If you have ever considered giving your dog cranberry juice, it is important to make sure they get the right amount and you aren't giving them cranberry juice full of sugars and additives.
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Signs of a Dog Liking Cranberry Juice
If you determine including cranberry juice into your dog's diet is something that is necessary, the best way to do this is to find a way that can disguise the tartness of the cranberry juice. This makes it easier for your dog to stomach the juice. If you are still struggling to get your dog to enjoy cranberry, you may want to seek an alternative, such as cranberry pills or capsules.
However, some dog may really enjoy having cranberry juice and the tart and bitter flavor may not affect them! All dogs are different. If your dog does enjoy these tangy, red berries and their juice, you will be able to tell very quickly. You can tell your dog does not mind cranberry juice if they lick it up without any hesitation, beg for more when it is gone, paw at your leg, drool, lick their lips, bark, cry, or whine. Some dogs may even jump up at you or the food, pace around, or run around in circles waiting for more.
- Jumping up
- Wag tail
- Lip licking
- Paw raised
- Ears up
- Drooling and staring at the food
- Begging for more
- Spinning in circles
History of Cranberries and Dogs
By the 1620s, pilgrims learned the best ways to use this superfruit from the Native Americans. American whalers, fishermen, and mariners used cranberries to prevent illness and infections such as scurvy. Scurvy was a very contagious, unpleasant, and deadly disease that many individuals would catch in certain environmental conditions.
Luckily, Native Americans found that cranberries and their juice could be brewed and drank to help cure and prevent this disease. Cranberry juice could also be used to draw out deadly poison from arrow wounds. Furthermore, they also found that cranberries could be brewed into a tea that would help calm nerves, stress, and anxiety.
We do not have any found recorded history of how dogs may have benefited from cranberries many thousands of years ago, but we can assume cranberries may have been a part of their diet at some point. However, it is more likely that dogs would just find any remnants of the fruit and steal some bites rather then it being fed to them on purpose. Since berries were used to prevent illness and infection in humans, they may have been given to dogs for the same purpose as well.
Science Behind Dogs Benefitting from Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice has a ton of health benefits for your dog, but only when it is given in smaller and appropriate quantities. Too much cranberry juice may upset your dog's stomach and cause tummy issues. Cranberry juice has a lot of acidities, so you must limit their intake. With that being said, cranberry juice has anti-inflammatory properties and is anti-microbial as well. These special properties hinder the growth of harmful E.coli, H. pylori, and other GI pathogens that can make your dog very ill.
Cranberries are also good for helping keeps your dog's teeth healthy and strong despite their high level of acidity. They have proteins that prevent too much acid from eroding their teeth and help fight against the buildup of harmful bacteria. Less bacteria on the teeth and in the mouth mean your pup's breath will be much less stinky! That is great for everyone.
Cranberry juice also has polyphenols - a powerful antioxidant. Studies have concluded that cranberries interact with cellular signaling cascades. This can help to regulate transcription factors in the body and affects the microRNAs (miRNA). miRNA controls the physical and pathological processes that take place in the body, such as the growth of cancer in the body.
Cranberries help prevent and stop the development and progression of cancer. This makes small amounts of unsweetened cranberry juice added in your dog's diet a great way to inhibit the formation of some cancers.
Lastly, cranberry juice in human and animal diets helps prevent urinary tract infections. Cranberry juice acts as a natural cleanser in the body and flushes out the harmful bacteria that attach to the urinary tract wall and creates the painful infection. Cranberry juice is not recommended for the treatment of UTIs, but it can be a great tool for prevention if your dog is prone to such infections.
Training Dogs to Drink Cranberry Juice
You will want to make sure the juice you are buying is pure cranberry juice and not a variety of cranberry juice cocktail that has other fruit juices, added sugars, and water or other fillers. You want plain, pure, and unsweetened cranberry juice. Organic brands are the best options. You never want to give your dog cranberry juice that says "sugar-free" on the bottle and uses added artificial sweeteners like sucralose or Splenda.
A better way to add cranberry to their diet may be to find whole cranberries to bake into homemade dog treats. You can also speak with your vet about what cranberry supplements are the best to give to a dog as well. You will want to make sure you have the correct dosage and are not giving them too much.
How to React if Your Dog Doesn't Like Cranberry Juice:
Find an alternative to the juice.
Do not force them to have it.
Safety Tips for Feeding Dogs Cranberry Juice:
Don't give them too much juice per day (as this can cause an upset stomach).
Make sure your dog is not allergic.
Avoid giving sweetened cranberry juice.