Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?

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can dogs eat sauerkraut

Maybe you enjoy making warm homemade sauerkraut and adding healthy deliciousness to your meals. Naturally, you’re wondering if you could share it with your furry friend.

Can dogs eat sauerkraut and get all those numerous health benefits, too? Let’s find out.

Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?

Yes, dogs can eat sauerkraut. Like any food product, sauerkraut does have the potential for side effects if your dog eats too much. It all depends on what type you make and what ingredients are present. 

Homemade sauerkraut is best because you can control the ingredients. Avoid feeding your dog sauerkraut with added sugar or preservatives.

They are unnecessary and unhealthy for dogs. As for salt, make sure to rinse sauerkraut to remove any excess salt in canned or jarred products.

Dogs can eat sauerkraut as long as the pet owners keep an eye on the amount and sodium.

Is Sauerkraut Good for Dogs?

Most people know that sauerkraut is a highly nutritious food. It is packed with various vitamins and minerals. These offer many nutritional benefits for dog’s health:

Iron

Iron is vital to the production of red blood cells. Adding sauerkraut to a dog diet is beneficial, especially if they are showing signs of anemia or need a boost in their energy level. 

Iron also keeps your pup’s metabolism running smoothly and supports their blood circulation.

Gastrointestinal Health

Since sauerkraut is rich in fiber, it’s good for dogs and their gastrointestinal health. The fermented foods keep the good bacteria in balance with the bad bacteria.

They also reduce inflammation and prevent gastroenteritis. This also boosts your canine companion’s immunity and overall health.

Sauerkraut may reduce the risks of ulcers and chronic diarrhea in dogs who suffer from IBS. However, don’t overfeed your dog — too much fiber can cause flatulence and other digestive issues.

Cardiovascular Health

Probiotics in sauerkraut also help with your dog’s cardiovascular health. Sauerkraut probiotics can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in older dogs. They stop fat absorption and help dogs who are overweight get lean.

Skin, Coat, and Eye Health

Vitamin A and carotene in sauerkraut act as antioxidants. They are essential for the health of your pet’s skin, coat, and eyes. Vitamin A helps keep your dog’s liver, kidneys, reproductive organs, and vision healthy.

Vitamin A deficiency often results in dry, itchy skin and dull coats in dogs.

Immune System

The antioxidants in sauerkraut support your dog’s immune system. They fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi that cause infections. Sauerkraut is also rich in vitamin C, which is vital to the repair of tissue cells in your pet’s body. Vitamin C is also essential for strengthening your pet’s immune system.

While dogs can produce vitamin C on their own, a little immunity support is always welcome.

Anti-Inflammatory

Sauerkraut is good for dogs’ joints because it contains phytonutrients. These phytonutrients act as anti-inflammatory antioxidants. It also reduces muscle pain in dogs with arthritis.

Probiotics in sauerkraut are great for all kinds of digestive issues. They also reduce allergies and improve your dog’s immune function.

Bone Health

Sauerkraut has vitamin K, which is necessary to maintain bone health in canines. It also promotes strong teeth by preventing gum disease that leads to tooth loss. 

Vitamin K also reduces your dog’s risk of developing osteoporosis and helps with mineral absorption.

Why Are Sauerkraut Probiotics Beneficial?

Fermented foods contain strains of good bacteria that are beneficial to your pet’s digestive system. These increase the number of healthy gut bacteria and reduce bad bacteria. Fermented food is especially good for dogs with IBS.

Sauerkraut can protect your dog against candida, salmonella, and E. coli. It also helps with digestive issues and skin problems.

Additionally, fermented foods can ease depression and anxiety, and help with allergies. Sauerkraut can also help generate Omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for their coat, skin, and joint health.

Because sauerkraut probiotics are so effective, it’s crucial only to give your dog homemade sauerkraut. Commercially prepared varieties are often devoid of beneficial bacteria.

sauerkraut with spices

Is Sauerkraut Bad for Dogs?

Can sauerkraut be bad for dogs? Let’s look at its common ingredients and their effects on a dog’s health.

Cabbage

Cabbage is harmless to dogs in moderation. But, raw cabbage contains thiocyanate. This compound leads to thyroid problems and other disorders in dogs. These problems occur when a dog eats large amounts of raw cabbage or sauerkraut on a regular basis.

Cooking the food eliminates thiocyanate. All you have to do is properly cook your dog’s sauerkraut before serving it to them.

Salt

Sauerkraut can be very salty. Too much salt can lead to dehydration, hypertension, and digestive issues. Just be sure not to add extra salt when you serve your dog their sauerkraut.

Additionally, you should watch your dog’s sodium intake. Too much sodium on a regular basis can lead to sodium poisoning in dogs and fatal consequences. Always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water.

Caraway Seeds

Sauerkraut is typically made with caraway seeds to add flavor. These seeds are thin and dark-colored, sometimes called cumin or fennel seeds. They are toxic to dogs and lethal in large quantities.

Caraway poisoning includes symptoms like: 

  • Decreased blood sugar 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Convulsions
  • Shivering
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty breathing 

They can lead to liver and kidney damage. 

If your pet has eaten lots of these seeds, call the vet immediately.

Onion and Garlic

Sometimes sauerkraut is flavored with onion or garlic. Both of these are highly toxic to dogs and can lead to anemia and the death of the pet.

If you realize your dog has eaten onion or garlic, take them to a vet clinic immediately.

Different Types of Sauerkraut

There are many types of sauerkraut, and some of them are more beneficial to your dog than others.

Can Dogs Eat Homemade Sauerkraut?

Is warm homemade sauerkraut good for your dog? Yes, your dog can eat homemade sauerkraut. Make sure you use fresh ingredients and don’t add extra salt or seasoning. You also need to allow the food to cool before serving it to your pup.

Serve sauerkraut only in moderate amounts and only occasionally. The homemade sauerkraut is probably the best option for your dog since you control all the ingredients.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Sauerkraut?

Yes, you can serve your dog commercially prepared sauerkraut in moderation.

There are many different brands of sauerkraut in the market, each with its own ingredients. Just make sure you choose the sauerkraut with the least amount of sodium. Avoid harmful ingredients like caraway seeds, onion, and garlic.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Sauerkraut?

Yes. Just make sure you don’t add extra salt, and there is no onion or garlic added to the food. Also, watch out for caraway seeds.

It would be best to give your pooch only a small amount at a time. Watch them for signs of an upset stomach, like flatulence and diarrhea.

Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut with Caraway Seeds?

Ideally, no. You shouldn’t feed them to your dog.

Caraway seeds are toxic to dogs and can be fatal in large quantities. Caraway poisoning is a severe condition that can result in liver and kidney failure.

If your dog ate sauerkraut with these seeds, call the vet immediately and take them to a vet clinic.

Can Dogs Eat Store-Bought Sauerkraut?

Store-bought sauerkraut is bad compared to homemade varieties because it contains extra salt. It could also be flavored with onion and garlic, which are toxic to dogs.

If you can, feed your dog homemade sauerkraut instead. It is by far superior to the store-bought because you know what the ingredients are.

sauerkraut

How to Feed Dog Sauerkraut

Many dogs will not like the smell and will refuse to eat sauerkraut. Mask the smell and flavor of sauerkraut — mix it with another food you know your dog likes.

You can use chicken or wet dog food. It’s best not to serve too much sauerkraut — otherwise, the dog could associate the smell with the food they actually like and refuse to eat it in the future.

You can also serve sauerkraut raw and chopped.

To remove the smell, drain sauerkraut in a colander and rinse with cold water. You can also cook sauerkraut along with apples to make it more palatable for your dog.

Sauerkraut Alternatives for Dogs

Sauerkraut offers many health benefits for dogs but not every dog will eat it. If your pooch isn’t fond of sauerkraut, there are other options available to them. You can try some of these alternatives:

  • Chickpeas
  • Cooked cabbage
  • Bok choy
  • Kefir
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Greek yogurt

Watch out for signs of digestive upset and stop using them if they cause issues for your dog.

Want to learn more about human foods that dogs can safely eat? Check out this awesome list here.

The Brine League

Can dogs eat sauerkraut? Yes, and they can get remarkable health benefits.

Remember to serve sauerkraut in moderation. Rub off any excess salt, and check for ingredients like caraway seeds, onion, and garlic.

These are toxic to dogs and can lead to severe medical issues. Eating sauerkraut with any of these could result in a trip to a vet clinic.

Sauerkraut can be an excellent addition to a dog’s diet, though. Homemade sauerkraut is the best — you will bond more with your dog over the food you prepared for them.

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AUTHOR
As a dog breeder's daughter, I've always been surrounded by many dogs of many breeds. I've made it my job to learn about our furry best friends and share my findings with other conscious dog owners. My Bichon is called Piper by the way :)

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