Can dogs eat strawberries?
One of my favorite things about summertime is strawberry season. These bright red and aromatic little red berries are hard to resist! They’re juicy, sweet, and can be eaten in a variety of ways. But it’s worth asking, while you munch on fresh strawberries, can you sneak one or two over for your dog to enjoy too?
It’s a good question, since strawberries are the perfect (almost) bite sized treat. The good news is that strawberries are safe for dogs to eat, and they’re packed with nutritional benefits. But there are a few things you should know before adding them to your dog’s treat rotation.
Here’s what you should know before turning your dog into a strawberry fiend.
Can dogs eat strawberries?
Yes, dogs can eat strawberries.
This delicious berry is a healthy and sweet treat for your dog. It’s low in calories and packed with nutrients, making it a healthy addition to your dog’s treat rotation.
Your dog is free to enjoy strawberries safely, as long as they are served in moderation.
Are strawberries good for dogs?
Yes, strawberries are good for your dog.
Plus, they’re a great substitute for store bought treats since they contain no preservatives, harsh chemicals, or artificial sweeteners or flavors.
Strawberries are a great source of the following:
- Fiber: Promotes healthy bowel movements, colon health, and relieves your dog of constipation. It also aids in weight management.
- Vitamins: Strawberries contain a myriad of vitamins, including Vitamin C, which boosts your dog’s immune system, supports healthy aging, and reduces inflammation. Vitamin B6, a vital coenzyme responsible for glucose generation, red blood cell and nervous system function, and hormone regulation, among other things. And Vitamins B1 and K.
- Omega-3: This fatty acid helps keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and reduces inflammation.
- Minerals: Strawberries are high in minerals including potassium, iodine, magnesium, and folic acid.
- Malic acid: A teeth whitening enzyme that helps to naturally whiten your dog’s teeth.
Besides offering a nutritional boost, strawberries are low in calories, fat free, and they have a high water content, to help keep your dog hydrated.
When are strawberries bad for dogs?
Too much of a good thing is never a good thing, even if that thing is sweet and delicious and hard to stop eating.
Strawberries should be given to your dog in moderation, as an occasional treat. Keep the portion size small, and make sure you serve your dogs small, even pieces so they don’t become a choking hazard. Remember, treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s total calories for the day.
Also, you know how part of what makes strawberries so delicious is their sweetness? Well, sweet means sugar. Strawberries contain sugar, which isn’t so great for dogs. Some dogs might have issues digesting them, and it could cause an upset stomach. Stick to serving strawberries in moderation.
Besides that, keep in mind that there is a chance your dog may be allergic to strawberries. If you see signs of an allergic reaction, which might include hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing, consult your veterinarian right away.
How to feed a dog strawberries:
Want to feed your dog strawberries? Lucky dog!
Always ask your veterinarian before adding something new to your dog’s diet. Most dogs don’t react negatively to strawberries, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Once you’ve gotten the green light, give your dog a very small amount of strawberry to start, and to feed it to them slowly. Keep an eye on them and watch for any sort of reaction.
When preparing the strawberries, do the following steps:
- Wash and rinse the strawberries. Rinse them thoroughly to wash off any preservatives, pesticides, or dirt. This is especially important if your strawberries are not organic.
- Trim off the stem, top, and leaves. Don’t feed these pieces to your dog, compost them instead!
- Cut strawberries into bite-sized pieces. Avoid the risk of choking by cutting strawberries into small pieces, rather than feeding them to your dog whole.
Here are a few safe ways to feed your dog strawberries:
- In pieces: Cut the strawberry into bite sized pieces after removing the tops, stems and leaves.
- Frozen: Remove the tops, stems and leaves and freeze in a tupperware or ziploc bag. Great as a treat on a hot summer’s day!
- Purée: Remove the tops, stems and leaves and purée the fresh strawberry. You can serve up as a strawberry smoothie, or freeze the puree in an ice cube tray.
- Strawberry ice cream: Blend frozen strawberry chunks or purée with plain, unsweetened yogurt. This makes a refreshing, delicious dog-friendly strawberry ice cream. Be sure the yogurt has no added sugars, sweeteners, or flavors, and that Xylitol isn’t listed in the ingredient list.
Can I feed canned strawberries to my dog?
No, you should not feed your dog canned strawberries.
Canned strawberries have been sugared or packed in syrup. They contain an excess of sugar and calories that aren’t healthy and can make your dog sick. They might also contain added preservatives or artificial sweeteners, including xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
Avoid these risks and the empty calories and stick to fresh strawberries.
Can I feed strawberry pie to my dog?
I’d skip the apple pie.
Strawberry pie is a dessert that contains ingredients that aren’t healthy, like lots of sugar and butter. These additions can lead to upset stomachs, weight gain, and diabetes, or worse.
It’s best to leave the strawberry pie to the humans, and give your dog something else.
How many strawberries per day can I feed my dog?
For a small dog, one strawberry per day is enough, for medium dogs three to four strawberries, and for larger dogs, up to five strawberries per day.
Strawberries should be fed in moderation, as a snack. Too many strawberries can potentially give your dog an upset stomach.
Remember, always follow the guidance of your veterinarian.
Can dogs eat the white section or unripened strawberry tops?
No, don’t feed your dog the white section or unripened strawberry tops. It’s best to cut those off, along with the stem.
Can dogs eat strawberry leaves?
No, it’s best not to feed your dog the leaves on a strawberry. The leaves might be difficult for your dog to digest. They’re also bitter, so your dog probably won’t want to eat them anyway.
Can dogs eat strawberry stems?
No, dogs should not eat strawberry stems. Slice off the stems, along with the white tops and leaves, before serving.
Can dogs eat strawberry seeds?
Yes, strawberry seeds are safe for dogs to eat. Good thing too, since it would be pretty difficult to remove all of those tiny buggers.
Fun fact: the tiny yellow dots on a strawberry aren’t actually seeds! The tiny flecks are actually fruits in and of themselves. Wild, right!?
Can dogs eat strawberry ice cream?
It depends. Is it store bought strawberry ice cream, jam packed with sugar and chemical additives? Then no.
But if it’s homemade ice cream, using all natural ingredients, with no added sugar or other harmful ingredients, then go for it! A little won’t hurt.
Can dogs eat strawberry jelly?
While strawberry jelly may be a must on a buttery biscuit, or with a peanut butter sandwich, it’s not a must for your dog – you should definitely skip it.
Strawberry jelly, like other sweetened strawberry treats, contains a lot of sugar, and can be harmful to your dog.
Can dogs eat frozen strawberries?
Frozen strawberries are a great treat for your dog, especially on a hot summer day. You can freeze them yourself, or pick up a bag at the supermarket. Just be sure they don’t contain any additives, like extra sugar.
When feeding frozen strawberries to your dog, always give them one at a time, and always monitor them, to ensure they chew them and don’t swallow them whole – they could choke!