You might be wondering if dogs can have cranberries. Cranberries are often considered one of the world’s healthiest foods because they contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and potentially anti-cancerous health benefits. In addition, cranberries are a good source of vitamin C, E, K as well as phytonutrients, dietary fiber, panthotenic acid, copper, and manganese. Furthermore, cranberries can be found in many different forms, including raw, dried, frozen, juiced, or jammed. There are even cranberry pills these days.
Oftentimes, dog owners wonder whether their canines can enjoy the same types of benefits from cranberries. Specifically, they’re concerned about dogs eating raw or dried cranberries, drinking cranberry juice, or having concentrated cranberry pills. Ultimately, these questions center around whether cranberries are good or bad for their dogs, and if there are safe limits to consumption to avoid toxicity.
Cranberries Are Safe For Dogs To Eat
Generally, cranberries in small amounts are safe and good for dogs to eat. However, be sure to use cranberry supplements meant specifically for dogs if you’re looking to give them pills. Supplements made for humans may have improper doses or other ingredients that may be bad or harmful for pets. Nevertheless, your dog should not eat cranberry sauce because it contains too much sugar.
As long as you don’t go overboard, it’s perfectly safe to give fresh or frozen cranberries to your dogs. However, eating too many cranberries can give your dog an upset stomach. This can be avoided by not giving your dog cranberries on a daily basis, and by limiting serving sizes to a quarter of a cup or less each time.
On a side note, humans benefit heavily from cranberries and cranberry juice because it helps prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTI). Unfortunately, studies have not shown the same effect in dogs so cranberries are unlikely to help dogs that are prone to developing UTIs.
Feeding Cranberries To Your Dog
Cranberries can be served in a variety of forms, such as fresh, dried, or juiced. Some forms include:
- Cranberry Supplements – Because cranberries can defend against UTIs, they are often used as supplements, in either pill or powder form. Cranberry powder can be sprinkled on your dog’s food but there isn’t any evidence that it will help treat UTIs in dogs.
- Dried Cranberries – Similar to raisins, many people enjoy eating dried cranberries. However, they aren’t good for dogs because they contain a lot of sugar.
- Cranberry Juice – Cranberry juice is safe for dogs but you must make sure that it doesn’t contain any added ingredients, including added sugars, artificial sweeteners or preservatives, which may be toxic for dogs.
As mentioned above, cranberry sauce is a popular dish during the holiday seasons. It’s delicious and sweet but certainly not good for dogs, especially if your pet is diabetic.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Cranberries in Moderation
It’s OK to occasionally give your dogs fresh cranberries. However, make sure to give it to them in moderation. If you’re still debating about whether or not to give your dogs cranberries, you should talk to your veterinarian. They can also advise on how much to give them, if any. Alternatively, you can choose other treats that are healthy for dogs including carrots, squash, and other vegetables. You’ll most likely be serving these during your holiday dinners as well!