Humans use sauerkraut as a topper for so many yummy foods! When we have something good, we ask ourselves if we can share with our dogs.
When it comes to whether or not dogs can eat sauerkraut, the answer is a bit nuanced. Because sauerkraut has so many benefits, some people feed it to their dogs regularly.
In this article, we’ll discuss whether sauerkraut is safe to eat, how much to feed your dog, its benefits, and more!
Is Sauerkraut Okay for Dogs To Eat?
Sauerkraut contains fermented cabbage as its primary ingredient. Luckily, cabbage is safe for dogs, so they can eat sauerkraut, whether refrigerated, canned, homemade, or cooked.
However, you should carefully examine the ingredients before giving your dog sauerkraut. Some sauerkraut might contain caraway seeds, garlic, onion, or leek, which are all toxic to dogs. Sauerkraut may also have a high salt content.
Too much salt can actually cause something called salt poisoning in dogs, which causes symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, increased thirst or urination, incoordination, and lethargy. Salt poisoning can cause tremors, seizures, coma, and death in extreme cases.
Cabbage can also cause digestive problems like bloating, gas, and upset tummy. Therefore, it should only be fed in moderation and not to dogs with stomach issues.
How Much Sauerkraut Can a Dog Eat?
Like any food, sauerkraut should be fed in moderation. All new foods should be fed in very small amounts until your dog gets used to them, so a small spoonful is enough for their first taste.
The maximum amount of sauerkraut your dog can eat depends on its size and health. Large dogs, of course, can eat more of anything than tiny pups.
Some people choose to use a spoonful of sauerkraut as an occasional kibble topper. Before adding anything to your dog’s regular diet, consult your veterinarian.
Remember that treats should only make up a maximum of 10% of your dog’s daily calories, so you’ll need to adjust according to how much food they’re eating and what other treats they’re getting throughout the day.
I never recommend limiting your dog’s food in place of treats, as no matter how healthy they are, they’re unlikely to contain all the nutrients your pup needs to thrive.
If your dog gets into your sauerkraut, check the ingredients first. So, long as it doesn’t contain anything toxic or high salt levels, your dog will likely be okay.
If your dog has ongoing tummy issues, it might be best to check with your veterinarian before brushing it off.
What if My Dog Doesn’t Like Sauerkraut?
It’s perfectly okay if your dog doesn’t like sauerkraut! Though there are guides online to getting your dog to eat it, I don’t recommend being pushy.
High-quality dog food provides all the nutrients your dog needs. Treats are extra and should be fun and tasty!
If you’re looking for foods to help with constipation or other gut problems, I recommend trying pumpkin! It’s generally more accepted by dogs, so it’ll be easier to get your pup to eat without forcing them.
You should also see your veterinarian whenever you have concerns about your dog’s health, as even seemingly-small things like constipation can be a symptom of a larger health issue.
Benefits of Sauerkraut for Dogs
- Sauerkraut contains iron, which helps circulation and prevents anemia. Mind you, your dog should be getting enough iron in their daily dog food — but a little extra in their treats certainly won’t hurt!
- When cabbage is fermented to create sauerkraut, the process creates probiotics that can help with gut health, regular stool, and lowering cholesterol.
However, keep in mind that sauerkraut can also cause tummy issues — so talk to your vet before introducing sauerkraut to a dog with tummy issues.
- The fiber in sauerkraut also helps to promote good digestive health in your dog.
- The vitamin A in sauerkraut can help your dog’s skin and coat health.
- Carotene in sauerkraut can help promote healthy eyesight.
- Vitamin C boosts the immune system.
- Phytonutrients in sauerkraut can reduce inflammation, helping dogs with allergies and arthritis. However, this should never be used as a substitute for vet visits, painkillers, and other medications your dog needs to stay healthy.
- Vitamin K12 supports bone growth and health.
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