Question: Can dogs eat strawberries? Or are strawberries bad for dogs?
Answer: It’s strawberry season again! Exciting times for all strawberry lovers out there who always look forward to incorporating them as part of their diets, which is how I always feel every single year.
Besides watermelon, strawberries are one of the most favorite fruits of summertime for millions of people worldwide, me included.
But, you’re not the only one that loves strawberries in your house now, are you? Nope, your dog wants to have some of what you’re having!
“Oh dear”, you say, “but, can dogs eat strawberries? Is it safe for them to do so?” you ask.
Well, let’s see!
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Can Dogs Have Strawberries? The Short Answer
The short answer to this question is, YES, your dogs can have strawberries!
It is perfectly safe for your dog to eat strawberries, but that should be done in moderation, just like the case is when it comes to any other fruit (more on that later in this article).
In short, you’ve got nothing to worry about. But, there are a few points we should cover before you’re on your way to give your furry friend some strawberries.
So, let’s begin, shall we?
How Should Dogs Eat Strawberries?
First off, it should be said that the best kind of strawberries you can give your dog to eat are fresh strawberries.
The fresher the strawberry is, the better your dog’s digestive system will be able to process it well without any difficulties, but the more time that passes since you got it home, the more risks there are that it will give your dog stomach upset.
Now, before you give strawberries for your dog to eat, cut them into smaller pieces. So, for example, take a whole strawberry and cut it into smaller bits.
By doing so, your dog is much less likely to have difficulties digesting them, and they’re much less likely to choke on them than if they were to eat the whole piece all at once.
Another way a lot of dog owners like to do is to mash the strawberries and add them to whatever dog food your furry friend is eating.
Obviously, any leaves and stems on top of the strawberry should be completely removed, and no part of either should be given for your dog to eat. While you’re at it, make sure you give the strawberry a good rinse before serving it to your dog, to make sure that you remove any chemical matter that might be on it.
How Much Strawberries Can Dogs Eat?
So, how much strawberries are you safe with feeding your dog?
To begin with, it should be mentioned that just like incorporating any other food (specifically fruits in this case) into your dog’s diet, the best case scenario is one where you consult with your veterinarian to make sure you have the green light to go ahead.
Some dog breeds are more likely to suffer from allergies and illnesses when they eat certain fruits, so it’s always best you contact your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Assuming you don’t do that, the second best case scenario is one where you gradually introduce strawberries into your dog’s diet bit by bit, starting off with really small amounts and monitoring how your dog reacts to them. (Feeding your dog too many strawberries all at once means stomach ache 99% of the times.)
As you proceed, watch out for any behavioral changes or digestive issues.
If you don’t notice any problems, then congratulations, your dog can eat strawberries! But, if you notice problems along the way, then your dog might not tolerate strawberries very well.
With that said, here are a few problems that could arise if you over-feed your dog strawberries:
- Excess potassium can lead to adverse health effects
- Due to the high sugar count in strawberries, dogs that over-feed on them are at a huge risk of gaining weight real fast.
Why Should Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Wondering why you should feed your dog strawberries? Well, the same way strawberries are a very healthy powerhouse of a fruit for you and I to eat, it has the same properties to offer our dogs as well.
Here are some reasons for you to do so. Strawberries:
- Serve as an awesome, tasty and healthy option for a treat
- Help fight aging
- Help improve the immune system
- Are an excellent low-calorie source food for your dog, compared with other foods that are calorie dense, due to the high fat content in them.
- Help improve teeth quality and contain an enzyme that helps whiten teeth
- Are rich in fiber
- Are rich in Potassium
- Are rich in Iodine
- Are rich in Magnesium
- Are rich in vitamins C, K, B1 and B6
- Offer a good supply of folic acid to the body
- Offer a good supply of omega-3 fats to the body
- Are loaded with antioxidants.
When Should Dogs Not Eat Strawberries
For starters, keep your dog away from any form of canned strawberries.
Canned strawberries, just like we talked about before in an article about pineapple where we discussed canned pineapples for dogs and an article about peaches where we discussed canned peaches for dogs, are nothing but strawberries swimming in an ocean of sugary syrup, and we all know how much this high level of sugar is very bad for dogs.
Moreover, when it comes to cooked strawberries, it’s fine to feed these to your dog, but they lose a huge amount of their nutritional profile, which leaves no logical reason for you to do so.
Why bother yourself and cook the strawberry and feed it to your dog if it’s going to lose it’s nutritional value, when you could save the effort and feed your dog a raw strawberry with all it’s benefits still there?
Also, refrain from feeding your dog strawberries in syrup.
And finally, do not under any circumstance feed your dog strawberries with with chocolate or covered in cream.