Serving sauerkraut to your dog sounds a bit weird to me. My first thought is connected with a high amount of salt, hypernatremia, upset stomach, and bloating. Not to mention that this grocery doesn’t sound like a natural meal for canines. But, is that so?
Cabbage is highly nutritious, so there is no reason for the dog to avoid eating sauerkraut, which offers many health benefits. However, be aware of limitations and warnings of its including in a healthy pet diet. Let’s see can dogs eat sauerkraut and if it is healthy and beneficial for them.
Sauerkraut As a Dog’s Food
I regularly prepare sauerkraut for my family, but it has never been on my dog’s menu. However, my friend started that subject and tried to convince me that this meal is an excellent and healthy option for my American Staffordshire Terrier Malena. So, I decided to try.
The first step was to consult my vet, which I also recommend to you. Since sauerkraut is a bit controversial meal for carnivores, I believe that not all dogs will react to new foods in the same way. Plus, it is necessary to monitor the pet’s health at the very beginning to avoid possible inconveniences.
Sauerkraut is a specific meal with a strong flavor made of finely cut and fermented cabbage with lactic acid bacteria and yeast. It is a highly beneficial nutritious food for people enriched with probiotics, but I want to show you how it affects your beloved furry friend’s health.
Nutritional Benefits of Sauerkraut for Dogs
Since this food has well-known probiotic properties, dogs and sauerkraut can be best friends, especially if your pet has problems, such as food intolerance, digestive tract inflammation, canine gastroenteritis, or hard stool. Plus, it will boost immunity in puppy thanks to the antioxidants it contains.
|Beneficial nutrients in one cup of sauerkraut|
|Protein||0.04 ounces (1.3 g)|
|Carbohydrates||0.2 ounces (6 g)|
|Potassium||0.008 ounces (241 mg)|
Sauerkraut is also highly rich in vitamins A, C, B6, and K, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, manganese, and fiber. Plus, probiotics and enzymes it contains are an excellent support to digestion.
It promotes omega-3 fatty acids production, which contributes to brain development and healthy functioning.
Effects of Sauerkraut on Dog Health
1. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Phytonutrients and antioxidants will protect the dog’s body from free radicals and inflammation. They will help in reducing infection and allergies and improving the overall animal health.
2. Cardiovascular Health
Probiotics from sauerkraut lower the cholesterol level, which is crucial for chubby, obese, and old dogs. Since this food is full of good bacteria that help fat absorption, it will help your furry friend lose weight and, consequently, protect its heart.
3. Body Functioning
Sauerkraut will provide your dog with enough vitamin C to stimulate cellular regeneration, the white blood cell production, and boost the immune system. As a result, your puppy will have healthy-developed muscles, bones, and blood vessels.
4. Gastrointestinal Health
Through fermented sauerkraut, your dog will receive probiotics and fibers that improve gut health, prevents bloating and constipation, and enhance enzymatic activity. Consequently, sauerkraut will reduce the risk of irritable bowel syndrome and gastric ulcers because of the heat treatment it is subjected to.
5. Reduction Pain in Muscles and Joints
Thanks to phytonutrients, consuming sauerkraut will reduce inflammation in dogs’ muscles and joints and relieve pain that older pets suffer from.
6. Bone Health
The benefits to bones will provide the best answer to the question – Is sauerkraut good for dogs? Minerals and vitamin K that it contains will help your puppy get strong bones and encourage re-mineralizing in adults.
7. Coat, Skin, and Eye Health
Thanks to carotene and vitamin A, sauerkraut acts as an antioxidant that can enhance your pet’s eye health. It will also reduce the risk of forming cataracts, dull coat, and dry skin, especially in older canines.
8. Protection Against Toxins
Probiotics from sauerkraut support detoxification and protect the dog’s body by eliminating dangerous pollutants, such as heavy metals, exhaust gases, and chemicals.
9. Other Benefits
Sauerkraut may alleviate anxiety and reduce symptoms of allergies and the risk of cancer development.
Effects of Sauerkraut and Its Ingredients
This plant is full of nutrition and fiber your dog needs. Even though it is highly beneficial food, this veggie can cause stomach upset and gas production in the guts. Therefore, never offer a large amount of sauerkraut to your pet at once but initially introduce it with small bites.
2. Kosher Salt
Since it contains potassium, iron, and zinc besides sodium chloride, this salt is different from the regular one. Plus, it is not iodinated.
Remember how sensitive your pet can be to a high sodium level because it can negatively affect its body’s electrolyte balance. Therefore, provide your furry friend with plenty of water to prevent dehydration and, consequently, cardiovascular and kidney disorders.
3. Flavoring Ingredients
Since some sauerkraut recipes contain carrots and fruits, such as apples and pears, you should check if your dog is allergic to them to prevent health issues. Some commercial sauerkrauts can contain onions, garlic, and caraway seeds that can be harmful to canines.
Types of Sauerkraut
Without preservatives, potentially harmful additives, and unwanted pesticides, this fermented food is healthier to your dog than raw cabbage. However, you should limit portions to prevent bloating.
Your dog can eat canned sauerkraut, but be careful since it can contain too much sodium. A dog weighing 33 pounds (15 kg) only needs 0.007 ounces (200 mg) of this mineral a day.
Cheap and mass-produced sauerkraut can be bad for dogs, especially compared with those you make in your home. If you decide to add it to your pet diet, you should always pick out the brand that contains the least sodium amounts.
Even though your doggy can eat cooked sauerkraut, it can refuse it because of the too strong smell and overpowering taste.
5. Sauerkraut with Caraway Seeds
One of the common questions is can dogs eat caraway seeds (Perisian cumin, meridian fennel). According to the ASPCA, it is a toxic ingredient to canines, so you should avoid giving sauerkraut containing it to your furry friend.
Sauerkraut for dogs is not such a weird meal as it seems at first glance. It contains many beneficial ingredients and can improve your dog’s health. Therefore, offer it to your furry friend in a smaller amount until getting used to this delicious food.