Dog Care

Can Dogs Have Cranberries? A Howliday Lesson

Can Dogs Have Cranberries? A Howliday Lesson

Written By Meredith Kavanagh

Dec 13, 2016

It’s hard to keep track of what your pooch can and can’t eat, but as any responsible dog owner knows, one wrong nibble could send you to vet with a very sick pup. The holidays are a chaotic month of guests, food, presents, food, traveling, and more food — so it’s more important than ever to watch what’s dropping on the floor or being caught in your pup’s mouth! 

To make sure your pooch stays healthy and you don’t spend the holidays pacing in a waiting room, we’re going to answer one of the questions on all of your minds: “Can dogs have cranberries?”

Related: How To Paw-Proof The Festive Season Before Fido Ends Up On The Naughty List!

can dogs have cranberries?

Can Dogs Have Cranberries?

Yes … no ... maybe? The jury is still out on this one. Cranberries are not toxic for dogs, but they do pose a risk. When in doubt, ask your dog's vet for answers.

Raw cranberries are dangerous for dogs for two main reasons: they’re small enough to swallow whole, and they aren’t broken down easily. This means they would go right down your dog’s throat and into their stomach. Your pooch could have digestive pain and gas while the berry sits in your dog’s gastrointestinal system, waiting to be broken down.

Ouch!Since they are low in sugar and calories, but high in vitamins and minerals, some dog authorities say that dogs can have cranberries, as long as they are shared in moderation. Our recommendation? If you want to give your pup the benefits of cranberries, err on the side of safety and go with one of these options instead:

  1. Find another fruit that offers the same benefits.
  2. Ask your vet for a doggy supplement.
  3. Dilute pure cranberry juice with water.

Can Dogs Have Dried Cranberries?

The answer to this one is more clear. Nope! Dogs can’t have dried cranberries. The process to dry out the fruit often includes adding preservatives and sugar, both of which are a no-no for your pup. Excess sugar can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems — and that’s no fun for anyone involved. 

The preservation process also strips the cranberry of its natural vitamins and minerals, so there is no benefit to sharing them with your pooch. Instead, go for a completely pup-safe snack like carrots, watermelon, or bananas.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? Or Are They Doomed To Never Taste This Picnic Treat?

can dogs eat cranberries

What food would you like to learn about next? Let us know in the comments and we’ll find the answers for you!