Everyone tries to keep their four-legged friend healthy. But we also want to train and encourage our pets with snacks or share some of our favorite foods with them. With a simple strawberry, you can solve this dilemma and make your dog happy with a sugary yet healthy little treat.
But can dogs eat strawberries? Let’s answer this question once and for all and learn more about the tasty fruit. In this article, we’ll discuss the following:
- Do Dogs Even Like Strawberries?
- Nutritional Value of Strawberries
- Are Strawberries Toxic or Dangerous for My Dog?
- What Are the Benefits of Giving Your Pet Strawberries?
- Raw, Frozen, or Canned Strawberries?
- How Many Strawberries per Serving Is Enough?
- Homemade Strawberry Recipes for Pups
Dogs Love the Strawberry Taste and Texture
Just like us, dogs occasionally crave sweets. But giving sweets to your pet isn’t a good idea unless it’s in the form of a fruit. While some fruits are toxic to dogs, strawberries are safe if you give them in limited quantities.
But do dogs like strawberries? No matter their size and age, most dogs enjoy the fresh taste and soft texture of the little red fruit. Plus, strawberries are sweet enough to satisfy their craving for sugary snacks. That said, fruits should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s meals.
Nutritional Value of Strawberries
Strawberries are delicious, but they’re also healthy and low-calorie treats for dogs and us. They contain many antioxidants and fiber and don’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
Fresh strawberries are most abundant in vitamin C, vitamin B9 (folate), and potassium. These nutrients support the immune system and contribute to:
- Healthy skin and coat
- Tissue growth
- Normal cell function
So, are strawberries good for dogs? Definitely, in a way, it’s like giving vitamins to dogs. Also, they’re natural and easy to digest.
The yummy little fruits provide small amounts of:
- Vitamins B6, K, and E
- Omega-3 fatty acids
These vitamins and minerals promote a healthy heart and bones, dental health, and an improved immune system. Some even believe they have benefits for dogs with cancer.
Are Strawberries Toxic for My Dog?
Unlike other fruits like cherries and grapes, strawberries aren’t toxic for your pooch. But if your dog gorges on too much, the benefits will turn into health issues. Consuming a lot of fiber and sugar (including the natural sugar in fruit) could lead to tummy issues, vomiting, and diarrhea.
But are strawberries toxic to dogs in any other way? No, but before giving the fruit to your pooch, wash it well and cut it into pieces. This will prevent contact with bacteria or pesticides, as well as the possibility of choking.
Avoid processed strawberry snacks or other sweets made with the fruit. Canned strawberries often come with added sugar, syrup, or xylitol, which is toxic for dogs. There’s a small chance that your pet is allergic to the tasty fruit, too.
Benefits of Giving Strawberries to Your Dog
Our four-legged friends can also benefit from healthy veggies and fruits. Plant-based foods are low in fat and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
But what happens if my dog eats strawberries? By excluding some fatty dog snacks and giving your dog strawberries, you may help it maintain a healthy weight in the long run.
Fresh fruits and veggies can slow down aging, improve dental and dermal health, and strengthen immunity. The dietary fiber in strawberries can help the dog poop and have regular bowel movements. Over time, you may notice other general improvements.
Another simple and always welcome benefit is the high water content that will keep your dog hydrated and reduce the risk of kidney disease. All vitamins and minerals in strawberries are healthy for the digestive system, immunity, heart, and bones.
What Can Go Wrong if You Give Strawberries to Your Dog
As with any new food you introduce to your dog, strawberries can be harmful in some scenarios:
Potential Choking Hazard
If dogs eat strawberries whole, choking or intestinal blockage are possibilities. That’s especially true if they’re in a rush to quickly swallow the yummy treat without chewing.
To prevent an excited dog from choking, especially a small one, cut the fruit into little pieces or mash it up. Also, don’t let your pet eat a handful of strawberries at once. And you shouldn’t let your dogs eat strawberry tops (the leaves) as they’re bitter and hard to digest.
It’s not common for dogs to be allergic to these little summer fruits, but like any other food, there’s a possibility.
Pay attention to your pet right after introducing it to strawberries for the first time. If you notice any weird reactions (sneezing, hives, coughing, or swelling), contact your vet. They’ll determine if you need to test your dog for allergies.
Generally, don’t be afraid to give your dog a strawberry or two, especially if your vet has approved it as a snack. It’s even better if you can feed it organic strawberries.
Are Strawberries Safe for Every Dog Breed?
Are strawberries safe for dogs, and are they good for your dog in particular? There’s no indication that specific breeds are more prone to developing allergies or sensitivities to strawberries.
You shouldn’t worry as long as your dog isn’t on a restricted diet for another health issue or already proven food sensitivity. If you have any doubts, consult your vet.
Dogs of all sizes can enjoy the fruit. If you give your dog small quantities of raw strawberries that are well washed and cut into pieces, your pooch will enjoy them safely. The amount would depend on your dog’s size, and it’s good to still keep an eye out for any allergy symptoms.
Raw, Frozen, or Canned Strawberries?
Remove the leaves of raw strawberries. Then, cut them into pieces or mash them to get the healthiest and safest sugary treat for your dog.
But can dogs eat strawberries that have been frozen or processed?
Frozen strawberries can be a refreshing summer snack, but you need to ensure that they’re unsweetened. Frozen or dried strawberries are sometimes coated with sugar or syrup.
On hot summer days, you can easily freeze various healthy fruits for dogs. You can cut strawberries into pieces or puree them and freeze them in an ice cube tray.
What about canned strawberries?
They regularly contain added sugar or sweeteners, which can be toxic to our beloved pets. A can of strawberries usually includes some artificial preservatives as well. That’s why you shouldn’t let your dogs eat strawberry yogurt or jam.
You can add other processed fruits, syrups, and even some prepackaged fruit salads to the list of bad ideas. The added sugar in these snacks can make your pets overly excitable and can be bad for their teeth and general health in the long run. For instance, the risk of weight gain and diabetes increases.
Sweets With Strawberries for My Dog — Yes or No?
Many dogs have an appetite for any food they can smell around them. Yet, no matter how much they beg you, you shouldn’t share human treats with them. Sweets and deserts made for humans should go nowhere near your pets, even if they contain mostly fresh strawberries.
So, can puppies have strawberries with added sugar, preservatives, or fat? The answer is always no. All fruity pastries, jellies, ice cream, and cookies are not dog-friendly. They all contain a lot of sugar, fat, and sometimes preservatives and artificial flavors. These aren’t good for you and are outright dangerous for puppies.
Remember that most desserts contain milk, and many dogs are lactose-intolerant. The only acceptable options for your dog are high-quality, specialized dog treats or homemade recipes appropriate for its diet.
How Many Strawberries per Serving Is Enough?
We’ve already established that strawberries have some nutritional benefits for dogs. But eating too many can make your pet sick, and it’s best to be careful with the amount.
So, how many strawberries can I feed my dog? It depends on the size and activity levels of your pet. Although the red fruit contains only natural sugars, we don’t recommend feeding a bunch of strawberries to your dog in one sitting.
The general rule is to give a small dog only one strawberry per day, a medium dog — a few strawberries, and a big dog — no more than five. Don’t forget to wash them and cut them into pieces, and talk to your vet for more precise advice.
Healthy Homemade Dog Recipes With Strawberries
When are strawberries good for dogs? It’s best when they’re fresh or part of yummy homemade recipes for dogs.
If you want to ensure that the doggy treats have no artificial additives, make them yourself. We want to share some of our favorite and easy fruity recipes:
Strawberry Ice Cream
If you want a simple popsicle ice cream for your dog, grab a handful of fresh or frozen strawberries (with no added sugars) and blend them with a few ounces of water. If your dog isn’t lactose intolerant, you can replace some of the water with unsweetened yogurt.
You can also add other healthy fruits that your dog loves. For instance, feeding dogs apples, a piece of banana, watermelon, cantaloupe, or blueberries in small quantities is good for them.
Remember to freeze the homemade dog treats with strawberry pieces in a mold or ice cube tray.
Ice cream is great for summer. But for the rest of the year, cookies and biscuits are always a good snack choice.
If you want to adapt most biscuit recipes for your dog, exclude any sugar or sweeteners, oil or butter. Use just a little bit of flour to mix in with strawberries, some oats, and natural peanut butter. When baked, this will turn into delicious hard biscuits for your dog. But you should still give just a little to your pet.
Store-Bought Doggy Treats
More and more dog food companies offer healthy doggy snacks with strawberries. You can buy them when you don’t have time for baking. They know the answer to the question: “Do dogs like strawberries?” and provide yummy options. For example, the Organic Dog Treats by Yitto Paws contain only organic ingredients, no sugars, no fats, or additives. The Granola Bites with strawberries are very similar to the biscuit recipe above. Some freeze-dried food for dogs also contains fresh strawberries to ensure your dog stays healthy.
With some imagination, you can make many fun strawberry dog treats. But don’t forget that they’re still sweet snacks, and your pet should only consume them in moderation.
A Strawberry for Dessert
So, can dogs eat strawberries? Yes, they can. We can even say: “A strawberry a day keeps the puppy sadness away.” The delicious little fruit is safe for dogs (with very few exceptions) and even provides essential vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
Strawberries can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet if you only serve them in small portions. Feed your pets freshly cut fruit and avoid canned or sweetened strawberry desserts to satisfy their cravings and keep them healthy.
Try some quick doggy recipes like the ones above, or buy organic strawberry treats for some variety in daily meals.