Chihuahua about to eat strawberries

Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Canine Safe Foods

Red, juicy and oh, so delicious, strawberries are one of our favourite summer treats. So it makes sense to want to share it with your pup, right? But before offering sweet berries to your pup, can dogs eat strawberry?

Our experts chipped in to help you figure it out once and for all!

Chihuahua puppy with strawberries

Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?

The short answer is yes.

Strawberries are usually top of the list of fruits dogs can eat. They are a great sweet treat for your pup and can be used to round up their micronutrient intake. Like other fresh fruit, strawberries are full of healthy vitamins, fibre and antioxidants that can boost your dog’s health. In fact, according to WebMD, these specific berries are in the top 20 fruits with the most antioxidants! [1]

However, remember that strawberries should be considered an occasional treat. This means that vets recommend they constitute 10% of your dog’s weekly intake at most.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Oranges?


Benefits Of Strawberries For Dogs

These red berries are nature’s candy! Researchers have found many positives to eating strawberries:

  • Excellent source of vitamin C: This is one of the main benefits of strawberries for dogs. These berries are a valuable vitamin C source, and only 8 of them have more of it than a whole orange! Vitamin C is a great antioxidant and is essential for a strong immune system and healthy skin.
  • Low in carbs: Most of what makes up strawberries is water! This means that even though they taste relatively sweet, they are lower in carbs than other fruits. This could make them a great option if you’re trying to limit your dog’s carb intake or you want a treat for a dog that needs to lose weight.

PRO TIP: Always ask your vet before putting your dog on a low carb diet. Dogs, like other omnivorous animals, need carbs to stay healthy! A vet will evaluate your dog and tell you the specific amounts they need to stay healthy.

  • Rich in fibre: Strawberries have a high proportion of fibre, both soluble and insoluble. These two types of fibre have been proven to have many health benefits. For example, consistent consumption of insoluble fibre lowers “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. Plus, fibre-rich foods nourish your dog’s gut microbiome. Having a healthy and diverse gut flora is strongly linked to better long-term health, less inflammation and a longer life span.
  • Lots of minerals: Strawberries are rich in manganese and potassium. While very different both of these are essential for many cellular functions. In fact, potassium in particular is key to regulate blood pressure, ensure muscle health and keep the brain functioning. While most balanced dog foods offer a good balance of these minerals, it won’t hurt to add them through strawberries!

How To Feed Strawberries To A Dog

Step 1. Choose ripe berries

Strawberries and other berries can be very acidic if eaten unripe! Up your chances of your dog liking them by choosing ripe ones. To know if the ones you have are ripe (or ready for picking, if you have a garden), just smell them. Once they smell sweet and strong, they’re ready. Keep in mind these berries taste the best when in season, so from late spring to late summer.

PRO TIP: Don’t choose green strawberries hoping they’ll ripen at home! Strawberries get darker as they age, but their sugar content doesn’t increase [2].

Step 2. Wash them

Unfortunately, strawberries are in the dirty dozen list. This means they tend to be heavily treated with pesticides to keep bugs away. If you can, choose organic berries that haven’t been treated with pesticides.

Whether you buy “regular” strawberries or organic, always wash them thoroughly before offering them to your dog. To do it, fill a container with lukewarm water and let them sit for 5 minutes or so. Then softly rinse them, being careful not to rip the skin.

Step 3. Cut them up

If you have a large dog, you can probably skip this step. The point here is ensuring the strawberry chunks are small enough so they can pass through your dog’s throat. This is especially important if your dog doesn’t chew that much (I know mine don’t!).

For small dogs (like a chihuahua), cutting it up in very small pieces is essential!

Step 4. Watch them afterwards

This is key if your dog has never eaten strawberries before. After eating the new food, keep an eye on them for around 24 hours or so. Look out for gastrointestinal irritation signs, like vomiting, diarrhoea, loose stools or bloating.

If your dog shows these symptoms, it probably means strawberries aren’t the right snack for them. If, on the other hand, they look fine and healthy, you can probably add them to their treat rotation!

Check out our other fruit related articles:


References

  1. Gabrick, Andrea. Nutritional benefits of the strawberry. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/nutritional-benefits-of-the-strawberry
  2. Strawberry101. Live eat learn. https://www.liveeatlearn.com/strawberry/
Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is a dog lover & anthropologist. She enjoys writing content that will actually help people understand their dogs better. Eloisa is able to use her expertise to write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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