It’s always tempting to share our favorite snacks with our furry friends, but not all human foods are safe for dogs. And some foods, including a few varieties of fruit, can be toxic for pups. If you’re wondering, “can dogs eat strawberries?” we’ve got you covered. While strawberries are generally okay for dogs, we have some safe feeding guidelines you’ll want to follow before giving them to your pup.
Can Dogs Have Strawberries?
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits for humans, and fortunately, they’re non-toxic for dogs. Most pups love the juicy, crunchy texture and sweet, tart taste. They’re an excellent treat, but they’re high in sugar, so it’s best to give them in moderation to avoid weight gain. A few small chunks of cut-up strawberries also make great food toppers to entice picky eaters.
Before giving your canine companion strawberries, make sure you wash them thoroughly to remove any pesticides or herbicides. We also recommend cutting or mashing them up so they don’t pose a choking hazard, especially if you have a small dog. You can even puree and freeze them in an ice cube tray for a refreshing frozen dog treat on a hot summer day.
Are the leaves and stems toxic for dogs? No, but they have a bitter taste that may not be too appealing to your pup. The stems and leaves may also cause an upset stomach or other digestive issues because their digestive systems don’t handle plants as well as humans. However, don’t worry if your pup eats the occasional strawberry top. It’s not dangerous.
If your canine companion is diabetic or overweight, the high-sugar content in strawberries can cause health problems, so it’s best to check with your veterinarian to see if they’re safe for your pup.
Are Strawberries Good For Dogs?
Not only are strawberries a tasty treat for our furry friends, but they also have several health benefits that make them a better snack choice than high-calorie processed dog treats. These benefits include:
- Extremely rich in vitamin C and antioxidants for cell, immune, and bone health
- Good source of potassium for muscle, heart, and kidney function
- Contain omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat health
- High-fiber content is good for digestive health
- High-water content for a hydrating treat on a hot day
- Low in calories (and less sugar than many other fruits such as apples and bananas)
- Contain an enzyme (malic acid) that may help whiten teeth
Expert tip: Because strawberries contain so much fiber, eating too many can cause diarrhea. And if your pup has a sensitive stomach, you may want to start out with a very small amount or simply avoid them.
How Many Strawberries Can Dogs Have Each Day?
Typically, one berry is sufficient for small dogs, medium and large dogs can have two or three, and giant breeds can eat up to five per day. Just be careful not to overdo it. Experts agree that it’s extremely important to carefully moderate any snacks, treats, or additional food you give your dog.
“I regularly come across dogs who are overweight, and often the underlying reason is that they eat too many treats in addition to their dog food,” says Hannah Godfrey, BVetMed, MRCVS, a small animal veterinarian at Bridges Veterinary Surgery in Cardiff, Wales. “It’s easy to get carried away when giving your dog treats, especially if you’re training them, but to avoid becoming overweight or unhealthy, treats should be no more than 10% of a dog’s daily food intake.”
Are Dogs Allergic To Strawberries?
Although rare, some dogs may be allergic to strawberries (as our canines can be with a wide variety of foods). With any new food, give your pup a very small amount of strawberry and keep an eye out for any adverse reactions, such as difficulty breathing, drooling, coughing, lip or mouth swelling, or skin hives. If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Can Dogs Have Canned Strawberries?
No. Canned strawberries and other canned or processed fruits contain syrups and other ingredients that aren’t healthy for dogs. Canned fruits are too high in sugar and calories for our canine companions. Some brands may also contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s highly toxic to dogs.
What Other Fruits & Human Foods Can I Give My Dog?
Many other fruits are excellent occasional treats, but some aren’t safe for our furry friends. See our in-depth article on which fruits dogs can and can’t eat, which includes precautions and critical food prep guidelines to follow. It’s also important to be informed about the safety of other human foods. See our comprehensive guide on which human foods dogs can’t eat to ensure you’re keeping your pup as safe and healthy as possible.
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