Can Dogs Eat Cranberries?

Red cranberries on a large white plate on a gray background
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The holiday season calls for turkey, gravy, and of course, cranberries! With the festivities in full swing, our dogs will be begging for any and all scraps we may leave behind. But before we give into their begging, we need to know what will make them sick.

Are you wondering if cranberries are okay for your dog to nosh on? The answer is yes and no. Cranberries are not toxic to dogs. When given in small portions, they are generally safe and actually may help your dog's health. But like many human foods, cranberries do pose some risks for dogs.

When can cranberries be toxic?

Cranberries, when given in moderation, are not toxic to dogs. However, too many cranberries can lead to an upset stomach for your pup. Dried cranberries can also be risky at times if they are mixed in with other dried fruit such as raisins. Raisins, by the way, are very toxic to dogs.

Cranberry dishes are also not recommended for dogs. They can be mixed with grape juices that contain large amounts of sugar, alcohol, or other ingredients. This will not settle well in your dog's stomach. It's best to stick to raw or cooked cranberries in small quantities.

A jack Russell puppy sitting up at a table
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Can I treat a dog's urinary-tract infection with cranberries?

Do not try to treat a UTI with cranberries — it won't work, according to Veterinarian Dr. Marie Haynes. Large amounts of cranberries every day could actually cause your to develop calcium oxalate stones in their bladder, which could have long-lasting negative effects on your dog's health.

What to do if your dog eats a cranberry.

If your dog eats a couple of stray cranberries, there's no real pressing need to worry unless you notice vomiting or diarrhea — in which case, consult a veterinarian immediately. Always monitor your dog when they eat any new food, cranberry or otherwise, for any unusual physical symptoms or allergic reactions.

When dogs eat larger quantitates of cranberries, consult with a veterinarian immediately.

Conclusion

When served raw or cooked, cranberries are fine for your dog to eat in moderation. Too much cranberry could lead to calcium deposits in your dog's bladder. Dried cranberries and cranberry sauce are also to be avoided due to the high amounts of sugar that could upset your dog's stomach.