Strawberry-Tastic — Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries? Berry Good or Berry - Bad?
Nothing screams summer more than a large bowl of sweet, juicy strawberries topped with fresh cream. Yet, while the latter isn’t advisable for sharing with your furry friend, can dogs eat strawberries?
With grocery stores now importing strawberries all year round, this delicious fruit is often served on special occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas. But, is it safe to let your dog join the festive strawberry party, and if so, how many strawberries can you feed your pup?
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries? Contents
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Absolutely. Strawberries are considered one of the healthier snacks you can feed your pooch — and they will love the sweet taste!Are strawberries safe for dogs? Yes, no part of the fruit is toxic to canines. The only substances found on strawberries that may be toxic to your pooch are the pesticides and other chemicals used to cultivate them. Ensure strawberries are thoroughly rinsed before serving to your pooch to remove any residual pesticide or debris soil.
Are Strawberries Good for Dogs?
For such a small fruit, the strawberry certainly packs a large nutritional punch! Strawberries are low in calories, high in water content, and contain many vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that can boost your pup’s health. Strawberries can even help clean your pup’s teeth as they’re eating them.
The most important nutrients for canines found in strawberries include:
Vitamin C — reduces inflammation in your pup’s system, boosts their immune system, and slows down cognitive aging.
Thiamine (B1) and K — support your dog’s muscle development, and nerve and brain functioning.
Magnesium, manganese, and potassium — minerals good for the bone and blood health of your pup.
Omega-3 and omega-6 — are natural coat and skin conditioners.
Malic acid — an enzyme that whitens your dog’s teeth, and helps with the production of saliva to decrease the chances of mouth cancer.
When Are Strawberries Bad for Dogs?
The adage states — too much of a good thing is never a good thing — which applies here.
Although strawberries are packed with macro-nutrients beneficial to your pup’s health, they also contain natural sugar.
Too much sugar leads to weight gain, obesity, and other sugar-related conditions such as diabetes. In senior dogs, their metabolism struggles to break it down, causing abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or vomiting.
Hence, limit your pooch’s strawberry intake.
Risk of Choking
The other major risk of strawberries is the potential choking hazard they present, especially for smaller dogs. Never offer your dog a whole strawberry — always slice into small pieces before feeding it to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Tops?
No. Although not toxic to dogs, the strawberry tops aren't easy to digest and can cause stomach upset.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Leaves?
It’s another no. The same applies to the stems and leaves of the strawberry plant — again they aren’t poisonous, but your dog will have difficulty digesting them. The leaves taste bitter, which probably won’t appeal to your pooch anyhow!
If you grow your own strawberries in the backyard, try to restrict your pup’s access to the plants. And it goes without saying, limit the use of pesticides or fertilizers known to be toxic to canines.
Can Puppies Eat Strawberries?
Yes, they can, but be sensible.
Firstly, mashing or pureeing strawberries lowers the choking risk — puppies won’t handle larger chunks of food as well as adults. Secondly, carefully regulate how much strawberry pulp you feed your puppy.
With a less developed metabolism, your puppy won’t be able to break down the sugars efficiently, which may lead to weight gain and future issues such as diabetes. Too much sugar can also lead to gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea — the last thing you need when trying to potty train a new puppy!
Are Dogs Allergic to Strawberries?
While strawberries are generally safe to feed to your dog in moderation, just like us, dogs can be allergic to foods. Although strawberry allergies are very rare, a protein in the strawberry — that’s partly responsible for the bright red color — can trigger an allergic reaction in canines.
Symptoms of a strawberry allergy include:
Excessive itching or scratching.
Inflammation or redness of the skin, which may appear as hives or a rash.
Gastrointestinal issues — i.e., diarrhea and repeated vomiting.
Respiratory problems — e.g., difficulty breathing, coughing, or sneezing.
If you suspect your pooch may have strawberry allergies, don’t offer the fruit again and consult with your veterinarian. Sometimes, the above symptoms can be indicative of other diseases.
With allergies — avoidance is the only treatment. Although, your vet will be able to offer meds to alleviate the symptoms.
What Kind of Strawberries Can Dogs Eat?
The best strawberries to feed your pooch with are fresh organic strawberries that have been cultivated without any pesticides, herbicides, or treated with any preservatives before packing. If they’ve been grown in your own yard, all the better.
Before serving fresh strawberries to your pooch you should always rinse them thoroughly to get rid of any debris, soil, or residual chemicals. After washing, chop off the stems and leaves and cut them into small pieces.
When prepared, strawberries can be easily stored in the refrigerator ready for your pup’s next tasty treat. You could even puree or mash fresh strawberries to add a spoonful to their regular dinner on occasion.
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Strawberries?
Yes and no.
Frozen strawberries — that you have picked and frozen yourself make a refreshing treat for your pooch on those hot summer days.
However, store-bought frozen strawberries tend to be higher in sugar, so you should avoid feeding those to your pup. Some manufacturers add strawberry juice or syrup to the fruit to enhance the flavor.Frozen fresh strawberries can be blended with other dog-friendly fruits, such as blueberries or bananas and a little plain natural yogurt (free of sweeteners, such as sugar or xylitol) for a refreshing smoothie.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Strawberries?
Yes, freeze-dried strawberries can be a healthy snack for your dog — as long as they don’t contain any added sugars, preservatives, or toxic substances such as xylitol.
Nutrition wise, freeze-dried strawberries are virtually the same as fresh strawberries, although they lack that juiciness that can help with your dog’s hydration levels. But they can be a lot easier to carry around when training your pooch.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Strawberries?
The answer is, no.
Most canned strawberries, or those preserved in a jar, will be stored in a sugar syrup or juice, which contains far too much sugar for your pooch’s delicate digestive system. Sometimes the manufacturer may also add artificial sweeteners.
Check the ingredients for any of these names — E967, birch sugar, or meso-xylitol — they all relate to toxic xylitol.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Jam?
Strawberry preserves, jams, or jellies not only contain natural sugar, but also added sugar — and lots of it. You may also find sweeteners or preservatives in the contents.
So, Strawberry jam is a big no-no for dogs — don’t share, even the smallest amount.
Are Dogs Allowed to Eat Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate?
At certain times of the year, strawberries dipped in chocolate can be a luxurious treat for us humans — and that’s how it should remain.
Chocolate contains a chemical theobromine, which is toxic to dogs in addition to traces of caffeine, which can also be poisonous. If you really want your dog to share in this indulgent treat, try dipping some slices of strawberries in carob, a chocolate alternative that’s safe for dogs to eat in moderation.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Ice Cream?
While frozen strawberries get the thumbs-up, the same doesn’t apply to strawberry ice cream.
Commercially available ice creams are typically sugar and fat-laden, and the high levels of lactose aren’t tolerated by all dogs.
A safer summer treat would be to freeze strawberries, place them in a blender to crush like a Slush Puppy (without the extras) — and then pour it in a small paper cup for your dog to lick at. You can also add some water when freezing, to cut down the number of strawberries used for a lower-sugar treat.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Yogurt?
Not a good plan. Store-bought strawberry-flavored yogurts typically contain added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or other ingredients that may be toxic to your pooch, like xylitol.
You can, however, add some freshly chopped, pureed, or mashed strawberries to your own tub of plain/natural yogurt for a tasty treat for your pooch. Just remember to serve in moderation.
How Many Strawberries Can a Dog Eat?
This depends on the size of your dog — here’s a general guide.
Small Dogs/Puppies (Under 20 Pounds)
Give your dog no more than one average-size strawberry a day. This should be cut into small pieces or can be mashed or pureed if mixed into their food. This equates to approximately 4 pieces of strawberry or a dessert spoon of puree.
Medium to Large Dogs
Offer between 2 to 3 strawberries a day or 4 strawberries for the largest dogs.
Just be careful to gauge your dog’s reaction to how they digest strawberries. Check for any signs of stomach upset, diarrhea, or vomiting if they should consume too much sugar.
Remember strawberries should be treated as the occasional treat for your pup and only make up a maximum of 10% of a well-balanced diet.
Just as we love strawberries, your dog probably will too. This fruit is a healthy treat that’s generally safe for your furry friend to consume. It’s packed full of fiber and vitamin C, which can be beneficial to your pup’s immune and digestive system. And, as a bonus, this tiny fruit keeps your dog’s smile much whiter.
When asking if dogs can eat strawberries — it’s a big, fat yes. However, you’ll need to be mindful of the sugar content — this fruit should be offered on a treat-only basis, not a replacement for your pup’s regular food. So, feed infrequently and in moderation! And, no big bowls of strawberries and cream for your pooch — save that for the kids!
Can My Dog Eat Strawberries? FAQs
Are Strawberries Toxic to Dogs?
No part of the strawberry is toxic or poisonous to dogs. Strawberries do however contain natural sugars, which if consumed in large amounts can upset your pup’s stomach.
What Other Berries Can You Feed Your Dog?
Although there are many other fruits dogs can eat, the health benefits associated with strawberries tend to be similar to other berries — plus they’re generally smaller and more pocket-sized when used as treats for your pooch.
The four best berries for dogs are:
However, many wild berries can be toxic to your dog and should be avoided, including:
Cherries — black and red.
These berries contain pits and/or substances that are hazardous to your pup’s health, such as the cyanide found in cherry pits.
What Dogs Cannot Eat Strawberries?
Dogs who are overweight or suffer from diabetes should not be fed strawberries due to their sugar content. If you’re in any doubt, chat with your vet first.
Are Any Fruits Toxic to Dogs?
Unfortunately, not all fruits that are safe for us humans to enjoy are as safe as the strawberry when it comes to our canine companion.
Grapes, for example, in any form (including raisins, which are dried grapes), are known to be toxic to canines and also linked with kidney failure. Although the exact cause of their toxicity is unknown, a dog’s metabolism is unable to break down certain plant-based compounds found in grapes.
With other fruits such as avocados, cherries, passionfruit, or many of the berries we mentioned above, substances found in the pit, or the skin can make them toxic to dogs.
Check out our guide on What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?
Can My Dog Eat Strawberries With Granola?
Yes. Most granola is made from rolled oats or puffed brown rice, which are safe for your pooch to consume.However, be careful to read the label if using store-bought granola. Many contain added sugars, syrups, or even toxic ingredients like xylitol. Making your own granola from oats is a much safer option, but remember the high fiber content and only feed in small amounts.