The Health Benefits of Cranberries for Dogs
The Secret to Canine Urinary Tract Health
Cranberries have many health benefits for dogs. Canine urinary tract infections can be serious business for dogs and they can mean serious vet bills for owners. For owners of dogs with chronic urinary tract infections, the expenses can mount quickly. Many humans have the same problem and many fall back on Grandma’s old home cure, cranberries. This remedy seems to be the answer for many, but does it work? And more importantly, is it good for dogs?
First, let use address how cranberry juice works to control and/or prevent urinary tract infections. Cranberry juice lowers the pH of the urine, making it more acidic. This action makes it a hostile environment for pH sensitive bacteria. Secondly, cranberries contain at least two agents that act as bacterial inhibitors. Consequently, many medications for urinary tract infections work in the same manner.
Cranberries should not be a replacement for veterinary care, or antibiotic therapy. They can be used to compliment each other though. One should always check with their veterinary before deciding to add this therapy, as this could lower pH too much if used with certain therapies prescribed by your veterinarian, creating and entirely different set of problems. These health problems include bladder stones and other serious problems.
Another consideration in taking your dog to the vet is that if urinary tract infections are difficult to clear, it could be a sign of other problems that are present. My veterinarian will suggest cranberries for dogs as a preventative if they have been under considerable stress, such as a new rescue, or one that has been in a stressful situation.
Cranberries for dogs come in many different forms (such as NaturVet Cranberry Relief Healthy Urinary Tract Support For Dogs and Cats, all of which work. Cranberry juice is the most common form of cranberries given to dogs. However, just as if they were your children, check the labels to make certain that the juice contains real cranberries and not a lot of sugar. Some dogs will eat fresh cranberries, but some will not. Cranberry powder is also available at health food stores that can be sprinkled on their food. Cranberry tablets are also available. Please consult your veterinarian for dosages and instructions.
One of the most important things that you can do for your best friend is to give them plenty of fresh water and plenty of opportunities to eliminate. This is one of the most important things that you can do to improve canine urinary tract health. Cranberry and cranberry products should be given in addition to, not as a substitute for these common-sense measures.
The addition of cranberries to your dog’s diet also has several other benefits. Cranberries are rich in vitamins including A, B1, B2, C, and many nutrients. They are full of minerals and antioxidants. Cranberries are an excellent supplement to your dog’s diet for the promotion of urinary tract health and they are good for the owner as well. This is one treat that you can enjoy with your dog, so go grab a handful and enjoy them together.