As pet parents, we want the very best for our four-legged children. Sure, they can be irritating and even a huge pain in the neck at times. In the end, it does not matter what they do or how much of a mess they have made in the kitchen; they are our family, our responsibility. Having said that, our furry friends have a tendency to get into things they are not supposed to.
They do whatever it takes to open that drawer where you store the doggie treats or the cabinet door where you keep special treats for yourself. If you have one of these furry geniuses, then it might be time to fur baby proof your home. Locking harmful objects away from the reach of your pet is just one step. Hiding (and locking away) any food that could cause your dog to become ill (chocolate, alcohol, avocados) is also necessary. On the other hand, certain human foods can actually be beneficial to a dog. Are Dried Cranberries one of them?
What are Dried Cranberries?
Dried Cranberries are made through a process of dehydration. Fresh cranberries are placed in a dehydrating mechanism. This machine then removes the moisture from the fruit and what is left is a dried up piece of cranberry. This process of dehydration can be done to just about anything. It is how raisins are made amongst other foods such as jerky.
In fact, some people will refer to dried cranberries as cranberry raisins (or craisins as the company Ocean Spray Cranberries calls them). Dried Cranberries are commonly used for baking (bread and desserts), trail mix, cereal and as a topping for salad. They can also be eaten as a treat all by themselves. Many “health nuts” that own their own dehydrating machine will make their own homemade dried cranberries.
The cranberries are soaked in a solution made from water and sugar overnight. This solution acts as a preservative for the dried cranberries. However, they will lose much of their nutritional benefits during this process. Finally, the cranberries will either be air dried or freeze dried to complete the process.
If you were to compare dried cranberries to fresh cranberries, then you would see that the fresh cranberries hold a much higher nutritional value. This is because they have not been altered, dried, or soaked in a preservative solution.
These actions can dramatically change the beneficial aspects to the cranberry itself. However, dried cranberries will remain a healthier option when compared to other snack foods such as cookies or potato chips. Cranberries, in general, contain various vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to a human beings health. They also contain antioxidants (flavonoids, phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, and anthocyanin). Anthocyanin is an antioxidant that is responsible for the beautiful reddish purple hue of the cranberry.
Cranberries and 100% Cranberry Juice is a common household remedy for treating a human urinary tract infection. These personal benefits and various others provided by the cranberry may or may not also help our furry canine friends.
What is a urinary tract infection?
A urinary tract infection is defined as just that, an infection located in the urinary tract. These infections can be caused by harmful bacteria building up inside the urinary tract. For women, it is very common to get a urinary tract infection for a variety of reasons.
If women do not wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom, then it is conceivable for bacteria from the anus to reach the woman’s urethra thus causing an infection. Another common cause of a urinary tract infection is having sex (especially unprotected). This is one of the most common causes amongst both men and women, especially if the sex is unprotected.
Bacteria and various other bodily fluids are exchanged during this interaction and can cause multiple health problems including a urinary tract infection. If the man, woman or both does not treat the urinary tract infection, it can quickly become worse, traveling to the bladder and ultimately to the kidneys.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Cranberries?
The answer is a bit of a gray area. Cranberries and the cranberry juices are not something that dogs should consume on a regular basis. The majority of human beings do not even consume them on a daily basis. The reason is simple. They can be unhealthy in large, frequent amounts as well as hard on the stomach.
You may feel the need to treat you pooches urinary tract infection with this common human remedy, but be prepared with a “plan b.” The first problem you may run into is actually persuading your dog to eat the cranberries or to drink the cranberry juice. If you have ever eaten them or had to drink the 100% Cranberry Juice, then you understand how bitter the taste can be.
Many humans have a difficult time with it, so why wouldn’t your canine buddy? However, a urinary tract infection or other health reason (consult a veterinarian first) should be the only reason you ever offer your dog these bitter tasting options.
Cranberries and cranberry juice can, in theory, help your dog with his urinary tract infection much in the same way that they help a human with theirs. The cranberries or cranberry juice are a natural way to prevent or treat harmful bacteria from joining together to cause the infection, or to intervene the infection from traveling to the bladder and kidneys.
While this method may work for your dog, it is best that you consult with your veterinarian before attempting it. The veterinarian will be able to guide you either for or against this method. The best way to treat your dog’s urinary tract infection is to make an appointment with the veterinarian and allow her to confirm the infection and finally, prescribe an antibiotic. The antibiotic may be much easier for your dog to handle compared to the bitterness of the cranberries or cranberry juice.
Now, if your dog does not have a urinary tract infection and you would like to offer him a few cranberries (or dried cranberries) then there are some things that you should be aware of. Dried cranberries are not suggested for dogs according to an expert.
If you have them in the house for your family to consume, make sure they are aware to avoid offering your pooch any. Dried cranberries should be for human consumption and human consumption only (unless otherwise instructed by a professional). Cranberries contain a lot of sugar regardless of the form they are. With this in mind, if your dog is diabetic or has been diagnosed with a condition that can be made worse by high blood sugar content then it is best to avoid everything cranberry related.
Final thoughts to sum up:
Before offering your dog fresh cranberries or cranberry juice, check with the veterinarian. You should never provide these items to your dog without reason or without consulting with a professional. Medically, the use of fresh cranberries or cranberry juice may be helpful, but it is best to treat the condition as your veterinarian suggests.
Never offer dried cranberries to your pooch as they are for humans and humans alone. Finally, if your dog consumes cranberries (in any form) on his own, then you should inform the veterinarian and follow her instructions (if any) carefully.