Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?

By Kevin Myers | 2021 Update

When the summer season comes, we like to share the tasty fruits of the season, like strawberries, with our dogs.

So can you feed your dog strawberries?

Yes, strawberries are safe for dogs, provided you feed them in moderate amounts. They contain lots of water and vitamin C that can be beneficial to your dog’s health.

But does that mean your dog can eat all fruits? And is there any danger in feeding strawberries?

Read on to find out!

Can dogs eat strawberries?

Strawberries are a healthy and relatively safe treat for dogs. They contain lots of water, are rich in fiber, and act as a vitamin C supplement. These nutrients can improve your dog’s digestive health, immunity, and hydration level. Another interesting benefit of strawberries is that they can whiten your dog’s teeth since they contain malic acid.

But like all things, feed them in moderation. They should only replace your dog’s portion of treats, not become a meal replacement. Treats should only account for 10% of your dog’s total caloric intake, so adjust strawberries into that portion accordingly.

Remember only to feed your dog fresh and organic strawberries. Sometimes, farmers can process their strawberries with chemicals that can be toxic or harmful to dogs. Always buy them from a producer that you trust and one that sells fresh stock only.

Ways to feed strawberries to dogs

When it comes to feeding strawberries, you can experiment with different ways to see which one suits your dog best. Before serving, always remember to wash your strawberries thoroughly to remove any chemicals or dirt and remove the stem. Here are some of the best ways to feed your dog strawberries:

1. Chop them into small bites

Probably the quickest and safest way to serve strawberries is to chop them up into small bites to prevent your dog from choking on the berries and make them easier to digest and chew. Remember to cut the strawberries into bites that are appropriate for your dog’s size.

2. Mash them up or puree them

This option is best for small and toy breeds that can choke on even on small bites. To do this, use a potato masher to crush the strawberries or use a food processor to make a fine puree. You can feed them with another treat or add them to your dog’s kibbles for a tangy and sweet meal.

3. Feed them as whole

If you have a large dog, you can feed them whole strawberries. Whole strawberries are a quick option and work best when you’re trying to teach your dog to catch treats, or you’re feeding them on the go. But remember, this is only appropriate for large and extra-large canines that weigh over 60lbs, not medium or small breeds

4. Make frozen strawberry treats

Frozen strawberries make for a very refreshing treat during the summer season. You can choose to freeze cut-up bites for large dogs or freeze mashed or period strawberries in small cubes for smaller breeds. Freezing also preserves the strawberries, so you can use them even after the season ends.

Which strawberries you should not feed

Even though strawberries are safe for dogs, you still need to be wary about their risks. Here are a few situations in which strawberries can be dangerous to your dog:

1. Canned or processed strawberries

While fresh strawberries don’t pose any hazard, the same cannot be said for canned or processed ones. Most canned strawberries contain high levels of sugar, which can irritate your dog’s stomach and cause diabetes and weight gain in the long run. Sometimes, canned food manufacturers add an artificial sweetener called xylitol to strawberries which is fatal to dogs even in small quantities.

2. Excessive quantities of strawberries

Like every other food, strawberries are also healthy in moderate quantities. They contain lots of sugar, which can be harmful if fed in large amounts over time. High sugar intake can increase the chances of diabetes and weight gain in dogs.

3. Strawberries on other food items

Sometimes, you might want to feed your dog a few strawberries from a pie or pastry. Unfortunately, most of these strawberries are highly processed, containing lots of preservatives and chemicals. These can pose a hazard to your dog in most cases.

4. Strawberries for allergic dogs

Although allergic reactions to strawberries are rare, you should always keep an eye on symptoms. If you notice any signs of itching or digestive problems, contact your vet right away. We highly recommend getting your vet’s advice on feeding strawberries as a precautionary measure.

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Other fruits dogs can eat

Aside from strawberries, there are many tasty and nutritious fruits that you can feed your dog. Here is a list of our favorite ones:

1. Apples

Many dogs love to eat apples due to their crunchy and juicy texture. Apples are also rich in vitamin A and C, strengthening your dog’s immune system and fiber that improves digestion. You can cut them up into small pieces and feed them right away or freeze them for a cool and tasty treat. Always remember to remove the pits from apples as they contain cyanide. 

2. Bananas

As a berry family member, bananas are also a safe and super healthy fruit for dogs. They contain various minerals such as potassium, copper, biotin and are a great source of fiber. Bananas should be cut up into small pieces and mashed up or pureed for easier serving. However, bananas are high in sugar so remember to feed them only in moderation.

3. Blueberries

Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants for dogs and are a common ingredient in most dog foods. They help prevent cell damage from oxidation and protect your dog against heart diseases. Blueberries also contain fiber and tannins that help prevent urinary tract infections.

4. Raspberries

Like blueberries, raspberries are also safe for dogs and are rich in antioxidants, making them an excellent choice for senior canines. They are also rich in vitamin C, fiber, and manganese, which can strengthen your dog’s immunity and digestive efficiency. But remember to feed them in low amounts as they can contain some quantity of xylitol.

5. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is an age-old remedy used to soothe the stomach of dogs. It can help with multiple gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea and stomach inflammation. It’s also rich in vitamins A and C and fiber, making it an excellent treatment for constipation. 

6. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is full of water and fiber, which makes it excellent support to your dog’s digestive system. It also contains very few calories and numerous vitamins and minerals, making it a highly nutritious treat. But like bananas, it has a lot of sugar which makes it harmful if fed in large quantities, especially to dogs that are already diabetic or overweight.

7. Mangoes

Mangoes are another super-tasty fruit that has many nutritional benefits for dogs. They are full of vitamin A, B6, C, and E, along with fiber which assists your dog’s digestion. Unfortunately, mangoes also contain lots of sugar and should not be fed in large quantities. Their pit also contains traces of cyanide, so feed your dog only the fleshy part of mangoes.

8. Cucumber

Cucumber is a refreshing treat for dogs that is also surprisingly highly nutritious. Apart from their high water content, they’re also virtually free from carbohydrates and sugar. Cucumbers also contain various vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, copper, and vitamin B1, C, and K.

9. Watermelons

After removing the seeds and rind, watermelons are completely safe for dogs and serve as an excellent source of hydration. They also carry vitamin A, B6, C, and potassium which makes them nutritious and hydrating. Watermelon bites can be served fresh or in frozen form for a vitalizing treat during the summer season.

Fruits that dogs should never eat

While every fruit seems harmless to us, some of them may contain chemicals that might be harmful or even fatal to dogs. Here’s a list of fruits that you should never feed your dog:

1. Avocados

Avocados contain a chemical called persin that can be fatal to dogs in even minute quantities. The pit, leaves, skin, and even the fruit itself carry persin, which can trigger vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach issues. If your dog accidentally consumes some of it, keep a close eye on them for any signs of gastrointestinal discomfort for 24 to 48 hours.

2. Grapes and raisins

As harmless as they may seem, just one or two grapes or raisins have the potential to cause sudden kidney failure or even death in dogs. It is unknown what causes this severe reaction, so we urge you to keep grapes and raisins away from your dog at all times.

3. Cherries

The pit of cherries contains cyanide which can disrupt oxygen absorption and lead to severe poisoning. When the red blood cells become oxygen-deficient, your dog’s pupils will become dilated, they will start breathing heavily, and might even suffer from convulsions or paralysis. Cyanide poisoning can be fatal within minutes, so keep them in a secure location away from your dog’s reach.

4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a chemical called solanine inside the green leaf or center. This chemical can lead to neurological and stomach problems but isn’t usually fatal in small quantities. Still, we advise you to avoid tomatoes altogether and feed your dog other nutritious fruits and vegetables.

FAQs

Can dogs eat strawberries every day?

Yes, you can feed your dog strawberries every day. But remember not to give them too many at a time. A general rule of thumb is only to feed your dog 2 to 3 strawberries a day, depending on their total caloric intake. 

Can dogs eat strawberry ice cream?

No, strawberry ice cream is not safe for dogs since it contains milk. Since dogs are lactose intolerant, milk and other dairy items can cause diarrhea and digestive upsets. The only recommended form of strawberries you should feed dogs are fresh, unprocessed strawberries.

How should you start feeding your dog strawberries?

You should slowly incorporate strawberries and other fruits into your dog’s diet to prevent any adverse reaction. Start with a few bites of a single strawberry, check for any symptoms of allergy or digestive upsets, and then slowly increase the quantity if your dog doesn’t react negatively.

What are the signs of poisoning in dogs?

Some of the most common signs of poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, lethargy and weakness, loss of appetite, and pale gums. If you notice any of the above signs, take your dog to the vet straight away or get one on your phone.

Are strawberry leaves dangerous for dogs?

Strawberry leaves aren’t dangerous for dogs; they are difficult to digest and can cause mild digestive upset if fed in large quantities. We recommend removing all leaves and stems from strawberries and only providing the red fleshy part to your dog.