Cabbage is a pretty nutritious plant, but can dogs eat sauerkraut. Read on and discover the health benefits and warnings of sauerkraut for dogs.
It’s basically just canned cabbage, right? Let’s look at whether sauerkraut is good for dogs or not and what you need to know about this German side dish.
For ultimate pet safety, I recommend consulting with your vet about all the questions you have about your dog eating sauerkraut.
- Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?
- Natural Probiotic For Dogs
- Sauerkraut Benefits
- Should Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?
- More Dog Food Resources
Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?
What even is sauerkraut? It’s shredded cabbage that was fermented with lactic acid bacteria. It has such a strong odor that most dogs won’t eat it by itself.
That being said, it actually has lots of benefits for dogs. Since it is fermented, it has cancer-fighting probiotics and antioxidants. You can scroll down and read all the nutritional benefits of sauerkraut. It’s pretty powerful and healthy for them.
But first, let’s look at all of the different types of sauerkraut and whether they are all safe for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Sauerkraut?
Most sauerkraut is canned. That’s how it’s stored. Yes, dogs can eat canned sauerkraut. Just be careful and choose the brand with the least amount of sodium.
While all dogs need salt in their diet, there is such a thing as too much salt. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a 33-pound dog only needs 200 mg of sodium a day. Talk to your veterinarian about how much salt is healthy for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Sauerkraut?
Yes, dogs can eat cooked sauerkraut. But will they? That’s another story. Often the smell is enough to make them turn their noses up at it – literally!
If you do give it to your dog – and they eat it – watch for gas or tummy problems. Sometimes new foods don’t sit well with some dogs. Only give them a little bit at a time and see how well they handle it.
Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut with Caraway Seeds?
According to the ASPCA, caraway is toxic to dogs. Avoid giving your dog anything with caraway in it.
It’s also known as Meridian fennel or Perisian Cumin. This is not the same as the powdered cumin you buy in the store. They both belong in the parsley family, but they come from different plants.
If your dog accidentally eats some caraway, watch out for vomiting and diarrhea. Please take your dog to the veterinarian if you suspect they are acting sick after eating these seeds.
Is Sauerkraut Bad For Dogs?
In general, sauerkraut is not bad for dogs. In fact, it can be really beneficial for their overall health. There are so many ways it can help their entire body – from giving them shinier fur to healthier guts.
Sauerkraut For Dogs
If you want to help your dog eat more of it to get the health benefits, then here are some tips for you. Most dogs will instantly smell it and turn away. It’s pretty strong-smelling and they won’t like that.
To help your dog eat it, mix in a really small amount with their regular food. Then, slowly increase how much you give them.
If your dog absolutely won’t eat it, no matter what, it’s ok to just avoid it.
Natural Probiotic For Dogs
Probiotics are essential for a dog’s health. They are a group of over 400 microorganisms. These little organisms increase the activity of tons of immune cells or cytokines. They basically help make your dog’s immune system stronger so it can fight pathogens better.
Another way to explain it is like this. Probiotics are the good bacteria that fight and remove the bad and then make it harder for the bad bacteria to come back and grow.
Sauerkraut is an excellent probiotic for dogs. Note this only applies to raw or refrigerated sauerkraut. Live probiotic cultures are destroyed at 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Canned and cooked sauerkraut does not have probiotic benefits.
Now that you know what it is and you understand a little more about probiotics, let’s look at some of the health benefits.
Nutrients in Sauerkraut
There are tons of nutrients in this sour side dish. Here’s a rundown of all the good things in 1 cup of sauerkraut for your dog.
- Potassium – 241 mg
- Carbohydrates – 6g
- Protein – 1.3g
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B-6
Vitamin A in sauerkraut helps a dog’s eye health. It can reduce the risk of cataracts forming in older dogs.
Good for the Dog’s Gut
It’s also really good for your dog’s stomach and digestion. Remember those probiotics I mentioned earlier? They are responsible for a healthy gut.
The fiber in sauerkraut will also prevent constipation, bloating, and flatulence.
Those probiotics also help lower cholesterol levels in older and heavier dogs. Obesity in dogs is related to a lot of health issues like heart problems. Thankfully, the good bacteria in sauerkraut helps to interfere with fat absorption too.
Yes, it could actually help your overweight dog lose weight.
Reduce Joint Pain
It also has lots of phytonutrients that act as anti-inflammatory antioxidants. This means it can reduce inflammation in your dog’s joints that might be causing muscle and joint pain.
Should Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?
With all the information, is sauerkraut good for dogs? Yes, it really is good for dogs. Introduce it to them a little at a time and hide it in their current food.
As with any new food you give them, watch out for any stomach or other reactions and talk to your vet if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
More Dog Food Resources
As you keep learning about what your dog can eat, here are some more articles on human foods for dogs.
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Myrna Seagrave says
Jess was diagnosis with C. perfringens High Range Alpha Toxin (CPA) Gene Quantity How much and how often should we give her sauerkraut?
It is best for you to discuss feeding sauerkraut to your dog with your veterinarian or a dog nutritionist. Your vet is most familiar with your dog’s health and nutritional needs.
You mention one of the reasons sauerkraut is beneficial is because of the probiotics (useful bacteria), which i definitely agree with. However neither of the two types of sauerkraut you mention (canned or coooked) will contain probiotics because the bacteria will have been killed by the heat process! Dont you mean raw sauerkraut that is sometimes sold in the fridge section of some shops or sauerkraut you have made at home?
Yes, I do need to clarify the info about probiotics only being in the raw or homemade sauerkraut and not cooked or canned. Thanks for pointing that out.
How much should I give a 65-75lb dog please?
The recommended amount is 1 to 3 teaspoons for every 20 pounds. So start with 3 teaspoons and see how it goes. And please, discuss this with your vet as it is best to do so when introducing any new food to your dog.