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Can Dogs Eat Cranberries? Everything You Need to Know

Yes, dogs can eat cranberries in moderation. This is a yummy treat and is beneficial for your dog’s health. However, before introducing the fruit to your dog for the first time, it is best to consult the veterinarian.

What are Cranberries? 

Cranberries are a subgenus of the Vaccinium genus that consists of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines. Cranberry may refer to the natural species Vaccinium oxycoccos in the United Kingdom and Vaccinium macrocarpon in North America. Vaccinium oxycoccos is grown in central and northern Europe, while Vaccinium macrocarpon is produced in North America, Canada, and Chile. Oxycoccus is classified as a separate genus. They may be found in acidic bogs across the Northern Hemisphere’s colder areas. 

Are Cranberries Safe for Dogs to Eat? 

Yes, cranberries are safe for dogs to eat in moderation. Ensure that your dog does not consume cranberries accidentally. Also, it would help if you avoided canned cranberries and dried cranberries to prevent health hazards. Your dog can consume cooked cranberry, provided you have cooked it for your dog without any spices, seasonings, added salt, or sugar. Your dog can eat raw cranberries safely but under proper supervision, as it might choke your dog if he swallows down the cranberries.

Why Are Cranberries Good for Dogs? 

Cranberries are filled with health benefits for dogs. Let us see how cranberries help a dog: 

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C can assist your dog’s body to eliminate potentially dangerous free radicals, support healthy aging, and reduce inflammation. Vitamin C can also help your dog’s immune system, increase energy, and give treatment for urinary tract infections (UTIs). It also helps keep the skin, coat, muscle, bone, and immune system healthy.

Manganese 

Manganese is required to produce energy, metabolize protein and carbs, and form fatty acids in dogs. In addition, manganese is a component of many enzymes and aids in the health and preservation of bone and cartilage in joints. Manganese is also essential for growth and metabolism.

Vitamin E 

One of your dog’s defenses against oxidative damage is vitamin E. Cell function, and fat metabolism is also dependent on this fat-soluble vitamin. Deficiencies can cause vision and muscle deterioration, as well as reproductive issues. It also aids in proper immune health.

Vitamin K 1 (Phylloquinone) 

Vitamin K-1 is a dietary supplement for cats and dogs that aids in blood clotting and prevents bleeding. The chewable pill is pleasant and easy to take because it contains liver powder. 

Vitamin B5 

Vitamin B5 is pantothenic acid, aids in the conversion of food and drink into energy that our cells can utilize. Therefore, the fat-digesting vitamin B5 is particularly crucial. 

Vitamin B6 

Vitamin B6 is essential for a healthy immune system. However, vitamin B6 is engaged in over 100 different interactions during the breakdown and digestion of meals. Vitamin B6 also aids in the correct development of a puppy’s brain during pregnancy and early puppyhood. 

Fiber 

Fiber is an excellent source of nutrients for a dog’s digestive system. The healthy bacteria usually found in your dog’s colon digest fiber into fatty acids. This fatty acid then aids in the recovery of the colon by preventing the expansion of any harmful bacteria. 

Potassium 

Potassium is an electrolyte that is essential for the health of your dog. Potassium helps electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles work correctly. If your dog lacks this vital mineral, you may notice that they are constantly fatigued, which is not normal, or that they have no desire to eat. 

Potassium also helps in: 

  • Regulating muscle contractions and heartbeats 
  • Optimizing cognitive functions 
  • Boosting metabolism 
  • Aiding normal blood flow 
  • Increasing bone density 

Anthocyanins 

Anthocyanins protect the heart, increase visual acuity, boost memory, and protect the brain from oxidative damage as dogs age. In addition, angiogenesis, the creation of abnormal blood vessels linked to tumor growth and cancer cell growth, is also inhibited by anthocyanins. 

Anthocyanins can help prevent: 

  • Cognitive issues 
  • Cancer 
  • Diabetes 
  • Vision loss 
  • Neurological issues 
  • Heart disease 
  • Reduces blood clotting 
  • Lowers blood pressure 
  • Decreases arterial blockage 
  • Lowers stroke risks 
  • Reduces inflammation 
  • Obesity 

Quercetin 

Quercetin is a naturally occurring antioxidant that promotes the body’s natural anti-inflammatory activities and is especially good for promoting urinary tract health in dogs. Quercetin can also help with pet allergy problems. 

Quercetin helps in preventing: 

  • Arthritis 
  • Cancer 
  • Heart disease 
  • Diabetes 

Proanthocyanidins 

Proanthocyanidins are potent antioxidants found in North American cranberries that are isolated naturally. In addition, type A PACs have an anti-adhesion effect, which means they aid in preventing germs from adhering to the bladder lining. 

Antifungal and Antibacterial Properties 

Cranberries contain antifungal and antibacterial properties that are capable of combating many bacteria and fungi. They include: 

  • Helicobacter pylori (causes ulcer and stomach cancer) 
  • Streptococcus mutans (causes tooth decay) 
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis (causes gum disease) 
  • Staphylococcus aureus (causes staph infection) 
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa (causes lung infection and pneumonia) 
  • Cryptococcus neoformans (affects immune-compromised dogs) 
  • Haemophilus influenzae (causes bloodstream infection) 
  • Candida albicans (causes yeast infection) 
  • ExPEC (causes a wide range of bacterial infections) 

Dental Health

Cranberries assist in a dog’s dental health by preventing tartar buildup, plaque formation, and tooth decay.

Why Are Cranberries Bad for Dogs? 

Although feeding cranberries in moderation will be beneficial for your dog, you have to keep in mind the downsides of feeding cranberries to your dog.

High Sugar 

Since cranberries are tart fruits, various cranberry products contain added sugar. Added sugar can be harmful to the dog in multiple ways, such as: 

  • Diabetes 
  • Obesity 
  • Heart issues 
  • Weight gain 
  • Lethargy 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Hyperactivity 

Xylitol and Corn Syrup 

Dried cranberries contain xylitol and corn syrup which are toxic and poisonous for dogs. The consequences of consuming xylitol and corn syrup are: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Lethargy 
  • Weakness 
  • Depression 
  • Staggering 
  • Uncoordinated movement 
  • Seizures 
  • Tremors 
  • Hypoglycemia 
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Death 

How Many Cranberries to Feed Your Dog? 

Cranberries should not be a part of the daily diet for your dog. The best is to follow the 10% rule for your dog.

Before introducing cranberries to your dog, remember to consult with the veterinarian to avoid unavoidable circumstances.

How to Serve Cranberries to Your Dogs? 

Serving cranberries to dogs is an exciting part of preparing a meal for them. You can add unsweetened dry cranberries to your dog meals occasionally.

Here is a recipe for your dog: 

Ingredients 

  • 0.5 cup of unsweetened dried coconut 
  • 1.75 cup of coconut oil 
  • 0.5 coconut flour 
  • 1 cup almond flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp of vanilla powder 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened dried cranberries 

Procedure 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F 
  • On a baking pan coated with parchment paper, toast dry coconut for 5-10 minutes, or until golden. 
  • In a stand mixer, beat coconut oil for about 2 minutes, or until frothy. 
  • Continue to mix at low speed as you add the flours and baking powder. 
  • Add vanilla and eggs. 
  • When the dough has formed a good ball, stir in the cranberries and toasted coconut until almost combined. 
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. It will be fragile to handle until it has been cooked and cooled. 
  • Cut into basic shapes and transfer to a baking pan with a spatula if required. 
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. 

Allow the treats to cool on the baking pan and then store it in a jar. Treat your dog occasionally with this lovely treat.

What If My Dog Ate Cranberries? 

Look out for the following symptoms if your dog has eaten too many cranberries:

  • Drooling
  • Panting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dropped ears
  • Lack of focus
  • Head bobbing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Incontinence
  • Gastrointestinal issues

If your dog has accidentally consumed dried sweetened cranberries, do not wait for symptoms. Instead, it is best to visit the veterinarian for treatment. Also, remember to keep leftover cranberries away from the dog’s reach.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can dogs eat cranberry sauce? 

No, dogs cannot eat cranberry sauce as they contain added sugar, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients which can affect your dog significantly.

Can dogs drink cranberry juice? 

No, dogs cannot drink cranberry juice due to the presence of sugar, corn syrup, and xylitol. All of the components are poisonous and deadly for your dog.

Conclusion 

Summing up whether dogs can have cranberries, we can comprehend its significant health benefits. Of course, dogs can eat cranberries in moderation. However, excessive cranberries can cause a health hazard, especially if they are not dog-friendly.

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