There’s nothing quite like having a freshly baked blueberry pie on a cool summer day that comes with some whipped cream or ice cream. My neighbor makes the best blueberry pie that I love and so does my dog.
My dog knows when my neighbor is at the door with some blueberry pie, which explains his super-friendly attitude towards her. However, blueberry pie isn’t something that I would feed my dog unless he steals a bite when I’m not looking (which he always tries).
Can our dogs eat blueberry pie safely? A dog can have some blueberry pie but only in small amounts. Blueberry as a fruit is quite healthy for dogs but pies contain a lot of carbohydrates and sugar content that are not healthy for dogs. There might also be other added ingredients that can be toxic to our dogs.
In this article, we will be taking a closer look at what goes into the making of a blueberry pie and how safe are the ingredients used for our canine friends.
What Goes Into Blueberry Pie?
If you were to search online for a blueberry pie recipe, there will be hundreds to thousands of different variations that you will come across. It isn’t possible to list every single possible ingredient but we will look at what’s most commonly used.
- Pie crust
- All-purpose flour
The steps for making blueberry can be as fuss-free or labor-intensive depending on your baking skills. Some would rather just pie the pie crust and blueberry filling from a store, while others would make everything from scratch.
Regardless of complexity, it just involves putting a generous serving of blueberry filling on the pie crust and then covering it with more crust.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberry Pie?
I wouldn’t declare a blueberry pie as being something toxic to dogs but there are definitely ingredients in it that aren’t healthy for your dog.
Blueberry Pies Are Carb Heavy
If you have eaten a piece of pie before, you’ll know that the crust of the pie is one of its major components.
And pie crust is very high in carbohydrates as it is mostly made from flour. Based on the nutritional value of 100g of blueberry pie, it comes heavily laden with 34g of carbs.
That is a lot of carbohydrates even for human consumption but who can say no to pie?
In the grand scheme of things, carbs aren’t toxic to dogs. Dogs are known to be natural carnivores which means that they do best with animal meat. However, having evolved from wolves, dogs are capable of being opportunistic scavengers when food is scarce.
This means that dogs can consume spoiled meat, plant-based matter or anything which is deemed edible in garbage cans.
It might not be in the best interest of the well-being in the long run but it keeps them alive.
If I were to put a piece of banana bread in front of my dog and cat, it will always be my dog that gobbles up the banana bread.
Even though our dogs can eat carbs, this doesn’t mean that it should form a major part of their diet. Dogs are first and foremost carnivores, which means that they don’t have the necessary enzymes to break down carbs effectively.
When eaten in large amounts, carbohydrates can put too much stress on your dog’s digestive system and give it an upset stomach.
Not only will your dog have explosive diarrhea, other symptoms can also include:
- Canine obesity
- Chronic inflammation
These definitely aren’t health problems that you want to have due to having a poor diet.
Blueberry Pie Has Too Much Sugar
If you have some understanding of macronutrients, you will also know that sugar is also part of the carb family. But why then do nutritional labels categorize sugar content as a separate component?
This is due to how the body reacts to the different types of carbohydrates. There are complex carbs like oats and sweet potatoes and simple carbs like sweets and cakes.
Sugar can be classified as a ‘bad’ kind of carb due to how the body reacts to it. This is where the term ‘sugar rush’ comes from because it is absorbed so quickly and causes a spike in your blood sugar levels.
There is about 12g of sugar in 100g of blueberry pie which might not seem as high as the carb content but a dog can easily wolf down a whole blueberry pie while your back is turned.
Think of sugar as carbs on steroids that is just empty calories.
It enters your dog’s bloodstream really quickly and can get stored as fat a lot quicker than if your dog were to eat a bowl of raw oats.
Too much sugar in your dog’s diet can cause:
- Dental disease
- Metabolic disorders
Some carbs are fine in your dog’s diet but I would refrain from feeding your dog anything that is sweet. It is possible for dogs to develop a sugar addiction once they get their paws on it.
Can Our Dogs Eat Blueberries?
I’m not going to start a debate war by saying that fruits aren’t very healthy for dogs due to their high sugar content. Thankfully, there are some fruits that have certain health benefits for our canine companions.
And blueberries are one of them.
As a dog owner myself, I do give my dog blueberries from time to time and he loves it. Blueberries are low in calories and high in Vitamin C. Blueberries also contain a good level of antioxidants that can help lower the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases in dogs.
If you are keen on feeding your dog blueberries, the best option is to feed your dog fresh blueberries for all that natural goodness. Otherwise, frozen blueberries will be fine as well as these fruits are seasonal.
Even though our dogs can eat blueberries, you still need to feed them in moderation as an occasional treat as fruits aren’t exactly part of a dog’s natural diet.
Be careful when feeding big blueberries to puppies, small dogs and senior dogs as it can become a choking hazard for some of these dogs.
But what about feeding blueberries that are made for a pie filling?
You can’t have blueberry pie without the main event which is the blueberry filling. And you need to use a lot of blueberries to make the filling, up to 6 cups.
There are other ingredients that go into the making of the blueberry pie filling like:
These ingredients aren’t toxic to dogs but if your dog happened to consume a large amount of blueberry pie filling it can definitely cause an upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea.
Be Careful Of Artificial Sweeteners
There are recipes for sugar-free blueberry pies out there for those who aren’t able to consume simple sugars. These recipes do use a certain amount of artificial sweeteners in them.
It is very important for all pet owners to know that any product that contains artificial sweeteners is very toxic to animals. Even if consumed in small amounts, it can be life-threatening.
Artificial sweeteners contain a chemical compound called Xylitol that can cause your dog’s or cat’s blood sugar levels to crash. This can lead to complete liver failure which can kill your pet.
Always keep products that contain artificial sweeteners away from your pets.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Blueberry Pie?
If the blueberry pie contains any traces of artificial sweeteners please get your dog to the vet immediately for medical treatment. I cannot stress enough about how such chemical compounds are very toxic to your dog.
If your dog ate some blueberry pie, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Chances are it will be fine and still be asking for more.
It would be best to give your vet a call if your dog ate a large amount of pie as that can cause more complications like diarrhea and vomiting.
The vet will most probably ask you to monitor your dog for a day or two to see if there are any adverse side effects.
What Kind Of Pies Can Dogs Eat?
I usually don’t make it a habit to feed my dog any commercially prepared pies unless I am very aware of the ingredients used in the baking process.
What I would normally do is bake a couple of stuff for my dog if I’m feeling up to the task. If I were to make a pie at home, I will make another small one with no sugar or any extra ingredients for my dog.
He gets it as plain as possible to keep things safe and he still loves it. I can expand my baking repertoire to include plain blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins which my dog loves as well.
And as with all things that aren’t part of your dog’s natural diet, I should only be fed as an occasional treat.