Can dogs eat cranberries? Is perhaps a thought you might have had on some days, say while having your favorite salad? Or, during the holiday season when natural sweet delicacies become all the rage.
So, today let’s just try and look at all the worries and concerns most dog owners have when it comes to answering the question of ‘Can dogs eat cranberries.’
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries: Are Cranberries Safe for Dogs?
This is probably the first thing you’re wondering about.
‘Will my pooch get sick?’ is after all a perfectly natural question to ask ourselves when it comes to our precious little furry friends.
To answer this simply,
“Yes. Cranberries are safe BUT only when fed in moderation.”
What does this mean?
Let’s have a look.
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries: Why Excessive Amounts of Cranberries Are Dangerous
Cranberries are low in fat.
But don’t let this fool you. According to scientists, 1 cup of raw cranberries contains about 0 grams of fat but 12 grams of carbohydrates and 2 milligrams sodium.
Unfortunately, the stats are a bit more disappointing when we talk about dried cranberries since these contain a more concentrated number of sugars.
So, for a cup of dried cranberries, we get to have roughly 25 grams of carbohydrates.
What does this mean?
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries: Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad for Dogs
While for a human being, taking in multiple handfuls of raw or dried cranberries won’t do much harm, it could potentially be risky for your canine friend.
One reason is that dogs are sensitive to sudden spikes in glucose levels within their bloodstreams.
Firstly, a sudden intake can cause excessive amounts of inflammation around the body, which can be really painful for your buddy.
Carbohydrates are essentially a source of energy for any living being. Hence our immense love for them as human beings.
But when it comes to our pet friends, while dogs do need them in certain amounts, excessive intake can be bad.
The reasons are sometimes obvious and include consequences like obesity and weight gain. At times, however, they are slightly less conspicuous.
The fact is, our dogs require a healthy and balanced lifestyle for them to remain active and happy.
Therefore, giving them a high sugary diet could lead to long term side effects like depression etc.; although, the jury is still out on that one.
In any case, we’d suggest you limit your dog’s carb intake to a required amount only and avoid unnecessary excesses.
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries: Cranberries as a Dog Treat
Thankfully, when it comes to natural substances like cranberries- while giving them in excess is still a problem- tossing your pooch a few every now and then is not that bad.
In fact, if anything, according to some vets, it actually fares better as a dog treat when compared to some packaged ones present on the market.
So, the next time your pup does something good that you approve of, or if they’re just being a good boy/gal, feel free to offer them a few of these delicious edibles as a reward for good behavior.
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries: Nutritional Benefits of Cranberries
Being a natural plant fruit, the fact that cranberries posses some amazing nutrients should not come as a shock.
If fed in proper proportions, these can prove to be really good for your dog. To know why, continue reading.
Number 1: Antioxidants
Antioxidants are regularly promoted by the health and wellness industry when it comes to our human world.
As it happens though, they are just as important for our pets as well!
Why?… You ask?
To put it in less complicated terms, our bodies (and the bodies of our dogs, cats etc.) contain these free radicals, often in the form of an Oxygen radical. Now while normal oxygen is pretty great for our body, these radicals…umm, not so much!
Mostly, these free radicals harm the inner linings of our guts and cause damage to the skin etc. due to their highly reactive nature.
To avoid this, we therefore need to make use of some antioxidants which will prevent such reactions from occurring and keep our pets healthy.
And as it so happens, antioxidants are present in a good amount inside cranberries. Types include:
- Ursolic acid
- A-type proanthocyanidins
Number 2: Vitamins
The body needs vitamins for various processes. And dogs need them just as humans do.
Some of the vitamins present inside cranberries include:
Vitamin A: According to the National Research Council Academy of Sciences, the benefits of Vitamin A include support for healthy eyes (including night vision) and skin, the formation of organs and structures in growing animals (morphogenesis) and immune function.
Vitamin C: For starters, this is important because it acts as an antioxidant in and of itself. But it has more benefits still. These include promoting a better immune response system, boosting your dog’s energy levels and even providing some degree of pain relief to pups who suffer from urinary tract infections.
Vitamin E: This is a fat soluble vitamin which helps provide better cell function and improves cell metabolism. It helps in membrane stabilization which is an important factor in pain management for certain dogs. Finally, it helps keep the nerve, liver and brain cells healthy!
Vitamin K: Vitamin K allows better coagulation and blood clotting abilities. This is important in case of any unexpected cuts or injuries where the blood needs to form clots to avoid excessive blood clots.
Number 3: Minerals
Just like vitamins, minerals are needed by the body sparingly to help promote a healthier lifestyle.
In dogs, the following are some of the minerals provided by cranberries, and their potential benefits.
Calcium: This is needed by the body for bone growth and development. A loss of calcium might effect bone strength and severe deficiency may even cause fractures.
Copper: It helps in the formation of bones, connective tissue, collagen, and myelin sheath. Also, it helps a dog’s body absorb iron and promotes healthier skin by reducing uneven pigmentation.
Manganese: This is important for proper enzymatic functions and a healthy metabolism. And therefore, also acts to metabolize carbs, proteins, and fats within your dog’s body.
So, with ALL these beneficial nutrients, how could the answer to ‘Can dogs eat cranberries?’ ever be a no?
It can’t. Unless we factor in the part about excessive carbohydrate- which, unfortunately, we need to.
Conclusion: Yes. Feed your pup cranberries but be sure to only do so in the form of treats and never in excess.
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries: What About Cranberry Sauce?
Sadly, when it comes to cranberry sauce, we would highly recommend not giving it to your buddy.
This is primarily because not only is the sauce high in sugar but also because it may contain other additives which could potentially be harmful for your dog!
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries: How to Feed Cranberries to Your Dogs
The golden rule here is to feed them as treats and in moderate amounts.
Never feed them too much at once.
And at no cost should this become a primary food source for your pet.
Because really, if no human can survive on a cranberry- only diet, trust me when I say, neither can a dog.
So, once again.
Feed cranberries to your dog every now and then as a reward for good behavior but never more than a handful a day.
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries: Recipe Guide
Recipe: Cranberry Candy
- Quick Oats- 100 grams
- Dried Cranberries- 50 grams
- Hot Water- 50 ml
In a bowl, add in the quick oats and cranberries. To these, add in some hot water and kneed into a dough form.
Next, take some waxing paper. Make little dough balls out of the dough and place on top of the waxing paper. Twist the ends to secure a delicious treat inside.
Feed when you like!
Can Dogs Eat Cranberries: Fun Facts About Cranberries
- Cranberries do not grow in water.
- They are used in home remedies to help in teeth whitening.
- Almost 90% of fresh cranberries are water.
Can dogs eat cranberries everyday?
They can, but we suggest they don’t.
Can dogs eat cranberries in large amounts?
No. Please moderate the amount fed to your dog.
Can dogs eat cranberries if they’re raw?
Can dogs eat dried cranberries?
Can dogs eat cranberries if they’re diabetic?
We’d recommend consulting a vet to know the exact answer for your dogs, but in general, one or two will not be too harmful.