Dogs have lived beside humans for thousands of years. In our culture, it is normal to incorporate our four-legged friends in everything we do – from going to cafes and work to taking them on vacations with us and sleeping in one bed.
Living so closely together, many dog owners probably experienced this moment of hesitation when they were unsure whether or not it would be safe to share their meal or snack with their furry best friend.
And although every responsible dog parent knows that pets have diets suitable for their nutrition needs and requirements, some food groups are optimal for both humans and dogs.
Are strawberries in that group?
Read our article to find out.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Yes, for the most part, strawberries are safe for dogs.
Strawberries don't contain harmful chemical compounds that could potentially harm the animal. The main reason for caution when it comes to feeding your dog strawberries is connected with the sugar content in the fruit.
Strawberries contain a natural compound called xylitol, which is essentially sugar alcohol. This is what makes the fruits taste so good, but it's also not very beneficial for animals like dogs.
This is why strawberries should be served in moderation. It's also recommended to stick to fresh or frozen strawberries and avoid all sorts of strawberry syrups, processed strawberries, and treats with added sugar. Those are not good for dogs to eat and should be excluded from their diet indefinitely.
You should consult the vet before adding any new food, especially human food, to your animal's diet. Different food groups can be harmful to dogs in various circumstances, like being on some medications, going through treatments, or having particular predispositions. It's always better to check that to stay safe.
Overall, strawberries have lots of health benefits, so giving them to your pup could be a good idea.
Benefits Strawberries Offer Your Dog
Humans love this tasty treat, and we always hear that fruits have many health benefits, so it's only natural we want our pets to enjoy strawberries with us! And it is a good instinct since this fruit has lots to offer in nutritional value. What are the health benefits of strawberries?
- Strawberries are full of antioxidants, which protect cells against free radicals. These fruits can help us and our dogs reduce the risk of developing cancer and other illnesses like heart disease or joint damage.
- Vitamin C also can be found in strawberries in considerable amounts. In 100 grams of fruits, there are almost 60 milligrams of Vitamin C. This vitamin helps organisms deal with many diseases, similar to other fruits' antioxidants.
- What's more, strawberries contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which have many beneficial properties for a dog's coat. Omega-3 is responsible for a shiny and healthy-looking coat, while some studies outline the connection between low omega-3 acids in a dog's diet and the high level of aggression present in those dogs. This means eating strawberries could positively contribute to addressing some behavioral issues your pet is struggling with (of course, this is only an additional factor, and you should still seek the help of a professional if your dog exhibits signs of aggression).
- Additionally, strawberries contain fiber, which has a lot of advantageous effects on dogs' digestive tract.
- Strawberries are a great source of vitamins B1, B6, and K.
- They also contain an enzyme called malic acid, which may whiten your dog's teeth.
As you can see, there are many reasons to believe strawberries can positively impact your dog's health. But is that always the case?
When Are Strawberries Bad For Dogs?
There are some risks involved with feeding your dog strawberries, and it's good to be aware of them in order to act fast in case something terrible happens. When can strawberries harm your furry friend?
Strawberries, like any other food, can cause an allergic reaction. Although it's relatively rare, if your puppy has never had strawberries, it's important to observe it for at least half an hour to an hour after the consumption.
The signs of allergic reaction you can observe are:
- breathing problems,
- and skin inflammation.
If you see any of these symptoms after your dog ate strawberries, you should contact a vet. It might turn out that your pet is allergic, and you will have to exclude this fruit from its diet.
It's also essential to keep in mind that strawberries put your pet at risk of choking. They are fairly easy to chew, yet this can occur if your dog is not careful and eats too avidly. To avoid that, you should feed your dog slowly or chop the fruit into smaller pieces. If you have a smaller breed, this should be your constant practice.
At the end of the day, you know best how your dog eats and what sizes of fruit it is able to chew, so adjust the way you feed your pet to this knowledge. The safest way to feed strawberries to dogs is to do so while you're in the room with them, so you can react quickly in case something goes wrong.
Too Much Sugar
Just like we've mentioned at the beginning, dogs don't handle sugar well. This means you should pay attention to the fruit portions you're serving them. Dogs shouldn't eat too many strawberries – just a few per day for bigger dogs and even one per day for small pooches.
For the same reason, various canned strawberries or strawberry sweets and pastries should be avoided. These are not healthy snacks for our pets, and they can upset your dog's stomach, so it's best to leave them to the humans in the house.
For dogs, the best are fresh strawberries cut into bite-sized pieces.
Can All Breeds of Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Yes, typically, dogs of all breeds have no contraindications to eating strawberries. How your pooch will react to this fruit mostly depends on individual circumstances.
If you suspect that there might be some issues with feeding your dog fruits, consult your vet. If your dog is on a special diet or is undergoing some treatments, adding human foods to the mix might be unhealthy for your animal.
With different breeds, you want to be mindful of the portions of fruits you're giving them. We already talked about this, so there's no need to repeat this information.
How to Safely Feed Strawberries to a Dog?
There are a few simple rules you should follow when serving strawberries as dog treats to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Wash the Fruits
First of all, you want to make sure the fruits are clean. Washing them under water is fine, and generally, the same rules apply here as if you were serving strawberries to your human friends. You can always pick organic strawberries if you want to be certain your pet gets the healthiest and most uncontaminated fruits.
Another thing to think about is what parts of strawberries dogs can enjoy and which ones should be removed.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries Leaves?
Maybe you asked yourself, can dogs eat strawberries tops? Dogs can eat strawberry leaves, but it's better not to include them in the meal.
Although not toxic, green parts of the fruit are difficult to digest and can cause some stomach issues. They also don't taste very good, so there's a high likelihood your dog won't enjoy this experience very much.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Strawberries?
Yes, dogs can safely consume dried strawberries. However, we should be careful about the dose, as dried fruits are more potent than fresh strawberries.
Additionally, during the process of dehydration, strawberries lose some of their nutritional value, so they're not as beneficial for dogs as fresh fruits.
With that in mind, your four-legged friend can consume dried strawberries safely. Just in smaller amounts.
Cut the Fruits
As we've said, it is best to cut strawberries into manageable pieces in order to avoid choking hazards and make it easier for smaller dogs to eat strawberries. You can even add the fruits to some other ingredients as a part of the meal.
But strawberries are a sweet and tasty treat, so many dogs enjoy eating them on their own. The most important part to remember is that every animal is different, so it's up to us to select the best method of serving fruits to our dogs.
Do All Dogs Like Strawberries?
Dogs are more similar to people than some would like to think. Naturally, some representatives of the species won't like this fruit's taste or texture, and that's completely normal.
If you want to check if your furry buddy likes strawberries, offering them a small portion is the simplest way to do that. You'll be able to spot immediately if your pup likes the taste of fruits or not.
If strawberries are not to its liking, you might want to give it a go with other fruits and veggies.
Strawberry Dog Treat Recipes
If you want to make the absolute best strawberry dog treats that are healthy but still very tasty, we've got you covered. Here are two of our favorite strawberry dog treat recipes that are easy to make and taste like heaven!
Delicious Frozen Treats
Our first proposition is very beginner-friendly and requires only four ingredients. You might be able to prepare the treats without going to the store first, which is a big win in our book.
To make these frozen strawberry treats, you'll need the following:
- 800 grams of fresh strawberries
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter (don't use the sugar-free kinds, as they may have artificial sweeteners such as xylitol in them)
- few tablespoons of water
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend them to a smoothy-like consistency.
- Pour the mixture into freezer-friendly molds.
- Place molds in the freezer for four hours.
- Take out your treats from the molds. Since one batch can last for a few servings, you can put the rest of the treats back in the freezer in the air-tight container – just remember not to leave them there for longer than two weeks.
- Serve your dogs these tasty treats by hand or in the bowl.
This is an amazing recipe for when it's hot outside, and you want to give your pooch something refreshing and delicious. But you would be wrong if you thought the best these treats have to offer is their taste.
Frozen strawberry treats are a great source of vitamins, fiber, calcium, and proteins. And the best thing about them is that they are suitable for humans too! If you're feeling snacky, you can share these with your dog.
Homemade Strawberry Banana Dog Treats
Homemade strawberry banana dog treats are a hit, so if you have a flair for baking, this is the recipe we would recommend you try out. Your dog will love you for it; that's guaranteed!
The list of ingredients includes:
- 50 grams of strawberries
- 1 cup Wheat flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 smashed banana
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them to form one mass.
- Knead the dough until you get the right consistency. During this process, you might need to add more flour to make the dough firmer and easier to form.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Roll out your dough on a floured surface and cut your treats using cookie cutters or treat molds.
- Put the treats on the baking pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the treats are browned.
- Let them cool before serving them to your dog.
It takes about 45 minutes to prepare these tasty treats, but it provides so much joy for our pets. It's a foolproof recipe for a very pleasant day!
And again, these treats are full of vitamins, with a bit of fiber and calcium, making them nutritious and delicious.
What Other Fruits Are Safe for Dogs?
There are actually quite a lot of fruits our pets can eat. On that list, we can find the following:
All of these can be safely consumed by a dog, but we should remember to remove any seeds, pits, and skin (in the case of mango) before giving such treats to our pets. We also should be mindful of dogs' daily sugar intake and serve them proper portions.
What Fruits and Vegetables You Should Avoid in Your Dog's Diet
Some fruits are good for dogs, but some can be toxic. Educating yourself on this topic is important if you intend to give human foods to your dog.
The fruits and vegetables that should be avoided at all costs are:
- Grapes and Raisins
- Unripe Tomatoes
Like you've seen, the list of healthy fruits you can include in your dog's diet to make it more balanced is long, so there is no need (and it's irresponsible) to add any harmful fruits to the dog's plate.
Because there are so many foods that are toxic to our little friends, it's crucial to always check this information before giving something that we eat to the dog.
Final Verdict – Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Yes, dogs can consume strawberries safely. And some of them really like this treat, so it is an excellent way to diversify their diet a little.
Why is it worth including this fruit in your pet's menu?
- Strawberries are healthy! They are full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and other healthy nutrients.
- They are very tasty and can be easily incorporated into different meals and treats.
- They are low in calories, so you won't have to worry as much about going above your dog's daily calorie limit.
- They are easy to prepare – all you have to do is wash and cut them.
What should you be mindful of when adding this fruit to your dog's diet?
- Strawberries may present a choking hazard, so you should be present in the room when you feed them to your pooch.
- They can also cause an allergic reaction in some dogs.
- Strawberries contain natural sugar, which is not very healthy for our little friends. For this reason, they should be given to dogs in moderation.
As you can see, strawberries are a solid addition to a dog's diet. They get a green light from us! If you want to learn more about all kinds of food suitable for dogs, check out our resources. We recommend the best types of foods for dogs with various dietary needs and requirements.
How many strawberries can I give my dog?
It will depend on the size of the dog. For small pooches, one or two medium-sized strawberries a day is enough. Large breeds can enjoy up to five or six strawberries a day. If you want to make sure you're sticking to the proper limits, ask your vet about how many fruits your dog can consume in a day.
Can strawberries give dogs diarrhea?
Yes, this is one of the potential symptoms your dog may exhibit after eating strawberries. Usually, it means your pet does not tolerate this fruit well. When you notice that, you should contact a vet and follow their recommendations.
Are frozen strawberries good for dogs?
Yes, you can give your dog frozen strawberries (for safety reasons, they should be cut before you freeze them) and frozen strawberry treats. It's a healthy snack and very refreshing on hot days. Remember to properly store frozen foods in your freezer and write down the date when you froze them, as such foods also have their expiration date.
Can dogs eat strawberry ice cream?
Most dogs are lactose intolerant, which means they can have some issues with digesting such a treat. Apart from that, ice cream contains a lot of sugar, fats, etc. Although ice cream is not dangerous to dogs, it's also not a healthy choice, so we would recommend staying away from it.