Could cranberries, particularly the juice, help dogs with urinary tract infections 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 increase urine acidity. If it’s effective for a pet dog, it’s likely by chance. Nevertheless, the juice is a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Cranberries, however, have a bitter taste and you may have trouble getting your dog to drink up. The high sugar is another consideration. Fresh water is the best way to hydrate. You 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. The juice may, in fact, alter the amount of bacteria in your dog’s bladder and/or the entire urinary tract system but it’s likely not a fix. If you want to try it, get a quality organic cranberry juice. Avoid industrial grade sugar. It may cost more, but it’s not as if you’re going to give this to your dog all the time.
As the Theory Goes
The theory is that cranberry juice helps clear UTIs for humans, so it may also apply to dogs. It’s said to work by preventing bacteria from sticking to each other which creates a chain reaction in the urinary tract.
The truth is several studies have shown that cranberries or cranberry juice is not effective. The same results are very likely to be true for dogs.
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 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.
We understand that you may be considering cranberry juice to avoid vet bills. Unfortunately, prescription medications are often needed for such an infection. Cranberries won’t be nearly as effective compared to what a vet can prescribe.
Not For Dietary Reasons
Not many people consume cranberries regularly. Dogs should be no different. They aren’t one of the common berries, taking a backseat to strawberries, blueberries and even blackberries. Some folks like dried cranberries which is healthy, but they aren’t recommended for dogs.
Most fruits take on a different characteristics once they’re dried. Often times, there are preservatives added to such packaged treats. Ideally, your dog gets the nourishment and sustenance they need from their daily meals. Don’t 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
Cranberries, including the juice, likely won’t improve or cure your dog’s UTI. Have a vet diagnose your pet for an infection, be it urinary or otherwise. They’ll prescribe something more effective than cranberries. This type of beverage typically contains too much sugar. From a dietary standpoint, providing this berry fruit to your dog doesn’t make much sense. More cranberries for you!