If you love strawberries you’re not alone. Many dogs love them, too! When warm weather arrives and strawberries are plentiful, it’s fine to share some these delicious berries with your dog. They’re nutritious, too!
The garden strawberry we know today is a hybrid species that was first grown in France in the 1750s. It’s a cross between native strawberries from eastern North America and from Chile. Prior to this time, wild strawberries were mentioned by the Romans for medicinal purposes. The French and other Europeans had begun cultivating strawberries by the 14th century. Technically, the strawberry isn’t really a berry, at least not botanically. It’s an “aggregate accessory fruit,” but people are happy calling it a berry. China produces 41 percent of the world’s strawberries today. An average strawberry has about 200 seeds on its outer membrane.
Are Strawberries Good for Your Dog?
Strawberries vary in size, color, shape, the season they become ripe, and other characteristics, but they generally share the same nutrients. Strawberries contain about 85 percent carbohydrates, 8 percent fat, and 7 percent protein. They are a good source of folate and potassium; and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and manganese. As with other fruits, a large portion of the calories come from the sugars in the strawberry.
In moderation, strawberries are considered to be good for your dog. They contain antioxidants and they are high in fiber and vitamin C.
You may have heard that strawberries help whiten teeth, too. Sort of. According to the toothpaste Colgate, when a dental researcher tried using a strawberry mixture to whiten teeth, it seemed to help remove plaque and surface debris from teeth when the mixture was brushed away. This probably created the illusion of a white smile. However, the strawberries didn’t actually whiten the teeth. So, strawberries might remove plaque from your dog’s teeth – or maybe brushing after your dog eats strawberries helps removes plaque.
Are There Cautions about Strawberries?
As with other fruits, you should be cautious about not giving your dog too many strawberries. Too much of any fruit or berry can lead to an upset stomach or diarrhea. Use moderation. Only give your dog 1-2 strawberries at a time, especially when your dog is getting used to them.
Some strawberries can be enormous in size so it’s also a good idea to slice the strawberries for your dog, especially if you have a small dog. Strawberries can be a choking hazard – especially for a greedy dog that tries to gobble them too quickly.
You should also keep in mind with strawberries that they are high in sugar. Even natural sugars can be a bad idea if your dog is diabetic, overweight, or if he should avoid sugar for other health reasons.
Avoid giving your dog strawberries in the form of jams or preserves or other concentrated products since these foods have concentrated amounts of sugar. You should also avoid giving your dog foods that have artificial strawberry flavorings.
If you notice anything odd about your dog’s reaction to strawberries, stop giving them to him at once. It’s always possible that your dog could have an allergic reaction to them and go into anaphylactic shock. Symptoms can be similar to other food allergies; or they can be similar to hay fever, dermatitis, or hives. See your veterinarian if your dog shows signs of illness.
How to Give Your Dog Strawberries
The best way to give your dog strawberries is to give him fresh strawberries. Wash the strawberries to remove any residue on them. As mentioned before, it’s a good idea to slice the strawberries for your dog so they won’t be a choking hazard. This is especially important if the strawberries are very large.
Strawberries can be a healthy treat for your dog. Do use moderation when giving your dog strawberries since they contain a lot of natural sugar. If your dog has diabetes or is overweight, you should avoid giving him strawberries. Very large strawberries can be a choking hazard so it’s best to slice them for your dog.