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Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?

Written by The Halo Team

May 23, 2024

Strawberries are a juicy, sweet summer favorite for us humans. But can dogs eat strawberries? Yes, dogs can safely eat strawberries as an occasional treat. They provide surprising nutritional benefits for our furry friends. Just keep in mind that moderation is vital, as strawberries contain sugar.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about adding strawberries to your dog’s diet.

Are Strawberries Healthy for Dogs?

For the healthiest snack, opt for plain strawberries rather than processed or canned fruit. Here’s why feeding your dog strawberries, with care, can be beneficial:

  • Natural sweetness: Dogs typically love the sweet taste of strawberries, making them a satisfying occasional treat.
  • Hydration boost: Since strawberries are primarily water, they make a refreshing and hydrating snack, especially for an active dog.

While more research is necessary, strawberries may support a dog’s immune system and offer some antioxidant benefits. We’ll explore these nutritional perks in more detail later.

How to Safely Feed Strawberries to Your Dog

Strawberries are a delicious and healthy treat, but you must prepare and serve them safely to prevent any problems for your furry friend. Here’s a quick how-to guide.

Preparation

Dog owners should carefully prepare strawberries, keeping in mind:

  • No moldy strawberries: Always choose ripe, fresh strawberries, never moldy or rotten ones.
  • No cans: Avoid canned strawberries, which often contain added sugars, syrups and preservatives that could be harmful to dogs.
  • Wash thoroughly: Remove dirt and pesticides before giving them to your dog. Even organic strawberries can be contaminated, so washing is crucial.
  • Cut for safety: Cut the strawberries into bite-sized pieces to make them easy to eat and prevent choking. For tiny dogs, you might even mash or purée strawberries, as even small pieces could be a choking hazard.

Safe and Fun Serving Ideas

Here are some fun ways to give your dog strawberries as a safe and healthy treat:

  • Plain and simple: Offer a few sliced or mashed strawberries as a sweet snack on their own.
  • Frozen strawberries: Freeze sliced strawberries for a refreshing, crunchy treat on hot days. Watching dogs eat frozen strawberries is a true joy.
  • Mix it up: Every now and then, add a few small strawberry pieces to your dog’s food for a bit of fruity, vitamin-boosting goodness.
  • DIY dog treats: Find healthy, dog-friendly strawberry treat recipes. Just make extra-sure recipes don’t contain harmful ingredients such as chocolate or artificial sweeteners.

Unsafe Feeding Practices

Always keep these safety measures in mind:

  • Stems and leaves: Can dogs eat strawberry leaves? No. While not poisonous, strawberry leaves and stems can cause an upset stomach, so it’s best to remove them.
  • Portion control: Strawberries are a treat. Too many strawberries can cause digestive upset.

Consult your veterinarian before introducing any new food to your dog’s diet, especially if your pet has any underlying health conditions.

A cute puppy playing with strawberries

Nutritional Benefits of Strawberries for Dogs

Here’s a closer look at strawberries’ health benefits:

  • Vitamin C: Strawberries are a fantastic source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps bolster the immune system. It fights off infections and illnesses and supports a speedy recovery if your dog is unwell.
  • Fiber: The fiber in strawberries supports healthy digestion, helping your dog have regular bowel movements and feel comfortably full. Fiber can even contribute to weight management in dogs.
  • Antioxidants: Strawberries are bursting with antioxidants, which are like tiny warriors inside your dog’s body. They protect cells by fighting harmful substances called free radicals (caused by things like pollution and processed food). Over time, antioxidants may even help prevent chronic diseases like cancer.
  • Folic acid: Strawberries contain folic acid, a vitamin that plays a role in cell development and growth. This can be especially beneficial for pregnant dogs and senior dogs.

In rare cases, your dog might be allergic to strawberries. Get to know the signs in our article, A Guide to Identifying and Treating Dog Allergies.

How Many Strawberries Can My Dog Eat?

The ideal number of strawberries to feed your dog depends on several factors:

  • Size matters: Larger dogs can naturally handle a few more strawberries than smaller breeds. A tiny dog might only need a slice or two, while a large dog might enjoy several berries.
  • Individual tolerance: Some dogs have more sensitive stomachs than others. Start by giving just a small piece of strawberry and observe your dog for any signs of digestive upset.

Here’s a basic guide to help you get started, but always consult with your vet for personalized advice:

  • Small dogs: Start with a single strawberry
  • Medium dogs: Can start with 2 strawberries
  • Large dogs: Up to 3 strawberries may be appropriate to begin with

Other Considerations

Let’s look at some other considerations:

  • Puppies: While strawberries are safe, it’s best to stick to puppy food and veterinarian-approved treats while your growing puppy’s stomach is developing.
  • Overweight dogs: If your dog needs to lose weight, strawberries might not be the best treat due to their sugar content. Discuss healthier alternatives with your vet.

Related article: Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?

Can My Dog Eat People Food That Has Strawberries?

It’s best to avoid giving your dog any desserts or human foods that contain strawberries. These often have ingredients that are harmful to dogs, including:

  • Sugar: Even a small amount of sugar can lead to weight gain, dental problems and type 2 diabetes.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can cause serious health issues.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Some sugar substitutes, such as xylitol, are extremely poisonous to dogs.
  • Other ingredients: Desserts may contain nuts, raisins or other ingredients harmful to dogs.

Dangerous Berries for Dogs

While strawberries are safe for dogs, other berries can be dangerous. Avoid feeding your dog:

  • Grapes and raisins: These can cause severe kidney damage in dogs.
  • Currants: Currants are toxic to dogs and can lead to kidney issues.

Enjoy Berries Safely With Your Dog

Strawberries can be a delicious and healthy way to add a little sweetness and extra nutrition to your dog’s life. By following these guidelines, you can ensure your furry friend enjoys them safely and happily.

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