The Benefits of Cranberry

Written by Claudia Loomis

 Cranberry is commonly recommended by veterinarians to treat recurring urinary tract infections. Most dogs do not like the taste of Cranberry juice and many commercial brands have high sugar content anyway. Some dogs enjoy fresh or frozen unsweetened Cranberries but would have to consume large amounts to get the necessary amount. Powdered Cranberry is a great alternative and can be easily sprinkled on dog food,
Cranberry has long been used as a treatment and preventative for urinary tract health. Along with Blueberries, a related plant, Cranberries contain natural components that inhibit bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, passing out through the urine. These compounds, known as proanthocyanidins, have been shown to keep E-coli, which cause many UTI’s in pets, from sticking and multiplying in the animal’s urinary tract.

Cranberry also makes urine more acidic. It stands to reason that Cranberry can be useful in preventing and treating bladder stones in dogs and crystals in cats because these flourish in an alkaline environment.

New research indicates that Cranberry may also act outside of the urinary tract against other bacteria in the body. The bacteria that cause stomach ulcers as well as those that cause some types of gum disease are inhibited in the presence of Cranberry. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that a component of Cranberry may reverse and inhibit the ability of the oral bacteria responsible for plaque and periodontal disease from joining together.

In addition to adding cranberry powdwer to your pet’s food, you can also mix it with a little water to form a paste for use in brushing your dog or cat’s teeth and gums. The tart little fruit that shines at Thanksgiving is a powerhouse that helps your pet’s urinary and dental health. As more research is done we may discover even more health benefits from cranberries.