Can Dogs Eat Strawberries? Nutritionists Weigh In on This Popular Query

Can Dogs Eat Strawberries? Nutritionists Weigh In on This Popular Query

Posted by volhard dog nutrition on May 7th 2024

When munching on a strawberry bowl, it's tempting to share with your furry friend. After all, they're sweet, juicy, and packed with nutrients.

But is this safe?

Can dogs enjoy strawberries, or should this be a strictly human treat?

Before you toss your dog a strawberry this summer, let’s explore whether strawberries are a healthy addition to its diet or if there are any reasons to steer clear.

Dog looking at strawberries

Are Strawberries Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Strawberries can be a delightful addition to your dog's diet, offering a healthy treat with several health benefits. Most dogs enjoy their fruity flavor, making strawberries a great summer treat for those hot days when you want to feed your dog something refreshing.

Moderation is key when feeding your dog strawberries. Dogs can eat strawberries as an occasional treat, but they should not make up a significant portion of your dog's meals.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Feeding Strawberries to Your Dog?

Although strawberries are fine in small quantities, avoid feeding canned strawberries, strawberry ice cream, or strawberries in syrup, as these often contain high levels of added sugar or artificial sweeteners (e.g., xylitol, which can lead to serious health issues).

Although uncommon, some dogs may show adverse reactions or food allergies to strawberries, so it's best to start with a small quantity and observe how your dog reacts.

Feeding large quantities of strawberries can lead to excess sugar intake, contributing to weight gain or other health issues.

4 Nutritional Benefits of Strawberries for Dogs

Nutritional benefits of strawberries for dogs

Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals and support your dog's immune system. This makes them a beneficial addition to your dog's diet, as antioxidants can protect against cell damage and contribute to overall health.

Strawberries also contain a high amount of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that boosts the immune system and supports healthy skin and coat.

For pet parents conscious of their dog's weight, strawberries offer a low-calorie treat option that will not cause weight gain when fed moderately.

Strawberries are also high in fiber, which supports a healthy digestive system. Fiber aids in regular digestion, helps control blood sugar levels, and contributes to dental health by providing a natural cleaning action when chewed.

2 Parts of the Strawberry That Should Be Avoided

While strawberries can be a healthy and nutritious dog treat, two parts of the fruit should be avoided: the leaves and stems.

These parts of the strawberry are challenging to digest and may cause gastrointestinal upset. In some cases, they might even pose a choking hazard, especially for small dogs.

To safely feed strawberries to your dog, always remove the leaves and stems and cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces.

How Many Strawberries Can Dogs Safely Consume?

How many strawberries for dogs

  • Small Dogs: Given the smaller digestive systems and caloric needs of smaller breeds, it's best to limit strawberries to one per day for them.
  • Medium Dogs: Medium-sized breeds can handle 2-3 strawberries daily without any issues.

What Signs of Strawberry Overfeeding Should Pet Parents Watch For?

Pet parents should watch for these signs of overfeeding to ensure their dog's diet remains balanced and healthy:

  • Gastrointestinal Upset: A dog that eats too many strawberries may experience stomach discomfort, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Weight Gain: Overfeeding strawberries or other high-sugar treats can lead to weight gain, especially in small dogs or those with lower activity levels.
  • Changes in Behavior: Overfeeding can cause lethargy or irritability due to the effects of excessive sugar on your dog's energy levels and mood.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although uncommon, some dogs may be allergic to strawberries. Signs of allergic reactions can include itching, redness, swelling, or respiratory issues.

How to Prepare Strawberries for Your Dog

How to prepare strawberries

  • Wash Thoroughly: Always wash strawberries thoroughly to remove any dirt, pesticides, or harmful residues.
  • Remove Leaves and Stems: Remove the leaves and stems before serving strawberries to your dog, as they are difficult to digest and may pose a choking hazard.
  • Cut into Bite-Sized Pieces: Cut strawberries into small, manageable pieces to prevent choking hazards.

3 Creative Ways to Include Strawberries in Dog Treats

Strawberries in dog treats

  • Puree fresh strawberries and mix them with other treats to create a unique flavor profile. You can also add the puree to homemade dog treats for added sweetness and essential vitamins.
  • For a cool summer treat, cut up fresh strawberries and other fruits and veggies, then freeze them in water or low-sodium broth.
  • Mash strawberries and mix them with other foods to fill dog toys, such as a Kong. This creates a fun and engaging activity for your dog, keeping them entertained while providing a tasty treat.

Keep Your Dog Cool and Healthy This Summer with Volhard!

Give your dog a healthy strawberry treat alongside other Volhard foods, and make their day extra special!

For more advice on dog nutrition, health, and training, contact us and check out our blog!

Volhard Dog Nutrition and its expert canine nutrition coaches are now offering online consultations to help more dog parents discover why and how to feed their dogs the healthiest of foods!

Speaking to a Volhard canine nutrition coach will help you understand the inseparable relationship between healthy food, a healthy body, and a healthy mind.

If you want to contact one of our Volhard canine nutrition coaches, don't hesitate to access our consultation page!

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