Can dogs eat strawberries? The good news is yes, strawberries are not toxic to dogs and they can eat this fruit. Of course, there are still some important considerations to make before feeding these fruits to your dog. Although strawberries are full of healthy nutrients that are good for dogs, they do contain sugar, and too many can cause an upset stomach. Like any good thing, they are best enjoyed in moderation. Here is what you should know about giving strawberries to dogs.
Benefits of strawberries for dogs
Strawberry is one fruit that’s not only delicious but will also give your dog a health boost. They have some characteristics and nutrients that may be good for your dog such as:
- Strawberries are full of antioxidants, high in fiber and vitamin C
- They contain a teeth-whitening enzyme that can help whiten your pup’s teeth
- Omega-3 in this fruit is good for skin and coat health
- Strawberries are also low in calories and can help with managing your four-legged friend’s weight
- Fresh fruit may help slow down the aging process, strengthen the immune system
“Strawberries (and some other berries) are known to contain natural compounds that act as antioxidants in the body. Research shows they are good for humans and some other animals, but whether or not there are benefits for your dog hasn’t been tested yet,” Dr. Dempsey explains.
“They may help strengthen the immune system and slow issues related to aging,” says Dr. Sarah Nold, DVM, staff veterinarian at pet insurance company Trupanion.
When are strawberries bad for dogs?
Strawberries contain sugar, which can get an upset stomach and suffer from some gastrointestinal upset. Canned strawberries or products that contain artificial strawberry flavors are also bad for your dog. They usually contain all sorts of sweeteners, preservatives, and chemicals, which can damage your dog’s health.
As with almost all foods, your dog may have an allergic reaction to strawberries. If you notice the signs of an allergic reaction in your dog such as swelling, coughing, sneezing, hives, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms, stop giving your dog strawberries and ask your veterinarian immediately.
How should you feed strawberries to your dog?
It’s best to stick to moderation, and you should always consult your veterinarian or nutritionist about appropriate serving sizes for your dog. Make sure to wash and clean strawberries just like you would for your family. Washing helps rinse away dirt and residual chemicals.
Keep in mind that any food can be a choking hazard, even strawberries. So, after washing and removing the green tops, you need to cut them into small bits to prevent possible choking and to help with digestion. If you have a small dog, you can mash up or puree the berries and add them to your dog’s regular food.
Always ask your veterinarian before introducing any new ingredient to your doggy’s diet, including strawberries. At first, you should start in very small quantities and watch for your dog. If you notice anything odd, stop giving them to him and check with your veterinarian.