Almost everyone knows that raisins and grapes are a big no-no for pooches. While the toxic substances in these delicacies have not really been established yet, it’s shown in many different studies that these increase the risk of kidney failure in dogs. Citrus fruits are a big no-no, too as these can have varying acidity which can be quite damaging to the canine teeth or even cause upset stomach. But as far as pineapples, apples, watermelons, and strawberries go, yes you can go ahead and give these delicious and nutritious fruits to your pooch. You read that right. You can give FRESH, RAW strawberries to your pooch.
Fresh Strawberries are Great
See how we emphasized “fresh” and “raw” above? The reason for this is quite simple. Fresh strawberries are packed with all the healthy nutrients that your dog needs and we’ll go through the major ones later on.
You have to understand that there are also canned and bottled strawberries that are filled with sugary syrup. Some of these may even contain preservatives that are not really that healthy to your pooch. The sugar contained in the syrup is simply too high for your pet’s requirements that you are essentially increasing the risk of developing diabetes in your pooch. And if it is already genetically predisposed to developing abnormalities in carbohydrate metabolism, then the risk increases dramatically.
As such, only fresh strawberries should be given to your pooch.
Strawberries are Packed with Fiber and Nutrients
More than 90 percent of a piece of strawberry is actually water making it a great fruit to give to pooches that seldom drink or to simply keep your pets well hydrated. The remaining percentage of its weight is then divided into mostly carbs, although it contains a bit of protein and fats, too. As a matter of fact, it has a much better omega-3 fatty acid to omega-6 fatty acid ratio of 1:1.2 whereas humans typically have a ratio of 1:10 to 15. Understand, though, that plant-sourced omega-3 fatty acids are not really that as beneficial when compared to those found in marine sources.
One of the most interesting characteristics of strawberries is that, while they are mostly carbs, they don’t cause huge spikes in the levels of blood sugar. For each 100 grams of the fruit, less than 6 grams is digestible carbohydrates. This gives it a low glycemic index score which should be beneficial for a pet that is diabetic.
Now here’s the thing. More than a quarter of the carbohydrates in strawberries are actually fiber. This provides for a healthier gut flora which can help in improving the overall health of the canine digestive tract.
Strawberries are packed with nutrients, too. In fact, it is rich in the following vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin C: Everyone knows the role ascorbic acid plays in the enhancement of the immune system. It is also a very powerful antioxidant and an important component in collagen synthesis. This helps bring about healthier skin and coat for your pet dog.
- Vitamin B9: Known as folate, vitamin B9 is important in the synthesis or production of DNA and its repair. And since all cells have DNA, folate can play a huge role in maintaining the optimum health and functioning of cells in your pet.
- Manganese: This mineral has been shown to aid the body in the building and development of connective tissues while also helping in the blood clotting mechanism. Without it injuries can lead to uncontrolled bleeding which can have deleterious effects on your canine friend. It is also an important component of several antioxidants.
- Potassium: Potassium is well-known for its role in maintaining cellular integrity and the efficient transmission of nerve impulses through the sodium-potassium pump mechanism. Because of this, it is generally considered one of the most important minerals for optimum health of the nervous system and the muscular system.
These are not the only nutrients contained in strawberries. There are other vitamins and minerals that come in modest, yet equally beneficial, amounts. These include the following.
- Iron: Plays a role in the development of healthier blood cells through its role in the formation of hemoglobin. This molecule is what carries oxygen in the blood. Without it, it would be quite impossible to bring oxygen to the different cells.
- Copper: Aids in the formation of collagen while also helping increase the rate of absorption of iron to aid in improved oxygen delivery.
- Magnesium: This mineral helps in the proper regulation of sodium, potassium, and calcium and has been proven to exert its effects on muscle cells by relaxing them.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is needed for the strengthening and maintenance of the strength of bones.
- Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine is important in the maintenance of optimum nervous system functioning as well as skin health. It is also involved in a variety of metabolic processes.
- Vitamin K: An important component of the blood clotting mechanism, the absence of vitamin K can lead to uncontrolled bleeding which can deprive your mutt’s cells of the much-needed oxygen. While it is primarily known for its blood clotting function, it is also important in the reduction of bone loss as well as a reduction in the risk of fractures.
- Vitamin E: A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E has always been regarded as highly beneficial for healthier coat and skin.
- Flavonoids and antioxidants: Strawberries are rich in ellagic acid and ellagitannins, powerful antioxidants that can help minimize the effects of oxidative stress on your pooch. It also contains anthocyanins which actually give strawberries their characteristic red color. These have been proven to promote improved cardiovascular health.
Strawberries for You and Your Pooch
Instead of reaching for your pooch’s commercially prepared doggie treat that is filled with unhealthy fats and some preservatives, you’d definitely be giving your pooch a favor if you feed it fresh strawberries. With all the nutrients, fiber, water, and antioxidants that this fruit contains, it would simply be a mistake to replace it with canned or bottled strawberries.