Cranberries are a traditional Thanksgiving treat. These tart, crunchy berries are loved by many, and with the Holidays quickly approaching, you may be wondering, “Can dogs eat cranberries?”
It’s only natural for us humans to want to share our favorite foods with our pups, and yes, it is safe for dogs to eat cranberries.
However don’t be too surprised if your dog doesn’t enjoy their tart flavor quite as much as you do.
When Are Cranberries In Season?
Cranberry season is from September until the end of October, making these tasty and healthy berries available just in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
Most U.S. cranberries are grown in Massachusetts and Wisconsin. (Source:” Which state produces the most cranberries?”)
Do Cranberries Have Any Health Benefits For Dogs?
- Cranberries are a great source of antioxidants.
- Cranberries may promote urinary tract health, and may help prevent urinary tract infections in dogs. (Source: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.gov “Effects of cranberry extract on prevention of urinary tract infection in dogs.“)
- They are a good source of fiber, which can aid in digestion.
- Cranberries are rich in vitamin C, which has been known to help support the immune system.
How To Prepare Cranberries For My Dog
- Raw – Raw cranberries are probably the healthiest for your dog, since none of the nutrients are lost during the cooking process. The only problem is that cranberries are small, and firm, much like their relative, the blueberry. A good option to prevent a choking hazard would be to crush raw berries before feeding them to your pup. This may also improve the digestibility of the cranberries.
- Cooked – Cooked cranberries can be a good choice for dogs, provided that it is homemade so you are aware of all the ingredients in them. Store bought versions may include high fructose corn syrup, or other ingredients that may be bad for dogs.
- Dried cranberries – Dogs can eat dried cranberries, but they are typically loaded with sugar. If you choose to feed dried cranberries, check the label on the package to make sure that cranberries are the only ingredient in the package. Never feed your dog a mixed blend that contains raisins, grapes, or grape juice because these are toxic to dogs.
- Related Post: Can I feed my dog blueberries?
Which Cranberry Products Should I Avoid?
- Cranberry juice – Cranberry juice is not an ideal food for dogs because it contains copious amounts of sugar or high fructose corn syrup to sweeten it. Another problem is that cranberry juice is often combined with other juices, such as grape, and grapes are toxic for dogs to consume.
- Avoid any cranberry product containing xylitol, also known as birch sugar– these sweeteners are also toxic to dogs. (ASPCA poison control 888-426-4435)
- Cranberries that contain a lot of sugars, or that are canned in a heavy syrup. Too much sugar is never good for dogs.
- Cranberry sauce should be avoided unless it is homemade, with only cranberries. Cranberry sauce is often made using other berries, high amounts of sugar, and alcohol. These things could pose a danger to your furbaby.
Risks Of Dogs Consuming Cranberries
- Cranberries contain soluble fiber, so if your dog eats too many it could lead to diarrhea.
Tip – If you want your dog to benefit from eating cranberries, but your pup doesn’t like the flavor, cranberry supplement for dogs are widely available. Consult your veterinarian for advise before giving any supplement to your dog.
How Many Cranberries Can I Give My Dog?
Cranberries should be considered a treat, and given in strict moderation.
As with all new foods, start your dog off slowly, and be on the lookout for negative reactions.
Treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet.
We hope you enjoyed our post regarding “Can dogs eat cranberries?”