Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut Or Is it Harmful?

Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that has been used for centuries to cure digestive issues. It is also known to be an effective probiotic food, helping to improve digestion and overall health.

Can dogs eat sauerkraut? There are some people who believe that sauerkraut can cause harm to their dog’s digestive system. Here are some facts about sauerkraut and its effects on dogs.

can dogs eat sauerkraut

Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?

Yes, dogs can eat sauerkraut! Sauerkraut is shredded cabbage that has been fermented with lactic acid-producing bacteria. It has a very strong smell so most dogs won’t eat this alone. However, it does have many health benefits for dogs. Because it is fermented, it contains probiotics and antioxidants that can fight cancer.

You can read all about the benefits of sauerkraut below. It’s very good for dogs. But first, let us look at all of the various kinds of sauerkrauts and whether they are all considered safe for your dog. Some of them may be unsafe.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Sauerkraut?

Most sauerkraut comes in cans. That’s how it is stored. Yes, dogs do eat canned sauerkraut. Just be careful when choosing the brand with the least sodium content. Too much sodium can cause problems for your dog. Ask your vet about how much sodium is safe for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Sauerkraut?

Yes, dogs can eat cooked sauerkraut but will they? You might be surprised. Cooked sauerkraut smells bad to most dogs. If you do feed it to your dog, be sure to watch for gas or stomach problems. Some dogs might not handle new foods well. Give them a little bit at a time and observe how they react before giving them more.

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Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut with Caraway Seeds?

Caraway is toxic to dogs, so don’t give them any. Also known as Perisian Cumin, the caraway belongs to the parsley family, and it comes from a different plant from the powdered cumin you can buy at the grocery store. If your dog accidentally ingests caraway seeds, be careful for vomiting and diarrhea. Take your dog to the vet if you think they might be sick.

Homemade vs Store-Bought Sauerkraut

Depending on where you buy it, sauerkraut can be really great. However, there is a big difference between feeding your dog mass-produced, pre-made sauerkraut, and grandma’s recipe. Sadly, convenience usually trumps quality when it comes to condiments. That said, it’s a good idea to make the effort when it comes to sauerkraut. If it’s homemade, your dog won’t be consuming too much salt.

Nutritional Benefits of Sauerkraut for Dogs

Gastrointestinal Health

Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help maintain the health of your dog. These probiotics help restore the balance of good bacteria in your dog’s gut. Too many bad bacteria can cause recurring infections, diarrhea, irritation and depression.

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut help prevent constipation, bloating, and flatulence. Sauerkraut also improves digestion and reduces the risk of developing gastric ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.

Cardiovascular Health

The high amounts of probiotics in lacto-fermented sauerkraut help lower cholesterol in older, heavier dogs who are obese. Obesity in dogs is associated with many health issues like heart problems so this is a great way to help your overweight dog lose some weight and reduce those risks.

Bone Health

Sauerkraut is a good source of minerals for growing puppies. These minerals support the development of strong bones in puppies and maintain bone health in adult dogs as they age. Vitamin K2 helps maintain bone integrity and mineral density in adult dogs.

Muscle and Joint Health

Sauerkraut contains many phytonutrients that act as anti-inflammatories. These nutrients help reduce inflammation in your dog’s joints, which may be causing muscle and joint pains.

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Minerals such as magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper which are good for skin, muscle, and organ health are also found in sauerkraut.

Eye Health

Sauerkraut contains high levels of vitamin A and carotene which act as antioxidants to improve the health of a dog’s eyes and reduce the chances of developing cataracts in older dogs.

Sauerkraut also contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which support tissue and blood vessel development.

Skin and Coat Health

Vitamin A in sauerkraut also contributes to tissue growth. Dogs with itchy, dry, scaly skin and dull coats may be deficient in vitamin A.

Brain and Emotional Health

Sauerkraut is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for dogs’ brain development and functioning.

The fermented cabbage may also be helpful in treating nervousness and anxiety.

Immune System Functioning

Sauerkraut is a good source of vitamin C. Dogs need this vitamin to support their immune systems. Vitamin C also stimulates the production of white blood cells and cellular regeneration. It is also beneficial for the formation of collagen needed for the healthy growth of muscles, organs, bones and blood vessels.

Sauerkraut also provides protection against candida, salmonella and E. coli infections.


Leafy vegetables such as cabbage contain phytonutrients that act as anti-inflammatory nutrients that may reduce joint and muscle pain in dogs with arthritis. Sauerkraut also contains beneficial bacteria that may help reduce inflammation and decrease infections. These benefits may be helpful in improving allergies, reducing incidences of infection and supporting overall health and well-being.


Sauerkraut may help prevent cancer in dogs who are prone to developing tumors. Isothiocyanates found in sauerkraut have strong anti-oxidant properties. These compounds can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress and inflammation are both known to contribute to carcinogenesis.

How to Feed Sauerkraut to Dogs

Sauerkraut is a great nutritious food for dogs to restore and support their gut health. However, most dog owners are wondering how they can get their dogs to eat sauerkraut because it has a very strong smell, strong enough that some dogs will turn away when they see it.

Some dogs will eat it without issue, but dogs who do not like the smell will avoid it at all costs. If your dog is avoiding Sauerkraut, try feeding it in a mixture with another food. This will help lessen the smell while also helping your dog become accustomed to sauerkrauts. Some dogs will start to eat sauerkrauts alone if they are fed them in this manner.

how to feed sauerkraut to dogs

To get your dog used to eating sauerkraut you can cut it up into small pieces and put a small portion in wet dog food. You can also add a small amount of sardines or any other smelly fish to the food.

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However, some dogs will not eat vegetables, even though you try to hide them in regular food. Sometimes, if you weaken the strong smell and taste, they may be willing to eat food that is mixed with sauerkraut. To do so, simply drain the sauerkraut using a colander and rinse with cold water. You can also soak it in apple juice or water for about half an hour.

Another way to feed sauerkraut to dogs is to cook it with apple slices. Sauerkraut has already undergone fermentation so cooking it won’t reduce the nutrients it offers to benefit your dog’s health.

How Much Sauerkraut Should I Give My Dog?

Although sauerkraut is very beneficial for dogs, it contains a lot of sodium, so you should make sure your dog does not get too much of it. While dogs need sodium in their diet, overfeeding your dog with sauerkraut can cause a sodium-related health issue.

A dog that weighs around 33 pounds only needs 200 milligrams of sodium each day. Anything over this amount can cause them to develop health problems. A cup of sauerkraut contains around 1,000 milligrams of salt, which is nearly 5 times the recommended amount for dogs. A quarter cup of sauerkraut still contains around 250 milligrams of salt. It is very important to give your dog little to moderate amounts of sauerkraut since they also get sodium from other foods.

Before adding sauerkraut to your dog’s diet, get advice from the veterinarian about any health issues it may have, especially if your dog is suffering from a kidney or cardiovascular disorder.