Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut? Is This Side Dish Safe or Suspect?

Sometimes you just want to share food with your dog. I mean, come on– they’re family members too! However, not all human foods are safe for dogs to eat. If you want to get started creating the ultimate dog-friendly meal, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to see how we can make sauerkraut for dogs!

What is Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a traditional German side dish made from fermented cabbages. While most people add other things to their sauerkraut, the main ingredients are always the same: cabbage and salt.

Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?

Source: Karolina Kołodziejczak, Unsplash

Yes! Dogs can eat sauerkraut!. Salt is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts, and cabbage is also completely puppy-friendly.

Benefits of Sauerkraut for Dogs

If cabbage is already super healthy for dogs, then sauerkraut cranks that up to a ten when it comes to nutritional benefits. Here are just a few ways that sauerkraut can help your dog:

Promote Gut Health

Like kefir, the live bacteria in sauerkraut can help boost your dog’s digestive system. Similar to probiotics in humans, these bacteria are essential to improving digestion and maintaining your dog’s digestive environment. 

Provide Extra Nutrients

Sauerkraut also has tons of nutrients your dog needs to stay happy and healthy, including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Probiotics
  • Antioxidants
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium

Improve Heart Health

The probiotics in sauerkraut can also help decrease cholesterol levels in your dog’s bloodstream, making it easier for blood to flow through the body.

Reduce Joint Pain

Better blood flow means less pain, too! Plus, antioxidants are natural painkillers– they reduce inflammation and can seriously help reduce swelling in your joints!

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What Kinds of Sauerkraut Can My Dog Eat?

That brings us to the next big question: can dogs eat sauerkraut with extra ingredients? Generally speaking, you’ll want to avoid sauerkraut with preservatives– they’ll always upset your dog’s tummy. When shopping for sauerkraut, look at the ingredients list on the back of the container to see what exactly goes into what you’re buying. 

Refrigerated sauerkraut is probably the safest store-bought option since they are usually low on preservatives. When comparing products, look for the one with the least amount of salt, and avoid sauerkrauts that use vinegar in their recipe– vinegar is not safe for dogs to eat.

Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut and Pork?

Dogs can eat sauerkraut with pork as long as it doesn’t contain any extra salt or preservatives. Try to stick with fresh, lean pork (avoid bacon and cured meats), and avoid extra seasonings.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Sauerkraut?

Dogs can eat cooked sauerkraut as long as it doesn’t contain any extra salt or toxic veggies like onions or leeks.

Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut With Caraway Seeds?

Caraway seeds are toxic to dogs, so unfortunately, your dogs can’t have sauerkraut with caraway seeds. 

Ingredients for Dog-Friendly Sauerkraut

If you’re worried about store-bought sauerkraut, you can always make your own dog-friendly batch. To do so, all you’ll need is fresh cabbage and 1 and ½ tablespoons of salt (no more than that!). 

  • To make the sauerkraut, thoroughly wash and rinse out a glass jar, and ensure all of your surfaces and tools are clean. To make and store the sauerkraut, you will need the following:

          – A big bowl
          – A vegetable knife
          – Jars for storage

  • Once your materials are clean and prepared, remove any dead or wilted leaves from your cabbage, and wash off any dirt you may find. Then, using your knife, cut the cabbage in half and then cut those halves into quarters. Remove the core from each section of the cabbage. 
  • Slice each quarter section of cabbage into eight more wedges, and then cut those wedges into thin strips. Dump your cabbage strips into the bowl. 
  • Next, start working the salt into your cabbage strips. With clean, dry hands, add a pinch of salt from your tablespoon and work it into the cabbage like you’re kneading bread dough. You can add 1 and ½ tablespoons of salt to this recipe, but don’t go over. As you mix the cabbage, it’ll start to turn watery and limp. 
  • After about 10 minutes of kneading, it’s time to pack your cabbage! Put as much of the cabbage into your jars as possible, and pack it down. If you have leftover water from kneading, distribute it evenly between jars. 
  • You’ll need to compress the cabbage further to let it ferment properly. To do so, use a smaller jar filled with stones or marbles to weigh it down. Cover the jars with a cloth and let them sit for a few hours. 
  • Over the next 24 hours, press down your cabbage every three hours until it’s fully submerged in liquid. If the cabbage isn’t entirely covered by the end of the day, add a pinch of salt and a little water to the jar. 
  • Let the cabbage ferment for 3-10 days, away from direct sunlight and in a room between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you see some cabbage strips sticking out of the liquid, feel free to press them down again.
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This sauerkraut should last about 2 months in the fridge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Check out our FAQ for some extra info!

Can Dogs Have Sauerkraut?

Yes! Dogs can have sauerkraut.

Can Cats Have Sauerkraut?

Cats cannot have sauerkraut. 

Is it Okay for a Dog to Eat Sauerkraut?

It’s okay for a dog to eat sauerkraut as long as it contains no potentially harmful ingredients or preservatives. Small amounts of salt in sauerkraut are okay. We recommend making your own sauerkraut to ensure it’s safe for your dog to eat.

Is Sauerkraut Good for a Dog’s Upset Stomach?

Sauerkraut and other fermented foods are good for improving digestion and gut health.

What Happens if My Dog Eats Sauerkraut?

If your dog eats sauerkraut, look at the ingredients on the product label. If it contains anything that isn’t dog-friendly, call your veterinarian immediately.

What Fermented Foods Can Dogs Eat?

Dogs can have quite a few different kinds of fermented foods. Alongside Sauerkraut, dogs can eat:

  • Yogurt 
  • Kefir 
  • Buttermilk
  • Ginger Carrots
  • Kimchi
  • Beets

To ensure that the food is safe for your dog, make sure that it does not contain any preservatives, large amounts of salt, or foods that are harmful to dogs (like onions, vinegar, or alcohol).

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