Can Dogs Have Cranberry Juice?

Can Dogs Have Cranberry Juice?

Can Dogs Have Cranberry Juice?

Cranberry juice can be safe for dogs to consume in moderation, but it’s not typically necessary or recommended as a regular part of their diet.

If you’re considering giving cranberry juice to your dog, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian first.

Your vet will provide guidance based on your dog’s specific health needs and any existing medical conditions they may have.

Additionally, some dogs may have allergies or sensitivities to cranberries, so monitoring your dog for any adverse reactions after consumption is crucial.

If your veterinarian approves giving cranberry juice to your dog, ensure it is unsweetened and doesn’t contain additives or artificial sweeteners like xylitol, as these can be toxic to dogs.

You’ll need to read the label carefully, and if you’re not sure of an ingredient, check to see if it could be toxic to your dog.

It’s also essential to dilute the cranberry juice with water to prevent it from being too concentrated.

Cranberry juice is very acidic (2.5 ph) and may cause digestive complications if not diluted properly.

Potential Dangers in Cranberry Juice

In response to the question, “Can dogs have cranberry juice?” it is important to know the potential risks involved.

Below are some potential dangers commonly found in cranberry juice.

Plain, unsweetened cranberry juice is very tart and difficult for people to drink straight.

Most people use it with club soda or in smoothies, with something added in to sweeten it.

If you mix plain, unsweetened cranberry juice with water, your dog probably won’t drink it.

The cranberry juice cocktail on the shelf in the store has sugar or artificial sweeteners added to make it palatable.


Sugar is high in calories and can contribute to weight gain in dogs. Just like in humans, excessive weight can lead to various health issues in dogs, including obesity, diabetes, joint problems, and cardiovascular disease.

In addition, sugar can contribute to developing dental issues in dogs, such as tooth decay and gum disease. When dogs consume sugary foods, the bacteria in their mouths can produce acids that erode tooth enamel, leading to oral health problems.

Also, dogs have a different metabolic system than humans, and a sudden influx of sugar can cause their blood sugar levels to spike. This can stress their pancreas and potentially lead to insulin resistance or diabetes over time.

Consuming excess sugar can also disrupt a dog’s digestive system, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and upset stomach symptoms.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners can harm dogs because their bodies cannot process these substances effectively. Below are a few commonly used artificial sweeteners and their potential risks to dogs.

  • Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in many sugar-free and “diet” products, including chewing gum, candies, baked goods, and some peanut butter brands. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and can cause a rapid release of insulin, leading to a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs can include vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, liver damage, and, in severe cases, even death. Keeping products containing xylitol out of your dog’s reach is important.
  • Stevia: Stevia is a natural, calorie-free sweetener derived from the stevia plant. While stevia itself is generally considered safe for dogs, many commercial products that contain stevia also include other ingredients that may be harmful. It is crucial to read ingredient labels carefully and avoid giving dogs products that have additional additives or ingredients that are known to be toxic.
  • Aspartame and Sucralose: Aspartame (found in products like diet sodas) and sucralose (found in products like sugar-free desserts) are artificial sweeteners that are generally considered safe for human consumption. However, there is limited information available regarding the safety of aspartame and sucralose in dogs. It is best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving dogs foods or beverages containing these sweeteners.

Grape Juice

Many cranberry juice products also contain grape juice.

Grapes and raisins, whether in their fresh or dried form, have been known to cause severe kidney damage in dogs.

While the exact substance responsible for the toxicity is still unknown, even small amounts of grapes or grape products, such as grape juice, can potentially harm dogs.

The toxic effects of grapes or raisins can vary between individual dogs, and no safe threshold is established. Some dogs may consume grapes without any immediate adverse effects, while others can develop severe symptoms. Symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity in dogs may include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, increased thirst, increased urination, lethargy, and even kidney failure.

It’s important to note that the toxic properties of grapes and raisins are not fully understood, and the reaction to them can be unpredictable.

Therefore, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving dogs grape juice or any grape products entirely.

Benzoic Acid

Benzoic acid is generally considered safe for dogs when used appropriately as a preservative in commercial pet foods. It is commonly used to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi in food products. However, excessive consumption or high concentrations of benzoic acid can harm dogs.

If a dog ingests a large amount of benzoic acid, it can lead to various health issues. Some potential symptoms of benzoic acid toxicity in dogs may include gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and dehydration.

It can harm the liver and kidneys in severe cases or with prolonged exposure.


Some cranberry juice products may contain artificial preservatives like sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate.

While these preservatives are generally safe for humans, dogs may have varying sensitivities to them.

In rare cases, dogs may experience gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions to these additives.

Cranberry for UTIs & Urinary Tract Health

Can dogs have cranberry juice?

Most people ask this question when a dog has a UTI or some other type of urinary tract health problem.

Even though we don’t recommend cranberry juice, we do recommend cranberry.

Cranberry benefits urinary tract health in both humans and dogs.

Many holistic veterinarians recommend supplementing with cranberry when treating UTIs.

In fact, the book Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine: Principles and Practice recommends supplementing with cranberry when treating UTIs.

In her book Natural Dog: A Holistic Guide for Healthier Dogs, Dr. Deva Khalsa explains how cranberries contain a polysaccharide called mannose, which decreases the ability of bacteria to adhere to the cells lining the urinary tract.

Instead, the bacteria adhere to the mannose in the cranberry and are flushed out with the urine.

However, Dr. Khasla did not recommend giving your dog cranberry juice.

She explained fresh and frozen cranberries are four times as potent as cranberry juice, and cranberry juice concentrate is twenty-seven times as powerful.

However, cranberry juice extract is the most powerful for providing urinary health benefits. It has higher levels of active compounds due to the extraction process specifically designed to concentrate beneficial compounds.

Cranberry juice extract is the ingredient used in most pet-safe cranberry supplements.

If you’d like to skip the cranberry juice and give your dog a healthy supplement high in beneficial compounds, check out our PET | TAO Soothe Bladder product.

It is high in cranberry juice extract and synergistic herbs for the urinary system.

It provides:

  • cranberry juice extract – reduces the risk of UTIs
  • juniper berry – helps the body flush out uric acid and excess crystals
  • marshmallow root – soothes inflamed tissues and protects tissues while passing stones
  • uva ursi – eases swelling of the bladder and urinary tract
  • kochia – soothes inflammation and promotes urination
  • poria – promotes urination
  • polyporus – promotes urination and detoxifies

The herbs in PET | TAO Soothe Bladder help dogs feel better and promote urinary tract health, helping to make it inhospitable to bacteria.

And remember, please check with your veterinarian before adding new supplements to your pet’s health protocol.

Can dogs have cranberry juice? Maybe a better question is, is it worth the risk?

Learn More About PET | TAO Soothe Bladder


  • Ahmed, I., DVM, & Ahmed, I., DVM. (2023). Can Dogs Have Cranberry Juice? The Risks And Dangers. Pets Food Safety.
  • Hisano, M., Bruschini, H., Nicodemo, A. C., & Srougi, M. (2012). Cranberries and lower urinary tract infection prevention. Clinics, 67(6), 661–667.
  • Khalsa, D. (2009). Dr. Khalsa’s Natural Dog: Holistic Therapies, Nutrition, and Recipes for Healthier Dogs.’s_natural_dog
  • Schoen, A. M., & Wynn, S. G. (1998a). Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine: Principles and Practice. 


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