Can dogs eat strawberries? Yes, dogs can eat the berries.
Strawberries are a nutrient powerhouse and can prove to be very healthy for your dogs. However, like any other human food, moderation is the key here.
Strawberries contain sugar, even though it is natural sugar, it is best when fed in moderation. It is nontoxic, but eating too much can cause stomach problems.
What are the benefits of giving strawberries to dogs?
Strawberries are one of the safest berries for dogs. They are sweet and tasty, and most dogs enjoy eating the berries as treats.
It contains fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin c, B1, B6, and K plus minerals like potassium, iodine, magnesium, and folic acid.
This powerhouse of nutrients is definitely a health boon for your dogs. Let’s look at the benefits of strawberries for dogs:
Vitamin C, B1, B6 & K helps in boosting the immunity power of your dogs. Besides, the berries provide an excellent source of essential minerals, including potassium, iodine, folic acid, and magnesium, all of which are very important for a dog’s overall health.
Strawberries are loaded with fiber and fiber is known to help digestion. Just like in human bodies, insoluble fiber absorbs water in order to soften up a dog’s stool. Eating berries helps dogs with constipation problems.
Skin and coat health
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for your dog’s coat and skin health. Omega 3 also has anti-inflammatory properties which help prevent itchy or scaly skin.
The antioxidants and vitamin C present in strawberries helps your dog’s gums and teeth from decay and any infection. In addition, strawberry also contains an enzyme called malic acid, that can help whiten your dog’s teeth.
Are there any risks of feeding strawberries to dogs?
It would be unfair to not point out risks that are involved with feeding strawberries to your dogs.
In general, the berries are nontoxic to dogs but can pose certain threats which are listed below:
As we mentioned above strawberries contain sugars and few dogs may have problems with the sugar content. Ingesting too many strawberries at a time can cause stomach upset in dogs.
Sometimes dogs may also eat strawberry stems, leaves, or plants, which can potentially obstruct their digestive tract or choke them. These are also difficult to digest, and dogs can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
In very few cases, dogs also have been known to be allergic to strawberries. In extremely rare cases, this can lead to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. If you notice any changes in your dog, you should talk to your vet immediately and stop giving your dog any berries.
How to feed strawberries to dogs
As with any human food, if it’s the first time for your dog, then start by giving a very small quantity of strawberries. Observe your dog after that and notice any changes or adverse reactions like a stomach upset.
Speaking to your vet before adding strawberries to your dog’s diet is also a good idea. Your vet would know about your dog’s health condition and would be able to advise in a much better way. Certain underlying health conditions can be worsened by strawberries.
Try giving your dog fresh, organic strawberries. They are the best options for your dogs. These will be free from pesticides or any preservatives and would be the safest bet for your dogs.
If not fresh organic ones then don’t forget to rinse them thoroughly before giving it to your dogs. This way any residual chemicals or dirt will be washed away.
Remove any stem or leaf before giving it to your dogs to eat. The stem and leaves can be potential choking hazards for your dog. To avoid choking, always cut the fruit into smaller pieces. Smaller pieces also make them easier to digest.
In the case of smaller dogs, you can mash your strawberries and can be pureed and mixed in with your dog’s food. You can also freeze strawberries and offer your dogs special treats, especially during summer.
How many strawberries can dogs eat?
While feeding strawberries to your dogs, always remember the golden rule — feed it in moderation. Strawberries or any fruits cannot be a full meal for dogs. They are just snacks or treats and treats should not be more than 10% of their daily caloric intake.
For a small dog, one medium strawberry cut up into small chunks is good enough. For larger dogs, you can offer three to five strawberries.
If your dog has diabetes or any underlying health issue, always consult your vet first. Let them assess your dog’s health and then decide if they can eat the berries and how many is safe.
What part of the strawberry is best for dogs?
The red ripe portion of the fruit is the best choice for dogs. The white section or unripe strawberry top is not good for dogs and can lead to an upset stomach. Just cut off the tip before feeding strawberries to your dogs.
The leaves and stems should not be given to dogs because of the potential risk of choking or obstruction of digestive tracts. In addition, it is bitter so your dog may not even eat the healthier and more delicious strawberry after eating the leaf or stem.
Strawberry seeds are non-toxic and safe for dogs to eat.
Are fresh or canned strawberries best?
Always feed fresh strawberries to your dogs. Never ever feed canned berries packed in syrup. Canned and syrup strawberries will also have additives and could contain the deadly artificial sweetener xylitol, also known as birch sugar, which can be extremely dangerous for your dog’s health.
Fresh berries are always the best choice. Just rinse the berry well to clean off any chemicals and cut it into small pieces before giving it to your dogs.
Frozen or freeze-dried strawberries are also OK for dogs, provided the berries don’t have any additional sugar content or syrup.
Understanding your dog’s dietary needs
Strawberries are not toxic for dogs and can be enjoyed as treats or snacks. Moderation is the key here. The berries, if eaten in large quantities, can cause an upset stomach.
When giving strawberries to your dogs, always prefer the fresh ones. Rinse them thoroughly, cut them into small pieces and only then give them to your furry friends.
It is always advisable to speak to your vet when feeding any human food to your dogs. And remember, dogs with any underlying health issues can face trouble if they eat strawberries.
Sweta Kishore runs Dogfoodstuff, a blog that researches and shares information about dog food, honest product reviews, and fact-based tips. Sweta loves animals and has a pug named Buddy.