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Strawberries are a favorite fruit for many, especially in the summer months. Some pet parents might wonder if they can share a sweet berry or two with their dog. So, can dogs have strawberries?

Short answer, yes. Dogs can eat strawberries, but you’ll want to be aware of a few things before giving them to your pup. Keep reading to learn how to safely feed your dog strawberries and potential risks to look out for. As always, talk with your vet before adding any human foods into your dog's diet.

How Are Strawberries Good for Dogs?

Strawberries are loaded with nutritional benefits for your dog. In moderation, strawberries may help support a healthy immune system, digestive tract, and skin and coat health. Overtime, fresh strawberries may help with weight management and may keep your dog feeling and acting younger.2

Strawberries also contain malic acid, an enzyme that may help whiten your dog’s teeth. Just make sure not to use strawberries as a replacement for good dental hygiene.

Benefits of strawberries for dogs

Strawberries have a number of nutritional benefits including:

●      Antioxidants

●      Fiber

●      Omega-3 fatty acids

●      Potassium

●      Vitamins B1, B6, C, and K

How Can You Safely Feed Your Dog Strawberries?

Like most human foods, strawberries are best served to your dog in moderation. Think of strawberries as a fun treat.

Depending on the size of your dog, it’s generally safe to give them up to five strawberries a day. For smaller dogs, it’s best to stick to one medium-sized berry a day.

If this is your first time feeding strawberries to your dog, consult your veterinarian first. They’ll be able to give you a recommended serving size for your dog’s specific needs. After consulting your vet, start with a small amount and monitor your pup for any adverse reactions. An upset stomach or allergy symptoms could be signs that strawberries aren’t right for your dog.

Make sure each strawberry is fresh and thoroughly washed. Prepare the strawberries by removing the tops, any white parts, stems, and leaves. Don’t worry about the seeds; they are safe for your dog.

To avoid choking hazards, cut the strawberries into small pieces. Sliced strawberries are great as a treat or topper for your dog’s regular food. You can also serve mashed or pureed strawberries to your dog. During the warm, summer weather, try freezing the cut pieces or the puree for a lickable, refreshing treat.

An older dog balances a strawberry on its snout

When Are Strawberries Bad for Dogs?

Although they are generally safe for your dog, strawberries and some strawberry products can pose a risk. You’ll want to be mindful of the amount of strawberries your dog consumes. Strawberries have a high sugar content and can cause problems for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

You should never feed your dog canned or processed strawberries, strawberry preserves or jam, or anything with artificial strawberry flavoring. These products can contain harmful or even deadly preservatives, food coloring, and artificial sweeteners.

It may go without saying, but you should never feed your dog chocolate-covered strawberries either. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, even when paired with a non-toxic food.

If you think your dog ate an unsafe strawberry product, call your vet right away and monitor your dog’s behavior.

Enjoy Strawberries with Your Favorite Furry Friend

Strawberries are safe for you and your dog to enjoy together. Remember to talk with your vet, practice moderation, and monitor your dog’s behavior. These actions will help you become an even more responsible dog owner and ensure a long and healthy life for your pup.

If you’re looking for ways to enjoy even more time with your dog, consider exploring if pet insurance is worth your investment. A dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance1 could help ensure your dog enjoys plenty of summers full of fresh strawberry treats.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?, American Kennel Club, 2021