Cranberries: A Superfruit for Your Dog's Health
June is National Fruit and Veggie Month, and at Three Happy Hounds, we're celebrating by highlighting the benefits of fruits and veggies for our furry friends. Today, we're focusing on the mighty cranberry and how it can improve your dog's health.
Cranberries are small, red berries known for their tart flavor and powerful health benefits. While they might be a popular ingredient in human foods, did you know that cranberries offer some incredible advantages for your dog too? Here are three reasons why you should consider adding cranberries to your dog's diet:
- Reduces Risks of UTIs
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be painful and uncomfortable for your dog. Cranberries contain compounds called proanthocyanidins, which help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. By including cranberries in your dog's diet, you can help reduce the risk of UTIs and promote a healthy urinary system.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation can lead to various health issues in dogs, such as arthritis, allergies, and digestive problems. Cranberries have anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to their high levels of phytonutrients. Adding cranberries to your dog's diet can help alleviate inflammation and improve their overall well-being.
- Antioxidant Rich
Cranberries are packed with antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals can damage cells and contribute to chronic diseases and aging. By providing your dog with antioxidant-rich cranberries, you can support their immune system and help them maintain good health.
The Truth About Cranberries in Pet Food
While the health benefits of cranberries are undeniable, it's essential to be cautious when selecting pet food that claims to contain these superfruits. Many pet food companies have started marketing products with cranberries, but the truth is that the ultra-processed pet foods often contain only trace amounts of cranberries. These negligible quantities won't significantly impact your dog's health.
Instead of relying on pet food with cranberries for their antioxidant and UTI prevention benefits, consider adding real, fresh cranberries to your dog's diet. This way, you'll ensure that they receive all the advantages that this superfruit has to offer.
How to feed these little jewels:
Cranberries can be an excellent on-the-go snack for your pup, provided they enjoy the taste. You can offer cranberries in various forms, such as fresh, dried (without added sugar), unsweetened freeze-dried, or frozen. However, due to their tart flavor, some pets may not find cranberries appealing. To make them more palatable, you can gently cook them in a small amount of water or bone broth. Alternatively, you can puree the cranberries and use them as an ingredient in a homemade treat, mixing them with other healthy foods to mask the tartness. Another option is to blend the cranberries with fresh ground meat and spread it on a lick mat.
It's important to remember that while cranberries are safe for pets, they should be given in moderation. Follow the 10% rule, where treats should make up less than 10% of your pet's daily food intake.
At Three Happy Hounds, we're committed to helping your pets live their happiest, healthiest lives. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on incorporating fruits and veggies into your pet's diet during National Fruit and Veggie Month!