Is Sauerkraut Good or Bad for Dogs & Puppies to Have?

Dogs eat a lot of what we eat. From cook meals to fruits and vegetables, they aren’t as selective as other pets. However, dogs don’t eat all we eat. They also don’t eat all what other pets do. Therefore, there’s always some level of uncertainty when it comes to what kind of food dogs would eat and whether it’s safe for them. One of such food is Sauerkraut. 

So, can dogs eat Sauerkraut? Is it safe for dogs? How much of it should you feed your dog? For your reading pleasure, we’ll answer these questions and many more in this article. 

What Are Sauerkrauts? 

If you’re not familiar with Sauerkrauts, they are basically canned cabbage. The canned cabbage is usually shredded and fermented with beneficial bacteria. In other words, Sauerkrauts are fermented cabbage. While cabbage is on itself a very healthy vegetable, the fermentation process adds even much more nutritional benefits to the cabbage. It is rich in antioxidants and cancer-fighting probiotics. It is also rich in vitamins K and C, iron and fiber. 

Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?

Yes! Dogs can eat Sauerkrauts. A lot of dogs will gulp up any amount of Sauerkrauts you bring to their feet. However, is it safe to feed your dog with Sauerkrauts? As long as you are feeding your dog Sauerkrauts in moderated amounts, it is safe. It is not just safe but also tremendously beneficial. It helps your dogs flush pit heavy metals and toxins that have been lodged in their body for a long time. It dramatically enhances the gut health of your dog. Because of the fermentation process involved in making Sauerkrauts, they’re rich in probiotics. Probiotics are like the “good guys” bacteria that help fight off the “bad guys” bacteria in your body to ensure a healthy balance. The fermentation process also births vitamins B, K2 and C, which could help boost your dog’s metabolic activities. It doesn’t end there. Sauerkrauts also contains vitamin A which can help keep cataracts at bay in older dogs. The fiber contained in Sauerkrauts can also help in preventing bloating, flatulence and constipation. Other benefits include:

  • Enhancement of Heart Health — the probiotics in Sauerkrauts can help lower the cholesterol levels in heavier and older dogs. 
  • Help Reduce Joint Pain — Sauerkrauts has a lot of phytonutrients that serve as anti-inflammatory antioxidants. This helps to reduce any form of inflammatory conditions in your dog’s joint that may be causing them pain. 

How Can I Get My Dog to Eat Sauerkrauts?

Sauerkraut has a strong smell, strong enough to get them to turn away immediately they come close. While some dogs will dig in without issues, others will look the other way. If your dog is the latter, you can help by mixing the Sauerkraut with other food. This will help ease the smell while also getting them used to Sauerkrauts in the process.  Some dogs will start eating Sauerkrauts alone after being fed it in a mixture with other food. 

What Could Go Wrong?

Well, a few things could go wrong if you overfeed your dog with Sauerkrauts. Firstly, there’s the problem of too much sodium. While your dogs need sodium in their diet, feeding them with too much of it could become a problem. Because Sauerkrauts has a lot of sodium, overfeeding them with it would pose a sodium-related health risk to your dog. A 33-pound dog only requires around 200 milligrams of sodium each day, anything above that means going towards the sodium overload zone. As it stands, a one-cup serving of Sauerkrauts contains around 939 milligrams of sodium. That’s almost five times the amount of sodium intake recommended for a dog daily. A one-quarter cup serving of it would still contain around 235 milligrams of sodium. Considering that your dog will likely also get fed sodium from other food sources, it is imperative to feed your dog Sauerkrauts in significantly moderated amounts. 

Some Pro Tips When Feeding Your Dog Sauerkrauts

An excellent way to reduce the salt content of a Sauerkraut is to drain it. Draining the fluid a bit makes Sauerkrauts safer for your dog. You’ll likely reduce the salt content of your Sauerkrauts by 50 percent by draining it. Additionally, you can also rinse with cold water after draining to reduce the salt content even more. Nonetheless, the amount of sodium in a Sauerkraut varies depending on the brand you choose. Going for low-sodium Sauerkraut is advisable if you want to ensure the sodium content is minimal. You’ll likely identify a low-sodium Sauerkrauts by checking the label on the product or by looking up the brand name online. 

However, Sauerkraut is Sauerkraut. Whether low-sodium or not, Sauerkrauts is mostly cabbage and salt, so don’t expect a tremendous change in salt content by going for low-sodium. Even when you buy low-sodium Sauerkrauts, you should still feed it to your dog in moderated quantities.

Another pro tip is gradually introducing the food to your dog. Rather than just abruptly planning your dog’s meal plan with Sauerkrauts splattered all over, a prudent approach is essential. Some people just immediately start feeding their dogs with Sauerkrauts the moment the notice they can eat it. This is wrong. After discovering that your dog eats Sauerkrauts, the recommended course of action would be to introduce very tiny bits of it into your dog’s diet over several days. Skips days between feeding your dog with Sauerkrauts. Closely observe them while they’re on the Sauerkrauts diet. If you notice any irregularities, then you should immediately stop and contact a veterinarian. Do not assume that since your neighbor’s dog eats Sauerkrauts without problems that yours can do too. Even if they are of the same breed, each dog has its unique physiology. What’s suitable for dog A may not be that nice for dog B. 

If you’re still skeptical about feeding your dog with Sauerkrauts, seek the help of a qualified veterinarian. Because each dog is unique, the counsel of a qualified veterinarian trumps all information shared herein.

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