Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Yes, a dog can eat strawberries. If you’re looking for a fun and safe treat to help expand your dog’s palate, strawberries are an excellent choice. Like many other fruits and berries, strawberries are a healthy snack choice for dogs. Other options include apples, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries and more.
Are Strawberries Good for Dogs?
When strawberry season arrives, we start to incorporate these fresh, tasty berries into our diets. It’s natural for you to want to share this delicious treat with your canine friend.
The good news is that although dogs have different digestive systems and nutritional needs, you can feed your dog strawberries in moderation as a safe and healthy treat.
Should I Feed My Dog Strawberries in Moderation?
Strawberries can have positive health benefits for dogs if given like any other treat or snack—in small portion sizes. “Strawberries should be considered treats and therefore should make up no more than ten percent of your dog’s daily calories,” Purina Nutritionist Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS says. Use this as a guide so the strawberries you feed your dog won’t cause him to gain extra pounds.
We love to eat strawberries because they are sweet, but sweet means sugar. A lot of sugar, when it comes from fruit, isn’t beneficial to dogs. Keeping sugar intake to a minimum is another reason to avoid giving a dog too many strawberries.
What are the Health Benefits of Strawberries for Dogs?
Strawberries come packed with antioxidants, which are essential for humans and dogs alike. Antioxidants support the protection of cells within the body from free radical damage. They also help promote health throughout the body and can boost the immune system, potentially playing a role in helping fight or prevent illnesses and diseases.
Strawberries also include:
- High water content
- Vitamin C
- A tooth whitening enzyme known as malic acid
How to Feed Strawberries to Dogs
“Strawberries can be a new and exciting texture for dogs,” says Purina Nutritionist Karina Carbo-Johnson. “Try feeding them a single strawberry as a puree or as a frozen treat to start.”
Feeding strawberries slowly means dog owners will notice if they cause a problem. Call your veterinarian if you notice stomach upset, digestive issues, intense scratching, or an increase in thirst. Any of these are an indicator that strawberries might not be suitable for your dog.
What is the Best Way to Prepare Strawberries for Dogs?
“Make sure you rinse and clean strawberries thoroughly before feeding to your dog,” Carbo-Johnson says. Washing helps rinse away dirt and residual chemicals.
Dog owners should keep in mind that any food can be a choking hazard, even strawberries. So, after washing them, remove the stem. Try to make strawberries easier to eat for small breeds or puppies by cutting strawberries into bite-sized pieces. Pureeing or mashing them may work well.
For larger dogs, cutting them in two or serving the berry whole should be fine.
Are Canned Strawberries Bad for Dogs?
Yes! “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,” Carbo-Johnson explains. Also, the canned strawberries may have additives in them—like the artificial sweetener xylitol—that can be dangerous or even deadly for dogs.
What Other Berries are Good for Dogs?
Can dogs eat other types of berries? Yes! Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cranberries are safe options for dogs, too. Although cranberries can be bitter and in general dogs do not like a bitter taste. Not all berries are safe for your dog, however. Some – juniper berries or berries with pits – can be dangerous for them to eat. Always be careful and research any new food before feeding it to them.
Find out more about healthy foods you can feed your dog and much more. Visit our Pet Expertise page and get some valuable insights from our pet experts.