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Health Benefits of Cranberries for Dogs

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Are cranberries good for dogs? There are some benefits to cranberries in a dog’s diet. Yes, cranberries have health benefits for your dog! Can they be fed to your dog? Yes, they can!

Cranberries are not toxic to dogs. Generally, they are safe and do have health benefits. Cranberries have a tart flavor to them. Dried cranberries may be a bit sweeter; the sugar content isn’t a dietary requirement for your pup.

Canned cranberry sauce and other prepared cranberry dishes and juices can be risky. Many contain high amounts of sugars, alcohol, and other ingredients that should not be part of the canine menu.

cranberry options not good for dogs

There may be as much as 20 grams of sugar (the equivalent of a small glass of soda) in a single serving of dried cranberries. Cranberry juice would also have even more sugar than the dried berries, not to mention that many cranberry juices are a mix of cranberry with grape juice.

These are highly toxic to our furry friends, as are raisins. Fresh cranberries may be the way to go!

Will your dog benefit in any way from having a cranberry treat on occasion?

Of course, it is up to your dog if they will actually like the flavor, as in the case of these highly coveted cranberry peanut butter dog treats.  The tartness may not appeal to a dog’s taste buds. Do not be surprised if they just stick their snout up at them.

homemade cranberry peanut butter dog treat dough

Another factor would be which style of cranberry you try. Fresh berries may be the most effective for your dog’s specific needs. Fresh cranberries are usually available in the produce department of your local grocery store. At this time of year, there may be special pricing to help you get the best deal for your pet.

Always be sure to rinse cranberries well before sharing them with your pets, or using them in recipes.

Do Cranberries have health benefits for dogs? You bet they do!!

Cranberries have a number of benefits for “Fido” including:

  • They are high in dietary fiber-fiber may help lower the risk for stroke, hypertension, developing heart diseases, diabetes and some gastrointestinal issues
  • Vision Improvement
  • Urinary Tract Health-suggested as a supplement; not as a replacement for antibiotics-cranberries can prevent the adhesion of specific E. coli bacteria, which may cause UTIs, to the urinary tract
  • A source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, and C
  • Cranberries may help prevent and heal bladder infection
  • May aid in treating Stomach Ulcers
  • They are high in antioxidants which help support the immune system, reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, alleviate allergies, and skin problems
  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Prevent Plaque

There are few studies to confirm that cranberries alone can aid in all these treatments and they should not be used as a replacement for veterinarian approved medical treatment.  Yet because cranberries are so high in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, they can help improve your dog’s overall health.

health benefits cranberries for dogs

Are there risks to feeding cranberries to our dogs?

As with many “human” food products, there is a possibility of risk when serving them to your dog. Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing! Everything in moderation! Cranberries can cause some serious and possibly painful problems for your dog.

How many cranberries are bad for dogs?

Much like people, if your dog is prone to bladder or kidney stones cranberries may not be a good choice as a treat.  Cranberries contain oxalates, which contribute to the formation of bladder and kidney stones, dogs with a history of these ailments cranberries can be bad news.

Also, keep in mind the sugar content in some forms is not healthy and may want to be avoided. Diabetes can develop if too much sugar is given regularly.

fresh cranberries growing

Other Fruits and Vegetables that are Safe for Dogs

Dog-Friendly Fruit Choices

  • Apples– a great source of vitamins A and C. Remove the seeds, core, and try freezing them before serving.
  • Bananas– low in calories; high in fiber, potassium, vitamins, and low in cholesterol. Just give as a treat because their sugar content is high.
  • Blueberries– rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage.
  • Cantaloupe– packed with nutrients, low calories, and a great source of water. High in sugar so moderation recommended.
  • Cucumbers– especially good as they contain no carbohydrates, fats, or oils, which some overweight dogs do not need! They can even boost energy levels.
  • Mango– packed with vitamins as well as beta-carotene. Make sure to remove the hard pit, which could become a choking hazard. Is also high and sugar just a little bit as a treat.
  • Oranges– if “Rover” does not mind the strong citrus smell, the juicy flesh would be tasty as a treat; Minus the peel and seeds of course.
  • Peaches– small pieces of fresh peaches (not the canned which contain too much sugar), may possibly reduce the risk of stroke.
  • Pears– high in vitamins C, and K, copper, and fiber. Make sure to remove the pit and seeds first.
  • Pineapple– get rid of the prickly skin; pineapple contains bromelain, which makes it easier for “Princess” to absorb proteins.
  • Raspberries– fine in moderation. Especially good for senior dogs because they have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Watermelon– one of our dog’s favorites! Remove the rind and seeds and your “Buddy” will stay hydrated on hot summer days as well as get his/her vitamins A, B-6, and C.

Dog Friendly Vegetable Choices

  • Broccoli– in very small quantities; high in vitamin C and low in fat.
  • Brussel Sprouts– are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Warning! Gas alert!
  • Cabbage– also safe for dogs but once again, be aware of the gassy warning.
  • Carrots– high in fiber, beta-carotene, and crunching is great for your dog’s teeth.
  • Celery– breath freshener; promotes a healthy heart and may even fight cancer.
  • Green Beans– high in fiber, low in calories. All varieties of green beans are safe as long as they are plain.
  • Peas– rich in protein and fiber. Snow peas, snap peas, and green peas are fine for dogs to enjoy on occasion. Fresh or frozen but avoid high in sodium canned peas. With Thanksgiving and other holidays coming up many new items to the regular household menu may be tickling your dog’s olfactory senses. Choose wisely, when giving your dog any extras for the holidays or at any other time.

Be aware that not everything on the dinner table or counter should be added to our fur babies’ food dishes. As a reminder, here is a list of 20+ seemingly harmless people foods that are highly toxic for your beloved canine.

Besides fruits and vegetables, other food products may not be a good choice as a treat for “Daisy”. Many pets have allergies and you should be aware of any possible symptoms and remedies, just in case.

Can dogs have cranberry pills?

Yes – cranberry pills specifically made for dogs are usually safe. Are they effective? Assuming a reputable, US-based manufacturer produces them, cranberry pills designed for dogs are largely safe. Make sure any inactive ingredients that help bind the pills together and preserve them are safe for dogs. Reading the ingredients and doing some research can be the key to helping your dog getting better and staying well.

How many MG of cranberry can a dog have?

There is no standardized dose established as of yet and actual scientific, clinical studies are lacking. Depending on your pet’s needs you should always consult with your veterinarian. They may have more specifics concerning dosage and medicinal products that work in conjunction with cranberry products. Not all cranberry supplements are the same. A pet’s size and weight may be a key factor in knowing just how much their body can and should be able to handle.

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