Food toxicity is a common concern among dog owners. After it became public knowledge that some foods were toxic, questions about the safety of other foods received a lot of attention in the media.
In terms of toxicity, chocolate, grapes and raisins, and peanut butter are at the top of the list. After hearing about the risks associated with these foods, many pet owners have started to inquire as to whether or not their dogs can eat other human foods, such as strawberries.
Read “The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat” to find out more about the foods that dogs should not eat.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
The strawberry plant produces red, sweet, soft fruit that can be round, oblong, spherical, or heart-shaped. Strawberries are grown all over the world, and annual production is predicted to be close to 10 million metric tons.
Strawberry fruit is borne on a low-growing green plant that bears white flowers. They are a global crop.
Strawberries are a versatile fruit that can be eaten on their own or incorporated into a variety of other dishes (such as desserts, drinks, and savory dishes).
Candies, fragrances, cosmetics, candles, and many other items use the flavor and aroma.
The first cultivated strawberries probably arrived in North America sometime in the middle of the eighteenth century, and the belief is that they were brought from France.
Recent media coverage has focused on the fact that the strawberry is technically an “accessory fruit,” rather than a “berry,” due to its biology.
Strawberry consumption among canine companions is confirmed. Strawberries are safe for dogs to eat in moderation. Many dogs enjoy this as a nutritious snack because of its soft, moist texture. The antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C in strawberries are beneficial to your health.
Benefits of Strawberries for Dogs
Fresh or unsweetened frozen strawberries offer a variety of health benefits for dogs, as noted by Dr. Bayazit. Just a few examples:
- Vitamin C, B1, B6, and K are abundant, making this a great choice for boosting your immune system.
- Potassium, iodine, magnesium, and folic acid are just some of the minerals found in abundance.
- High in fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.
- contain Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy hair and skin.
- have an enzyme in them that can bleach your dog’s teeth
The Dangers of Strawberries to Dogs
If consumed in large quantities, strawberries can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal distress. Ingestion of strawberry plants and stems can cause a rare but serious bowel obstruction.
Even though the plant and its leaves aren’t toxic, they’re not easy to eat. Problems manifest themselves in a variety of ways, some of which include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal pain, constipation, and/or a loss of appetite.
Strawberries present a choking hazard to dogs, especially when they consume a large, whole strawberry. For dogs that aren’t great “chewers,” there’s always the risk that they’ll choke on their food. In general, this is more prevalent in toy and miniature breeds of dogs.
Any products containing the artificial sweetener xylitol and a strawberry flavor should be avoided if your dog is around. Low-calorie or diet baked goods and beverages, such as those made for diabetics, may contain this. Explore the issues surrounding Xylitol toxicity in canines.
How to Feed Strawberries to Your Dog
Strawberry serving sizes for dogs should be determined in consultation with your veterinarian. Your dog needs a well-balanced diet that includes treats like strawberries. The advice of Dr. Bayazit is to
- Only give your dog fresh or unsweetened frozen strawberries. Never give them strawberries that have been processed in any way (i.e. canned, sugared, packed in syrup). These foods likely contain harmful preservatives and artificial sweeteners like xylitol, and the sugar content is already too high. Don’t give your dog any of the chocolate-covered treats, as chocolate is toxic to dogs.
- You can reduce the risk of choking by preparing berries without the stems, leaves, and tops and by cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Although eating leaves won’t kill you, it might make your stomach hurt.
- Making the berries more manageable by cutting them into bite-sized pieces; for smaller dogs, try mashing or pureeing them and mixing them in with their regular food.
- Use as a vitamin supplement by mixing a few small pieces into your dog’s regular food.
Although Dr. Bayazit recommends purchasing and serving organic strawberries whenever possible, he emphasizes the importance of thoroughly washing them before doing so.
Adding strawberries to your pet’s diet is a great way to vary their diet, but as with any new food, you should introduce them gradually to check on their digestion. If your dog has soft stools or diarrhea, it may be because he has eaten too many strawberries or because he is allergic to them.
How much should a dog eat?
Small amounts of fruits like strawberries can be given to puppies as treats without worrying about them getting sick.
When deciding how much of a treat to give a dog, it’s also important to take the dog’s size into account. Generally speaking, larger dogs should be fed more than smaller dogs.
The senior director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Dr. Tina Wismer, stresses the importance of a balanced diet for pets.
She recommends limiting snacking to no more than 5% of a person’s daily caloric intake, so remember to serve only small amounts.
Do Dogs Need Strawberries?
Strawberries don’t provide anything that’s necessary for a dog’s daily life. A high-quality AAFCO-recognized dog food is what dogs really need. Discover more info on dog nutrition.
The Safest Way to Give Strawberries to Dogs
You should only feed your dog very small pieces of fresh, clean strawberries. The stem or leaves of a strawberry should never be fed to a dog.
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Strawberries?
Strawberries are a rare allergen for dogs, but it’s possible they could have an allergy to something else.
Can dogs eat strawberry leaves?
Even though strawberries aren’t technically toxic to dogs, there may be other issues if they eat the leaves, stems, or any other part of the plant.
Dr. Hodges advises that dogs avoid consuming any plant parts other than berries. They are so difficult to chew that they are almost impossible to swallow. The gastrointestinal tract (GI) is vulnerable to damage from stems and other hard or sharp parts.
Can dogs eat strawberry ice cream?
Ice cream is not a good idea for dogs, according to experts. A lot of canines, like a lot of people, have problems digesting lactose. As a result, they have trouble processing lactose, the sugar found in milk.
Why are dogs lactose intolerant?
Dogs have an increased amount of the lactase enzyme, which helps digest lactose, in their systems when they are young.
After weaning, a dog’s lactase production drops significantly. As a result, most adult dogs will have some transient gastrointestinal issues after consuming ice cream, including diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and abdominal pain.
Milk proteins or other ingredients used in the ice cream’s processing could trigger an allergic reaction in some canine consumers.
Other reasons not to give dogs ice cream
There is a lot of sugar and fat, particularly saturated fats, in ice cream. There is a correlation between this and the development of diabetes, as excess weight increases the danger of developing the disease.
Dr. Wismer warns that giving your dog food that is high in fat or sugar can cause pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that can require medical attention.
Ice cream alternatives
The experts say that while ice cream might not be the best treat for dogs, frozen strawberries that have been cut up are a great alternative.
Treats like ice cream alternatives are encouraged by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Nice cream is made by blending frozen ripe bananas.
Specialty shops, dog cafes, the internet, and even some grocery stores stock dog-friendly ice creams.
Can dogs eat strawberry yogurt?
Yogurt, according to Dr. Hodges, can be a healthy option for dogs that can eat it. The lactose in yogurt is partially fermented away by beneficial bacteria during the manufacturing process, making it more digestible for both humans and canines. Probiotics, a type of beneficial bacteria, can also aid digestion.
But, she stresses, plain yogurt containing active cultures is your best bet. Many flavored yogurts contain unhealthy levels of sugar and artificial sweeteners like xylitol.
Strawberry-flavored foods to avoid
Strawberries, whether fresh or frozen, should be fed to dogs in their raw form, as recommended by the experts.
According to Jerry Klein, DVM, chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club, feeding fruit that has been sugared or packed in syrup adds even more sugar and calories and negates the benefit of feeding a “healthy” treat.
Moreover, he warns that artificial sweeteners like xylitol may be present in some canned or sweetened berries, making them harmful to dogs.
Dr. Hodges recommends staying away from any berry products that have been preserved, dried, or otherwise processed, as it’s impossible to know for sure what they contain or whether they were exposed to any harmful substances during production.
Juices made from fruits also have more sugar and calories than eating whole fruits, but none of the health benefits.
Foods unsafe for dogs
Unfortunately, just as humans can’t safely eat everything dogs eat, dogs can’t eat everything humans eat.
Based on research and the advice of reputable animal welfare groups, here is a list of foods that should never be fed to a dog:
- Raisins and grapes
- garlic and chives
- fats used in cooking, such as oils or butter
- most salt and seasonings
- mixed nuts (macadamia, walnut, almond)
- The Proposition: Yeast Dough
- parts of plants and fruits, including seeds, pits, cores, skins, leaves, and stems
Dogs and their owners alike enjoy snacking on strawberries during the warmer months. In the same way that we take advantage of the abundance of in-season produce during the warmer months, we can also give our dogs a diet rich in these foods.
If you’re having trouble figuring out which fruits and vegetables are safe for your dog (here’s a hint: grapes are definitely not safe), rest assured that your best friend can have fresh strawberries.
Don’t give your dog canned strawberries or strawberries in syrup, though. The safety of your pet is compromised by these.