October 28, 2020 4 min read
Nothing quite hits the spot on a nice summer day like plump, fresh strawberries. Serve them with a little whipped cream or maybe some vanilla ice cream, and you've got yourself a perfect snack. They're refreshing and sweet, and we certainly love them.
Of course, any time our dogs see us loving a food, they want to join right in and get some for themselves. If you're here reading this, you're probably in the same situation - adorable eyes looking up and you, and maybe a little nose gently nudging your leg.
But before you toss a strawberry to your pup, let's take a look at the important question - can dogs eat strawberries?
Yes, dogs can have strawberries! Of course, it depends how you get those strawberries - ripe, fresh ones right from the farmer's market are perfect. Strawberries from a can, on the other hand, might be problematic. And of course, strawberry shortcake is out of the question (but I for one am glad I don't have to share!).
Overall, though, strawberries do have several beneficial nutritional properties that make them suitable for dogs, as long as they're given as part of a healthy diet. And if you ever have any questions about whether it's okay to feed your dog strawberries or anything else, your best bet is always to call your veterinarian.
Strawberries have a number of nutritional benefits for dogs. They're high in fiber and vitamin C, both of which are important in any dog's diet. They're also full of antioxidants, which are important in a number of different ways when it comes to helping your dog age well - they help with not only brain health but also joints and other parts of the body.
Another big plus of strawberries is that they're low in calories, so you're not going to risk having an overweight dog if you throw a few his way. It also means that if your dog loves strawberries, you can cut them into small pieces and use them as the perfect training treats.
Ultimately, strawberries are pretty much all good - they can help with everything from a dog's immune system to her teeth. Talk about a wonderful snack for your best friend! And of course their natural sweetness makes them highly appealing to many dogs.
The risks of feeding strawberries to your dog are very minimal. The one major thing to bear in mind is that because of their size, they can present a choking hazard. You should definitely keep an eye on your pup while he's snacking on strawberries. And of course if you want to stay extra safe, you can just cut your strawberries into small pieces that don't risk getting stuck anywhere.
As with any snack, you should of course give strawberries alongside a balanced diet that has all the protein, vitamins and nutrients your dog needs. Just because strawberries are great doesn't mean that's all your dog should eat!
While strawberries are definitely healthy, that doesn't mean that anything strawberry-flavored is. Any candy or other sweets that come in strawberry flavors are going to have far too much sugar for a dog (and they probably won't even have real strawberries in them). Stay away from strawberry shortcake, strawberry Starburst and strawberry hard candy. Also, just because you're eating your strawberries with cream doesn't mean you should give them to your dog that way. Just serve them plain - your dog doesn't need any extra sweetness with them!
Similarly, it's best to avoid canned strawberries because of the way that they're prepared. They're often packed in a sweet syrup that is extremely high in sugar, and even if you take them out of it, they'll still have absorbed some. That's going to be way too much for your dog's system, so definitely stay away from anything in a can. Besides, strawberries have more than enough natural sugar for your dog, so she won't be missing out on anything if you don't add any more!
And the final risk of strawberries is that they'll definitely stain your clothes, so watch out for your dog's tongue after he's chowed down on them!
Strawberries are a great snack for dogs, and they can be a wonderful addition into any pup's diet. They're deliciously sweet, which your dog will probably love, but they're low in calories and full of nutrients. You can serve them whole to your dog (though watch out for choking and consider cutting them up first) or puree them and spread them on top of kibble to make mealtime even better.
One of our favorite ways to serve strawberries is with yogurt. If you're going to do this, the key is to do it with the right kind of yogurt. Flavored yogurts are packed with sugar, so you want to stick to something plain. We always recommend plain Greek yogurt, because in addition to not having any added sugar, it's also low on lactose, which can be tough on a dog's stomach. You can either mix strawberries straight into some yogurt and serve it, or you can puree them together with some ice for a healthy dog smoothie. If you want to make it last even longer, make that smoothie and pour it into an ice cube tray (or the adorable bone- and paw-shaped ice cube molds that come with our Pupsicle Starter Kit), then hand those cubes out one at a time.
Of course, as always you should keep an eye on your dog while introducing any new food into her diet and consult your veterinarian if anything seems out of sorts. You should also make sure that all of your dog's treats, whether they're plain strawberries or our Baked Biscuits, don't make up more than 10% of your dog's diet.
But if your dog responds well to strawberries, let her enjoy a few every now and again!
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