Can Dogs Eat Cranberries? Tart Treats


What’s your favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast? Maybe you keep it classic and side with turkey. Or do you have the popular vote and choose mashed potatoes? Or perhaps you favor cranberry sauce. While cranberries are outrageously tangy on their own, they make for a delicious sauce and beverage. In fact, cranberry juice is know to benefit urinary health in humans, so it earns major points for nutrition as well. But can dogs eat cranberries? If so, will they get benefits from them? Today we are going to explore the nutrient content of cranberries for canines.

Can Dogs Eat Cranberries?

Though cranberries make their biggest annual appearance at Thanksgiving, they can be enjoyed year round. Personally I love a nice cold glass of cranberry juice or a delicious packet of dried cranberries for a snack. But are cranberry products safe to share with your dog? Can dogs eat cranberries?

There is good news for all fans of cranberries. Dogs can eat cranberries safely, since cranberries are not toxic for canines. However, cranberries must be served in strict moderation to dogs, though there are benefits that they can reap from this festive fruit.

Are Cranberries Good for Dogs?

While your dog likely doesn’t care if a treat is healthy or not, pet owners want what’s best for their pup. A scrap here and there can’t hurt, but if we’re going to serve snacks, we want them to be beneficial. So how do cranberries stack up for dogs?

Not only are cranberries safe, but they also have a number of benefits. Cranberries are full of antioxidants and other essential nutrients that can help boost a canine immune system. These key nutrient ingredients can also help decrease inflammation.

Cranberries earn more health points for being low calorie, yet high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. What are the overall benefits of this fruit? Cranberries are believed to improve urinary health, reduce plaque and tartar, fight bacteria, and even prevent cancer. Not so bad for a little berry!

Canine Cranberry Servings

When it comes to safety concerns, cranberries are not toxic for dogs. It is therefore safe to serve dogs dried, cooked, or fresh cranberries in small servings. However, it’s still up for debate whether or not your dog will enjoy the tart flavor.

It’s safe and easy to serve your dog a few dried cranberries. However, prepared cranberry dishes and juices are not as healthy. If you are going to share cranberry juice, you must ensure that grape juice has not been mixed in with the product. Additionally, cranberry dishes often contain too much sugar to be healthy for dogs. It’s also important to verify that alcohol isn’t an ingredient before considering sharing with your dog. Therefore, it’s best to stick with the plain fruit.

Where does this leave cranberry sauce?  Dogs can eat this holiday staple in small portions. However, it probably isn’t worth the hassle. Dogs are prone to gastrointestinal upset if they eat too much sugar. Additionally, you will have to verify that the sauce does not contain any grapes, currants, raisins, or added alcohol such as brandy.

No matter your serving method, make sure to start out small and monitor your dog for any unusual reactions the first time after sharing a new food item.

Cranberry Warnings for Dogs

The most important thing to remember when it comes to serving cranberries to dogs is moderation is key. If dogs consume too many cranberries, they will likely have some tummy troubles. Additionally, while dogs are free to enjoy many fruits, they should always eat fruit in small servings.

It is also extremely important to never serve dogs dried cranberries that have been mixed with dangerous foods for dogs. Dried cranberries are commonly served in trail mix, which can contain banned items for dogs. Dogs can never consume raisins or a variety of nuts. One of the worst nuts for dogs is the macadamia nut. Buy dried cranberries that are not mixed with any other products to stay on the safe side.

Lastly, feeding dogs excess servings of cranberries could potentially lead to the formation of calcium oxalate stones in the bladder. Remember, moderation is key!

Cranberry Conclusions

Can dogs eat cranberries? Yes, dogs can enjoy cranberries when served in strict moderation. However, you have to first verify that the cranberry product does not contain too much sugar or any hint of grapes, raisins, currents, or alcohol.

To read more about more healthy fruits for dogs, check out are strawberries good for dogs.


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Emma Polini