Strawberries are sweet and tasty and that’s why everyone likes them. Many media celebrate them as a healthy superfood, but occasionally one hears that strawberries cause severe allergic reactions. Of course, dog owners are now also wondering how exactly this works and whether this also applies to dogs.
Dog ate strawberries – Can dogs eat strawberries?
Dogs are allowed to eat strawberries, provided they have been washed well beforehand. There is nothing against it, because the berries do not have any disadvantageous properties, but they provide valuable nutrients and fiber. Despite the sweet taste, their sugar content is rather low.
This is why strawberries are healthy and low in calories for dogs.
Beware of the fox tapeworm
Strawberries can transmit the fox tapeworm eggs. This risk is particularly high with strawberries from the garden at home. A fenced garden offers some protection from foxes.
The popular self-picked strawberries from open fields are also risky.
The eggs on the fruits cannot be seen with the naked eye and are difficult to remove. Unfortunately, normal household freezing does not kill the tapeworm eggs. They survive temperatures down to – 80 degrees.
Tapeworm eggs can only be killed by heating them to over 60 degrees. If you want to eat the strawberries fresh and not cooked, this method is ruled out.
Be sure to wash wild strawberries well
Rinsing the strawberries thoroughly is the only way to combat any tapeworm egg infestation. Washing off significantly reduces the risk of infection, but does not completely rule it out.
Against this background, the often-heard advice to wash strawberries in standing water in order not to damage the sensitive fruits should be viewed critically. Perhaps a small bump here and there is tolerable if parasites have been washed away for it.
There is a certain residual risk with strawberries that do not come from a greenhouse, therefore always – when they are consumed raw. Whether there is a risk of infection also depends on the worm prophylaxis that each dog receives.
If you deworm regularly, however, you don’t have to worry too much about fox tapeworms. Nevertheless, out of consideration for the well-being of your four-legged friend, you should consider the above tips.
Dogs that are wormed only when needed should never be given strawberries that have not been washed off. In this case, you should make sure that your darling does not under any circumstances supply unwashed strawberries in the wild or the garden.
Allergies to strawberries in dogs
Allergies to strawberries are possible but unlikely in dogs. There is an increased risk of allergies in pollen allergy sufferers because cross allergies can certainly occur in connection with a birch pollen allergy.
If you know your dog is allergic to birch pollen, it is best to be careful about giving him strawberries. The most common reactions are facial swelling, a runny nose, and a rash.
The severe allergic reactions that are increasingly being described in connection with people are often not genuine allergies. Strawberries release the body’s histamine. Histamine is a neurotransmitter that may A. is involved in regulating the water balance and is released in excess in all allergic reactions – in the case of pollen allergies e.g. B. in the nose.
Strawberries induce increased histamine release in everyone, even without allergies. Some people cannot break down the released histamine well for various reasons, which can lead to spectacular skin reactions and swelling.
However, dogs can usually cope with histamine much better than humans and are not affected by these overreactions.
Strawberries a superfood? Not for dogs!
Strawberries are celebrated in some places as a superfood and health booster. That’s because they’re low in calories and high in vitamin C.
However, vitamin C is not of interest to dogs, because a healthy dog can produce the vitamin C it needs itself. Sick or immunocompromised animals can be supported by additional administration of vitamin C, but otherwise, neither dog nor owner has to think about vitamin C.
Healthy vitamins for dogs in strawberries
In addition to the vitamins mentioned, strawberries also contain various nutrients that are quite healthy for dogs. They supply beta-carotene (provitamin A), which is necessary for sufficient pigmentation of the skin. Beta-carotene can also be used to combat dry, flaky areas.
In addition, there is vitamin E, which protects cells in the entire organism from undesirable reactions. It, therefore, counteracts aging and inflammation processes.
In addition, almost all B vitamins are found in strawberries. The tasks of the B vitamins are diverse and mainly relate to cell metabolism and structure. The transmission of messenger substances depends on the correct composition of individual cells so that in principle the entire nervous system is dependent on B vitamins to function properly.
“Dog-friendly” minerals from strawberries
The fact that strawberries contain about the same amount of calcium as phosphorus is beneficial for dogs because the calcium-phosphorus ratio should always be as balanced as possible.
Strawberries are also high in potassium. The electrolyte is needed to regulate blood pressure and the acid-base balance. Magnesium from the strawberry is very useful for muscle and nerve function.
Also, zinc strengthens the immune system and ensures strong hair growth.
Dietary fiber for healthy digestion in the dog’s stomach
Pectin and cellulose are the fiber that strawberries use to stimulate digestion and thus also metabolism. However, there is no risk of diarrhea, because pectin can bind water in the intestine and thus even counteract watery diarrhea.
Strawberry preparations such as jam, cake, or strawberry yogurt
Foods containing cooked strawberries aren’t quite as healthy as fresh strawberries because some of the nutrients are not heated stable. On the other hand, such products are free from tapeworm eggs.
So if you drop a piece of bread with strawberry jam, you don’t have to worry. Your dog can also tolerate a dollop of strawberry yogurt without any problems.
You should only give your dog tiny portions of strawberry products with sweeteners to snack on, as sweeteners can potentially be harmful to health. In any case, we are not yet aware of any research results on this.
However, you should always keep in mind that processed strawberry products often contain a lot of sugar. Therefore, please feed these products sparingly and give your dog as a rare treat at most. This is especially true for small breeds of dogs like Chihuahua, Dachshund, Terriers, Bulldogs, and so on.
Can dogs also eat other berry fruits?
However, like wild berries, they can all be contaminated with fox tapeworm eggs, which is why the following also applies here: never unwashed!
Dog food with strawberries
Dogs who love strawberries may also enjoy Terra Canis grain-free canned food that contains strawberries. The entire menu consists of duck with pumpkin, elderberries, and strawberries.
Conclusion: a clear yes to washed strawberries
Although strawberries are not a superfood for dogs, they are a useful, healthy dietary supplement. The nutrients it contains are in a good ratio to the calorific value and valuable dietary fibers promote digestion.
It is only important that you always wash all strawberries thoroughly because strawberries from conventional cultivation can bring pesticides and other contaminants on the surface instead of tapeworm eggs.