Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut: Benefits, Risks, and Serving Sizes

Sauerkraut, a fermented cabbage dish popular in many cuisines, has gained attention among dog owners for its potential health benefits. But can dogs eat sauerkraut?

Dogs can benefit a lot from eating sauerkraut. This cabbage-based dish contains probiotics and fiber among other healthy ingredients. These help dogs by promoting healthy gut health. But you should be mindful of the risks this delicious dish can cause dogs.

Is sauerkraut safe for dogs?

Before you decide on sharing this delicious meal with your loving dog, you first need to know the facts about its effects.

Is sauerkraut safe for dogs to consume?

Sauerkraut is generally safe for dogs to eat in moderation. Sauerkraut is made by fermentation which breaks down the cabbage and makes it easier to digest. This also boosts its nutritional value.

What factors should be considered when feeding sauerkraut to dogs?

Find out if any additional ingredients are added to the dish before feeding sauerkraut to dogs. As some condiments and spices, like onions or garlic, might be hazardous to dogs, plain sauerkraut without any additional seasonings or spices is preferred. Additionally, it’s crucial to introduce sauerkraut gradually into your dog’s diet to avoid digestive upset.

Benefits of sauerkraut for dogs

This delicious dish can offer many benefits to humans, but it can also be beneficial for dogs. The fermenting process adds additional benefits to the already healthy cabbage.

What are the potential benefits?

The consumption of sauerkraut by dogs can offer several benefits. 

  • High fiber content – aids in maintaining a healthy canine digestive system and promoting regular bowel movements. It also helps decrease the chances of obesity. A study done by Dr. Guido Bosch et al. states “inclusion of fermentable fibre in canine diets may contribute to the prevention or mitigation of obesity through its effects on satiety”.
  • Probiotics – help to maintain a balanced gut microbiome, improving overall gut health.
  • Vitamins and minerals – Sauerkraut contains vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, potassium, and other elements essential to a dog’s health.

How sauerkraut contributes to a dog’s gut health and immune system?

Sauerkraut contains live beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, which fill the stomach and support a healthy digestive system. They help with food absorption and help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the stomach. This decreases the chase for digestive issues to occur. The immune system is bolstered by a healthy gut microbiota, which helps your dog fight off diseases and maintain good health.

Risks of feeding sauerkraut to dogs

Unfortunately, almost every food has some unwanted side effects for dogs that you should be aware of.

The potential risks and side effects of feeding dogs sauerkraut

  • High sodium content – Especially problematic for dogs with health conditions like heart disease or kidney issues. High sodium amounts lead to sodium toxicity. This condition causes dehydration in dogs.
  • Gastrointestinal problems – This can happen when dogs consume excessive amounts of sauerkraut. Gas and diarrhea are common symptoms. The introduction of sauerkraut should be done gradually to allow your dog’s digestive system to adjust and avoid potential gastrointestinal issues.
  • Allergies – Some dogs could react negatively to the elements in sauerkraut, including the cabbage. Itching, skin rashes, and vomiting are typical signs.

How to feed sauerkraut to dogs

These dog-friendly fermented foods are great for your dog. But be careful of the amount you feed.

What are the guidelines for introducing sauerkraut to a dog’s diet gradually?

When introducing sauerkraut to your dog’s diet, start with small portions to assess their tolerance. Mix 1 teaspoon of sauerkraut with their regular food and observe their reaction. If there are no negative reactions, gradually increase the amount over time. Some dogs don’t know when to stop eating, so make sure you only feed as much as the dog can eat.

What are the appropriate portion sizes and serving methods?

The appropriate portion size of sauerkraut depends on the size, age, and overall health of your dog. Aim to not give more than 10% of your dog’s daily food intake as sauerkraut. Smaller dogs can have ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon, while larger dogs can have up to 1 tablespoon. Never forget to modify the portion amounts to suit the specific requirements of your dog.

How important is it to monitor the dog’s response and adjust the diet accordingly?

It is crucial to closely monitor your dog’s response when introducing sauerkraut to their diet. Keep an eye out for any symptoms of digestive issues or allergies. If you notice any such reactions, discontinue feeding sauerkraut and consult with your veterinarian. If your dog doesn’t listen to you when you tell it to stop eating, consider spending some extra time in obedience training.

Are there any precautions to consider?

Make sure you know the rules of feeding your dog to avoid any potential dangers that sauerkraut can cause.

What additional precautions should be taken when feeding sauerkraut to dogs?

While sauerkraut may have health advantages, a balanced dog food regimen should always be used instead. Sauerkraut should be viewed as a supplement or occasional treat rather than a staple food. It’s the same as giving dogs pumpkins for diarrhea. Before making any big food changes for your dog, always consult your veterinarian. Based on the particular requirements and health issues of your dog, they can provide tailored guidance.

What are some health conditions or situations where sauerkraut is not suitable for dogs?

Dogs with kidney disease, heart conditions, or those on sodium-restricted diets should avoid high-sodium sauerkraut. The Clinical Nutrition Team at Tufts University states:

High salt (sodium) diets may increase blood pressure and may worsen kidney damage, so diets designed for pets with kidney disease are low in sodium. You should also avoid feeding high salt treats such as cheese, bread, deli meat, and many commercial dog and cat treats.
Clinical Nutrition Team

Similarly, if your dog has a history of gastrointestinal issues, it’s important to introduce sauerkraut cautiously and monitor their response. It is important to check your veterinarian before including sauerkraut in pregnant dogs’ diet. The same goes for dogs that are nursing puppies. They may need special dietary measures.

Conclusion – Can dogs eat sauerkraut?

Feeding sauerkraut to dogs can be safe and beneficial when done in moderation. This delicious dish contributes to a healthy gut, improved digestion, and overall well-being. The high amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and probiotics can be a great addition to your dog’s diet.

However, it’s important to choose low-sodium options, introduce it gradually, and monitor your dog’s response. Some dogs may experience side effects like problems with their gastrointestinal symptoms or allergic symptoms. Remember, sauerkraut should supplement a balanced and nutritionally complete diet. Before making any dietary changes for your canine companion, talk to a vet to ask for advice.


Can dogs eat sauerkraut in any amount?

No, dogs should consume sauerkraut in moderation. The appropriate portion size depends on their size, age, and overall health. Make sure you don’t give any more than 10% of their daily food intake.

Is all types of sauerkraut safe for dogs?

Not really. Plain sauerkraut without any added seasonings, spices, or high sodium content is preferable. Store-bought sauerkraut can contain these ingredients. Always check the ingredients list and choose low-sodium options.

Are there any benefits of sauerkraut juice for dogs?

Sauerkraut juice can provide similar benefits to sauerkraut itself, as it contains dog probiotics and nutrients. Make sure you dilute the juice with water and start with small amounts to prevent digestive upset. Always monitor your dog’s response and consult your vet if needed.

More dog nutrition resources

Here are a few other resources talking about giving certain foods to dogs and the effect they have on their health.

You can find a lot more information on the types of food you can feed your dog on our site Dogisa!

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