The cranberry is a species of evergreen flowering plant belonging to the heath family of plants. We’re all very familiar with cranberries with turkey at Christmas and Thanksgiving. But more and more people are asking about cranberries for dogs.
Nutrients in cranberries
Cranberries are a rich source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamins E, K and B6 (pantothenic acid). They are also a rich source of manganese. And they contain trace amounts of iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and dietary fibre. So cranberries for dogs are not without their benefits.
Benefits of cranberries for dogs
Some believe that cranberries are beneficial to dogs in terms of reducing tartar and plaque build. They are certainly low in calories. And at the same time as improving bladder health, they can also lower the risk of gastrointestinal disorders.
Just one word of warning though.
Too many cranberries could in theory cause your dog a tummy upset. I’ve never had a problem with my own dogs but I believe it can happen. Ideally, feed only the occasional fresh cranberries.
If you do feed dried cranberries, one further word of warning. Make sure they’re not pre-mixed with the likes of raisins which are toxic to dogs, or other dried fruits which may also be harmful to the health of your dog. And do not give your dog pre-made cranberry sauce or shop-bought cranberry juice which is likely to contain sweeteners.
Those concerns aside, as a canine nutritionist, I am all in favour of feeding your dog cranberries on occasion.