Everything you need to know about strawberries for dogs
The weather is finally getting a little warmer and we can all enjoy some lovely walks with our woofers. The better weather is also bringing in some delicious fruits, such as strawberries. Venturing out on strawberry picking is a favourite activity here in the UK. This also makes many of us wonder if the delicious strawberries could be shared with our fur-babies.
Strawberries could easily be referred to as superfoods as they are full of vitamins and nutrients! As such, the simply answer is YES they can, what more they absolutely should!
Health benefits of strawberries for dogs:
- Supports healthy heart
Berries are rich in a compound called, anthocyanins, which support heart health both in humans and dogs. Anthocyanins are found in the skin of fruit and the darker the skin is, the richer source of this compound the fruit is. Whilst strawberries are not the darkest berries, they contain nearly 30 different anthocyanins! (blackberries are even more nutrient-dense so again if your dog enjoy them, let him/her have them)
- Helps digestion
Strawberries are a rich source of fibre. Fibre is essential to maintain regular bowel movements and to help digestion.
- Possible cancer prevention
Strawberries are rich in Vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant. Cancer formation and progression is linked to oxidative stress as well as chronic inflammation. Several animal studies have shown that regular consumption of strawberries inhibits tumour formation (Berry fruits for cancer prevention; source: Pubmed).
- Supports immune and skin health
Strawberries are a good source of folate (aka vitamin B9), which is important for cell function and the production of red blood cells.
- Blood sugar regulation
As strawberries are rich in fibre, vitamin C and they improve the lipid profile of the blood by lowering LDL cholesterol and therefore reducing overall cholesterol. Strawberries slow down blood sugar spikes (caused by high sugar food – sugar can be found in some dog food and treats!) and as such contribute to the prevention of Type 2 diabetes, which is very common in dogs.
How many to give a dog?
As with everything else in life, moderation is key. Sharing the odd 1-2 strawberries with your dog is perfectly OK and there is no need for more. Strawberries should be considered a treat, and just like you are unlikely to have strawberries every day, you shouldn’t give it to your dog either. Once or twice a week or even once in a fortnight is sufficient. Remember, there are many great fruits and veg with numerous health benefits and we want to rotate them, instead of giving all of them every day.
Can puppies have strawberries?
Yes, they can, just make sure you either smash them or cut them into smaller pieces so that they cannot cause choking hazard. Keep in mind that it is a treat.
How should I give them to my dog?
The best way is to give it raw, (either cut/chopped depending on the dog’s age or smashed). The raw fruit is higher in all the nutrients, some of which get lost during cooking/heating/freeze-drying process.
You could also make it into a smoothie and pour about 100ml in your dog’s bowl.
So – Can dogs eat strawberries?
The simple answer is YES!
Strawberries are an excellent choice both for your dog and yourself!
- rich in vitamins, minerals and plant compounds giving you a wide range of health benefits, such as healthy heart, skin, immune system, digestion and possible cancer prevention.
- low in calories, fat-free
- high in water and fibre, which optimise intestinal function and prevent constipation