Sauerkraut is one of those condiments that you either hate or you love. Now if you love it, you probably have it on a regular basis and will turn up with everything you make, especially barbeques. Sometimes we’re a bit messy and drop stuff but do you need to worry? Can dogs eat sauerkraut though?
Well, you will be surprised to know that it is not toxic and there really is not anything to worry about with sauerkraut. Of course, with a situation like this, homemade sauerkraut is a lot better and preferred, we will talk about this below.
So Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?
Yes, dogs an eat sauerkraut, if you can give it to them without any preservatives or additives then that is even better. It is actually even healthier than normal cabbage.
The question is, will they go anywhere near it? The smell can be enough for a dog to just walk away from it, or not even give it any attention. It depends on the dog, but some dogs just straight of do not like the smell of it at all.
As when feeding your dog any type of “human food” you should only be giving them small portions and not on a regular basis.
There are many reasons we say this, one of them is dogs just cannot eat the same type and amount of food we do. For example, sauerkraut does have a high sodium factor. This is one reason why you should only give it to them in small portions.
But do not let that put you off, raw sauerkraut has great probiotic properties, some good vitamins and has antioxidants in it.
As with anything new that you give your dog, it should be in very small portions, so you can see how they handle it. Sometimes human foods do not sit well with some dogs, this is why you do this. A dog’s digestion system is a lot different compared to ours. Sometimes dogs can get a bit gassy afterward, so prepare yourself for that.
Can Dogs eat Store-Bought Sauerkraut
As you will know most sauerkraut will come in a jar or a can when you buy it from a supermarket. When deciding on the many brands to choose from, you need to make sure you pick the one with as little sodium as possible. So yes, dogs can eat store-bought sauerkraut.
Just as with humans, dogs can not eat to much salt. They are smaller than us and in most breeds a lot smaller. They cannot eat anywhere near the amount of salt we do. Salt poisoning is a serious problem for humans and dogs. With dogs it can hit them quickly if you are feeding them high salt-rich foods on a daily basis.
This is the reason why should not feed sauerkraut on a daily basis to your dog. They should only be having it on a rare basis, as a treat.
Electrolytes are very important for many functions in the body. They are required for normal heart and brain functions, fluid balance, to deliver oxygen, and many more. A very delicate balance is required, for each electrolyte has a specific level in the body.
Read the original article – PetMD
How About Homemade Sauerkraut?
When feeding your dog any type of human food, we always recommend that you feed them a homemade version. This is because you never truly know what big brands put in their products. They are mass made and usually filled with preservatives to give a longer shelf life.
We know it can take time to make sauerkraut, especially if you lead a busy life. But if you do go down that road, your dog will be so much happy and healthier.
By making it yourself you know exactly what is inside. For example, there will not be nearly as much salt in it compared to store-bought. This is because you are making it for a dog. Store-bought products do not take dogs or pets into consideration.
Please see the below video showing how you can make sauerkraut at home. You can see that salt is still needs salt, dogs do not need any increase in salt, in their diet.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Sauerkraut
As we have mentioned before the smell can be a lot for some dogs. When the sauerkraut is cooked it seems to be a big problem for some dogs. But yes dogs can eat cooked sauerkraut, this will not be a problem. Cooking the Sauerkraut may lose some of the nutrition and protein though, it is better not cooked.
How about sauerkraut with Caraway Seeds?
Caraway Seeds are toxic to dogs, so that is a straight no! You should not be feeding your dog anything with caraway seeds.
The caraway seed is also known as the perisian cumin or meridian fennel. Please make sure you check them all if your buying store brands.
If your dog has sneaked a little caraway seed, you need to keep a close eye on them for diarrhea or vomiting. If you are worried, suspect they are acting strange, or just want to be safe then you should contact your local veterinarian straight away.
Benefits and Nutrition of Sauerkraut
To start with sauerkraut is high in a couple of different vitamins like Vitamin K and C, along with fiber antioxidants and iron.
A lot of veterinarian finds that the probiotic factor of sauerkraut is really interesting. The fermentation process that takes place in the creation of sauerkraut creates live bacteria. This is good for your dog’s digestive system. If your feeding your dog good quality sauerkraut then this will help protect their digestive system from any tract diseases.
This happens because probiotics have over 400 microorganisms. These amazing but small organisms help increase the activity of many immune cells, which will help create a stronger immune system.
If you cook or heat any homemade sauerkraut, then you will be losing some of the good stuff like the enzymes and microbes.
Sauerkraut in its unpasteurized and raw form is actually a superfood, which has probiotic potential for your dog.
Nutrients Found in Sauerkraut
As we have mentioned above there is a lot of stuff in sauerkraut that can be good for your dog. We have listed all the good stuff you will find in sauerkraut, the below information is from the USDA FoodData Central Database.
100g of Sauerkraut
How Does This Help Your Dog?
The probiotics can also help their cholesterol by lowering the level in heavier or older dogs. Being overweight can cause your dog’s so many health problems, for example, heart and joint issues.
A good thing with sauerkraut is, that it will interfere with any fat absorptions as well. It has been known to help dogs that have an obesity problem, although you should always run anything like this by your vet first.
The Dogs Stomach
As we have mentioned above several times, sauerkraut is great for the dog’s stomach and digestion system. The probiotics we mentioned above are good for a healthy digestive system and stomach.
It has been known to help dogs with flatulence, constipation, and bloating, the fiber in sauerkraut does this.
Just like humans, when dogs get older their chances of having cataracts increase, vitamin A helps with a dogs eye health. Sauerkraut has been known to lower the risk of Cataracts
Reducing Joint Pain
As we mentioned above in heart health, having too much weight can cause joint pain. Sauerkraut has a lot of phytonutrients that help with any inflammation, it is a good anti-inflammatory antioxidant. This could help your dog with any joint or muscle pains they are having.
How Can I Feed My Dog Sauerkraut?
A lot of dogs will not like the smell of sauerkraut, which is normal as dogs like to sniff everything, especially their food.
If your dog is turning his nose up to it, then a good tactic is to put very small portions in their food bowl when you feed them for dinner or breakfast. This way they will get customized to the smell and will hopefully be too distracted eating their dog food and eat the sauerkraut as well.
This can work with dry food or wet food, wet food you can mix it in with though, so they will not notice it as much.
At the end of the day, if your dog does not like it, they are probably not going to be fooled or tricked into eating it. Dogs have a very strong sense of smell and sauerkraut smells a lot. In this case, it is best to leave it and not force the situation.
Yes, dogs can eat sauerkraut in it’s plainest form, it is not toxic to them. As long as nothing is added to the sauerkraut. There are few things you need to take into consideration which we have mentioned above. For example, the salt content in store-bought sauerkraut.
We always recommend you make it yourself at home, this way there is a lot less sodium in it. But sauerkraut is one of the better human food dogs can eat. It comes with quite a few different things that can benefit a dog.
As always though, sauerkraut should only be given in small portions and on a rare, treat basis. Just because it has some benefits to your dog’s health, does not mean you can swap it out for there day to day dog food.