From improving his immune system to even whitening his teeth, strawberries might be your dog's ticket to healthy snacking.

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Did you know that strawberry season actually begins during winter? In fact, according to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, strawberries can be harvested in the Sunshine State as early as December. In true Southern style, strawberry season is typically ushered in with pomp and circumstance ranging from strawberry festivals to strawberry 5Ks. Celebrate the start of strawberry season with the whole family by whipping up your favorite strawberry shortcake recipe, and when you do, be sure to toss a few ripe strawberries to Fido, too. Like blueberries, strawberries are an excellent healthy treat for dogs.

Bulldog Looking at Plate of Strawberries and Cherries
Credit: Getty/Carol Yepes

Can my dog eat strawberries?

When it comes to the above question, you don't have to think twice. Yes, strawberries are safe for dogs to consume. Strawberries are a source of fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. The American Kennel Club suggests these elements protect your pup by boosting his immune system and even keeping him at a healthy weight.

Interestingly, strawberries also help those pearly whites shine bright. They contain malic acid which is credited with being a natural tooth cleanser. While it probably won't do any dental wonders, a few strawberries here and there could help your dog maintain a cleaner mouth.

Can dogs eat strawberry ice cream? What about strawberry jelly?

While your dog can certainly enjoy fresh strawberries, it's best to avoid feeding him other sugary strawberry treats such as strawberry yogurt or strawberry jelly. If Grandpa Joe tries to slip your pup a bite of strawberry ice cream, gently remind him to keep his frozen dessert to himself, too.

Instead, stick with fresh strawberries. Cut strawberries into smaller pieces to avoid any choking hazards. Bite size pieces also make strawberries easier to digest. And before you toss the whole strawberry kit and caboodle his way, take care to clean it thoroughly first. Are you wondering, "Can dogs eat strawberry leaves, too?" Try to avoid them. Chewy says the best practice is to completely wash strawberries and remove stray stems, leaves, and dirt before giving them to your dog.

If fresh strawberries aren't available, it's absolutely fine to give your dog frozen ones. Freeze strawberries for a frosty treat during Southern heatwaves, or grab a bag of already frozen strawberries at the market. Just make sure to select ones that do not have any additives such as sugar. Another fun idea? Use water, unsweetened yogurt, and strawberries to concoct a dog-friendly popsicle.

As always, consult your veterinarian before adding new foods to your dog's diet but consider asking about strawberries for occasional treats at your pup's next appointment.