Fri, Jan 13, 23
Strawberries are a sweet and delicious summer fruit with lots of health benefits. If your pup has ever stared longingly at your bowl of strawberries, you’ve probably wondered: are they safe to share?
It’s important to research any human food before sharing it with your dog. After all, our furry friends can’t always eat the same meals that we do.
There are quite a few fruits, such as avocados and grapes, which are toxic and potentially dangerous to dogs. You’re welcome to enjoy them yourself, but don’t give any to your pup, no matter how much they beg.
Strawberries, on the other hand, are a safe and tasty treat for any hungry dog. Go ahead and give them a few slices! They’ll be sure to thank you. In fact, there are a lot of upsides to sharing the occasional strawberry with your pup.
Keep reading to find out why strawberries are such a healthy treat, what kind of strawberries to avoid, and a few other foods your dog might love.
Why Are Strawberries Great for My Dog?
Strawberries have many benefits for humans and dogs alike. This little red fruit doesn’t just taste good — it’s good for you as well!
While your dog will probably appreciate strawberries as a sweet, crisp snack, they have lots of other positive qualities.
Strawberries are high in dietary fiber, which helps with digestion. High-fiber foods can be effective in preventing gut troubles and upset stomachs by aiding in digestion and maintaining healthy gut flora.
Strawberries also contain protein in small quantities. Your pup should get most of their protein from their daily meals, but there’s no harm in giving them some high-protein treats as well.
If you’re looking for a high-protein entree to support your dog’s health, the Optimeal® Tender Morsels In Savory Sauce With Chicken & Beef Recipe is a great option, relying on real chicken and beef to provide your pup with a huge protein boost.
Strawberries are especially high in vitamin C, an important nutrient that supports and maintains your dog’s immune system. With a healthy immune system, it’ll be much easier for your pup to fight off bacteria, viruses, and other diseases. Vitamin C is also used to build up muscles and bones, keeping your pup healthy and ready for anything.
Strawberries also contain a few other vitamins in small quantities, including vitamin B1, vitamin B6, and vitamin K. These will support your dog’s wellness in everything from blood clotting and bone development to converting food into energy.
While you might hear “potassium” and think bananas, strawberries are another great source of potassium. This vital mineral supports the growth and development of healthy muscles. It’s also great for your dog’s metabolism and makes it easier to extract and process energy from their food.
All of these factors make strawberries a fantastic dog treat — as long as they’re fed in moderation. They should never replace the regular food in your dog’s daily diet.
How Should I Feed My Dog Strawberries?
Keep in mind that not all strawberries are good for your dog. If you want to share this tasty fruit with your pup, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
Strawberries are very high in sugar, which is what gives them their sweet taste. Too much sugar can be unhealthy for your dog’s stomach and digestion, so don’t overdo it — strawberries should never be more than 10% of what your dog eats in a day. Think of them as a treat, not as a meal.
When feeding your dog strawberries, we recommend washing the fruits thoroughly first. This will remove any pesticides or other potential contaminants that might affect your dog.
After cleaning the strawberries, chop them up into bite-sized pieces. These are more convenient for your dog to swallow, and won’t be a choking hazard. If you’d like some more variety, you can also puree your strawberries in a blender and add them to your dog’s food bowl.
While fresh fruits are usually the best, you can feed your dog frozen strawberries as well. These are especially delicious during hot summer weather.
There are also some strawberries you should avoid. Always look out for processed foods and extra ingredients. Chocolate-covered strawberries, for example, are not healthy for your dog and can cause serious problems because of chocolate’s toxicity to dogs.
Whether you’re shopping for dog treats or browsing through your pantry, steer clear of strawberry jams and jellies, along with any pastries containing strawberries. These aren’t dog-safe due to the other ingredients used in their recipes. Feel free to enjoy them yourself, but don’t share any with your pooch.
If you stick to whole, fresh, unprocessed strawberries without additives, you’ll be helping your dog stay happy and healthy. These wonderful fruits have so many benefits for canines and humans alike, and your dog will certainly appreciate them just as much as you do.
What Other Foods Can I Share With My Dog?
We have some good news — along with strawberries, there are lots of other delicious fruits and vegetables you can share with your dog.
None of these can replace a nutritious meal of dog food. However, if you’re looking for treats or occasional snacks, all of these fruits and veggies should be on the menu.
Blueberries are a delicious and healthy low-calorie snack for any dog. They have plenty of dietary fiber and vitamin C, which support your dog’s ability to digest, heal, and grow.
Blueberries also contain lots of antioxidants, which prevent free radicals from damaging cells and molecules. Antioxidants have been linked to brain health, and can even reduce the effects of aging in senior dogs.
Zucchini is a tasty, healthy vegetable that humans and dogs can both enjoy. It’s very low in fat and cholesterol, but high in vitamins, dietary fiber, and minerals. If you ever find yourself with too much zucchini on your hands, we recommend chopping up a few slices and feeding them to your pup.
Watermelon is another fruit that’s high in potassium and low in calories. Since it’s mostly made of water, your dog will get plenty of hydration along with several important vitamins.
Before feeding your dog watermelon, make sure to remove the rind and seeds. Neither of them belong in your dog’s belly.
Much like zucchini, cucumbers are very healthy and low in calories. If your dog likes crunchy foods, they’ll be sure to enjoy a nice helping of cucumber in their dog bowl.
Cucumbers are also packed with vitamins that support your dog’s health, digestion, and immune system.
However, you should avoid feeding your dog pickles. The pickling process adds lots of different ingredients, such as salt, garlic, and onions, which aren’t healthy for dogs.
Apples are a healthy and tasty dog treat, as long as the seeds and core are both removed. The seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, which could potentially harm your pup.
Apples have lots of dietary fiber, so they’re good for your dog’s digestive tract. They’re also a great source of antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C, all of which contribute to your dog’s health and wellbeing.
Human Food or Dog Food?
Fortunately, there are a lot of fruits and vegetables which blur the line between human food and dog food. It’s always more fun to share meals with a friend, and your furry friend will definitely appreciate getting a taste of whatever you’re eating.
When it comes to fruits, strawberries are a popular and healthy snack for humans and their pups. They offer a lot of healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber in a convenient red package, and they’re undeniably tasty.
Along with strawberries, there are lots of other veggies and fruits that your dog can enjoy in moderation. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different dog-safe snacks — you never know when you’ll stumble across your dog’s next favorite food.
As a responsible pet parent, you’re in charge of looking out for your pup’s wellbeing. The best way to do that is by feeding them nutritious, high-quality dog food on a regular basis. Make sure to keep snacks and treats to a minimum, and never let them exceed 10% of your dog’s diet.
If you follow these guidelines and stick to healthy, nutritious foods, your dog will be more than happy to split a few snacks with you. After all, the only thing sweeter than a strawberry is a strawberry shared with a friend.