Can I Give My Dog Cranberries?

Can I Give My Dog Cranberries?Could giving your dog some cranberries, especially the juice, help them with a stubborn urinary tract infection? This is a popular solution for humans so why not for pets! In truth, what’s effective for us doesn’t necessarily work for dogs but it’s reasonable to check.

Contrary to popular belief, cranberry juice doesn’t actually work by raising the acidity of the urine. If it’s effective for your dog, this won’t be how it knocks out the infection. It can be useful though and we’ll explain why later on.

So it may be a good all-natural remedy but dogs aren’t used to drinking such juices. Further, cranberries have a bitter taste and you may have trouble getting your buddy to consume enough. Another factor is the added sugar. Let’s consider everything when it comes to cranberries for your beloved dog.

Can I Give My Dog Cranberries? Answer: In juice form, for a UTI only

You probably shouldn’t feed raw cranberries, as this is something that they may have trouble digesting.

However, if you know they have a UTI then one possible remedy is giving them some cranberry juice to regulate the amount of bacteria in their bladder and/or the entire urinary tract system. Get a quality organic cranberry juice so that they’re not also receiving a lot of industrial grade sugar. It may cost more, but it’s not as if you’re going to give this to your dog on a daily basis. Only provide your pooch with cranberries for a valid reason, to help with an infection.

How it Really Works

In theory, the way cranberry juice helps clear a UTI for a human also applies to dogs. The way it actually works is by preventing bacteria from sticking to each other which creates a bad chain reaction in the urinary tract. There’s no reason to believe this benefit doesn’t also occur in pets when they consume cranberry juice.

Dealing With a K9 UTI

Before giving your dog any sort of at-home treatment, it’s vital that you correctly identify an actual urinary tract infection beforehand. Too often owners end up using all sorts of treatments that aren’t needed or cause harm. It’s very helpful to take notes and jot down some things you believe are indicative of a UTI. This way, if things worsen, your observations will be useful if a vet becomes necessary for a real diagnosis.

To have a professional concur with your assessment is peace of mind but we understand you may be considering cranberry juice in order to avoid vet bills. Honestly, we recommend that the family dog get a conventional prescription medication for such an infection. Cranberries, while sometimes effective, unfortunately aren’t normally as dependable compared to what a veterinarian can provide following their prognosis.

Consumption for Dietary Reasons

Not many people consume cranberries on a regular basis and dogs should be no different. They aren’t one of the more common berries, taking a backseat to strawberries, blueberries and even blackberries. Some people do like to eat dried cranberries which is healthy but they aren’t recommended for dogs.

Most fruits tend to take on a different characteristic once it’s been dried and often there are preservatives added to such packaged treats. Ideally, your dog is already getting all the nourishment and sustenance needed from their daily meals. You don’t need to depend on cranberries.

Juice Form & Added Sugar

Will cranberries, in whatever form, spike glucose levels too high? That could be the case, so that’s why you should only use it for a good reason like when your dog has a confirmed UTI. As you know, most cranberry juice contains additional sugar.

Conclusion on Cranberries

Utilize cranberries for your dog when you know they have a urinary tract infection. Cranberry juice can treat a canine UTI in much the same way it can help for us humans. That said, only a professional can tell you for sure if your pet has this type of infection and they would likely prescribe something more effective anyway. Finally, you don’t need to provide this berry fruit to your best buddy for other health reasons. More for you!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle July, 2015

My 4 month old Boxer puppy named Hazel is peeing frequently. It seems like it’s hard for her to get it out. She will sit there for a few minutes and nothing but a few drops comes out and sometimes there is even a few drops of blood! This really scares me and I don’t have a lot of money to spend on vet bills and the expensive medications at the vet. Should I give her organic cranberry juice to get rid of this urinary tract infection?

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JG December, 2015

My little 4 year old female Pug had the same symptoms. After a normal yearly checkup, not-life threatening stones were found in her bladder. Consequently, they had to be removed for her own comfort and quality of life. It is more common in small female dogs like Shih Tzus and Boxers and age is normally not a factor. Best of luck.

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Christopher January, 2015

“A dog most likely would not be eating fruit, in the wild …”

Wolves are known to eat berries, when in season. Unlike cats, they can taste sugars.

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Missy October, 2015

You are totally right. When we pick blueberries, she eats them like crazy and loves it so much!

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KJ October, 2015

Our dog will jump up and pick pears from our tree, as well as peaches from our neighbor’s tree (which we have to fence off, so he can’t get the pits). I find it hard to believe that dogs in the wild would not eat fruit, if it’s accessible.

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William Ledsham January, 2015

Cranberries and cranberry juice in moderation are good for your dog and the kidney/bladder function of man and beast alike. It acts primarily by making the urine slightly acid and so hostile to bacteria. The one thing I would watch is how much sugar is put in the juice if you go that direction. I regularly give my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Craisins, moist dried cranberries, as a treat. Note well that I did not say Raisins.

Grapes, dried or otherwise are bad news for all dogs. I use them instead of raisins in my cooking so that I do not have to worry about my dog eating anything I might cook. Lower in sugar, they go well as a direct substitute for raisins in any recipe for most folks. As always, in moderation.

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Tabitha December, 2014

My 12 year old Pug loves cranberries and eats them with no problem! They seem to do a good job of knocking out UTIs.

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Kathy January, 2015

My dog has had a history of UTIs and recently had another but this time with crystals. I will find out which type today. I feed her EVO and I’m not willing to put her on the Science Diet. If it’s Struvite crystals I want to give her cranberries. How many do you give your Pug and how often? She is a Belgian Malinois and weighs about 60 pounds.

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James October, 2014

I have 5 year old male Pekingese who in March had UTI surgery and another one in October. I would like to give him cranberry juice. Is it a good idea and if so how much do I give him? Everyday? Once a day?

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