Can Dogs Eat Strawberries Or Are Strawberries Bad For Dogs?
Can dogs eat strawberries? And how about you – do you love strawberries? Does the thought of strawberries conjure up lazy summer holidays eating strawberries laced with dollops of thick cream or ice cream?
Perhaps you have you eaten strawberries in front of your precious pooch? Did it make you feel guilty as their eyes pleaded with you to part with at least one strawberry? And did you eventually give in to those eyes so helpless and appealing?
Maybe you thought better of it, not being entirely sure strawberries were safe for them to eat? And if nothing else that thought probably made you feel better about yourself for not sharing with your best friend!
That said, you wont be able to justify NOT giving strawberries to your best friend again because strawberries offer your dog the same health benefits as they offer you!
What Are Strawberries?
Strawberries are not fruits because strawberries carry their seeds on the outside. And send out runners which develop roots and they in turn produce new strawberry plants.
The strawberry is one of the species of plant belonging to the genus Fragaria that has more than 20 species. And all of them differ in size, texture and taste although all are heart shaped, with a seeded coat and red flesh.
Have you ever tasted wild strawberries – tiny berries that as a child I used to find growing on railway embankments. They are miniature versions of the cultivated strawberries we enjoy today and surpass cultivated strawberries in aroma and flavour. Unfortunately wild strawberries are not grown commercially because of their short shelf life and size.
Wild strawberries are often called Alpine strawberries and are still found today in hedgerows and woodlands.
During the 16th century the cultivated strawberry didn’t exist and so this wild Alpine variety was the only one available at that time.
Alpine strawberries were first discovered by Europeans in America in 1588. New varieties were cultivated in North America in the 1700’s.
Around 1750 the garden strawberry as we know it today was first cultivated in Brittany. The garden strawberry was a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America and Fragaria chiloensis, which was brought from Chile by Amédée-François Frézier in 1714.
Why Are Strawberries So Popular?
I love strawberries. And in fact I can’t think of anyone I know who doesn’t like this fruit, a fruit which is not strictly speaking a single fruit but a bunch of fruit! Let’s face it, the smell, taste and health benefits of the strawberry means it ranks as one of the top 10 most popular fruits in the world.
So why wouldn’t you want to eat strawberries or deny your precious pooch such a delicious and nutritious treat?
Strawberries Nutritional Benefits
An 80g serving of strawberries provides:
- 0.6g protein
- 0.2g fat
- 6g carbohydrates
- 1.6g fibre
- 136mg potassium
- 49mcg folate
- 46mg vit C
Strawberries Health Benefits
Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Eating strawberries seems to moderate our use of insulin and slow down our digestion of glucose. This reaction is especially true when eaten with high carb meals. It is the anthocyanins in strawberries which appear to cause this reaction.
Good For Your Heart
Strawberries are rich in anthocyanidins which may have a number of potential health benefits such as preventing inflammatory conditions and heart disease. This is borne out by studies that suggest there is a strong link between eating strawberries regularly with fewer heart-related deaths.
Type 2 Diabetes
Strawberries contain ellagic acid and ellagitannins, two polyphenols that seem to help people manage some of the harmful effects of type 2 diabetes. These two polyphenols appear to help manage blood pressure and regulate blood sugar levels.
Strawberries are very sweet yet low in calories. This means that they are perfect for people with a sweet tooth who want to maintain a healthy weight.
Also the low glycaemic index (GI) of strawberries helps to control the release of blood sugar. Studies indicate that an abundance of low GI foods in a diet can help with weight management and as a consequence reducing the likelihood of diseases caused by obesity.
Protection Against Cancer
A combination of polyphenols found in strawberries including ellagic acid and ellagitannins appear to halt the growth of cancer cells in animal studies.
Can Strawberries Be Eaten By Everyone?
Most people can eat strawberries safely although for children especially they are a common allergen. If you are allergic to apples or birch pollen, you are more at risk of an allergic reaction to strawberries. This means you should not eat strawberries if this applies to you.
Strawberries contain salicylates. Salicylates are natural chemicals which people are sensitive to and may have an allergic reaction to such as a skin rash or swelling.
If you have a thyroid condition you should not eat too many strawberries. This is because they contain goitrogens which could adversely affect your thyroid function.
Strawberries Health Benefits Infographic
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries? You Bet They Can!
As you’ve read strawberries offer your dog the same health benefits as they offer you. Now all you need to figure out is the safest way to serve them.
- Wash them first to remove any dirt or harmful chemicals that may have been used to prevent disease or kill insects.
- Cut them up into small pieces so your dog will find them easier to digest and won’t choke on them. For small dogs you may want to mash them up and mix with their usual food.
- Freeze small pieces and give as a cool treat to your dog on a hot summer’s day.
- NB. Consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet or adding anything new like strawberries.
- Finally (and this applies to any new addition to your dog’s diet) only give small amounts first and monitor your dog’s behavior and digestion for any changes. Should you notice any changes you need to stop immediately and consult your veterinarian for advice.
How To Grow Your Own Strawberries
Strawberries are easy to grow and since they can be very expensive to buy why not grow them organically yourself?