Summer is a time for sun, fun, and merry. If you have your furry pal to savor in this niceness, summertime is twice the fun. You may want to share in the nice summer delicacies (such as juicy watermelons and luscious strawberries) with your wild ones. So, today, I’m out looking for any side effects that may come after sharing a little strawberry with your Chih. Here’s what I found.
Can Chihuahuas eat Strawberries?
Chihuahuas can eat strawberries. Strawberries are safe and Chihuahuas love them. However, you do need to keep an eye on how much your Chihuahua eats because strawberries contain high amounts of sugar – too much may cause a tummy ache and other stomach problems (gastrointestinal upset).
Fun Fact: The first strawberry is believed to have been bred by France. Strawberries began appearing in North America in the mid-1700s. Now, strawberries are some of the popular summertime fruit snacks.
Nutritional Content of Strawberries
One cup of sliced, fresh strawberries (166g) contains the following nutrients, according to the nutritionists.
Nutritional benefits of strawberries for Chihuahuas
The fiber in strawberries will help your Chihuahua to maintain good digestion – this is important because good digestion equals better appetite, willingness to try more nutritious diets, and regular growth rate.
2. Vitamin C
Frankly, most dogs usually produce vitamin C for their bodies in the liver. Nonetheless, the dietary supply of vitamin C is not harmful.
This vitamin helps to boost the immune system of your Chihuahua.
3. Vitamin B1 and B6
These B vitamins help to protect your chi’s nervous system as well as maintaining a healthy coat and skin, proper appetite, vision, and regular growth.
4. Vitamin K
This is another vitamin that dogs are known to produce in their digestive system. It helps in the proper clotting of blood.
Again, a dietary supplement of this vitamin is not bad – it may even be good for Chihuahuas that have a vitamin K – deficiency (seen by prolonged bleeding from minor cuts).
This mineral is essential in maintaining normal growth and ensuring that the nerves and muscles are in tip-top shape.
Iodine helps to prevent goiter just as it does in human beings.
This mineral helps to prevent convulsions and harm to your Chihuahua’s nervous system.
8. Folic acid
Folic acid is essential in dogs generally. It helps in the metabolism of amino acids and ensuring that your chi’s cell membranes are maintained in good order.
Folic acid is usually added as an ingredient in most dog food.
9. Water-rich treat
Strawberries contain high water content (about 91 percent). This high water content in strawberries means that as a treat, they will help to keep your Chihuahua hydrated through the warm weather of the summer when the strawberry treats are usually served.
Granted, strawberries are not a replacement for freshwater but as far as treats go, strawberries are one of the best of the summer season.
10. Low-calorie treat
Strawberries have a low-calorie content, which makes them a perfect replacement for high-calorie treats. For overweight Chihuahuas, a low-calorie treat like this is just the treat to go for.
Additionally, vets advise that safe and fresh fruits in a dog’s diet slow the aging process and help with weight management.
Truth be told, strawberries are not the holy grail of nutritional value for your Chihuahua. Nonetheless, as a natural, tasty, and nutritious treat, strawberries hold their own.
As compared to packaged treats, a natural and healthy treat like strawberries, especially in the summer, will be a winner in your chi’s eyes.
Fun fact: Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid which is crucial in whitening teeth. Therefore, that enzyme will ensure your Chihuahua’s teeth are clean and fresh.
Things to keep in mind when feeding strawberries to your Chihuahua
1. Moderate portions are highly recommended
It is easy to overdo strawberries. Your Chihuahua is having a good time and you can see he/she wants more strawberries, and what harm would just a little more do?
Well, you check back later and realize that he/she has eaten a human-size portion! You’ll want to avoid that.
Strawberries are one of those fruits that contain high amounts of sugar. Sugar in all dogs generally doesn’t go down well. Their digestive systems are not equipped to handle too much sugar.
As a result of too many strawberries, your Chihuahua may experience a stomach upset. Other side effects of overfeeding may include vomiting and diarrhea.
It’s a good idea to speak to your vet and find out an appropriate serving of strawberries for your Chihuahua.
But generally, for all treats – which the strawberries are – vets recommended no more than 10% of the total daily calorie intake. A medium-sized strawberry contains about three calories.
Again, if you want to make strawberry treats a thing from time to time, it’s good to speak with a vet particularly to discuss an appropriate portion based on your chi’s recommended daily calorie intake.
2. Avoid canned or processed strawberries
Human food such as fresh strawberries is good for Chihuahua. However, their canned varieties are something else entirely.
It’s better to avoid canned or processed strawberries since they contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and other chemicals. Some may even have xylitol or chocolate which are very toxic for your Chihuahua.
Any of these chemicals are not good for your Chihuahua and it is better to stick to the fresh, natural strawberries for your chi.
Strawberries in syrup or strawberry-flavored foods such as ice cream and yogurt are a bad idea for your chi – because of the chemicals added during processing.
Some dogs have allergies to certain human foods. Although strawberry allergies among dogs are uncommon, it’s more prudent to monitor your Chihuahua after eating strawberries for any allergic reactions that may result.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include sneezing, coughing, difficulty in breathing, diarrhea, and vomiting, swelling, and itchy skin.
If you note any of these symptoms, take the strawberries away and consult your vet immediately.
4. Underlying medical conditions
Before you let your Chihuahua sink his teeth in that delicious strawberry, ensure that he does not have underlying medical conditions that may be worsened by the strawberries.
Speak with a vet beforehand to make sure that your Chihuahua is getting nothing but the benefits out of strawberries.
How to serve strawberries to your Chihuahua
After your vet has given you a solid nod on strawberries, the fun begins. There are many ways to serve strawberries to your Chihuahua.
First and foremost, make sure that you wash the strawberries carefully. This will remove dirt and residual chemicals from the strawberries.
Then, try out any of these ideas:
1. Chop them up or mash them – this is good for smaller Chihuahua puppies for whom the strawberries can be a choking hazard.
2. Mix them into your Chihuahua’s dog food for a punch of flavor to the meal.
3. Blend with other safe fruits for a delicious and nutritious smoothie – perfect for a Chihuahua that is having trouble with solid food.
4. Make a tasty fruit salad with other safe fruits.
5. Freeze strawberries and serve on a hot summer day.
Other safe fruits that you can serve with strawberries include frozen bananas, watermelons with the seeds removed, apples with the seeds and core removed, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, and peeled mangoes with the pit removed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Chihuahuas eat fruit?
Yes, Chihuahuas can eat various kinds of fruits. These include apples (without the seeds and out), unpeeled bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, unskinned and unseeded kiwis, mangoes served without the pits, oranges, peaches without the pits, stems, or leaves, pears without the pits or seeds, pineapple without the core or the skin, strawberries, and watermelons without the seeds. All these fruits should be served in moderation as they are treats, not the full meal (below 10% of the daily calorie intake is recommended).
What can Chihuahuas not eat?
Chihuahuas cannot eat the following foods because they are dangerous for Chihuahuas. They include garlic, onions, shallots, chives, leeks, scallions, macadamia nuts, nutmeg, xylitol (typically found in mints, candy, sugar-free gum, and peanut butter), and citrus foods such as lemons and limes.
Is Strawberry safe for dogs?
Yes, strawberry is safe for dogs. Dogs suffer no gastrointestinal issues unless the strawberries are served in high amounts. Also, some dogs which have strawberry allergies – though rare – can suffer allergic reactions after consuming strawberries. All in all, it’s better to check with your vet before serving strawberries to your dog. The vet will guide you on the appropriate serving size for your furry friend.
Can dogs eat dried strawberries?
Yes, dogs can eat dried strawberries. However, keep in mind that dried strawberries usually pack a punch and so, a limited portion is usually enough. Strive for moderation. Dried strawberries can also be a choking hazard for small dogs or puppies. As far as strawberry treats for dogs are concerned, fresh strawberries are recommended – whether they are served right there and then, or frozen to be served on particularly warm summer days.
Strawberry season (April to June) can be one of the best times of the year for you and your Chihuahua.
This is because the fresh strawberries that are stocked around this time provide an opportunity to change up your chi’s treats now and then.
Frozen strawberries work well in the hot summer weather and, on top of the sweet taste, strawberries provide health boost in the most natural way possible.