In this article we will be looking at the question ‘can dogs eat freeze-dried strawberries?’, and try to find out if it is okay for a dog to eat them. If you have been looking around the internet trying to find an answer, then hopefully by now you should know that there are two camps – those who say it is okay, and those who say it isn’t!
To make matters even more confusing, some people say that they can give them as a treat but only in moderation. So, let’s take a closer look at why both opinions exist and what it comes down to before deciding whether or not your pet should be eating these particular berries.
Freeze Drying Process
When talking about fruit nutrition, usually the best way to eat them is raw. This is because in their whole form fruit contains essential enzymes and nutrients that are often stripped away when we heat them for cooking or processing. Often, we think we can restore some of this goodness with additives and preservatives, but in the end these tend to reduce us in other ways according to our body’s ability to process them.
So although frozen fruit also loses a lot of its good stuff when it is processed, at least it doesn’t go through any heating stages like cooking or freeze-drying (which is what they do with strawberries during the process).
The reason behind doing this was originally so that they could be kept for longer periods without spoiling – think about how long you can keep a bag of crisps in the pantry! Freeze drying has been around for a while and was discovered when people found that they could use it to preserve certain foods simply by leaving them outside in cold temperatures. You can read more about this process here:
The reason why we freeze dry food is so that we take out all of the water content which prevents bacteria from growing, so when we take it back out again there’s no danger of any toxins making us sick. This is great if you want to transport fruit or vegetables somewhere, such as on camping trips where fridges might be hard to come by, but does nothing for their nutritional value…
So, as you can see from the process alone, it is pretty much impossible to keep any kind of fruit or vegetable in its natural state. The only way we could eat these berries without processing them would be if we picked and ate them fresh straight off the bush….
Are freeze-dried strawberries good for dogs?
The answer is a qualified yes.
Before you get too excited, though, it depends on what your definition of ‘good’ is. Effectively these berries have been dried, so they will have lost a lot of their nutrients and enzymes that make them great for us to eat in the first place…
As stated previously, when we freeze-dry food it is to stop the growth of bacteria, so when we take them back out again there’s no danger of any toxins making us sick. This makes them great for transporting fruit or vegetables somewhere without worrying if your dog ate some along the way, but does nothing for their nutritional value…
Are dried strawberries OK for dogs?
The answer is again a qualified yes.
Before you get too excited, though, it depends on what your definition of ‘OK’ is. Dried strawberries will have lost the nutrients and enzymes that make them great for us to eat in the first place…
As stated previously, when we freeze-dry food it is to stop the growth of bacteria, so when we take them back out there’s no danger of any toxins making us sick. This makes them great for transporting fruit or vegetables somewhere without worrying if your dog ate some along the way, but does nothing for their nutritional value…
What about strawberry seeds?
Many people also ask whether it is okay to give their pets dried strawberries with the seeds still intact.
The answer is again a qualified yes.
More than likely your dog will be fine if you give them strawberries with the seeds still in, though as with all things we give to our pets it’s important to keep an eye on them and watch for any signs that there might be something wrong, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Why strawberries are bad for dogs?
Breeds such as dachshunds and corgis that have long bodies and short legs often suffer from back problems, so we need to take extra care when they eat anything. The strawberry plant contains a chemical called oxalate which is also found in rhubarb leaves – it’s the part of the plant that makes it poisonous to us, but dogs have a different digestive system to us so it’s hard for them to process this.
The main risk is caused by the seeds – though there haven’t been any cases of canine poisoning recorded (that we know of!), these can still cause damage if eaten in large quantities and can also make your dog bloated or constipated –
Can dogs have frozen strawberries?
The answer is no.
You’ll get the same amount of nutritional value out of eating them fresh, so it doesn’t make any sense to risk your dog’s health by giving them frozen strawberries.
If you’re still intent on making your dog some tasty strawberry ice cream or smoothie, then there are plenty of recipes online for you to make which don’t include the fruit itself, such as delicious strawberry banana bread.
How many frozen strawberries will kill a small dog?
The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t feed dogs any more than 10% of their total body weight in any one day. If they eat this much in one go then they could potentially get very ill indeed, even if they’re just small breeds.
A small dog weighing around 10 lbs (5kg) will probably be fine if they eat one or two fresh strawberries for example, but it certainly wouldn’t be okay to feed them more than this.
We need to keep our dogs healthy by giving them the right foods and knowing what not to feed them, but equally, it’s important for us to remember that most things that are bad for humans can also be bad for dogs. This is why we shouldn’t give them chocolate, onions, or garlic; and making sure they don’t eat any potentially dangerous human foods is just as important…