Cranberries alone are fine for dogs, in moderation. You should feed all new things in moderation. One very important thing to be aware of is that dried cranberries are often mixed with other fruits in a mixed bag. These are often covered with sugar, which should be avoided. The major problem, however, is that raisins are often mixed in with them and raisins, as are grapes, very toxic to dogs.
Whatever you do, be clear about what is in any bag of fruit that you purchase to give to your dog. Some dogs love dehydrated fruits and some dogs don’t so you’ll want to give just a tiny piece to see what they think. Gradually allow them to have a little more. Don’t ever over-feed human foods though.
Moderation is the best practice at all times. Some fruits may be a bit acidic and upset your dog’s stomach. Watch them carefully for how they react. Signs of an upset stomach include gas. Bloated stomach, diarrhea, general discomfort, and pacing, sometimes panting or drooling.
If you notice any of these signs, you may give your dog some Pepto-Bismol to try to relieve any symptoms that they are experiencing. Help them in the future by avoiding that food or feeding less of it.
They may love a portion of food that doesn’t seem to love them. You have to be the one who makes the best choices for them in the long run. We love sugary cereals too but we know better than to eat them all the time. Children will eat things that are bad for them though, and dogs are a lot like children.
In fact, dogs are on the same mental level as a child.
How Bright Are Dogs?
Each breed is different but on average, a dog can have the same mental capacity as a 3 to 5-year-old child. This means that they are very bright when it comes to problem-solving, getting into things that you think you’ve hidden well. On the other hand, they are not capable of reasoning things out like what foods make them not feel good.
Some dogs won’t even stop eating when they are full. Dogs that were starved earlier in life or taken from mom too soon can sometimes have this issue where they eat and eat, regardless of how full their stomach is. It’s as if they fear the food will disappear, leaving them hungry later.
Cases of dogs overeating until they required their stomach pumped to keep it from tearing open. Dogs will eat things first and ask questions later. If something smells good to them, then it’s as good as gone. The common joke is that dogs are automatic vacuum cleaners. Sweeping the floor is unnecessary when you have a dog. Sadly, this gets them into trouble.
When you are walking your dog, it’s important that you work with them to teach them the command “Leave it!” so that they avoid picking up items on the ground as they walk. You should work with a dog trainer to help you teach this very important behavior to your dog. When they understand what it means, they will actually turn their head away from things when the command is given.
Understand that they are the equivalent of a 3-year-old and you would not let your toddler run about in the yard unsupervised, nor would you allow them to put just anything in their mouth. It can be highly dangerous for your dog too.
Chewing gum is one of the biggest challenges when you have a dog on a walk outdoors. People toss gum and cigarette butts on the ground all over the place. Tobacco and gum sweetened with xylitol are both highly toxic and kill dogs. If you have a dog like a beagle, whose nose is always to the ground, you’ll really need to work on the command to drop food.
Are You Interested in Making Dog Food or Treats at Home?
A lot of the dog foods and treats that are made commercially aren’t the greatest. In fact, some of the foods that are imported from China have been tested to contain toxins and traces of lead. You really should be avoiding these foods.
The higher end foods seem very expensive and perhaps you think that you can prepare meals for your dog that are less expensive and provide better nutrition? That’s an admirable idea and it is quite possible for you to produce fantastic meals for them. It requires time, dedication and learning about what foods are good for them and what foods should be avoided at all costs.
Dogs can have a lot of the foods we eat but they shouldn’t have many things we eat and you’ll want to educate yourself so that you don’t give them anything from this list of foods that includes things like:
- Macadamia nuts
- Grapes and raisins
- Uncooked white potatoes – fine if cooked, without the skins
- Apple seeds
- Peach and plum pits
This is not an all-inclusive list but it gives you an idea of some of the things you hadn’t thought of as possibly being bad for your dog.
Not all the things on this list can kill your dog but some of them can. Fruits are generally fine, but as you can see, you should remove the seeds and pits as they can be toxic. A slice of apple or peach is fine as a treat, provided that you’ve removed the seeds or pits.
Fresh meat is great for your dog but trim the fat away. It’s just as bad for them as it is for us. High-fat foods should be avoided but they do need some fat in their diet. Dogs need fiber, protein and very few carbohydrates. Dogs are omnivorous, like humans. That said, they don’t need as many carbs as we do. The carbohydrates that they get should be in the form of fresh veggies if you can manage that.
You shouldn’t give your dogs hot peppers and spicy foods. Keep foods a bit more bland and natural for them. Adding some turmeric is good for their joints though. Dogs are prone to the same aches and pains that humans are with old age creeping in. Arthritis can cause them stiffness and soreness. Watch for personality changes as they age. This can be a sign that they are feeling good.
The beautiful thing about preparing their food at home is that you can address their personalized needs in the meals that you make for them. Dogs also appreciate treats made with things like natural peanut butter and pumpkin. Pumpkin is great for dogs and it is a natural source of fiber. Added grains should be whole grains and you can give dogs some oatmeal once-in-awhile too. It’s great for their skin and coat.
Now You Know
Dogs can eat cranberries. Dogs can eat blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Dogs can have virtually every type of edible berry that is grown. Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants too. That means that they boost the immune system. We can all use that. Dogs will eat treats made with blueberries and love a few on top of their food bowl too.
You should realize that dogs need additions to their diet introduced very slowly. The slower the better. Do your best to give tiny amounts to start and gradually, almost painstakingly slowly, add to the amount that you give them.
This will help avoid gas issues, bloat, upset stomach, diarrhea, and the desire to leave your dog outside all day to air the house out. It is no fun living with a dog that has gas or diarrhea, but it isn’t fun for them either.
If they develop diarrhea, immediately stop adding anything to their food, give them a day to firm up and then slowly try again. If diarrhea persists, you may discontinue that type of food and assume that it could be a food allergy. Try something else instead. Dogs seem to generally be very tolerant of green beans and carrots. Perhaps start with those first?
If diarrhea persists for more than two days, it may be time to call your veterinarian. They might advise you that you can give the dog some Pepto-Bismol but do not use other products. You can cause serious problems if you give over-the-counter medications that are not meant for dogs. They don’t tol
Dawn Greer is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.