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Can Dogs Eat Strawberries? Benefits & Potential Side Effects

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Can dogs eat strawberries? - Dr. Axe

We know that strawberries are a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants for humans, and research has even linked strawberry consumption to a decreased risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer. Since they’re so good for humans, can dogs eat strawberries and see benefits too?

Many pet owners wonder if they’re a smart snack choice for their furry friends. Some healthy fruit snacks, such as raisins, are big no-nos for dogs. (Grapes and raisins are actually highly toxic to dogs!)

This is why it’s so important to know what fruits can dogs eat.

So can dogs eat strawberries? Let’s take a closer look at the safety of this juicy, red fruit when it comes to our four-legged friends.

Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?

What happens if a dog eats a strawberry? Will the dog get sick, or is it a healthy treat?

Strawberries are considered non-toxic to dogs and can be given to most in moderation.

Strawberries nutrition includes many essential nutrients so giving your dog strawberries can increase his or her intake of many health-promoting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

According to the American Kennel Club:

Strawberries are a healthy, low-calorie, sweet treat for your dog, full of antioxidants, high in fiber and vitamin C. Here’s a bonus. By giving your dog strawberries, you are also helping him stay healthy in more ways than one. For example, over time, fresh fruit may help slow down the aging process, strengthen the immune system, and help with weight management. Strawberries can also help whiten your pup’s teeth.

Some of the top potential benefits of strawberries for dogs include:

  1. Increased vitamin C consumption: As a rich source of vitamin C, strawberries can offer a boost to your pet’s immune system.
  2. Teeth-whitening effects: For both humans and canines, strawberries can help naturally whiten teeth.
  3. More fiber: Just like us, dogs can really benefit from consuming healthy sources of fiber. The fiber in strawberries can help boost digestive health and ward off constipation.
  4. High water content: Strawberries are water-rich fruit that can up your dog’s hydration, which is especially important on those hot summer days when coincidentally strawberries are in season.

Can dogs eat wild strawberries? Wild strawberries are not considered toxic to dogs if consumed.

However, it’s best to give dogs strawberries you purchase or grow yourself, and always wash them well before giving them to your dog.

How to Feed Strawberries to Dogs Safely

According to the American Kennel Club:

The safest way to serve strawberries is to wash them thoroughly and then cut the fruit up in small pieces to prevent choking and make it easier to digest. If you have a small dog, you can mash up the berries or puree them and add them to the dog’s food. Cut up, frozen strawberries make a nice, cool summer treat.

If you currently have some strawberry ice cream in your freezer and wonder: “Can dogs eat strawberry ice cream?” While dairy products may not be considered toxic to dogs, they aren’t a necessary part of a dog’s diet and can lead to upset stomach.

You’re better off giving a dog fresh strawberries. If you’re interested in giving strawberry ice cream as a treat, look for one that is dairy-free, but you’ll have to check the safety of the other ingredients.

Can dogs eat strawberry yogurt? Again, it’s not a great idea to give a dog dairy-based yogurt, but your canine may enjoy a dairy-free strawberry yogurt.

The added sugar in yogurts still make fresh strawberries a healthier choice.

As a treat, strawberries should only be given to dogs in moderation. The amount of strawberries recommended per day varies on your dog’s size and calorie intake.

Typically, experts recommend that treats should not make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s total calories for the day. One medium-sized strawberry contains about four calories.

Make sure to remove the stems and leaves of fresh strawberries before giving this fruity treat to your dog. The stems and leaves can cause stomach upset and also be chocking hazards.

What About Canned Strawberries?

You now know that it’s safe to give fresh strawberries to most dogs in moderation, but what about canned strawberries? Experts warn that you should not give your dog canned strawberries or strawberries in syrup.

Canned strawberries are loaded with sugar and extra calories and are certainly not a healthy treat for dogs (or humans).

Can Strawberries Be Bad for Some Dogs?

Strawberries may not agree with every dog. It’s important to check with your veterinarian about introducing new foods to your pet.

It’s also recommended to start off with very small qualities of strawberries and see how your dog reacts.

Strawberries can pose a chocking hazard, especially if you have a smaller dog. Make sure to cut them into very small bites or mash up the strawberries if you have a smaller dog.

If you have a large dog, whole strawberries or strawberries cut in half can work well.

If you’re wondering about the safety of other fruits, you may also want to check out these articles:

What About Cats?

We know the answer to can dogs eat strawberries, but can cats eat strawberries? According to the ASPCA, strawberries are considered non-toxic to cats.

As with dogs, it’s not recommended to give cats the stems and leaves of fresh strawberries as they can be difficult to digest and may even cause a gastrointestinal obstruction. In addition, too many strawberries can cause cats to experience gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation and decreased appetite.

How many strawberries can a cat safely consume in a day? A recommended serving size for cats is no more than half a strawberry daily.

Conclusion

  • Can dogs eat strawberries? Yes, most dogs can safely consume fresh or frozen strawberries in moderation.
  • Can dogs eat strawberries from a can? Dogs should not be given canned strawberries or strawberries in syrup.
  • Can cats eat strawberries too? Strawberries are also considered non-toxic to cats and are also typically OK in  moderation.
  • Strawberries can be a health-boosting treat for dogs loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  • They also have a high water content so they can help to keep your dog hydrated. They also offer natural teeth-whitening benefits.
  • Healthy treats, like strawberries, should not make up more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calorie intake. One medium strawberry contains about four calories.
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