Strawberries are a popular summertime fruit that can be seen in abundance in the grocery stores and gardens of your neighbours. Their bright red color attracts birds and insects, as well as curious canines to come take a smell or a taste.
But are strawberries safe for dogs to eat? The short answer is yes, strawberries are safe for dogs. This tasty little snack is full of many vitamins, including vitamin C. It is also packed full of fibre for its small size, and the sweet and delicious flavour is popular with humans and dogs alike.
Whether you are considering feeding your dog strawberries as a mealtime treat or a reward, or perhaps your dog got some fresh strawberries you had sitting on the kitchen counter, strawberries can be a healthy addition to any varied diet.
If your dog is allergic to a wide range of foods, you may want to contact your veterinarian before feeding strawberries as a snack or treat. While it is rare, some dogs can have allergic reactions to strawberries, or may not be able to digest the sugar and fibre properly due to other medical conditions.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Like humans, dogs love having a variety of food to choose from. Eating the same thing day after day can get boring, and may not provide every nutrient they need for a strong and healthy body.
That’s where you come in! It’s your job to provide your beloved pooch with a wide range of different food items, either as an occasional snack or as a reward after a training session. Some dogs may also decide to just help themselves to your fresh strawberries straight from the garden or grocery store bag!
Strawberries are not dangerous for dogs. In fact, they can offer a range of health benefits when fed in moderation. As with everything, moderation is key. Since strawberries are high in natural sugar, they should not be fed on a daily basis. Or if they are, limit the daily offering to a small amount of strawberry depending on the size of your dog.
Along with having a good amount of vitamin C, strawberries also contain vitamins B1, B6 and K which can aid the development of various parts of your dog’s body. Additionally, strawberries carry a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids which are great for helping your dog maintain healthy skin and a luxurious coat.
How Should You Prepare Strawberries For Dogs?
If you have found that your dog enjoys the taste of strawberries, or simply shows an interest in things you are eating, you can offer this summertime fruit to them plain. Ensure the pieces are small enough to prevent choking and monitor your dog when they eat so they do it slowly and carefully.
Some dogs will eagerly grab and gulp down food items, and the small size of a strawberry can potentially cause a choking hazard. If this is a concern for you, another way to offer strawberries is by pureeing them into a sauce-like blend. Similar to applesauce, this slurry can be added to your dog’s food as an extra flavour topping.
When picking the strawberries to feed your dog, try to avoid canned strawberries. Sometimes, these canned products include extra sugar or other preservatives that your dog simply does not need.
Pick fresh strawberries from the garden or grocery store and give them a good rinse to remove any pesticide or fertilizing spray they may have been grown with. After that, chop them into small, bite-sized pieces or run them through a blender to make a puree.
The green leafy bit at the top of the strawberry is not toxic for your dog but may be hard for them to digest. In most cases, it’s better to remove this part before feeding your dog a strawberry.
Are Strawberries Good For Dogs?
When it comes to healthy and low calorie treats with a natural sweetness, strawberries are high on the list of good and healthy choices. They contain a high amount of fibre and vitamin C, as well as antioxidants, fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, iodine and folic acid.
Together, these healthy nutrients can help improve your dog’s immune system, maintain a healthy coat and skin, and can even help to whiten their teeth naturally. If you decide to give your dog strawberries on a regular basis, talk with your veterinarian to be sure you are offering the proper amount.
Moderation is very important with strawberries due to their natural amount of sugar. Some dogs can digest sugar just fine and won’t have any issues with a small excess amount added to their diet, but other dogs may have trouble digesting or utilizing this excess sugar due to underlying health considerations.
The Bottom Line
Strawberries are a safe and healthy snack to offer your dog on occasion. While strawberries do contain natural sugar, feeding them as a snack or treat in moderation is perfectly fine for your four-legged friend.
Even older dogs, puppies, and small breeds can enjoy these summertime favourites if you chop them into small, bite-sized pieces or make a smooth slurry and mix it into their food. Fresh, organic strawberries are best, but any fresh strawberries from the grocery store or your garden are fine. Always avoid canned strawberries as these may contain excess sugar or preservatives.
Regardless of the type of fresh strawberry you purchase, be sure you rinse the strawberries well in clean water before offering them to your dog. This removes any herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers that may have been sprayed on the plant during the growing process.
If your dog has eaten a strawberry and is showing signs of an allergic reaction, visit your vet. While strawberries are not toxic, some dogs can have underlying allergies to the sweet fruit which you may not know about until they have eaten some.
If your dog is not allergic and doesn’t have any issues digesting sugar or fibre, strawberries can be a great addition to their diet. Once your dog has developed a taste for strawberries, it may be difficult to get them to curb their habit. Instead, offer them their favourite treat in a safe and moderated way!