamin C, fiber, and a lot of water.
Eating strawberries in moderation can be healthy for your dog.
How to know if my dog ate any poisonous plants?
If you are doubtful whether your dog ate any poisonous plants or not, here are certain symptoms that you should look out for:
- Upset stomach
- Stomach ache
Furthermore, if your dog is not feeling well, the first thing to notice is a loss of appetite. Your dog will stop doing things it usually finds interesting, such as going on walks, playing with toys, etc.
Other symptoms include weakness and skin irritation.
If you suspect your dog ate something it shouldn’t have and are noticing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should contact your vet immediately.
If you are unable to reach a vet at the moment, you should contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Center (APCC).