Cranberries – Not Just A Thanksgiving Dish

We have three canine children ranging from the ages of 4 to 10. They are our pride and joy. ;) I hope to have goats or cows in a couple years, but, for the time-being, we have plenty of joy (and vet bills) with three dogs.

Cranberries… did she totally forget the title of her post? That’s what you’re thinking, right? Just hold on. I’m getting there.

After spending a lot of money in the last two weeks on vet bills for Bunker, our male Doberman, on a myriad of meds; an emergency ultrasound (that cost me my left arm); and ANOTHER ultrasound expected in a couple weeks (they’ll have to take one of John’s legs for that one), I remembered something we did with cranberries for Cocoa, one of our other dogs. (We were well beyond cranberries with Bunker. However, had we thought to include periodic doses of cranberry juice in his regular diet, these recent days might have been wonderfully uneventful.)

(photo of Cocoa to be added soon)

Anyway… thinking back on our experience with Cocoa, I realized some of Your Gardening Friend readers might benefit from this.

I think most people know that cranberries can be used to treat urinary tract infections. If you didn’t already know that, now you do. Did you ALSO know that you can give cranberry juice to your dogs?

Cocoa (our female Labrador) and Lilly (our female Shepherd mix) have both had urinary tract infections on separate occasions. For both dogs, we gave them the prescribed meds. The second time we noticed signs of a urinary tract infection with Cocoa, I decided to give her cranberry juice instead of taking her to the vet. I figured it was worth a try to see if we could cure the infection naturally (and more affordably). It worked!!

I am not a doctor, so this should be read with that in mind. Your dog might need immediate professional medical care. It’s important to note that urinary tract infections, ESPECIALLY for male dogs, can be VERY serious (life-threatening) very quickly.

Having said that, here are a few natural remedies to consider for your dog(s):

  1. Cranberry juice. Cranberry juice is VERY tart so you might have to be a little sneaky. I do NOT recommend adding sugar or sweetener. Watering it down might be all that’s needed. Cocoa practically inhales her dry food, so we’ve always mixed her food with a lot of water. It slows her down. When giving her the cranberry juice, we mixed the water, cranberry juice, and dry food. She drank all the fluids, but with frequent pauses because of the tartness.
  2. Dried cranberries. I’ve not done any research on how the properties of dried cranberries differ from cranberry juice. If your dog won’t drink the juice, it might be worth doing a little research on dried cranberries. It seems like a logical alternative. If it turns out that dried cranberries are an option, but your dog doesn’t like the taste, you can easily smoosh the cranberries into peanut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, or some other soft and safe food for dogs.
  3. Cranberry pills. I work with a lady who had great success using cranberry pills with her dog. The pup had chronic bladder infections and had gone through a number of unsuccessful rounds of antibiotics. The vet finally resorted to cranberry pills. The cranberry pills, NOT the meds, cured the E. Coli infection. (They continued the pills for a number of years as a preventive measure.)

Besides urinary health, did you know research suggests that cranberries might also help prevent teeth and gum plaque, prostate cancer, and due to its anti-inflammatory properties it might help with rheumatoid arthritis, and a whole list of other things.

What cranberry health benefits have you or your pet experienced?

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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6 comments to Cranberries – Not Just A Thanksgiving Dish

  • Amber

    I’ve used cranberry juice for my child’s digestive health. Does that count?? …Works like a charm!! :)

  • First of all, I LOVE these photos of two of your furbabies! They are so adorable!!! Secondly, I had no idea cranberry juice worked on dogs as well as humans. A very informative post, and helpful! I always think it’s best (and cheapest!) to try natural remedies before running an animal right to the vet.

    • Holly


      Thanks! I agree – they are adorable ;) I’m glad it was an informative post. It’s pretty neat that something as simple as cranberries can be so medicinally beneficial to humans AND furbabies. In the case of my co-worker, the cranberries worked better than the prescribed medications.

  • Your canine children are so adorable, and I am sorry to hear that one of them is suffering with an illness. I hope good health is on the horizon. My feline children have had urinary health issues once or twice. I give them a concoction of herbs that includes cranberry to keep them healthy. So far, it has been working. Good luck!

    • Holly

      Thanks. I, too, hope and pray this has a happy ending continuation. So far, it appears it will. Bunker seems to be back to his normal self, but we still need to do another ultrasound to make sure everything inside looks as good as his perky, adorable personality. :)

      Thanks for sharing about your feline children. Is the concoction of herbs and cranberries a homemade concoction? If so, it would make a great post for The Sage Butterfly.

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