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Food & Diet

We’re Mutts About Strawberries

At A Glance

As a healthy fruit or a decadent ice-cream flavor, strawberries are a versatile part of the human diet and come with numerous health benefits. But is it beneficial to dogs too? Are dogs allowed to eat strawberries?

  • Yes, strawberries are safe for dogs to eat.
  • However, the leaves, stem, and core of the strawberry aren’t safe for dogs.
  • Some dogs could also be allergic to these sweet and slightly tart berries.

Last Updated on: January 19, 2023




Anyone who’s ever bitten into a plump juicy strawberry will tell you that strawberries are simply irresistible. We love them because their tart, sweet taste reminds us of sunny summers and happy times. But what about dogs? Can you give dogs strawberries?

According to Rachel Martinez Theken, a dog lover, “As long as the strawberries are not spoiled or covered with anything (chocolate, sugar, frosting, etc.), then they’re perfectly fine for a dog to eat.” Besides, they’re a healthy snack for dogs and are a great source of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.

However, it’s always best to feed your dog strawberries in moderation. Also, make sure you remove the leaves, stem, and core of the strawberry as they may cause an upset stomach or intestinal blockages in dogs.

Some dogs may have a sensitivity or allergic reaction to strawberries, so it’s best to monitor your dog for any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing after feeding them strawberries.

New pet parents with young dogs might wonder, ‘Can puppies eat strawberries?’

On the subject, Ellen Malmanger, a veterinarian, says, “Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Strawberries can also help strengthen the immune system. They should be cut into small pieces to avoid choking and can be mashed or pureed for smaller dogs.”

What Are the Benefits of Feeding Dogs Strawberries?

Strawberries offer several potential health benefits for dogs. They are packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.

  • Antioxidants protect your dog’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. These molecules play an important role in preventing cancer and other diseases.
  • Vitamin C boosts your dog’s immune system and may even help reduce the severity of certain allergies.
  • Fiber promotes healthy digestion and regular bowel movements in dogs.

Strawberries are low in calories and have a high water content, making them an excellent treat for dogs needing to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Further, the tiny seeds and rough texture of strawberries can also help to clean your dog’s teeth and promote dental health.

How Can I Introduce Strawberries to My Dog?

If you’ve moved past the question, can dogs eat strawberries and want to know the best way to introduce strawberries to your dog for the first time, here are a few tips to get you started:

Introduce Small Amounts At First

Start by giving your dog a small piece of strawberry; a few pieces if your dog is larger.

Observe your dog for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing after consuming strawberries.

Mix Strawberries With Other Food

If your dog isn’t used to eating fruits, try mixing a small amount of strawberries with its regular food to see how your pet tolerates it.

Remove The Leaves, Stem, And Core

Make sure to remove the leaves, stem, and core of the strawberry, as these parts can cause upset stomach or intestinal blockages.

Monitor Your Dog

Keep an eye on your dog after giving it strawberries to ensure it does not have an adverse reaction.

If your dog starts to show signs of an allergic reaction, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Don’t Overfeed Your Dog Strawberries

As with any treat, it’s important to keep in mind that strawberries should be fed in moderation. Too many can cause an upset stomach and contribute to weight gain.

It’s best to check with your veterinarian before introducing strawberries to your dog, especially if it has any underlying health conditions or food sensitivities.

Here are a few tips on how to safely feed strawberries to your dog:

  • Always remove the stem and the green tops before feeding strawberries to your dog.
  • Cut the strawberries into small, bite-sized pieces to prevent choking.
  • Avoid giving your dog canned strawberries that contain added sugars or preservatives.
  • If you’re giving your dog frozen strawberries, make sure they are thawed first. They can damage their teeth if they try to chew on frozen fruits.
  • Keep the strawberries fresh and be sure to check if they are moldy or spoiled.

Interested in whipping up a strawberry-flavored treat for your dog? Here are a few recipes:

 

How Many Strawberries Can I Feed My Dog?

The amount of strawberries you can safely feed your pet depends on its size and weight. As a general rule any dog-safe fruits, including strawberries, should be less than 10% of your pet’s daily calorie intake.

For small dogs, it’s best to give them only a few small pieces of strawberry at a time. Larger dogs can be given more, but still within moderation.

It’s also important to note that strawberries are high in sugar, so too much can cause stomach upset. If you’re unsure how much strawberries to feed your dog, err on the side of moderation and stick to one as a treat until you can determine the safe limit with your vet.

Things to Consider Before Feeding Your Dog Strawberries

All things considered, strawberries are a pretty great treat for dogs. After all, if humans can enjoy them, why shouldn’t dogs eat strawberries? But hold your horses (and your dogs). Before you feed your dogs strawberries, consider a few factors.

Allergies

Some dogs may be allergic to strawberries and experience itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing after consuming them. If your dog shows any signs of an allergic reaction after eating strawberries, consult with your veterinarian.

Medication

If your dog is on medications, you might want to check with the veterinarian before including strawberries in your pet’s diet. Some medicines may interact with strawberries and cause adverse side effects.

Gastric Distress

Overfeeding strawberries to your dog can cause stomach upset and diarrhea and also contribute to weight gain.

Pesticides

Strawberries are usually heavily treated with pesticides, so you should always opt for organic strawberries or wash them thoroughly before you share some with your pet.

Freshness

Ensure the strawberries you feed your dog are fresh and haven’t gone bad. Rotting strawberries contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning in dogs.

dog with strawberries

When Are Strawberries Toxic to Dogs?

The entire strawberry itself is not toxic for dogs and can be a healthy treat in moderation. But the white, unripe section of strawberry tops is mildly toxic, so it’s important to remove them before feeding strawberries to your dog.

Also, strawberries, like any other food, can go bad and spoil if they are not stored properly or have passed their expiration date. Spoiled strawberries can cause food poisoning in pets, just like they would in humans.

Ensure that the strawberries you are feeding your dog are fresh, clean, and free of mold or other signs of spoilage.

Are Canned Strawberries Bad For Dogs?

According to Karina Carbo-Johnson, a senior nutritionist, “Fruits that are packaged in syrup or sweetened can be harmful for your dog as they contain excess sugars and calories. It is best to give fresh or frozen strawberries.”

In case you have no option other than canned strawberries, it’s best to check the label for added sugars, preservatives, or other potentially harmful ingredients, all of which are harmful to dogs. In addition, it is important to check if the canned strawberries are moldy or spoiled.

And always remember, moderation is key, no matter how healthy a food may be.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Leaves?

While it is safe for dogs to eat strawberry leaves, they are not really very nutritious and can even be mildly toxic.

The leaves of the strawberry plant contain small amounts of naturally occurring chemicals called oxalates, which can cause irritation and even kidney damage when consumed in large amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Stems?

Dogs can technically eat strawberry stems, but they are not easily digestible and could cause intestinal blockages. It is better to remove the stems before feeding strawberries to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Seeds?

Dogs can eat strawberry seeds, but they are not particularly nutritious.

In some cases too many seeds from eating too many strawberries can cause intestinal discomfort, mainly because dogs cannot digest them well.

Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Tops?

Dogs should not eat the white, unripe section of strawberry tops as it can be mildly toxic and may cause digestive upset. This part of the strawberry plant contains compounds called glycosides, which can cause gastrointestinal distress and even lead to severe health issues.

To be on the safe side, wash and slice a strawberry into slivers for your pet. I follow this when giving any fruit to Cofi, including strawberries, small though the fruit may be. Erring on the side of caution, I also slice away the top of the strawberry, even though it may seem ripe.

strawberries

Can My Dog Eat Strawberry Muffins As A Treat?

No! Most muffins, including strawberry muffins, are made with ingredients that are not safe for dogs, such as sugar, butter, and wheat flour.

These ingredients can cause digestive problems for your pet, including diarrhea and vomiting.

Can Dogs Eat Frozen Or Freeze-Dried Strawberries?

Yes, dogs can eat frozen or freeze-dried strawberries as a treat, but they are a potential choking hazard since they are harder for dogs to chew. So, it’s better to thaw them out first.

This will also prevent dental issues, especially if your pet already has an underlying dental problem. The same applies to freeze-dried strawberries too.

Can Dogs Eat Wild Strawberries?

Dogs can eat wild strawberries, but it’s important to be cautious when feeding them wild fruits as they may have been exposed to pesticides or other contaminants that could be toxic.

Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Jam?

Dogs should not be given strawberry jam as it contains sugar, added preservatives, and artificial flavors that can harm your pet.

Even homemade jam has high sugar, which can lead to weight gain and other health issues if consumed regularly.

Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Yogurt?

Dogs can eat strawberry yogurt, but it is not recommended as a regular treat, especially for dogs with lactose intolerance. Most yogurts, even the “dog-friendly” varieties, contain high levels of lactose and fat that are difficult for dogs to digest.

Additionally, some yogurt contains xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.

What Other Berries Are Good For Dogs?

Many berries are considered safe and healthy treats for dogs. These include:

These berries should also be fed in moderation and always washed to remove dirt and other contaminants. That said, some dogs might have a specific food sensitivity to some of these berries. So, it’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian before introducing your pet to a new food, no matter how healthy it may seem.

 

Food & Diet can dogs eat strawberries

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Paul Andrews
https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-andrews-172490189/

A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.