Thinly shredded cabbage that has been fermented into sauerkraut is all that is required to make this delicious condiment. Green or red cabbage works just fine.
While the Germans have a lock on the sauerkraut market, the history of fermented cabbage—and the many health benefits it offers—goes back much further than the Germans.
While most Americans associate this tangy and nutritious food with slathering it on their hot dogs (with mustard, please! ), it has many other uses.
You’d be right in thinking that dogs can eat sauerkraut because they can eat Brussels sprouts, but there are nuances to keep in mind.
We’ll go over the benefits and drawbacks of feeding your dog sauerkraut.
Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?
What exactly is sauerkraut? The cabbage was shredded and then fermented with lactic acid bacteria. Most dogs won’t eat it if it’s on its own because of the unpleasant smell.
However, there are many advantages for canines. Because of the fermentation process, it contains probiotics and antioxidants that fight cancer. The health benefits of sauerkraut are listed below for your perusal. Both potent and beneficial, it’s great for their health.
But before we get to whether or not your dog can safely eat sauerkraut, let’s take a look at the different kinds available.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Sauerkraut?
Canned sauerkraut is the norm. That is how the information is kept. Your dog can have some canned sauerkraut if you want to share. Carefully select the brand with the lowest sodium content.
All canine diets should include some salt, but excessive amounts can be harmful. A 33-pound dog requires only 200 milligrams of sodium per day, as stated by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Find out how much salt is safe for your dog by consulting with your vet.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Sauerkraut?
When it’s been cooked, sauerkraut is safe for dogs to eat. Will they, though? Well, that’s a different tale altogether. They literally turn their noses up at the stuff because of the odor.
Dogs that ingest it may experience bloating, gas, or other digestive issues. Some dogs have digestive issues when trying new foods. You should test how they react by giving them only small amounts at first.
Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut with Caraway Seeds?
Caraway, it turns out, is extremely harmful to canines. Don’t give your dog anything containing caraway.
Meridian fennel, or Perisian cumin, is another name for this spice. Cumin powder is not the same thing. Though they share a common ancestor with parsley, these two herbs are actually quite distinct.
Avoid giving your dog caraway because it can cause stomach upset and diarrhea if ingested by accident. If you think your dog has become ill after eating these seeds, please take them to the vet immediately.
Is Sauerkraut Bad For Dogs?
Sauerkraut is generally safe for canines. For their health as a whole, it may be extremely beneficial. It has far-reaching benefits for the animal as a whole, including improved fur quality and digestive health.
Sauerkraut For Dogs
Here are some ways to get your dog to eat more of it so he or she can reap the health benefits. Most dogs can detect it within seconds and will avoid it at all costs. They won’t appreciate the potent odor.
Add a very small amount to your dog’s regular food to encourage consumption. Then gradually raise the amount they receive.
Obviously, you shouldn’t force your dog to eat something he or she clearly doesn’t like.
Natural Probiotic For Dogs
A dog’s health depends greatly on the presence of probiotics. They include more than 400 different types of microorganisms. Countless immune cells and cytokines are boosted in activity thanks to these tiny organisms. Fundamentally, they aid in fortifying your dog’s immune system, allowing it to better resist disease-causing organisms.
Here’s another analogy that might help. To put it simply, probiotics are the good bacteria that help to eliminate harmful bacteria and then make it more difficult for them to return and thrive.
For its probiotic qualities, sauerkraut is a great addition to a dog’s diet. Remember, this is strictly for raw or cold sauerkraut. Inactivation by heat above 115 degrees Fahrenheit occurs in all probiotic cultures. Raw or uncooked sauerkraut retains all of its probiotic benefits, while canned or cooked versions do not.
Which Kind Of Sauerkraut Can Dogs Eat?
Between store-bought and homemade varieties, four distinct types of sauerkraut can be found.
- Sauerkraut sold in supermarkets and kept in the fridge
- Pickled cabbage
- Sauerkraut made at home
- Steamed cabbage
All four types are acceptable for canine consumption, provided they do not contain caraway seeds, onions, garlic, or leeks.
Warning: stay away from “fake” sauerkraut
Vinegar sauerkraut is a commercially available option. Since the vinegar is used to simulate the sour flavor of fermentation without the fermentation, this type of sauerkraut lacks probiotics.
The sauerkraut’s beneficial probiotics come from the fermentation process. If you see vinegar on the list of ingredients, put the item back on the shelf immediately.
Commercial, refrigerated sauerkraut: a healthy source of probiotics
Most grocery stores now stock sauerkraut in the refrigerator section. These are packed with more healthy microorganisms (probiotics) than the regular canned variety.
Canned: the old-school way
If you can only find the canned variety at your regular grocery store, you might as well buy it. If you must buy premade sauerkraut, check the label to make sure none of the ingredients are toxic to dogs. If you have a dog and are concerned about the possible presence of harmful ingredients in commercial sauerkraut, please see our list further down in the article.
In addition, I look for a low-sodium variety whenever possible.
Do you think homemade sauerkraut would be safe for your dog to eat? Yes! You have complete control over the ingredients in homemade sauerkraut, making it the best option for your dog. As an added bonus, harmful additives like caraway seeds or excess salt are not included.
Making sauerkraut at home is easy because all you need is cabbage, water, salt, and a mason jar.
Lacto-fermentation is the process responsible for this dish’s sour flavor. When cabbage is submerged in a brine solution, sugars in the vegetable are fermented into lactic acid.
A recipe for homemade sauerkraut is provided below.
Sauerkraut that has been cooked may have an even stronger smell and taste of cabbage, which may put off dogs that are picky eaters. Further, since heat kills probiotic bacteria, cooked sauerkraut may be deficient in this regard.
Any kind of sauerkraut, store-bought or homemade, is best served raw to your dog. Many canines enjoy raw sauerkraut, and there’s no need to waste time cooking it first.
5 Incredible Sauerkraut Benefits
Incorporating fermented foods like sauerkraut into your dog’s diet can improve his health in at least five different ways. Before anything else, fermented cabbage is a rich source of beneficial bacteria and a great way to add flavor to otherwise boring dog food.
Although some dogs may be put off by the smell or taste of sauerkraut, it can and should be fed to dogs. I will detail the many ways in which sauerkraut improves health in the following section.
1. Heart health
Sauerkraut’s natural probiotics are great for senior dogs and those who are overweight. A dog’s weight can affect his or her health in many ways, including the development of heart problems.
2. Good for the dog’s guts and allergies
Consuming sauerkraut regularly can increase your colony of beneficial bacteria. The probiotics in sauerkraut aid in digestion, and the fiber content keeps your dog from having tummy troubles.
The skin is just one of many organs that can benefit from restoring your dog’s gut health.
Sauerkraut helps restore your dog’s gut, which in turn helps reduce your dog’s allergy symptoms, including itching, scratching, and hot spots.
Add a splash of Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Formula to your dog’s food if you have trouble getting him to eat fermented vegetables or even fresh cabbage. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in salmon oil, help with digestive and, more importantly, skin problems in dogs.
3. Reduce joint pain
There are many phytonutrients in sauerkraut that have anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, if your dog suffers from joint or muscle pain, you may find that feeding it sauerkraut is helpful.
4. Eye health
Vitamin A, found in fermented foods like sauerkraut, is beneficial to a dog’s vision. Cataract formation in senior dogs may be delayed or prevented.
5. Nutrients in Sauerkraut
Not only is it safe for canines to consume sauerkraut, but it’s also highly recommended. No, I’m not referring to hot dogs, even though relish is a fine addition.
Approximately 1 cup of sauerkraut contains the following nutrients:
- With 241 milligrams, potassium is one of the three most important electrolytes for dogs.
- 6 g of carbs
- 1.3 grams of protein.
- Vitamin A helps keep your eyes, skin, and skin healthy.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that blocks the damage caused by free radicals and boosts physical stamina.
- Iron is a crucial mineral for dogs because it aids in the transport of oxygen throughout their bodies.
- Vitamin B-6 is important for a healthy immune system, among other functions.
- Magnesium, a key component of enzymes, bones, and intracellular fluids, is another crucial mineral.
- Calcium: Among calcium’s many health benefits is its role in bone and tooth development.
What Are The Ingredients In Sauerkraut?
The ingredients in sauerkraut are completely safe for dogs to consume. On the other hand, some modern takes on the classic sauerkraut recipe call for potentially poisonous ingredients. If you plan on purchasing this meal from a grocery store, you should be aware of this information.
Toxic levels of salt or caraway seeds in sauerkraut could be bad for your dog. It’s also important to be cautious when introducing new foods to your dog’s diet, and to gradually increase the frequency and amount of these additions.
Caraway seeds: harmful in large quantities
Sometimes caraway seeds, also known as fennel seeds, are included in sauerkraut. Avoid feeding your dog these seeds because they contain a substance that is toxic to canines.
Cabbage: safe (in moderation)
Dogs can safely and happily eat cabbage, which is good for them.
Salt: harmful in large quantities
It’s important to keep your dog’s diet, including their sauerkraut, low in sodium. So, if you’re going to buy it already made, go for the brand with the least amount of sodium.
Other potentially harmful ingredients
Some brands of sauerkraut contain ingredients that could be harmful to your dog’s health.
- The onion is toxic and makes you sick to your stomach.
- Having eaten garlic, I can attest to its toxicity and its ability to induce
- Sweeteners aren’t poisonous, but they still aren’t good for
How Do You Make Sauerkraut For Dogs At Home?
Here is a great and easy sauerkraut recipe for canines. Even you can benefit from this dish’s deliciousness.
- one green cabbage with a moderately sized head
- Salt, kosher, 1 1/2 tablespoonsor less
- Not a thing!
- Make sure there is no trace of soap left in either your mason or jelly jar. As you’ll be massaging the salt into the cabbage with your hands, it’s a good idea to clean them first.
- Cut the cabbage into slices. Throw away the cabbage’s wilted, limp outer leaves. Remove the core and cut the cabbage into quarters. Make 8 wedges by slicing each quarter lengthwise. Thinly slice each wedge in a crosswise direction.
- Mix the salt with the cabbage. Put the cabbage into a large bowl and season it with salt. Start massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands to work the salt into the cabbage. You may not think it’s enough salt at first, but keep adding it until the cabbage is watery and limp, more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. You should set aside 5–10 minutes for this.
- Tightly pack the cabbage into the jar. Pack the cabbage into the canning jar by the handful. The process of canning will go more smoothly if you have a canning funnel. The cabbage in the jar needs to be tamped down with your fist every so often. The cabbage may have released some liquid while you were massaging it; if so, pour that liquid into the jar. You can cover the sliced cabbage with one of the larger outer leaves if you like. The cabbage will stay submerged in its liquid if you do this.
- Put some weight on the cabbage. Slide the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the mason jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles once you’ve packed all the cabbage into the jar. With the added weight, the cabbage will stay submerged in the liquid.
- Keep the lid on the jar. Wrap a cloth around the rim of the jar and fasten it with a rubber band or some twine to keep the contents inside. This allows air to enter and exit the jar without the risk of dust or insects entering.
- Keep the cabbage under pressure every few hours. Put the cabbage under pressure from the jelly jar for 24 hours. The cabbage will become more limp and compact as it releases its liquid, and the liquid will rise above the cabbage’s surface.
- If more liquid is required, add it. After 24 hours, if the cabbage is still submerged, add enough salt water (1 teaspoon per 1 cup) to bring the liquid level up to the top of the cabbage.
- Cabbage should be fermented for three to ten days. Sauerkraut needs to be fermented at a cool room temperature, ideally between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, out of the sun. The cabbage should be pressed down if it rises above the liquid after a day or two.
- For at least two months, this will keep,refrigerated.
Should Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?
Is it safe to say that sauerkraut is beneficial for canines at this point? Dogs can benefit from it, yes. Incorporate it gradually into their regular diet.
When introducing a new food, it’s important to keep an eye out for any adverse reactions, especially in the stomach, and to discuss any concerns you may have with your vet.