We all know that cranberries have helped human health for a long time, but did you know that cranberries offer dogs those same benefits?
Dogs can suffer from ailments similar to humans and some of the nutritious foods that help keep us healthy and out of the doctor’s office can benefit our dogs.
One popular super food, the cranberry, offers our pets some of the same benefits that humans have been enjoying for many years.
Health Benefits of Cranberries
Raw cranberries are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and other micronutrients that can improve our dog’s health. They are easy to add to any dog’s food, come in a variety of forms, and can be a boost to the nutritional program your dog is currently on.
- Cranberries may reduce stress symptoms so supplementing cranberries during times of stress, such as a recent move, illness, accident, divorce, being rescued from a shelter, etc.
- Cranberries are full of minerals.
- Rich in Antioxidants (bio-flavonoids) that protect against toxins, repair damaged cells, and help heal tissues.
- Boost the immune system.
- Good for the cardiovascular system.
- Play a supplemental role in helping prevent growth of bacteria in urinary tract infections (not a replacement for medical care).
- Beneficial to the kidneys and bladder.
- May help balance bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Rich in vitamins A which benefits eye health by preventing disease such as macular degeneration and vision loss conditions.
- Help blood vessels to relax, dilate and lowers blood pressure.
- Contains Vitamin B1 helps dog’s nerves, strength, reflexes and appetite.
- Contains Vitamin B2 helps growth, eye health and strengthens the heart.
- Contains Vitamin C increases healing and fights disease.
- Manganese contributes to a healthy bone structure, metabolism, connective tissue, absorption of calcium, proper function of thyroid gland, regulation of blood sugar, metabolism of fats and carbohydrates aids reproductive health.
- Helps improve age related declines in the brain affecting memory, balance, and coordination.
Supplementing your Dog’s Diet with Cranberries
If your dog will eat fresh raw cranberries you can give them as treats to your dog. But if your dog doesn’t like the taste of fresh cranberries, you can use unsweetened juice, cranberry extract, add cranberries to homemade treats or add powdered cranberries to regular meals.
Cranberry supplements for pets are also available; consult your vet for proper dosage and instructions.
DON’T FEED DRIED CHEMICALLY CRANBERRIES as dogs have trouble digesting them and they could cause gastrointestinal distress.
Cranberries and Urinary Tract Health
Fresh cranberries or cranberry supplements are never an alternative for medical treatment and medication to treat a bladder or kidney infection. If your dog is suffering from a bladder infection, you need to see your vet right away.
However, if your dog suffers from chronic urinary tract infections, supplementing cranberry in your dog’s diet may help reduce the incidence of infection. They work by lowering the pH of the urine, which causes it to become more acidic.
This makes the bladder environment more hostile for bacteria that thrive in an alkaline environment.
Supplementing cranberry in moderation benefits our pets but giving them too much unsweetened juice or too many cranberries can cause stomach upset.