Strawberries are popular summer fruits and a warm-weather staple. As you integrate more fresh fruits into your diet this summer, you are probably wondering if it is okay to give your dog some strawberries from your plate. This is a good question because you and your dog have different systems and nutritional needs. Read on to know if your dogs can eat strawberries and if they are safe for your dog.
So, can dogs eat strawberries?
The short answer is yes. Dogs can eat strawberries. They are delicious and sweet, and most dogs will love them as an occasional treat, particularly during the summer when strawberries are in season. This is a yummy fruit and a healthy boost for your dog. Strawberries are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. They also help in strengthening immunity. You should cut them into small pieces to avoid choking your dog or mash them for smaller dogs.
Benefits Of Strawberries for Dogs
Strawberries are a delicious, low-calorie treat for your dog, high in vitamin C, B, K, fiber, and antioxidants. Other healthy ingredients of the low-calorie strawberries include; potassium, iodine, folic acid, and magnesium. According to the American Kennel Club, these juicy fruits have been proven to provide a wide range of health benefits. These include; strengthening the immune system, improving dental health, supporting weight management, and inhibiting the aging process. According to Healthline.com, imparts that strawberries have malic acid, a natural tooth cleanser that helps your dog’s teeth shine bright. So, while it won’t perform any dental wonders, some strawberries could help your dog uphold a cleaner mouth. Strawberries are also a perfect source of omega-3, which is helpful in improving the health of your dog’s coat and skin.
When Are Strawberries Not Good for Dogs?
Like every other good thing, strawberries are best enjoyed in moderation. Strawberries are not poisonous or toxic to dogs, but they have sugar, and consuming too much can cause stomach upset. You should hence feed strawberries to your dogs in moderation and consult your nutritionist or veterinarian on the right serving sizes of your dog. If you have a garden of strawberries, always monitor your dog’s access to the garden to ensure they don’t overeat. Also, if you are using herbicides or pesticides, don’t allow your dogs to eat these fruits. Processed or canned strawberries and products or sweets that contain artificial strawberries are not healthy for dogs. They normally contain syrup, excess sugar, sweeteners, preservatives, chemicals, and xylitol or chocolates that are toxic for your dog. If your dog eats these foods, you may need to take them for an emergency visit to the vet. As it’s the case with most foods, there is a probability that your dog might develop allergic reactions to strawberries. Per Dogtime.com, this can rarely cause anaphylaxis, a condition that might be fatal to your dog. If you notice any sign of allergic reaction on your dog’s such as coughing, swelling, difficulty breathing, hives, or sneezing, you should stop giving strawberries to your dog and consult a veterinarian immediately. If your dog is already overweight or with conditions such as digestive problems or diabetes, you should consider holding off giving them fruits such as strawberries as they might worsen the health conditions.
How Should You Introduce Your Dog to Strawberries?
Some dogs may not know what to do with the new strawberries’ texture. You can hence start by trying to feed them strawberries in the form of frozen treats. Veterinarians recommend that whatever you serve them, you start slowly first to observe if they like them. Feed a single strawberry to him and see his reaction. This will also mean that you will immediately notice if they are causing any problem to your dog. Contact your veterinarian in case of any digestive issues, stomach upset, and a lot of scratching. This will be an indication that strawberries are not suitable for your dog.
Which Is the Right Way to Feed Strawberries to Your Dog?
As stated earlier, it is always advisable to consult your veterinarian before giving human food to your dog. Some dogs have medical issues that might get worse after eating strawberries. More so, you should always consult with your nutritionist or veterinarian about the suitable serving sizes for your dog. If the vet approves you to feed strawberries to your dog, ensure you give them organic, fresh, and clean berries free from herbicides, pesticides, and preservatives. While these preservatives help retain the strawberry’s red color and ripe, sweet flavor, the added sugar is unhealthy for your dog. The preservatives and sugars can influence your dog’s behavior, such as being hyper, which over time upsurges the risk of weight-related problems such as diabetes and obesity. Like humans, too much sugar can also damage your dog’s teeth, leading to tooth decay.
Strawberries are relatively small and soft fruits; hence, the risk of choking your dog is minimal. However, it would be best if you cut them into smaller pieces for maximum safety or mash them, particularly for smaller pups. You can mix strawberries in your dog’s meal for a unique treat, a reward during training, or even freeze them to serve as a refreshing snack for your dog during the summer. Also, you can blend them or mix them with other healthy fruits to make a nice fruit salad or smoothie for your dog. Remember to always inquire with your vet before giving your dog any additional human food.
Other Fruity Treats for Your Dog
Veterinarians recommend any treat should make only about 10 percent of your dog’s diet. Other than strawberries, there are other types of fruits that are healthy and safe for your dog. These include:
- Frozen bananas
- Peeled Mango (remove the pit)
- Apples (remove the core and seeds)
- Watermelon (remove the seeds)
That’s it; your dog can eat strawberries. While some summer fruits are unfriendly such as cherries or grapes, strawberries are safe fruits for your pet as long as you clean them properly and serve them in small pieces to avoid choking or intestinal upsets. But like any other treat, ensure you feed them in moderation.