One of the things I love most about summer is fresh strawberries. We have an organic farm right around the corner with a massive strawberry field, and every year we head over, pick a bunch, and fill the fridge and freezer. Then it’s strawberries in salads, smoothies, strawberry pie, and of course you’ve just got the big bowls of fresh juicy berries all by themselves.
And we don’t just pick them for ourselves. There are lots of reasons we love strawberries for dogs too! When our dogs see the baskets come in, they know they’re in for a treat, literally!
So why are strawberries so beloved in our house? And if you’ve never given your dog these pleasing berries, what are some tips to start?
Strawberries for Dogs
Why do we love strawberries? There are so many reasons!!
Firstly, they’re an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C and manganese and also contain decent amounts of folate (vitamin B9) and potassium.
They’re also chock full of antioxidants. Remember, antioxidants fight harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals can build up and cause oxidative stress – which is linked to everything from arthritis to cancer! You always want to try and work on reducing free radicals in the body.
Along with that, they also contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth as they eat them.
While strawberries do contain some natural sugars, they’re very low in calories so they are a great option as a treat, particularly if you’re working on getting your pet to or maintaining a healthy weight!
They’re also so easy to feed. If your pet will eat them, just give them a wash and feed them whole. You can also cut them up into smaller pieces for smaller dogs, or to add on top of your dog’s dinner. Some dogs might not know what to do with the new texture of strawberries, so start slow. You can also cut them up and freeze them and can try feeding them as frozen treats. Mix them in with other pet-friendly berries like blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries!
Like everything else, give them in moderation. You’re not going to overdo it, but it’s always nice to switch up the different fruits and veggies you add to your dog’s meals.
Additionally, while we love fresh strawberries for dogs, you should never feed your dog canned strawberries or strawberries in syrup. These are not good for your pet, at all.
One last thing – if strawberries are sprayed they can be one of the most carcinogenic foods you can eat or give your dog, so make absolutely sure they are either organic or at the very least not sprayed with pesticides!
Strawberry Banana Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Well, technically, your dog will probably bark – but it will be a happy (or impatient) bark!
- 1 cup kefir
- 1/4 cup chopped strawberries
- 1/4 cup banana
- Cut up your strawberries and banana
- Toss all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze.
- Once solid, scoop out some ‘ice cream’ and serve it on top of dinner or as a special treat.
You can also put it into ice cube trays to make individual ice cream bites. These typically take between 4-6 hours to freeze/set. You can always check then to make sure.
Note: Anytime you feed ice cubed anything, watch your dog. They are not recommended for dogs that scarf their food, because if they swallow them whole they can get stuck. In this case, stick to the ice cream or freeze it on a baking sheet then break it up into smaller, thinner pieces.
They probably won’t last this long (because your pet will LOVE them), but after about 3 months it’s time to compost any remaining treats and get a new batch started!
Happy summer all, enjoy!