Can Dogs Eat Strawberries? Is it Safe?
Besides being delicious, strawberries are a great treat for both humans and dogs. The truth is that strawberries include a wide variety of healthy nutrients. However, when it’s time to give them to your dog, moderation is the key.
While strawberries aren’t poisonous or toxic to dogs, the reality is that they also contain a lot of sugar and some dogs may suffer from an upset stomach.
As a word of caution here regarding strawberries or any kind of human food, you should always ask your veterinarian if it is ok to give them to your dog. After all, under certain medical conditions, strawberries may not be a good treat for your dog.
The Benefits Of Giving Strawberries To Your Dog
Just like most humans love the delicious and sweet flavor of strawberries especially during the warm months when they’re in season, many of our furry friends love them too.
Besides this, strawberries are also packed with a lot of healthy nutrients. Strawberries are rich in Omega-3 which can do wonders for your dog’s coat and skin as well as containing fiber which is good for digestion.
While you may have always associated citrus as the best sources of vitamin C, the truth is that strawberries are just as good.
In addition, this fruit is also rich in other vitamins including B1, B6, and K as well as folic acid, magnesium, iodine, and potassium.
When Are Strawberries Bad For Dogs?
As we already mentioned above, moderation is the key. After all, since strawberries contain a lot of sugar, this can be bad for your dog’s health. In the event you’ve given a lot of strawberries to your dog, he may suffer from an upset stomach.
It is always advisable that before you even give a single strawberry to your dog, ask your veterinarian first.
One of the things that you need to be extra careful of is in case you have a strawberry garden. In this case, you should definitely monitor your dog’s access to it so that he can’t eat them without supervision. This is especially true if you use any herbicides or pesticides.
While you and your dog may love strawberries, it’s hard to find them off-season. So, your only options may be to buy processed or canned strawberries or other products that include artificial strawberry flavors.
However, these shouldn’t even be considered as an option. The reality is that these kinds of products tend to contain a lot of sugar, preservatives, sweeteners, syrup, and chemicals.
Besides, some of them (especially sweets that contain strawberries) may even contain xylitol or chocolate which are, as you probably already know, toxic for dogs.
Some Dogs Are Allergic To Strawberries
Dogs also have allergies and your dog may be one of those canines that are allergic to strawberries. The reality is that this isn’t a rare condition and this is why it pays to be careful with your four-legged friend.
So, if you just gave some strawberries to your dog for the first time, you should monitor him. Some of the signs that may lead you to suspect that your dog is having an allergic reaction to strawberries include:
- Itchy skin
- Difficulty breathing
In case any of these occur, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
How To Introduce Your Dog To Strawberries
When introducing strawberries in to your dog’s diet, you should always start slowly, The number one reason is that you can’t be sure yet if your dog is allergic to this fruit.
So, by giving him only one strawberry you can monitor him closely and in case he is allergic, the reaction won’t be so severe. The second reason is that some dogs may find the strawberry’s texture a bit unappealing at first.
So, try to serve the strawberries as frozen treats so they can taste the fruit. Then, if your dog likes the treat, you can then add some to his food, but always in small amounts.
One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind when you are trying to feed your dog strawberries is that you want to make sure that they are always fresh, organic strawberries that haven’t been treated with any herbicides, pesticides or preservatives.
If your dog is still small, you may consider cutting the strawberries into smaller pieces or even smashing them. While the risk of choking is minimal, some pet owners prefer to be safe than sorry.
Since most dogs love strawberries, what many dog owners do is to use these healthy fruits as a special treat. Some freeze them for a refreshing summer snack while others opt to use strawberries as a reward during training.
What about other Berries?
Can you also feed your dog with other berries beside strawberries? The simple answer is yes.
The truth is that cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries can also be added to your dog’s diet.
It should be noted that not all berries are safe for dogs. In fact, there are some berries that should always be avoided. These include berries with pits and juniper berries.
Adding More Fruits To Your Dog’s Diet
As a pet owner, you are always trying to do the best you can for your pupper. So, it is only natural that you want your dog to maintain a healthy diet and one of the things you can do is add some fruits.
Some veterinarians actually recommend that the treats you give your dog should only be about 10% of your dog’s diet. So, you do in fact have some room to add some other healthy fruits such as:
• Frozen bananas
• Mango (make sure that you peel it first and remove the pit)
• Watermelon (make sure that you remove all seeds)
• Apples (make sure that you remove all seeds and the core).