Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Among the wide varieties of fruits that dogs can eat is one of the most favorite fruits of humans - strawberries.
Thanks to strawberries' beneficial nutritional properties, dogs not only can eat strawberries, but the strawberries offer many health benefits.
But, when giving strawberries to the dogs, some care is required.
Published: February 6, 2023.
Nutritional Benefits Of Strawberries to Dogs
In addition to being tasty and refreshing, strawberries provide a large amount of nutrients of high biological value for both humans and dogs, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants combined with other beneficial compounds.
Also, strawberries are a good source of digestive fibers, which may help with digestion. The main health benefits of strawberries include the following:
- They are rich in minerals such as iodine, potassium, and magnesium,
- Strawberries contain many vitamins, such as vitamin C, B2, B3, and folic acid,
- They help to keep dogs hydrated since they are 90-92% water,
- They can be a source of energy in larger quantities since they contain ~7-8% carbs, of which 5% sugar and 2% fibers,
- They have a glycemic index (GI) of 40, which is relatively low (could be lower, though),
- They have 30-32 kcal per 100g,
- Strawberries may help whiten the pup's teeth,
- They contain a large amount of various antioxidants,
- Strawberries may help with weight management and promote proper digestion,
- They help fight bad cholesterol,
- Strawberries help strengthen the immune system and slow down the aging process, etc.
Obviously, strawberries are a very healthy fruit, but as always, there are also a few cons.
How To Give Strawberries To A Dog?
Ideally, the strawberries should be fully ripe because green strawberries are more acidic, and the dog will not like them as much. Also, the strawberries must be thoroughly washed in order to remove dirt, bacteria, pesticides, and other chemicals.
Note: strawberries from home gardens and eco farms are highly recommended due to the very low amount, if any, of various chemicals used during their growth. And they taste so much better...
Also, the dog should eat fruits, strawberries included fresh, at room temperature, and not cold, directly from the fridge - cold strawberries can be very refreshing, especially during hot summer days, but they can cause stomach cramps and digestive issues. Actually, some dogs can easily be bribed with a few chunks of frozen strawberries, making them ideal as a refreshing treat during dog training.
When offering the strawberries to the dog, it is highly recommended to cut the strawberries into smaller pieces to prevent them from choking, especially if the dog is smaller and doesn't chew the food well.
Also, strawberries can be offered mashed or as puree - cut the required amount of strawberries into smaller pieces, put them into a suitable bowl, mash them with a spoon or suitable kitchen aid and offer them to a dog.
Note: give the dog only the strawberry, and throw the leaves and stems away - leaves and stems are not toxic, but dogs don't chew them properly, and they may cause a choking hazard. When introducing new food to your dog, it is highly recommended to consult the vet, just in case.
If the dog never ate strawberries, give the dog only one smaller strawberry (or one smaller piece) to assess his sensitivity to the strawberries.
How Many Strawberries Can A Dog Eat Per Day?
Bearing in mind that fruit and other similar snacks should not account for more than 10-15% of a dog's total daily calorie intake, the total amount of strawberries and other fruits depends on the dog's size but also the dog's tolerance to such foods.
Thus, a small dog should not eat more than one or two strawberries per day, while a large dog can easily eat five or six strawberries per day - regardless of all the begging, blinking eyes, whining, and similar :)
Do All Dogs Like Strawberries?
Well, most dogs do like strawberries since they are sweet and have great taste and aroma. But some dogs simply don't like them and don't want them to eat. If your dog avoids strawberries, don't worry about it - we are all different, and so are the dogs.
However, strawberries should not be given to more sensitive dogs and dogs allergic to strawberries, even if they actually want to eat them.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Strawberries?
Technically speaking, dogs that like strawberries usually also like canned strawberries because of all the added sugars. And as such, canned strawberries should not be given to the dog - they are not toxic, but definitely not a healthy choice.
Can Dogs Eat/Drink Strawberry Syrup?
Again, the strawberry syrup is not toxic to dogs, but it is loaded with concentrated sugar and, as such, should not be given to the dog.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Ice Cream?
Cold foods are not recommended for dogs, but a little bit of strawberry ice cream can be very refreshing, especially during hot summer days.
However, many ice creams are rich in lactose which adult dogs can't digest properly, and this can cause digestive issues and winds.
Also, many ice creams are rich in sugars, which may increase daily calorie intake and, in the long run, obesity and maybe even diabetes.
And last but not least, some strawberry ice creams may also contain chocolate and other added foods that may actually be toxic to dogs.
So, for short, don't give your dog ice cream, strawberry ice cream included.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Yogurt?
Commercial strawberry yogurts are usually loaded with added sugar and maybe even artificial flavors. Also, some commercial "low-sugar" strawberry yogurts have artificial sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
So, should You give a commercial strawberry yogurt to your dog? No, that is not a good idea.
However, if You mix plain, lactose-free yogurt with some freshly cut strawberries, You can give it to your dog freely - just be sure to consider it as a "treat calories" (up to 10% of total daily calorie intake).
Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Pies?
Homemade strawberry pies contain far less sugar and other additives than commercial ones.
Nonetheless, strawberry pies are very rich in simple carbs (and thus sugars) and can significantly increase the energy intake of a dog - if that extra energy is not burned off by physical activity, in the long run, it can lead to weight gain.
Also, all the sugar can lead to issues with diabetes, digestion, etc. - strawberry pies are not toxic to dogs, but they are simply not healthy, especially with cream, syrup, etc.
What If A Dog Eats Too Many Strawberries?
Strawberries are good for dogs but in the right amount, just like with many similar foods.
If the dog eats more strawberries than recommended, the dog may suffer from tummy aches, diarrhea, and/or vomiting. Also, if the dog eats greedily and doesn't chew strawberries well, strawberries may be a choking hazard, especially to smaller dogs.
Exceeding the recommended amount is not recommended - if it does happen, don't panic, consult the vet, and act accordingly. In most cases, dogs that eat varied foods and tolerate strawberries well will do just fine...
Should your dog start to behave oddly after eating strawberries or any other food, consult the vet - better safe than sorry.