Most dogs do not like the taste and strong smell of sauerkrauts as it can cause irritation to their palates and nose. For this reason, sauerkrauts are better for dogs when used as flavors in their foods. Sauerkrauts are basically fresh cabbages that are finely cut and fermented with lactic acid bacteria of different types.
They can be used as food flavors or eaten alone. Sauerkrauts contain many minerals and nutrients that provide your dog with lots of health benefits including combating cancer in your dog. Come along with us as we discuss the health benefits and side effect (if there are any) of sauerkrauts to dogs. Let’s go!
Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is a very nutritious food made from fresh cabbage. It is both healthy for humans and dogs alike. Let’s take a look at the various nutrients contained in this food substance. These nutrients include:
Protein – 1.3g; Potassium – 241mg; Carbohydrates – 6g
Other nutrients include:
Vitamins A, B6 and C, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium.
The following are the health benefits that sauerkrauts gives to dogs:
Sauerkrauts are very effective in improving the activities and functioning of gut enzymes, which helps to reduce the risk of your dog suffering Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) with severe diarrhea and gastric ulcer. Sauerkrauts are rich in fiber, which eliminates the risks of gassiness, constipation and bloating in your dog.
There is a bioactive present in sauerkrauts and other vegetables known as Phytonutrients. This bioactive compound is an antioxidant that provides your dog with several positive health benefits such as fighting against inflammation, reducing joint and muscle aches, arthritis and other conditions involving both the skeleton and musculature of your dog.
Sauerkrauts are also packed with Vitamin A which aids growth of tissues and skin health. Lack of Vitamin A can result in your dog having dull, dry, itchy skin.
Antioxidants like Carotene and Vitamin A also provides your dog with health benefits such as enhancing your dog’s sight, reducing the risk of cataract in older dogs and improving your dog’s general eye health.
The lack of iron in the systems of all warm-blooded animals, including dogs, cannot be overemphasized. Iron provides your dog’s organs with the sufficient amount of oxygen that they need to function properly.
In addition to this, iron also helps to boost your dog’s energy, aid blood circulation and regulate metabolism. Iron deficiency in anemic dogs can result in tiredness and mental slowness.
Sauerkrauts contain minerals, supported by Vitamin K2, which are responsible for the development and maintenance of strong bones and general bone health in your dog, especially adult dogs.
Immune System Functioning
The Vitamin C that is essentially responsible for aiding and boosting your dog’s immune system, promoting production of white blood cells and stimulation of cellular regeneration, are packed in Sauerkrauts.
Vitamin C is also responsible for the formation of collagen needed for the healthy growth of blood vessels, muscles, bones and organs. This makes sauerkrauts a nutritious food for your dog.
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Probiotics (Good Bacteria)
As we already established, sauerkraut is fermented with lactic acid bacteria, and this process makes the sauerkrauts packed with probiotics (good bacteria) that have several benefits to your dog’s health. Some of the benefits include:
- Promotes your dog’s gut health, prevents inflammation of the digestive tract and other gastrointestinal issues, and regulates cholesterol level in dogs, especially older dogs.
- Aids weight gain, reduces your dog’s risks of infection and cancer in dogs that have cancerous tendencies and improves your dog’s heart and general health condition.
- Improves your dog’s organ, muscle and skin health through the minerals it provides your dog such as potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese.
- Reduces your dog’s allergies to food and seasoning; provides your dog with Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for improving your dog’s brain functionality and development.
- Produces Lutein and Zeaxanthin, two antioxidants responsible for aiding blood vessels and tissue development in your dog.
- Balances up with the amount of bad bacteria in your dog to prevent an excessive of bad bacteria in your dog’s gut which can lead to skin irritation, depression diarrhea and recurring infections.
Side Effect Of Sauerkraut
As with most other foods, irrespective of how many health benefits they provide, they almost always have one side effect or the other. For sauerkraut, it contains high amounts of sodium which is unhealthy for dogs.
For this reason, your should only feed your dog sauerkrauts in moderation and completely avoid feeding it to your dog if he has any health history of heart disease or kidney disorder.
Most important, consult your veterinary doctor before introducing any new food to your dog’s diet, including sauerkrauts. Also observe and watch out for allergic symptoms like stomach upset and gassiness.
How To Feed Sauerkraut To Dogs
Some dogs are just particularly averse to eating vegetable, while some are only put off by the taste or strong smell of the vegetable.
Whatever the reason, since sauerkrauts are not very inviting to dogs on their own and your dog will not likely eat sauerkrauts alone.
If you want your dog to have a taste of this nutrients-packed food, then you can add small amounts of sauerkrauts and sardines into your dog’s regular meals to reduce the taste and strong smell of the sauerkrauts.
To reduce the taste and strong smell of the sauerkrauts, you can also soak it in water or apple juice for about thirty minutes or simply rinse the sauerkrauts in cold water before use.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Dogs Eat Store Bought Sauerkraut?
Yes! Dogs can eat store-bought (canned) Sauerkrauts. Sauerkrauts are mostly stored in cans, some containing higher amounts of sodium than the others. There is a recommended daily limit of sodium intake of dogs and exceeding their limits can result in sodium poisoning and other health issues.
So, it is important that when you are buying sauerkraut for your dog, you should look out for products that contain low sodium amounts to prevent sodium poisoning.
How Much Sauerkraut Should I Give My Dog?
According to Dr. Karen Becker, the suggested amount of sauerkraut to feed your dog is 3 spoons to every 20 pounds of your dog’s body weight. The appropriate amount is determined by your dog’s body weight. This means that if your dog weighs 40 pounds, you can start with 6 teaspoons of sauerkrauts.
Sauerkrauts are very safe and healthy for dogs’ consumption. You can conveniently introduce it to your dog in little quantities at first. Watch out for any negative reactions to the new food; if they aren’t any, you can increase the amounts of sauerkrauts you feed your dog per time i.e. the quantity you add to his meal.
If you do notice any form of discomfort in your dog after consuming some sauerkraut, consult your veterinary doctor immediately to address the situation before it worsens.