Some of us can get quite experimental when it comes to feeding our dogs, and sometimes a question emerges that would seem to baffle the rational mind, things like “can dogs eat dried cranberries?”
We like to make sure that you have the answers to these questions so you can make educated choices even when it comes to the surreal, canine nutrition is poorly understood by most pet owners, so let’s dig into the meat of the matter.
The Quick Answer For The Question: Can Dog Eat Dried Cranberries?
It’s not a good idea to feed your dog dried cranberries. They’re just too high in sugar and devoid of any relevant nutrients to feed to your dog, even if you do find them delicious.
They can also cause diarrhea and upset stomachs in some dogs, which isn’t likely to make either of you very happy at the end of the day.
The Longer Answer
Many people think that cranberry juice or dried cranberries are just to thing to treat a urinary tract infection in dogs since it seems to work pretty well in humans. Cranberry juice, in particular, has a reputation as an effective home remedy.
This is because it’s thought to make the urine more acidic and that it will clear out the urinary tract from harmful bacteria causing inflammation. That isn’t strictly true, but the idea of cranberry juice as a home remedy remains in many people’s minds as a great solution.
The first thing to remember is that your dog, while omnivorous, has a much different set of dietary requirements then you do. This includes needing a much higher proportion of proteins and a lower amount of carbohydrates.
Cranberries contain pretty much nothing a dog needs, and the drying process tends to just concentrate the sugar and remove some of the minerals and vitamins which would have been useful. In addition to cranberry, the juice will almost invariably have sugar added to make the taste more palatable due to the bitter taste which occurs in unsweetened juice.
A Brief Word About Canine UTIs
We know that not all dog owners are bursting with money for a veterinarian trip, but in most cases, it is best to simply go to the vet when an infection occurs. At home, remedies can be great, but it’s best not to gamble your dog’s health with at-home remedies when help can be had.
A normal prescription is going to be more effective, it’s just a simple fact. Cranberries have been shown to not be very effective in humans and the mechanism of action has less to do with the common thought of acidic urine but instead has to do with antioxidants binding to the bacteria and preventing them from “gripping.”
It’s just not all that effective in humans, so it certainly won’t be for your dog either. See a vet, or find an alternative remedy.
As a Supplement
Some people think that since they enjoy dried cranberries, it’s likely their dog should too. After all, they’re a pretty healthy snack for humans so it should follow that they’ll be good for dogs.
The truth is, your dog should be getting most of their nutrients from a high-quality kibble brand rather than the snacks you feed them anyways. Unless your vet raises issues about a specific nutrient imbalance the snacks you feed your dog should generally be high in protein, low in fat, and not contain sugars. Dried cranberries hardly fit the bill.
Investing in high-quality food with high veterinarian recommendations is a much better way to balance your dog’s diet if that’s what you’re looking to do. Keep in mind that many brands can claim high-protein but dog food is generally made from scraps and under analysis indigestible material like hooves and feathers will show as protein.
This is, of course, in addition to the short-term effects which might plague your dogs if they enjoy too many craisins. Watery bowel movements and an achy tummy aren’t going to be good for either of you.
There’s virtually no advantage to be had by feeding your dog dried cranberries, but there are plenty of disadvantages that will show up quite quickly. You need to make sure that your dog has a balanced diet, and dried berries simply aren’t going to be part of it.
In addition, some people may delay professional treatment under the mistaken assumption that cranberries will help with a urinary tract infection which can result in complications. There may be effective home remedies for the illness, but cranberries are definitely not going to do what you need.
Fresh cranberries do have some nutrients your dog may need but don’t force them on your dog if they can’t palate the bitter taste. It certainly won’t achieve anything worthwhile.
So, if you’ve been up late at night asking yourself “can dogs eat dried cranberries?” we hope that we’ve given you something to ease your nocturnal thoughts. It’s just not a good idea, and while it may not be overly harmful there’s no real advantage to be gained either.