Updated - Mar 20th, 2023
- Strawberries can be a healthy snack for your dog when served as an occasional treat or added to a meal.
- Strawberries are packed with antioxidants, low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and a good source of vitamin C.
- It’s best to serve strawberries in small quantities, according to your dog’s size.
As a pet parent, you may be tempted to share your favorite treats with your furry friend – so it’s only natural to wonder what foods are safe for your dog.
If you’re asking yourself, “Can dogs eat strawberries?” You’ve come to the right place. We’re breaking down the health benefits, risks, and preparation do’s and dont’s for this fruit.
Are strawberries safe for dogs to eat?
Yes, strawberries are safe for dogs to eat when served the right way. In fact, when you give your dog a strawberry, you’re helping them stay healthy in more ways than you may think. Similar to blueberries and cranberries, strawberries are packed with antioxidants, low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and a good source of vitamin C. Strawberries can also help manage your dog’s weight and whiten their teeth.
How many strawberries can dogs eat?
It’s best practice to feed your dog according to their size. In general:
- Small dogs can eat one strawberry cut into bite-sized pieces per day.
- Medium dogs can eat up to four strawberries cut into bite-sized pieces per day.
- Larger dogs can eat up to five strawberries cut into bite-sized pieces per day.
No matter your dog’s size, strawberries should be served as a treat – not a meal replacement. Treats should also be no more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet, and should be served in moderation. Too much of a good thing can potentially cause an upset stomach, so start with only a few berries to see if your pup likes them. If you’re still not sure how many strawberries to give your dog, your veterinarian can provide personalized recommendations.
Strawberries for dogs: Preparation do’s and don’ts
- Do wash strawberries thoroughly
- Do cut strawberries into bite-sized pieces
- Do slice off the top and core the berry
- Don’t buy processed or canned strawberries and syrups that have added sugars, preservatives, and dyes
- Don’t buy strawberry products with artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs
- Don’t serve your pup strawberry leaves or stems, since these are bitter and not tasty. While non-toxic, strawberry leaves may lead to stomach or other digestive problems.
Not sure how to serve your strawberries once they’re prepared? There are plenty of tasty strawberry dog treat recipes online. If you’re a dog treat DIYer, your pup may enjoy these berries added into their favorite treat recipes, too! You can even mash them up or puree them and add the berry mixture to your dog’s food.
Alongside strawberries, other fruits like blueberries, raspberries, bananas, apples, pineapple, and watermelon are all healthy additions to plain yogurt for a tasty smoothie your dog will love. You can also puree the berries with green beans, apricots, or citrus fruits and put the mixture into ice cube trays to make a frozen treat for warm days.
Tip: Whenever you introduce a new food to your dog’s diet, be sure to monitor your dog for any changes in their behavior or digestive issues.
Nutritional benefits of strawberries for dogs
These small berries pack a nutritional punch, offering:
- Vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant goes after free radicals that destroy or alter cells. It also reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, and is believed to help reduce cognitive aging in senior dogs and fight cancer.
- Manganese. This micro-mineral supports the metabolizing of proteins and fatty acids. It also plays a key role in energy production and ligament and bone maintenance.
- Folate (vitamin B9 or folic acid). Folate is crucial to DNA synthesis and red blood cell production.
- Potassium. This mineral supports the kidneys and heart. It also helps your pup maintain normal digestive and muscle functions.
- Magnesium. Dogs have a daily recommended value of 150 mg of magnesium, which is important for energy production.
- Fiber. Strawberries’ high fiber content promotes healthy digestion by pushing food through the digestive system. It also assists with weight control and can prevent constipation or diarrhea.
- Malic acid. This enzyme helps whiten your pup’s teeth – and can save you the high cost of a dentist visit.
As with many fresh fruits and vegetables, strawberries contain vitamins and minerals that help slow the aging process, boost the immune system, and promote weight maintenance. But as nutrient-rich as strawberries are, they do have a few downsides that dog owners should be aware of, including:
- Natural sugars. Strawberries have a high sugar content, which can cause problems if your dog is diabetic or overweight. Before offering your dog a berry, check with your veterinarian to determine safe serving amounts – and only feed your pup strawberries as an occasional treat.
- Allergies. Although this type of allergy is uncommon in dogs, there’s still a small chance your dog could be allergic to strawberries. Check with your veterinarian if you notice any strange symptoms after they eat strawberries.
Alongside natural sugars, the protein in strawberries that makes them a beautiful red color can cause potential allergic reactions in both people and dogs. You should be on the lookout for vomiting, diarrhea, skin itching, and hives. If you notice any of these symptoms, there’s a chance your dog has had an adverse reaction and should be taken to a veterinarian.
Can dogs eat strawberries FAQs
Can strawberries be fed to dogs with sensitive stomachs?
Strawberries have a high sugar content and can potentially cause problems for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Be sure to stick to fresh strawberries, and never feed your dog canned strawberries, processed strawberries, strawberry preserves, or strawberry jams.
Can dogs eat frozen strawberries?
There’s nothing better than a cool treat on a hot day! When cut up into small pieces, frozen strawberries can be a great dog treat.
Can strawberries be used as a training treat in dogs?
Yes! Whether you safely add them to meals or hand them out as a treat, strawberries can be used as a training incentive for your furry friend.
Are there any toxic parts of strawberries that dogs should avoid?
Dogs shouldn’t eat strawberry leaves or stems. They’re difficult for your pup to digest and can lead to stomach or digestive problems.
Can strawberries cause any health problems for dogs?
Strawberries are high in sugar and fiber, so consuming too many of them may cause gastrointestinal problems in your pup.
Strawberries are a very healthy and safe superfood, so long as they’re offered in bite-sized pieces to avoid potential choking hazards or blockages. Low in calories and carbohydrates and packed with vitamins and minerals, these sweet treats can add a powerful nutritional boost to your dog’s health.