Can dogs eat strawberries? Yes, you can give strawberries to your dog. They are not only nutritious but also packed with lots of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. They also contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth.
Before you add strawberries to your dog’s diet, however, there are few things you should note. As much as we love this amazing fruit, for it contains a lot of healthy nutrients that will benefit your dog, they are best enjoyed in moderation.
Can My Dog Eat Strawberry?
Sure, you can give strawberries to your little companions, it’s good for them. But feed it to them in moderation, just as you would with any snack. According to Jan Dempsey, Purina Senior Nutritionist, “Treats you feed your dog should make up no more than 10% of his total calories for the day.”
However, make sure you don’t feed your dog strawberries in syrup or canned strawberries; they are bad for your furry companion.
Benefits of Strawberries for Dogs
The taste of this fruit is amazing, and a lot of dogs love to eat strawberries as a treat, particularly when they are in season during warm months. Strawberries contain omega-3 (great for skin and coat health), and fiber ( improves digestion). Also, they contain vitamins K, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and iodine.
Adding strawberries to your dog diet will help your pet stay healthy in so many ways. Giving them fresh fruit regularly over a long time may help strengthen their immune functions, promote healthy weight, and slow down the aging process.
When You Should Not Feed Strawberries To Your Dog?
Moderation is key, as too much of anything is always not a good thing. Strawberries are naturally sweet and contain a type of sugar called fructose. Some dogs tend to have problems handling sugar. It can cause stomach upset and they may develop gastrointestinal problems. It’s advisable you consult your nutritionist or vet to determine the right serving sizes for your pet.
Keep processed or canned strawberries, products containing artificial strawberry flavors or sweets that contain strawberries away from your pet. They are bad for dogs. These products contain too much sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, syrup, and other chemicals, which are dangerous for your pet. Allowing your dogs to eat these foods will only cause an unwanted visit to the vet.
If you have a garden where you grow strawberries, keep a close watch on your pet and make sure your dog is not eating more than necessary. And if you use herbicides or pesticides, do not allow your pet to eat them at all.
Also, it’s more likely your dog may develop allergies to strawberries. In rare scenarios, it can cause anaphylaxis, a possibly life-threatening condition. Make sure you see your vet instantly if you notice any allergy signs in your dog like coughing, hives, swelling, sneezing, problems with breathing, etc. And stop giving strawberries to your dog right away if you see any of these symptoms.
Safe Way to Feed Your Dog Strawberries
The safest method to serve your dog strawberries is to wash the fruit thoroughly and then cut them in small pieces so your dog doesn’t choke while eating them, plus it makes digestion easier. If your dog is little, mash-up or puree the strawberries and add them to your pet’s food.
To be on the safe side, make sure you consult your vet first before you introduce any new food to your pet’s diet. Also, give strawberries to your dog in small quantities and be watchful for any behavioral changes or digestion problems. If you notice anything strange contact your vet immediately.
How To Introduce Your Dog to Strawberries?
According to Dempsey, “Some dogs might not know what to do with the new texture of strawberries. So you can try feeding them as frozen treats.” He recommends starting out slowly whatever way you serve them. “Try feeding a single berry to see his reaction. If he likes them, you can try putting them on his food, but make sure he likes them first.”
When you start slowly, you can quickly tell if the fruit is causing problems. If you notice digestive problems, increased thirst, stomach upset, or intense scratching, contact your vet immediately. All these symptoms could be a pointer that strawberries are not good food for your canine friend.
Can I Feed My Dog Canned Strawberries When Strawberries Are Out of Season?
The answer is no. Fruits that have been packed in syrup or sugar should not be given to dogs. This defeats the aim of feeding healthy treats to your pet as they contain excess calories and sugars. Another reason you should not give your pet canned strawberries is that they may contain additives, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners, which can cause more harm than good to your dog – I don’t think you want that to happen to your pet.
Can I Give Other Berries To My Pets Since Strawberries Are Safe For Them?
Why not. You can give your dog blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries; they are safe for dogs. Your dogs may not like cranberries because of the bitter taste. However, not all berries are safe for your pets. Berries with pits or juniper berries can cause harm to your pet. Before feeding your dog any new food, be careful when you do so and do proper research or consult your vet.
Strawberries and some other berries are not poisonous or harmful to dogs, but they can upset your dog’s stomach if they eat too much of them since they contain sugar. To protect your pet, consult your vet before you give them any human food, including strawberries, as some dogs with certain medical issues may find it difficult to digest such food. Lastly, canned strawberry is not an option; it’s better you don’t give your dogs any strawberry at all, rather than feeding them canned strawberry.
Kassidy Shepperd is the editor in chief for Canine-Prime.com. She is is a dog lover/trainer, a freelance writer and a volunteer at many pet rescue and shelter centers. Kassidy is based in Colorado and regularly writes for dog related magazines and blogs.