Fruits can now be purchased in different forms — aside from fresh, you can also buy freeze dried varieties. Freeze dried fruits stay fresh for longer periods, are rich in nutrients, and are usually low in calories. Because they’re lightweight, freeze dried fruits are also travel-friendly.
There are plenty of reasons to love freeze dried fruits, especially strawberries. However, this doesn’t mean that you can immediately share some with your dogs. Foods that are safe and healthy for humans don’t always have the same effect when given to canines.
Dogs should not eat freeze dried strawberries because they contain too much sugar. The process of freeze drying strawberries involves coating the fruit in sugar. In fact, 100 grams of freeze dried strawberries contain 71% sugar, while fresh strawberries only contain 4.9%. A high-sugar diet can cause the following problems in canines:
Short-term, giving your dogs any sugary foods (like freeze dried strawberries) can lead to an upset stomach. Sugary foods can cause an imbalance of microorganisms in your dogs’ digestive tracts, leading to bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
Just as how sugar can adversely affect humans’ oral health, the same can happen in canines. The high sugar content of freeze dried strawberries allows the bacteria inside your dogs’ mouths to produce excessive amounts of acids. These acids can increase the loss of minerals in the outer coating of your dogs’ teeth, leading to a variety of dental diseases.
Weight Gain and Obesity
Feeding your dogs freeze dried strawberries too often can eventually lead to excessive weight gain and obesity. Carrying too much weight in the body can take a toll on your dogs’ joints, increasing their risks of developing joint problems as they age. Obese dogs are also susceptible to developing different health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Too much sugar can cause your dogs’ bodies to produce more insulin, which their bodies need to use and store sugar. Increased secretion of insulin can affect hormones in the body, which can impact your dogs’ immune systems, fat storage, muscle tone, and energy levels. As a result, your fur babies will eventually get weaker and less active.
In the long run, insulin can affect your dogs’ metabolisms, causing them to slow down. The most common challenge dogs with slower metabolisms face is having a higher risk of diabetes and obesity.
When left untreated, dogs who gain a lot of weight will eventually develop Type 2 diabetes. Dogs who are diagnosed with this condition can no longer digest sugar properly because their pancreas doesn’t produce a sufficient amount of insulin. The pancreas naturally produces insulin, which helps regulate the sugar in the blood.
What Should You Do if Your Dogs Eat Freeze Dried Strawberries?
If your dogs eat one or two pieces of freeze dried strawberries, there’s no need to panic as the amount isn’t usually enough for them to develop severe and long-term symptoms. However, if they consumed a lot of freeze dried strawberries — say one pack — you should reach out to your vet immediately.
Is It Better to Feed Your Dogs Fresh Strawberries?
Yes! Fresh strawberries are better options than freeze dried strawberries because they’re packed with vitamins and minerals without the necessary sugar. In fact, feeding your dogs fresh strawberries in moderation offers the following health benefits:
Strawberries contain antioxidants that can protect your four-legged friends from oxidative damage. Antioxidants also neutralize the effects of chronic inflammation among canines, which triggers a wide variety of health problems when left untreated.
Has Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Giving your dogs fresh strawberries as occasional treats can improve their skin and coat health as the fruit contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Adding this fruit to your dogs’ diets can become key for them having shiny and lush coats!
One study also showed that omega-3 fatty acids could affect the behavior of dogs. The study showed that dogs with aggressive or unwanted behaviors have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies.
Loaded with Fiber
Fresh strawberries are also loaded with fiber, a type of carbohydrate that aids in the regular bowel movement of dogs. Fiber also produces healthy intestinal pH among canines to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in their guts.
Feed Them Fresh
To ensure that your dogs stay happy and healthy for the longest time possible, refrain from feeding them freeze dried strawberries. If you want to improve their diets, opt to feed them fresh fruits. Adding fresh fruits into their diets will significantly improve the energy levels of your fur babies, as well as their overall health and wellness!