Can Dogs Eat Strawberries

can dogs eat strawberries

The strawberry, a favorite with people young and old the world over.  The fruit is grown worldwide and loved for its bright red color, distinctive smell, and juicy sweet taste. If you are a dog owner, you may wonder if dogs can enjoy strawberries too. Can dogs eat strawberries?

can dogs eat strawberries

You name it, and it probably comes in strawberry flavor

As well as the delicious fruit, almost anything you can think of can come in a strawberry flavor, which is always a favorite. Some examples include strawberry flavored ice cream, juices, milkshakes, and even children’s medicine, which can come strawberry flavored in order to disguise less pleasant tastes.

Can dogs eat strawberries?

Humans undoubtedly love strawberries, and dogs seem to love them. However dogs, as we know, tend to eat anything and everything (my shower curtain will attest to that!), so a better question is can dogs eat strawberries without side effects?

The answer is a resounding yes. Dogs can eat strawberries. It can get confusing with fruits and berries to know for sure which are acceptable for dogs, grapes and raisins are the biggest no no’s because they are toxic, and plums, cherries, and peaches have pits that pose a choking hazard. But you can rest easy with strawberries because these delicious red fruits are perfectly safe for your pooch to eat.

Additionally, your pooch can eat wild strawberries. These are even preferred. Just make sure weather you feed your dog regular strawberries or wild strawberries, that you wash them thoroughly before giving them to your pet. This ensures that any toxic pesticides that have been sprayed on them will be washed off.

Not just a delicious taste

A sweet treat that will get the tail wagging is all well and good, but strawberries actually have benefits too.  Like with humans, dogs will get a lot nutritional benefits from the yummy berry.

Eating strawberries as part of balanced diet will help with strengthening the immune system, and they also contain antioxidants.

They are jam packed with fiber, which means that they will help to keep your dog’s bowel movements regular and consistent.

Vitamin C is also found in strawberries.  Although, this is a naturally occurring vitamin within dogs, it is still a useful supplement that makes the immune system stronger, the bones less brittle and is considered to be very helpful in preventing the onset of various bladder infections.

Other vitamins include vitamin K, which is used to help the blood clot if there has been a cut. It is also used to develop strong bones.

Strawberries contain vitamin B-1, also called Thiamin, which converts glucose into energy. It also provides assistance and support to both the nerve and muscular functions. Vitamin B-6, also found in strawberries, makes sure the dog is using the amino acids in the best possible way. Amino acids are the bricks and mortar that build proteins, essential for the growth of muscles and tissues.

Multiple health benefits

Strawberries provide additional folic acid (known as vitamin B-9) which is a necessary vitamin in the production of red blood cells, especially within the bone marrow. Omega-3 fats improve skin condition and keep the coat looking healthy.  They are also useful for fighting arthritis (good for older dogs) and other inflammatory conditions, reducing the problems caused by allergies and keeping the heart and cardiovascular in good working order.

Studies have also identified an enzyme found within strawberries that actually helps to whiten teeth! No more expensive whitening toothpaste, just a regular supply of strawberries will do the trick.

Potassium and magnesium are both to be found in strawberries.  Potassium also plays an important role with maintaining a strong and healthy heart as well as assisting in muscle and nerve function.  Magnesium helps with the absorption of other minerals, including potassium and calcium.

Disadvantages of strawberries

Strawberries contain sugar, even though this is a natural sugar which absorbs longer, it is still a sugar. Too much sugar is never good, for us humans, and for dogs too. Too much sugar in one setting will upset your pet’s stomach too. Moreover, your furry friend can put on extra pounds if fed strawberries frequently.

Additionally too much potassium is not good for your dog either – it can restrict with your pet’s thyroid function. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the portion size you feed to your pooch.

Dogs like to beg for food, try to be strong and resist giving your pooch more than he needs. Make sure that your dog doesn’t choke on the fruit either. If your dog gets a strawberry that has leaves or stems on, this can pose a choking hazard to your pet.

Always observe your pets when feeding new foods to them, including strawberries.  Some dogs may instantly show some signs of allergy. If that happens, stop feeding them any more of these fruits and consult a veterinarian.

It’s best to feed your canine friend only clean and fresh fruits that are grown without pesticides. If you can’t buy any organically grown strawberries then make sure you wash them well before feeding them to your pooch.

Like stated before, don’t feed your dog any canned strawberries or strawberry syrup. These foods contain too much sugar. Moreover, foods like strawberry flavored chocolate, strawberry milk shake, or strawberries with whip cream are not treats you should feed to your dog either.

Generally, strawberries are fine for dogs when fed in moderation, you shouldn’t worry too much about it but always exercise caution.

If your dog accidentally gets into a bag of strawberries, it will most likely experience diarrhea. Overdosing on strawberries won’t usually cause anything more serious than that. However, if that happens too often, it can lead to many health problems. To avoid your pooch getting into a bag of strawberries, make sure to put them somewhere high or where your dog doesn’t have access to these fruits.

Everything in moderation

Like with all fruits it is better to cut the strawberries up into smaller pieces to aid the digestion process and prevent choking.  For smaller dogs, even mashing the strawberry up into puree might be advisable.

Just to be clear, this is about fresh strawberries, grown outside in the most natural way possible. Canned strawberries or those found in syrup are not advisable.

Like all things, a degree of moderation and restraint is required.  Like stated before strawberries do contain sucrose, a natural sugar, but too much of a good thing may lead to Fido putting on a few extra pounds.  Also, too many strawberries in a short space of time may give your four legged canine companion an upset tummy and some messy stools.

Dogs can have a sweet tooth just like their human counterparts, and despite the pleading eyes, it is important to not allow them to eat too much. It is possible to overdose on potassium which will end up doing more harm than good.

One strawberry per day is certainly sufficient for most dogs as a little treat. You might want to let your furry friend join in as you enjoy your strawberries and ice cream on summer’s day.

How to prepare strawberries for your pooch

Like stated above, clean and fresh strawberries are best for dogs. Non-organic strawberries are sprayed with toxic ingredients to keep the pests away. If organic strawberries are not available, make sure to wash the fruits thoroughly like you would do that for yourself.

Cut the strawberries into small pieces, especially if you have a small dog so your pooch wouldn’t choke on them. This way, it also helps your pet to digest them better. You can mash the strawberries as well. This way, you can even mix them with your pet’s food. Just remember, any other food with strawberry flavor is not meant for dogs.

Lastly, remove all the stems and leaves, these can pose a choking hazard and can contain pesticides that are hard to wash off.

Here is a video to show that dogs really like strawberries:

What to do if your pooch ate too many strawberries

Your pooch should only eat strawberries in small quantities. This way, your dog can get the most health benefits out of these fruits.

Too many strawberries in one sitting will cause stomach ache and diarrhea. Strawberries should be introduced gradually in small amounts. Moreover, you should observe your dogs behavior after feeding any new foods. However, it’s best to consult with your dog’s vet before introducing any new foods to its diet.

It’s rare but some dogs may be allergic to strawberries.

But what should you do if your pooch has gobbled up too many strawberries in one sitting?

Most likely your dog will experience digestive problems, vomiting, and loose stool. Your dog should bounce back in 24 hours though. If your dog still shows these symptoms after 24 hours, you should consult with the vet.

While your dog suffers from over consumption of strawberries, you should put your pup somewhere in an area where it’s easy for you to clean up after him. Monitor your dog for 24 hours after that incident to make sure that he gets better and no long-term damage has been done. Make sure your pup has fresh water since he may become dehydrated which is caused by vomiting and diarrhea.

Luckily , strawberry is a safe fruit and not toxic like grapes so overeating on these fruits will not cause a fatal effect.

Can dogs be allergic to strawberries?

It’s rare but yes, some dogs might be allergic to strawberries. It’s recommended to talk to your vet before adding strawberries to your pooch’s diet.

Signs of allergic reaction include lethargy, vomiting, and decreased appetite. This is the reason you should always observe your pet’s behavior after feeding him any new foods, including strawberries.

Start out gradually with small amounts and observe your pet for the next 24 hours.

Can strawberries be poisonous to dogs?

No, strawberries are not poisonous to dogs if they are clean, fresh and washed properly. However, strawberries can be sprayed with toxic substances which can pose health risks to your pooch. So make sure to wash the fruits thoroughly before giving them to your pup. Also, remove the stems and leaves.

Can puppies eat strawberries

Yes, puppies can enjoy some strawberries as well. It’s better to mash them up first when feeding them to puppies. However, puppies younger than 6 months, should eat their puppy food instead.

If you really want to give your younger puppies some strawberries, start out with a very small amount and mash them up so your puppy can digest them better.

Puppies have a more delicate digestive system so it’s best to consult with your veterinarian first before making any changes to your pup’s diet.

Conclusion

Coming back to the original question, yes your dogs can eat strawberries. Strawberries are not just okay for a dog to eat, they are actually a beneficial dietary supplement as mentioned above. Strawberries strengthen your dog’s bone structure and immune system. They can even whiten your pooch’s teeth. Whether mashed up and added to their standard dog food, or cut into pieces as a little between meal times snack, strawberries are a great addition to a dog’s diet.

Just don’t over do it. Make sure to start out gradually and with small amounts. Always observe your dog after introducing any new foods to his diet. Keep an eye on your dog for the first 24 hours when adding strawberries to his food. If you don’t see any unusual behavior or digestive distress, you can keep giving strawberries to your pet in moderation.

Don’t forget to wash the strawberries thoroughly before giving them to your pet. Mash up the strawberries or cut them into small pieces. You can add them into your dogs regular food or just serve small pieces as a delicious snack. Your pooch will get the nutritional benefits in either way.

Avoid any strawberry-flavored snacks such as strawberry chocolate, yogurt, milk shake, cake or any other sweet foods not suitable for dogs. Fresh strawberry are the only form that is beneficial for your dog. 

 

 

References:

http://www.akc.org/learn/dog-health/feed-dog-strawberries/

http://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_multi_healthy_snacks

http://www.azvets.com/can-dogs-eat-strawberries/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=32

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