Are Cranberries Good for Dogs?

Last Updated:

Cranberries are considered a superfood for humans as they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are advantageous to our health. Naturally, you might be wondering whether the same benefits apply to your pooch. So, are cranberries bad for dogs to eat?

cranberry dog

Fortunately, cranberries are safe for dogs to eat. In fact, this berry can aid with a variety of ailments your pup might suffer from, such as urinary tract infections, digestive discomfort, stomach ulcers, and many more. 

Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of feeding cranberries to your dog, as well as other important information you need to know about this fruit.

Are Cranberries Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Before feeding anything to your dog, it’s a good idea to question the safety of the food and whether it provides any nutritional value. If you’ve got some leftover cranberries lying around in your refrigerator, you’ve probably thought to yourself “are cranberries good for dogs?â€.

As I mentioned earlier, cranberries are perfectly safe for your pup to enjoy. However, like with a lot of foods, moderation is key. Letting your pooch overindulge on cranberries can result in digestive issues like diarrhea and vomiting. I’ll explain more about the side effects and drawbacks of cranberries later on.

Are Fresh Cranberries Good for Dogs? 

Cooking fruits and vegetables often makes them taste more appetizing, but the process removes heat-sensitive nutrients and decreases their nutritional value. With this in mind, you might be asking yourself “are raw cranberries good for dogs?â€. 

Fresh or raw cranberries are completely fine to give to your dog as long as you don’t feed them in excessive amounts. In moderation, cranberries can provide your dog with a wealth of benefits that can keep their immune system, heart, and cognitive function at optimal health.

Are Dried Cranberries Good for Dogs?

healthy pup cranberries

Dried fruits are more convenient than their fresh counterparts as they have a longer shelf life, so you don’t need to worry about them spoiling any time soon. However, some dried fruits can contain additional ingredients or sweeteners that obviously aren’t great for your dog.

Dried cranberries are good for dogs as long as they are entirely natural and don’t contain other ingredients. Dried cranberries, especially those found in trail mixes, can be combined with raisins or coated in yogurt/chocolate. 

Raisins and chocolate are incredibly toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. It’s best to steer clear of trail mixes or mixed bags of dried fruits.

Additionally, cranberry sauces or jellies should also be avoided due to their high sugar content. As long as the dried cranberries you feed your dog are 100% natural, you shouldn’t encounter any problems.

Nutritional Benefits of Cranberries for Dogs

energy pug jump
Cranberries are good antioxidants

So, as we’ve established that cranberries are safe for dogs to eat, your next question might be “are cranberries good antioxidants?â€. Well, the short answer is yes! The vitamin properties of cranberries, both raw and dried, are very high and varied. As a result, cranberries provide your dog with many advantages.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are known to boost your pooch’s immune system, as well as fight off disease and free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage your pup’s body). Additionally, they can help reduce inflammation and pain.

If that wasn’t enough, antioxidants can also improve your pooch’s cognitive function and aid with symptoms associated with allergies or skin issues.

Potassium 

It’s common knowledge that bananas are high in potassium, but did you know that cranberries are also packed with this nutrient, too? Potassium helps your dog keep a healthy level of essential fluids in their body, so it’s actually considered an electrolyte, but it’s still a great addition to your pooch’s diet nonetheless. 

Potassium also has many other health benefits, which include:

  • Helps regulate muscle contractions and heartbeat
  • Encourages muscle growth
  • Improves cognitive and nerve functions
  • Boosts metabolism and increases absorption of nutrients
  • Increases bone density
  • Promotes healthy heartbeat and cardiac blood flow

Cranberries are high in potassium and it helps your dog keep a healthy level of essential fluids in their body.

Dietary Fiber

As you’re probably already aware, fiber is advantageous for gastrointestinal health and keeping bowel movements regular. If your pup is suffering from diarrhea or constipation, then fiber can help normalize their stools.

Fiber can also keep your dog at a healthy weight as it makes them feel full for longer. Foods that contain a lot of fiber, like cranberries, can reduce overeating in dogs and prevent them from gaining excess weight.

And last but not least, providing your dog with fiber in their diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, gastrointestinal issues, diabetes, and hypertension.

Vitamins and Minerals

happy dog grass

While protein is important in your dog’s diet, vitamins and minerals from other foods are also vital. Cranberries contain Vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, which are all beneficial to your pup’s health. They also contain an array of minerals like manganese. 

These vitamins and minerals offer a number of advantages, such as:

  • Helps treat and prevent bladder infections
  • Improves eyesight
  • Promotes a healthy urinary tract
  • Helps with stomach ulcers
  • Boosts immune system 
  • Helps prevents plaque and tartar build-up
  • Lowers high cholesterol
  • Helps prevent cancer

Will Cranberries Hurt My Dog?

While cranberries are healthy for your dog in moderation, they can cause a few side effects or symptoms if too many are given at once. As I mentioned earlier, only feed your dog plain raw, dried, or cooked cranberries. 

Avoid cranberry juices, cranberry sauces/jellies, and fruit mixes that contain added sugars or other ingredients.

Feed your dog plain raw, dried, or cooked cranberries.

If your pup eats too many cranberries, then it can cause an upset stomach or mild discomfort. Cranberries are also high in acidity, which can increase the risk of kidney stones developing. It’s a good idea to speak to your vet to get advice on how many cranberries your pup can eat for their body size.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Cranberries?

Provided your pup didn’t consume an excessive amount of cranberries, then it’s unlikely that anything bad will happen. However, if your dog devoured a large portion of cranberries or got into an entire jar of cranberry sauce, then they might get a bad stomach and experience diarrhea, bloating, or vomiting.

If you’re concerned, it’s best to speak to your vet for advice. 

What Are the Best Cranberries for Dogs?

The best cranberries for dogs are completely natural and GMO-free. It doesn’t really matter if you feed them raw, dried, or cooked, but cooking this berry does slightly decrease its nutritional value. 

Raw cranberries should be thoroughly washed under running water before being fed to your dog, but you don’t need to remove their skins or seeds. If feeding your pup dried cranberries, make sure the brand you use doesn’t contain additional flavors, sugars, or ingredients like raisins. 

Do Cranberries Need to Be Cooked?

Cooked cranberries serve no risk to your pup, but bear in mind that the cooking process reduces their nutritional value. However, this berry does have a distinctly tart flavor, which some dogs might not be a fan of. 

Cooking cranberries or adding them into homemade dog treats makes them taste a lot sweeter, so your dog is more likely to eat them. If you’re not sure how to cook cranberries for dogs, then read on we’ve got a delicious recipe for peanut butter and cranberry treats to try for your pooch.

Cranberry Peanut Butter Dog Treats Recipe

peanut butter cookie

Homemade dog treats are a much healthier alternative to store-bought products as you have full control of what ingredients go into them. Our cranberry peanut butter dog treats recipe is delicious but healthy, as well as being incredibly simple to prepare as you only need five ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup of porridge oats
  • 1/3 cup of cranberries (raw or dried)
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp of organic peanut butter (xylitol-free)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 285 °F and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  • Place the flour, oats, and cranberries into a food processor and whiz them until they are finely chopped. Add in the peanut butter, eggs, and 6 tablespoons of water until a dough forms.
  • Sprinkle some coconut flour on a work surface and gently knead the dough until workable. Next, roll out the dough to around 0.5-inch thick.
  • Cut out shapes in the dough using any cookie cutters you like, then place the treats on the baking trays. Bake them in the oven for around 30-35 minutes or until they are slightly browned.
  • Once baked, place the treats on a wire rack to cool down completely. 
  • Store the treats in an airtight container for up to 3 days in a refrigerator or up to 3 months in a freezer.


Conclusion

A healthy dog is a happy dog, so providing your pooch with a well-balanced diet full of nutrients is key to achieving this. Cranberries are an excellent food to include in your dog’s meals for this reason. 

They’re high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can boost your pup’s overall health and reduce or prevent many ailments. However, remember to feed this berry in moderation and speak to your vet if you have any concerns.

Join the Doglovely newsletter and get your FREE Ebook “Natural Foods for Dogs with Sensitive Stomach”

Natural Food Sensitive Stomach

Leave a Comment