Can Dogs Eat Strawberries? And What Amount Is Safe?
Here's what a vet had to say.
Dog parents know all too well that some pups will eat everything and anything that crosses their path, whether it’s edible or not. And this can be especially concerning when it comes to your dog potentially eating certain berries since some varieties can be toxic.
But what about the berries humans enjoy, like strawberries? Can dogs eat strawberries without getting sick?
We spoke to a veterinarian to see if strawberries and strawberry-flavored foods are safe for your dog to eat. And the answer isn’t quite as straightforward as you might think.
Are strawberries healthy for dogs?
“Yes, dogs can eat strawberries,” Dr. Kurt Venator, Ph.D., chief veterinary officer at Purina, told The Dodo.
He said that strawberries do actually contain some healthy nutrients and properties that are good for humans and dogs alike, including fiber, vitamin C, high water content and “natural compounds that act as antioxidants.”
Can dogs eat strawberry yogurt?
But when it comes to foods with strawberry flavorings, Dr. Venator thinks differently.
“I do not recommend feeding dogs strawberry-flavored human foods, especially fruit that has been sugared or packed in syrup,” Dr. Venator said. “This adds excess sugars and calories to fruit and defeats the purpose of feeding a ‘healthy’ treat.”
Your dog can eat plain yogurt (in fact, small amounts of plain yogurt can do wonders for dogs who aren’t lactose intolerant) as long as it’s plain, organic and natural. But to be safe, it’s best to keep strawberry-flavored yogurt off the menu simply because your pup doesn’t need the extra sugar.
Can dogs eat strawberry ice cream?
And, sadly, that means strawberry ice cream is also a no-go.
Dr. Venator said that foods with strawberry flavoring often contain additives, like the artificial sweetener xylitol, that can be toxic for your dog.
Can dogs eat strawberry leaves?
Though strawberry leaves aren’t toxic, they’re neither tasty nor healthy for your pup to eat.
“Consuming strawberry leaves may cause digestive upset for dogs,” Dr. Venator said. “So, after washing, trim off the stem.”
Can dogs eat strawberries all the time?
Even though your dog can eat strawberries as a treat, he should not be eating strawberries regularly.
“Feed strawberries to your dog like you would any other snack,” Dr. Venator said. “Keep the portion size small. Dog treats should make up no more than 10 percent of his total daily calories.”
He continued, “We love to eat strawberries because they are sweet. But sweet means sugar. And a lot of sugar, even in fruit, isn’t beneficial to dogs. That’s another reason to feed strawberries in moderation.”
And dog parents also need to keep in mind that strawberries can be a choking hazard. So if you’re giving your pup a strawberry as a treat, Dr. Venator suggested cutting it up into small bits (or, for big dogs, halving them) or even blending or mashing strawberries into a puree before serving.
If your dog is a strawberry fan, you might want to look for a dog food that has strawberries in it.
“You’ll find fruit accents in many pet foods and treats these days, which is how I’d recommend incorporating them into your pet’s diet,” Dr. Venator said.
As long as strawberries are fresh, diced and served in moderation, you and your pup can both enjoy them as a sweet treat every now and again!