Cranberries, even though not nearly as popular as other berries like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, are one of mother nature’s ultimate gifts to humanity. Why? Ask anyone who has a urinary tract infection! They’ll tell you all about how it’s a miracle food for treating their condition.
And, it’s tasty, but hey that’s just me 🙂
Why We Think About Giving Our Dogs Cranberry
Cranberries are also notorious for being able to help people who suffer from diabetes, liver disease and stomach problems.
That’s the case for us humans, and as we know, not every “human food” is safe for dogs to eat, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables, which is why research beforehand is very important in these cases.
So, what’s the case with cranberries when it comes to Fido? Can dogs eat cranberries? And will cranberries offer your dog the same health benefits they can offer you and I?
Look no further, this article has all the information you need to know!
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries?
The answer is YES, dogs can safely eat cranberries! 🙂
But before you go along with your day, do both you and your dog a favor and read the rest of this article first.
Why Are Cranberries Good For Dogs?
– Greatly help healing urinary tract and bladder infections in dogs, just as they help in healing urinary tract infections in us humans.
With that said, you should not only rely on giving your dog cranberries/cranberry juice to help them recover from a urinary tract infection, as that’s simply not enough.
If your dog suffers from a urinary tract infection, they have to be properly treated by a certified professional.
Cranberries only go so far as a good add-on to a proper course of treatment in this case.
– Are believed to be able to help treat stomach ulcers in people and dogs alike
– Are an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2, and C.
– Are an excellent source of minerals, such as manganese
– Are rich in polyphenol antioxidants (particularly antioxidants called proanthocyanidins) which boost your dog’s immune system
– Contain phytochemicals which fight against aging characteristics in dogs and help in keeping memory, balance and coordination in tip-top shape.
– Provide quality dietary fiber for your dog which goes a long way in keeping them regular and helping them pass stool as easily as possible
– Help improve your dog’s good cholesterol levels (known as HDL) and help lower your dog’s bad cholesterol levels (known as LDL)
– Help improve your dog’s vision
– Helps fight plague forming on your dog’s teeth and, as a result, keeps dental decay away
– Improve your dog’s cardiovascular system, helps prevent cardiovascular disease, helps keep your dog’s blood vessels operating in maximum efficiency and helps regulate your dog’s blood pressure at all times.
How Can Dogs Have Cranberries?
The most common form dog owners like to give their dogs cranberry in is cranberry juice, which is just the same way most people like to have their cranberry as well.
This is the most common form people who suffer from urinary tract infection like to have their cranberry, so it’s understandable that it’s the same way they think about giving cranberry to their dogs as well.
However, before giving your dog any cranberry juice, you must do your due diligence for the sake of your dog’s health and thoroughly check the label to see if the cranberry juice is made from real cranberries and doesn’t contain high levels of sugar.
Excess sugar is terrible for your dog’s health, so you must be careful and do your homework on this one.
To be as safe as possible, only get your dog organic cranberry juice, or if you’re preparing the cranberry juice yourself at home, that’s even better!
The problem with giving your dog 100% natural cranberry juice is that the taste can be a little bit too sharp for your dog to willingly drink, which will tempt you to add considerable amounts of sugar to even out the taste a little bit.
But, as we already said, any sugar added to the cranberry would completely beat the purpose we’re trying to achieve here and will do more harm to your pooch than good.
So if your dog doesn’t willingly drink 100% natural cranberry juice, forgetting about giving them cranberry altogether would be a better choice than going down the added sugar or un-natural route.
Raw And Fresh Cranberries
Moreover, you can feed your dog raw, fresh cranberries, but know that some dogs will openly accept them while others will not like them served this way or will show signs of an upset stomach when they’re fed cranberries in raw form.
It’s just a matter of trying it out on your own and seeing what works and what doesn’t for your dog.
Cranberry is also available in the form of powder which can be sprinkled on and added as part of your dog’s meal(s).
Cranberry is also available for your dog to consume in the form of tablets, however it’s best that you discuss this with your veterinarian first to make sure your dog can handle these tablets, what dosages you’re best off giving your dog and any other details that you must know about.
How Much Cranberries Can Dogs Eat?
Since fruits shouldn’t really constitute a staple in your dog’s diet, you’re best off only feeding your dog a few cranberries from time to time and not over-doing it.
Chelsea from PupsNPaws.com says, “feeding your dog too many cranberries all at once will most likely lead to gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea and vomiting due to their potency. As if dog owners need any extra messes to clean up!”
Your dog should be getting all their nutritional requirements from the dog food that makes up the majority of their day to day diet.
Then and only when you’re sure that your dog’s overall diet is in check should you go and supplement with cranberries.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Cranberries?
Some dog owners like to feed their dogs dried cranberries, because they eat these themselves and think they’re tasty enough to share with Fido.
Truth be told, the majority of the population that consumes cranberries either consumes them in dried form, or in juice form (particularly that bought from the store).
Eating fresh, raw cranberries isn’t exactly the best of experiences for many people, and they get way more pleasure by eating cranberries in their dried form, the same way they prefer eating other fruits in their dried form as well.
However, feeding your dog these dried cranberries is something you NEVER want to do.
Besides the fact that they have a significant portion of their nutritional profile stripped away from them and contain way less vitamins and minerals afterwards, dried cranberries have most of the water taken out of them as well, contain more preservatives and are much more concentrated sugar-wise, three things which negatively affect your dog’s overall health.
Not to mention the fact that dried cranberries are known to cause stomach upset and diarrhea in many dogs, yours potentially included.
So, for the reasons stated above and a few more, it’s best that you never feed your dog dried cranberries (whether you dry them on your own or purchase them ready-made from the store), and stick to feeding your dog cranberry (or having them drink cranberry juice) in its natural form instead.
A Note About Cranberries And Dogs With Urinary Tract Infection
In this article, we talked about how cranberries (especially cranberry juice) can greatly help dogs that suffer from urinary tract infections.
However, something important must be made clear.
In no way, shape or form is this veterinary advice for you to start a self designed “treatment program” for your dog with cranberry juice or any other form of cranberry.
If your dog suffers from urinary tract infection, the only person able to help you out with this situation is a professional in the field, which is a veterinarian.
This must be made very clear because the moment something is suggested as a potential supplement in a diet for a certain health condition, many people immediately take that as an alibi to go all out and end up giving their dog too much of something that could have been good.
So, before you start giving your dog cranberry for any medical situation, please consult with your veterinarian about it first, for the sake of your dog’s health and well-being.
After you let your veterinarian know about all the symptoms you’ve been seeing in your dog that prompted you to believe they’re suffering from something, your veterinarian will prescribe the scientifically correct course of treatment for your dog’s condition with medication and antibiotics – and who knows, they might even recommend a certain dosage of cranberry juice for your dog to drink on a frequent basis!
The takeaway from this section is, leave it to the professional to determine how to treat a medical condition like this, and don’t try to be your dog’s own doctor!