Can Dogs Eat Strawberries, Are They Safe or Dangerous?

Written by Shaunice Lewis
Updated: June 15, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/Ирина Мещерякова
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Sharing food with your dog is a part of being a pet parent for many people. But when it’s time to share pieces of your fruits or vegetables, you may begin wondering what’s safe for your dog to eat and what’s not. Not all fruits and vegetables are safe for your dog to eat, but luckily strawberries are. Not only are they safe for your dog to eat, but they are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that will help keep your dog healthy and happy. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of strawberries for dogs.

Health Benefits of Strawberries for Dogs

Strawberries are loaded with healthy antioxidants that fight off free radicals in your dog’s body and help protect its cells from damage. They are also low calorie and are a good source of dietary fiber and Vitamin C. Let’s take a closer look at some of the vitamins and minerals that can be found in strawberries:

  • Vitamin C: This is a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals that would normally go on to destroy the healthy cells in your dog’s body. It also works to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Vitamin C is believed to help reduce the effects of cognitive aging in senior digs and can also help fight off cancer.
  • Protein and fats: Strawberries are low in both protein and fats, which makes them safe for dogs that may be suffering from kidney failure.
  • Manganese: This is a micro-mineral that helps support the metabolizing of both proteins and fatty acids. It also supports energy production and the role of ligament and bone maintenance which helps your dog maintain its mobility, even into older age.
  • Potassium: This helps to support your dog’s kidneys and heart and keep them both functioning at their best. It also maintains the normal functioning of the digestive system and muscles.
  • Folate (Vitamin B9 or folic acid): This is important for DNA synthesis and the production of red blood cells.
  • Magnesium: Important for cell energy and may help with relaxation and calming anxiety.
  • Fiber: Strawberries are high in both fiber and water content and help to promote healthy digestion by pushing food through the digestive system. It also helps to assist in healthy weight control and can prevent constipation and diarrhea in your dog.
  • Antioxidants: These help to combat the ability of free radicals to wreak havoc on your dog’s body by stopping them from causing damage to molecules and cells. Free radicals can be brought on by stress, illness, environmental toxins, age, and some diseases.
  • Malic Acid: This is an enzyme that offers an additional bonus to your dog—which is its teeth-whitening abilities.

Just like many other fruits and vegetables, the vitamins that can be found within strawberries can help slow down the aging process, promote healthy weight maintenance, and keep the immune system functioning at its peak.

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Things to Consider Before Feeding Your Dog Strawberries

Even though strawberries make a great snack and are full of healthy nutrients, there are still a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind if you plan on feeding them to your dog. Let’s go over some of those precautions:

Strawberries contain natural sugars and are high in sugar content. These sugars, although they come from a natural source, can present problems for your dog—especially if your dog is overweight or has diabetes. Prior to offering your dog strawberries, you should check with your veterinarian to get specific recommendations on safe serving amounts for your dog, as strawberries should only be used as an occasional treat.

You will also need to be aware that although it is not very common, it is possible for your dog to have an allergy to strawberries. The protein in strawberries that gives them their beautiful, vibrant red color can sometimes cause allergic reactions in both people and dogs. After feeding your dog strawberries, keep an eye out for signs of an allergy that would include things like vomiting, diarrhea, hives, or skin itchiness. If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that your dog is allergic to strawberries. If this is the case, you should stop feeding your dog strawberries right away and consult your vet.

Also, before you offer strawberries to your dog, be sure to remove the tops or the leaves of the strawberry, as well as any stems. While the leaves are non-toxic, they do not taste good to your dog. They have a bitter taste that your dog will not enjoy and are very difficult to digest. If your dog eats strawberry leaves, it can cause an upset stomach or other digestion issues.

Can My Dog Eat Canned Strawberries?

You want to avoid feeding your dog any fruits that come canned. This is because canned fruit is usually packed in sugar and syrup to help maintain its freshness and this is very bad for your dog’s health. The excess sugars and calories that are found in canned fruits defeat the purpose of feeding your dog strawberries as a healthy snack. It’s also important to keep in mind that most canned fruits contain extra additives like artificial sweeteners such as xylitol. This additive is dangerous and can even be deadly to your dog, so it’s important to make sure you’re not feeding your dog canned fruit that has been processed with this additive.

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Can My Dog Eat Strawberry Muffins as a Treat?

Although strawberries make a healthy snack for dogs and are great to serve as a treat, you should not give your dog all things that have strawberries in them — including muffins. Strawberry muffins have a lot of other ingredients besides strawberries in them that won’t all agree with your dog’s digestive system. Muffins are normally very high in sugar and carbs. Dogs should not eat a high-calorie or high-carb diet. If they do, it would be easy for them to gain an unhealthy amount of weight. Weight gain in dogs puts them at a higher risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

If you want to make a strawberry muffin that is healthy for your dog to eat, you can use dog-friendly ingredients and create a homemade version that is low in both sugar and carbs as well as minimal milk ingredients. That way, it is less likely for your dog to develop an upset stomach after he eats them. Even if you make a homemade healthier version, only give your dog a small amount at a time so that he doesn’t get sick afterward.

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How Can I Introduce Strawberries to My Dog?

Whenever you’re trying to feed your dog something new it is important to start off slowly. This is for multiple reasons, but you want to be sure that your dog doesn’t get an upset stomach from consuming the strawberries. If your dog is having a problem with the texture of strawberries, you can try serving them as a frozen treat instead or try mashing them up and combining them with other dog-safe fruits.

Starting off slowly by feeding your dog small pieces of strawberries also means that you’ll be able to notice if your dog is reacting badly to them since as we mentioned before, dogs can sometimes be allergic to them. If you notice your dog has an upset stomach or any other digestive issues after consuming strawberries, your dog may have an allergy to them. Your vet will be able to confirm this for you, so be sure to get your dog seen by them afterward.

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Different Ways to Prepare Strawberries for Your Dog

Both frozen and fresh strawberries have the same nutritional value, so serving them either way to your dog is fine. Fresh strawberries are the simplest, easiest way to serve your dog strawberries. Just be sure to cut off the strawberry leaves from the top since your dog can not digest these easily. You can also try serving strawberries with other healthy dog-safe fruits like blueberries, bananas, or pineapple, with plain yogurt to create a healthy smoothie for your dog to enjoy during warm weather.

Another way to prepare the fruit is to puree the berries along with other veggies like green beans or citrus fruits like oranges. Place the mixture in ice cube trays and then serve them as a frozen treat for your dog to help them keep cool. You can also add them to your dog’s food bowl along with his healthy dog food to add an additional boost of nutrition.

Overall

Strawberries make a wonderful healthy snack to give to your dog as a treat. They are full of vitamins and nutrients that help support your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. If you’re giving your dog strawberries for the first time, be sure to cut off the leaves at the top and remove any stems before serving, as these can pose choking hazards and be difficult for your dog to digest. Always start off slow and introduce small pieces of strawberry to your dog, that way you can be sure he doesn’t have any allergies or develop an upset stomach. If you notice any signs of an allergy or upset stomach, stop giving strawberries to your dog and get in touch with your veterinarian right away.

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About the Author

Freelance writer specializing in natural health and wellness.