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Three Reasons to Give Your Dog Cranberries

Johnna Devereaux C.P.N.

When it comes to your furry friend, their health is your number one priority. From their coat to their overall wellbeing, ensuring that they are healthy and happy is essential for every pet owner. One food that has stayed below the radar but has a big impact on promoting dog health is cranberries. These small, tart berries offer several benefits for your canine companion. Keep reading to learn more about why you should consider adding cranberries to your pet's diet and how to do it.

Cranberries are high in antioxidants and compounds that can help reduce inflammation and prevent damage caused by free radicals throughout your dog's body.  In case you didn’t know, antioxidants are essential for promoting health in humans, and the same is true for dogs. Antioxidants have been associated with several potential benefits including slowing the aging process, improving heart health, providing cellular protection and helping to boost the immune system.

Senior dog playing on the shoreline of a rushing streamCranberries are loaded with antioxidants, which can help to slow the aging process.

Speaking of the immune system, cranberries are also high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for dogs’ immune systems and their overall health. Dogs are able to synthesize vitamin C, but this ability lessens as they age. Vitamin C supplementation may be beneficial as it helps enhance the activity of immune cells, making our dogs more effective at defending against infections and illnesses. And guess what –  cranberries are the most concentrated source of this vitamin! 


If you still need more reasons to add cranberries to your dog’s diet let’s talk about how it helps promote urinary health. Cranberries are loaded with a powerful compound called proanthocyanidins (PAC), a type of flavonoid, that has antimicrobial properties and helps prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract. If you have a dog with a history of urinary tract infections, cranberries may reduce the risk of recurrence.  Either way, cranberries can be a great preventative and should be considered as an addition for this reason alone. (Note: Cranberries are high in oxalates and should be avoided if your dog has a history of calcium oxalate crystals and stones.)

Now that you know the amazing benefits that cranberries can add to your dog’s health—how do you do it?

There are a few ways to introduce cranberries into your dog’s diet, but ultimately your dog will be the decision maker as to which way is best. Here are a few options:

Feed them fresh: You can offer fresh cranberries as a treat or mix them into your dog’s regular meals. Some dogs like the tart taste while others may find them too sour. Always start with small amounts while you discover if your dog likes them. Avoid offering cranberry sauce or other cranberry products meant for human consumption, as they may contain sugars, sweeteners like xylitol, or other ingredients that are not safe for dogs.

Fawn-colored bulldog eating something sour from a blue food bowl
Some dogs may find them tart at first, but try feeding your dog fresh cranberries!


Opt for supplementation: Cranberry supplements are available. Choose one specifically created for dogs as they are formulated to provide the appropriate dosage for your dog’s urinary health.

Reward them with cranberry treats! Our Turkey Waggy Wafer treats are packed with Vitamin C, fiber, protein, and you guessed it - cranberries! With less than 10 ingredients, these air-dried treats are power-packed, and taste great! Perfect for training or just changing up your daily treating regime, Turkey Waggy Wafers are a crowd pleaser for pups and their parents alike!

Cranberries offer numerous benefits for your furry friend, making them a great addition to their diet. However, it is vital to remember that they should only be fed in moderation. Feeding your pet too many cranberries can cause digestive issues, and some dogs may be allergic to these small fruits. As always, consult with your veterinarian before adding any new food or supplement to your dog's diet as individual needs can vary based on age, health status and existing diet.  With careful consideration, cranberries can provide a tasty, healthy snack for your dog that can support their overall health and wellbeing. Be well with BWL. 

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon or perceived as specific medical or veterinary advice.

The points of view expressed above are those of our clinical nutritionist and supported by science, her education and experience. However, we recognize there may be different points of view or opinions on some aspect or even the premise of this article. Our goal at Bow Wow Labs is to provide the best, clearest, and most helpful information possible to help keep your dog happy, healthy and safe.

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