Are Cranberries Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Both fresh and dried cranberries are safe to feed to dogs in small quantities. Whether your dog will like this tart treat is another question. Either way, moderation is important when feeding cranberries to dogs, as with any treat, as too many can lead to an upset stomach.
Dried cranberries sometimes come mixed with other dried fruits, like raisins. Grapes (and raisins) are very toxic to dogs; even a few can cause health problems. Prepared cranberry dishes are also risky, as are any grape/cranberry juice blends and cranberry dishes with sugar or alcohol.
Cranberry sauce may safe for dogs in small amounts, but there are some additional risks. Cranberry sauce is high in sugar, which can cause gastrointestinal upset, and some recipes include grapes, raisins, or currants, which are toxic to dogs. Recipes that use brandy are also problematic, as alcohol is toxic to dogs, as well. Feeding plain cranberry sauce in minute quantities is probably safe for your dog, but it is a good idea to monitor your dog after feeding any new food item for signs of intestinal upset or allergic reaction.
Signs Your Dog Has Overindulged in the Cranberries
Overall, feeding your dog cranberries isnt a big deal. Because theyre not toxic, they cant harm your pup in any extreme way. It is possible to feed your dog too many cranberries, though.
Doing this can cause your dog some serious discomfort and some gastrointestinal episodes that arent fun for them (or for you, the cleanup crew). To avoid this from the start, talk to your vet before adding cranberry treats into your dogs diet.
If you do choose to feed your pup cranberries, keep a look out for signs that might indicate theyve had too many cranberries. For example, if your dog is having irregular bathroom issues, thats the first solid sign that something could be off. If they are struggling to make it outside to use the bathroom, have diarrhea, loose or bloody stool, or are vomiting, thats a good indicator you should take it easy on the cranberries. Look out for irregular behavior, laziness, weakness, and overall fatigue as well.
Here are a few body language cues that might imply your dog has had too many cranberries:
A few more signs to look out for that might indicate your doggo ate too many tart treats are:
How to serve your dog cranberriesÂ
âFresh cranberries are the best way to offer the fruit to your dog,â Dr. Ochoa says. âCooking cranberries usually involves adding sugar. Your dog should not eat cranberries if there has been any sugar or butter added to them.â So, donât share that canned cranberry sauce or your homemade cranberry tarts with your favorite pet.Â
And if you do decide to give your dog a taste of dried cranberry-filled trail mix, pay attention to the other ingredients.Â
âDried cranberries are often combined with other dried foods, such as raisins, which are toxic to dogs, so be sure that youâre feeding cranberries only,â Dr. Bonk says.