Can I Give My Dog Cranberries?

Can I Give My Dog Cranberries?Could cranberries, and the juice in particular, help your dog with a stubborn urinary tract infection or otherwise be healthy for them? Some claim this is a nutritious solution for humans so why not for pets!

Contrary to popular belief, cranberry juice doesn’t actually raise acidity of urine. If it’s effective for your dog, it may be by pure chance. Nevertheless, the juice is a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber but normally contains added sugar.

Consider that cranberries have a bitter taste and you may have trouble getting your dog to consume it. Besides, fresh water is the best way to hydrate your best buddy. You really need a very good reason to deviate from this.

Can I Give My Dog Cranberries? Answer: Not Recommended

There’s actually no evidence that it helps with infections of any kind.

You probably shouldn’t be feeding your dog cranberries, for any reason, as this is something that they may have trouble digesting. Cranberry juice may, in fact, alter the amount of bacteria in your dog’s bladder and/or the entire urinary tract system but it is likely not a fix. If you want to try it, get a quality organic cranberry juice to avoid all the 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.

As the Theory Goes

The theory is that cranberry juice helps clear a UTI for humans so it may apply to dogs. Lots of people think it works by preventing bacteria from sticking to each other which creates a bad chain reaction in the urinary tract. But several studies have shown that it isn’t very effective. This is a controversial topic for sure!

Curing Canine UTIs

Before giving your dog an at-home treatment, 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’s services become necessary.

To have a professional make an diagnosis 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, unfortunately, aren’t going to be nearly as effective compared to what a veterinarian can prescribe.

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 definitely don’t need to depend on cranberries.

Juice Form & Added Sugar

Will cranberries, in whatever form, spike your dog’s glucose levels? That could be the case. Yet another reason why you probably shouldn’t provide it, even when your dog has a confirmed UTI. As you know, most cranberry juice products contain lots of additional sugar and even unknown preservatives.

Conclusion on Cranberries

Cranberry juice, or in edible form, very likely won’t improve or cure your dog’s UTI. Have a veterinary professional diagnose your pet for an infection, urinary or otherwise. They’ll prescribe something much more effective than cranberries. Besides, this type of beverage typically contains too much sugar for canines. From a dietary standpoint, providing this berry fruit to your pet dog doesn’t make much sense. More cranberries for you!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom January, 2016

My dog is old and small. He’s urinating every night which he’s never done before. I put him out in the shed at night because the smell in our house got very bad. I’ll try giving him cranberry juice to see if it will work. Does anybody know how much?

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Rachel February, 2016

Tom, I hope you are put in a shed when you are old and labeled a burden. Seriously, why not put your dog in the kitchen with some pee pads and a soft bed?

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Brenda January, 2016

Beware! Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice, the one that says 100% juice, is mixed with grape juice. I thought by the label I was getting 100% cranberry! I’m very glad my dog wouldn’t drink it. Now I read all labels first. You never know what’s in anything processed.

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Pattylou October, 2015

My 85 pound rescue has started eating cranberries that are abundant when we walk our beaches. I never instigated this and he seems to graze for a few minutes, then he’s off on a tear again. It would appear there are no ill effects, but in the bush I don’t always get a chance to check. Comments please.

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Claire November, 2015

I have a friend who lives by a cranberry bog and his dogs eat them all the time. They are just fine. Chances are everything is okay but if he starts showing signs of discomfort or acts differently, just take him to the vet.

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Karen August, 2015

I give my dog Crananidin which is a chewable cranberry supplement recommended by my vet to guard against UTIs. She loves it and thinks it’s a treat.

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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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Grace March, 2016

Please take her to the vet and get some antibiotics. Cranberry pills do not rid the dog of the UTI. They only prevent it from happening and help along with the process. I give my dog 10ppm or less colloidal silver, 3 teaspoons a day for 10 days. It’s just like an antibiotic but natural and won’t harm the good bacteria like regular antibiotics can.

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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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