Cranberry Supplement Products: Are They Safe and Beneficial For Dogs?
The benefits of cranberries, cranberry juice, and cranberry supplements have been long understood by medical professionals. Many people take highly concentrated cranberry juice or supplements to ward off urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder infections and other problems in our urinary system.
Vets and research say yes – the active ingredients in cranberries can prevent future UTIs or stop one before it gets to the point of needing antibiotics.
Cranberries also have other health benefits for your dog. They are full of nutrients and antioxidants, and are low-risk in terms of side effects or giving your dog an upset stomach. With the potential for big benefits to your dog’s health and low risk of adverse effects, many dog owners are giving cranberry pills, chews and powders a try and seeing improvements in their dog’s health and well-being.
Read on to learn more about why cranberry supplements might be beneficial for your dog, the types of supplements available, and how to keep cranberry supplements safe and effective for your furry friend.
What’s a UTI, and why does my dog get them?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) is an infection of part of the urinary system. It starts in the urethra, but can also impact the kidneys and bladder. They are not uncommon in dogs, and some are especially prone to them and can end up with chronic painful and inconvenient UTIs.
Watch for these signs that your dog may have a urinary tract infection (UTI):
- Frequent urination
- Pain when urinating (obvious discomfort, crying out)
- Straining to urinate
- Blood in urine
- Urinating in the house when house trained
If left untreated, UTIs can cause kidney damage or other damage from infections further up the urinary tract. UTIs can get caused by a variety of things, and vets do not know why some dogs are more prone to them than others.
UTIs most often need to be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your vet. However, cranberry supplements for dogs can be effective in the prevention of these dangerous infections and overall urinary tract health, preventing future UTIs from taking hold and alleviating chronic UTIs for your canine companion. You could watch below video for explanation “how to tell your dogs have bladder infection?”
Why might you need a cranberry supplement for dogs?
Cranberries have a variety of health benefits, which is why so many cranberry pills and cranberry chews for dogs exist on the market. In addition to their benefits for urinary and bladder health, they also improve oral health by reducing tartar and plaque, it also can reduce the risk of heart disease in your dog due to their antioxidants and high fiber content.
How can cranberry supplements help your dog with urinary tract infections (UTIs)?
There are two viewpoints about how and why cranberry pills or other cranberry supplements might help prevent UTIs. For many years, many believed that since cranberries made the urine more acidic, it would help kill bacteria that would cause UTIs. However, more recently, some have hypothesized that A-type proanthocyanidins, an active ingredient in cranberries, prevents harmful bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall and causing UTIs. Either way, cranberries seem to be able to help our dogs flush out harmful bacteria through their urine and prevent harmful bacteria from sticking around the urinary tract and causing infections.
Evidence is conflicting about whether cranberry supplements can cure a UTI once it starts; if your dog develops a UTI, consult your vet – your dog may need antibiotics.
However, there is evidence to show that regularly giving your dog cranberry supplements such as cranberry pills or chews can be beneficial for bladder and urinary tract health, as well as provide some other health benefits. The risk of your dog experiencing adverse health effects from cranberry supplements is low, and the chance that they could be good for your dog’s health is quite high – so there is no harm in trying out a supplement to see how your dog does, especially if he or she is prone to UTIs.
So what are the best cranberry supplements for dogs? Read on to learn about some of the most popular cranberry supplements for dogs on the market right now, the differences between them, some additional benefits offered by each, and what buyers are saying about them.
The Best Cranberry Supplement for Your Dog – Product Reviews
PetHonesty CranBladder Health
- Combination of benefits for urinary and bladder health as well as overall immunity
- Can help with some cases of incontinence or bladder leakage
- Free of wheat, corn, and sugar
These chews are full of high potency ingredients like cranberry, marshmallow root, Echinacea, and licorice. These ingredients help balance pH levels in your dog’s body, improving urinary function, kidney health and also strengthening your dog’s immunity.
Many purchasers have noted that the product works to minimize chronic and persistent bladder infections and UTIs that previously meant their dog had to be on multiple rounds of antibiotics per year. This more natural alternative is free of preservatives and other harmful ingredients present in many dog treats and supplements!
Zesty Paws Cranberry for Dogs
- Chicken flavored chewable tablets that dogs love
- Formulated with Bio-Shield technology to protect the cranberry concentrate as it passes through the digestive system
- D Mannose and nettle seed help detoxify kidneys and improve their function
The digestive system, kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract are, of course interrelated, and this supplement that tackles them all. The most interesting feature of this product is Bioshield technology, which protects the cranberry concentrate as it passes through your dog’s digestive tract, making sure it reaches the lower GI tract where it will be best absorbed for urinary health and UTI prevention. Purchasers have reported that this product alleviated chronic UTIs, crystals in the urine, urine leaks and bladder stones.
NaturVet – Cranberry Relief Plus Echinacea
- Cranberry chews for dogs that taste like a treat
- Re-sealable packaging to keep chews fresh
- Also available in a powder format to mix with food
This multipurpose formula has cranberry for urinary health and Echinacea to support overall immunity. Purchasers report that their dog seems to enjoy it – the manufacturer says it tastes like a treat, which many dogs seem to agree with! – but in case your dog doesn’t enjoy the taste or texture, this product also comes in a powdered form that you can mix in with your dog’s regular meals.
Pawlife Cranberry for Dogs - UTI, and Bladder Support for Dogs
- D-Mannose, cranberry and marshmallow to protect your dog from harmful bacteria
- Astragalus for kidney health and detoxification
Astragalus is a well known and long-used remedy in traditional Chinese medicine. It has a reputation for improving liver and cardiovascular health as well as overall immunity. This supplement makes use of astragalus for overall health.
Licorice root can have some health benefits, but in humans, it has been shown to present an increased risk of hypertension, sodium retention, and increased potassium excretion through the urine. If your dog has a history of kidney problems, consider talking to your vet before beginning this supplement.
D-Mannose is a common ingredient in supplements for UTI prevention. It is a simple sugar that has been shown to promote the growth of helpful bacteria in the gut and stop harmful bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall and causing infections. D-Mannose is in this product, giving it an extra benefit to your dog.
Pet Parents USA Cranberry for Dogs + Dog UTI, Dog Kidney Support, Dog Incontinence Products
- Filled with whole meats, veggies, and other beneficial ingredients
- Contains Pacran, a proprietary blend of potent cranberry solids that increases the overall effectiveness of the product
These cranberry pills for dogs tackle all the systems that cleanse the body of harmful bacteria, including the liver, kidneys and urinary system. It has all the typical high-quality ingredients you would expect for a cranberry pill for UTIs including cranberry, D-Mannose, marshmallow, and licorice. However, Parcan is a specialized branded mixture of cranberry solids that increases the potency of these pills. These cranberry supplements also contain pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin is well known to regulate and improve your dog’s digestion.
Pet Care Sciences Bladder Strength and Kidney Function Chews
- Nettle root offers a variety of benefits
- Supplement for bladder strength and kidney function in addition to UTI prevention
One ingredient in this supplement that is not present in most others on this list is nettle root. Nettle root can act as a diuretic, flushing out the urinary tract. However, it has many additional benefits to your dog’s health. It can also assist with itchy skin and allergies, acting as an antihistamine to stop allergic symptoms for your dog.
This supplement has ingredients to build bladder strength and kidney function, assisting with bladder leakage and incontinence. Purchasers note that it works quickly and effectively and that it is easy to split these cranberry pills into smaller portions for smaller dogs.
Nutrition strength cranberry juice for dogs
Contrary to popular belief, you need a certain potency for cranberry chews or cranberry pills for your dog to have an effect. Just like for humans, cranberry juice is not sufficient to achieve the benefits of cranberry supplements specifically for UTIs and urinary health.
Ensure that any cranberry supplement you choose for your dog has D-Mannose (other names for this sugar are carubinose, D-manosa, mannose, and seminose) and is advertised for bladder health.
Not only will cranberry juice not be sufficient potency to help your dog achieve improved bladder and urinary health, but it also has a lot of sugar content and can actually be harmful to your dog. In fact, some cranberry juice cocktails contain artificial sweeteners, which can be toxic to your furry friend. Don’t use cranberry juice to help your dog with UTIs or other bladder or urinary issues!
FAQ of Cranberry Supplements for Dogs
A: You certainly can! Both fresh and dried cranberries are safe and effective for your dog. However, a few notes:
- Cranberries are very acidic and can cause stomach upset if given in too large a quantity
- Fresh cranberries taste very tart; your dog may not want to eat them. This is why your dog may like cranberry chews or pills better.
- Dried cranberries are safe, but ensure they are not mixed with any other dried fruits. Raisins/grapes and other fruits are toxic to dogs! Make sure cranberries are the only ingredient.
A: It is not recommended to feed your dog cranberry juice instead of a pill or chew supplement. The active cranberry ingredient is much lower in juices and cocktails, and they are high in sugar, which can cause an upset stomach for your dog.
Cranberry juice and cocktails are also sometimes mixed with other fruit juice, or even worse, artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which are deadly to your dog even in small quantities.
A: Always follow the directions on the package to ensure you don’t give your dog too much of a certain supplement. If you suspect your dog has ingested too much and is sick from an overdose, call your nearest vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.
A: The best dose for any supplement, not just cranberry supplements, is always what is recommended by the manufacturer and/or your veterinarian. Follow the directions and ask your vet any questions you may have about supplements you’re considering for your dog.
Especially for dogs who are prone to chronic UTIs, urinary health may be on your mind as a dog owner. Cranberry chews and pills are well regarded by vets, and buyers are singing the praises of these supplements in helping to free their dog from the discomfort and potential danger posed by UTIs and bladder infections.
The supplement business is booming for dogs, and with good reason – there are many natural remedies and preventative supplements for everyday conditions our dogs suffer from. If you are concerned for your dog’s urinary health and function, consider a cranberry supplement and see how your dog responds. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results!