Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut? What You Should Avoid? (Full Diet Guide)

can dogs eat sauerkraut ? full guide

Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?

Yes dogs can eat sauerkraut, it is safe and healthy. Sauerkraut is called the finely chopped and fermented cabbage. Its taste is unique, and it is very healthy for humans and for dogs too. It is suitable for the health of the gut and has many vitamins and minerals.

However, you should always give your homemade dog sauerkraut without sodium, garlic, onions or other additives which can harm your doggy. Canned store-bought sauerkraut usually contains high amounts of sodium and various spices powders for extra flavor.

These spices and the high sodium intake, are often harmful to dogs in the long run. So stick up to homemade low sodium sauerkraut. I will show you how to make your homemade dog-friendly sauerkraut later on this article. Because of its intense taste and smell, dogs probably will not eat sauerkraut alone. That’s why dog owners must find ways to mix it with other homemade food for dogs. That’s something that I will also explain later.

Sauerkraut Nutrition Facts (100 Grams Canned)

Calories/Nutrient Amount
Calories 19 kcal
Carbohydrate 4.7 g
  Fiber 2.9 g
  Sugars 1.8 g
Fat 0.1 g
  Saturated Fat 0.0 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
    Omega-3 Fatty Acids 33.0 mg
    Omega-6 Fatty Acids 34.0 mg
Protein 0.9 g
Vitamins Amount
Vitamin C 14.7 mg
Vitamin K 13.0 mcg
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.1 mcg
Folate 24.0 mcg
Choline 10.4 mg
Pantothenic Acid (B5) 0.1 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.1 mg
Vitamin E 0.1 mg
Thiamin (B1) Trace
Riboflavin (B2) Trace
Vitamin A Trace
Sodium 661 mg
Iron 1.5 mg
Manganese 0.2 mg
Potassium 170 mg
Copper 0.1 mg
Magnesium 13.0 mg
Calcium 30.0 mg
Phosphorus 20.0 mg
Selenium 0.6 mcg
Zinc 0.2 mg

Why Is Sauerkraut Good For Dogs?

As I said above, dogs can eat sauerkraut but, why is sauerkraut good for dogs? What are the benefits of sauerkraut to dogs? 

Sauerkraut is delicious food that dogs can have in their diet but in moderation. In general, it improves the gastrointestinal health, and as I mentioned at the table above, it has some adequate amounts of useful vitamins like vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. It has antioxidant properties, and food experts have split arguments for which cabbage is healthier and more nutritious, the fresh one or the fermented sauerkraut. Both are healthy, but they seem to be more with the side of sauerkraut because of its fermentation properties. 

The Health Benefits of Sauerkraut For Dogs


Iron increases the energy in all warm-blooded animals. It also controls metabolism and assists the blood flow. The lack of iron to dogs can cause oxygen deficiency to organs and make them not to work correctly. The absence of iron can also cause mental fatigue and exhaustion.

Gastrointestinal Health

Due to the fermentation, sauerkraut provides dogs with useful bacteria called probiotics. Probiotics help to maintain the overall gut health for our furry friends. Sauerkraut also has a decent amount of dietary fiber which helps your dog avoid bloating, constipation and “unwanted gases”. Overall gut health means proper enzyme function, and that can decrease the danger of gastric ulcers and chronic diarrhea which is connected with the IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

Cardio-vascular Wellness

Lacto-fermented sauerkraut comprises rich levels of probiotics which assist in decreasing cholesterol amounts from older, thicker canines. Additionally, these useful microorganisms prevent fatty acid absorption from helping dogs with a lot of extra weight in dropping the weight and enhancing cardiovascular health.

Skin Care and Coat Health

Vitamin A and carotene that sauerkraut contains, have antioxidant properties to boost your pet dog’s eye health and decrease the possibility of cataract development in older dogs. Vitamin-A specifically helps with tissue development. Dogs having dry, prickly skin and dull coats can suffer a lack of vitamin A.

Immune-system Functioning

The amounts of vitamin C, that a cup of sauerkraut contains, are enough to strengthen a dog’s immune system. Vitamin C helps the body to produce new white blood cells and encourages the regeneration of the cells. Dogs that get a fair amount of Vitamin C, help their system to produce more collagen. Collagen in dogs provides development in bones, muscles, blood vessels and some organs. That’s why Vitamin C (which can be found in a cup of sauerkraut) is a very beneficial vitamin for dogs.

Anti Inflammatory Properties at Sauerkraut

Νutrients contained at sauerkraut (along with different leafy green veggies) behave as anti-inflammatory antioxidants which can decrease joint and muscle pain in dogs who have arthritis or other issues to their musculoskeletal system. In addition, probiotics in sauerkraut offer anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce allergies, minimize illness incidences, and encourage a dog’s total wellness and wellbeing.

Benefits for Dogs Bones

Sauerkraut contains minerals that can improve bone quality in pups. These minerals also sustain bone quality in mature dogs. Other minerals that provide better bone health to adult dogs and their ability to stay strong are the Vitamin K that sauerkraut contains.

Sauerkraut and Sodium

As sauerkraut is so healthy for dogs, it has its disadvantage too. The high amounts of sodium that mostly the store-bought canned sauerkraut contains can harm your dog, especially if it has weak kidneys or a cardiovascular issue. It would be better to take your vet’s advice before you feed sauerkraut to your dog. But you can make your homemade sauerkraut low in sodium; I will tell you more about this in a while. If you can’t make sauerkraut yourself, another option is to search for low sodium sauerkraut in the market. 


What Exactly Are Sauerkraut Probiotics and How Can They Boost A Dog’s Health?

The beneficial bacteria called probiotics, inside a dog’s bowels can help prevent gastrointestinal issues such as inflammation in the GI tract and gastroenteritis. When dogs eat sauerkraut, they receive various types of useful gut bacteria as long as some not useful bacteria and fungus are inside the dog’s intestines are revived. When the number of harmful bacteria surpasses the number of useful ones, pups may experience diarrhea, skin issues, infections, and some melancholy or bad mood.

Other benefits of probiotics in sauerkraut for dogs include:

  • Cancer probability in dogs is reduced significantly due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Dogs probably will not have problems with Candida Albicans (fungus), Escherichia coli conditions (E.Coli) and salmonella.
  • Benefits for dogs’ muscles, skin, coats and function of the organs due to minerals like manganese, copper, iron, potassium and magnesium.
  • Reduced melancholy and worry.
  • Probiotics help with the brain function because of the omega-3 fatty acids produced and because the bowls are connected directly with the head.
  • Allergies are almost gone.
  • Eye and vision health in dogs is enhanced because of these antioxidant elements, lutein and zeaxanthin. These two help with tissue and blood vessels growth as long as they protect against eye cataract issues.

Even though sauerkraut can be a super supplementary food to help dogs to reestablish and boost the overall gut health, many pet owners are possibly questioning –how on earth can you make a dog eat sauerkraut? You can’t force it, of course.

How To Feed Sauerkraut to Dogs And How to Cook/Prepare Sauerkraut!

In order to help your dog to eat the sauerkraut, you can apply some of the techniques below:

  • Chop it into tiny pieces, blend it in a blender, and then mix it with some water-soaked dog food.
  • You can add a small amount of sardines or other fish that can cover its smell to make it easier for your pup. 
  • Some dogs though, won’t eat veggies whatever you do. But sometimes, if you reduce the intense flavor and smell of the sauerkraut, and mix it with regular dog food, then your furry friend will probably eat it.
  • You can also drain the sauerkraut with a colander and wash it with plenty of cold water. Then, soak it inside apple juice (natural homemade if you can) for about half to one hour to get more sweet, pleasant and decrease the intense smell of it.

According to Doggy Digest, another right way to urge dogs to eat sauerkraut is to cook it with pieces of apples. However, I don’t support this because I think that the amounts of vitamins and probiotic bacteria are reduced/killed at a significant level with boiling it. Then it will not be as beneficial as I mentioned above.

How to slowly insert sauerkraut into a dog’s diet?

Another cool tip is to introduce sauerkraut slowly to your dog’s diet. Even if you have done the methods above, you shouldn’t feed it in bulk, a smooth approach is necessary. Many dog owners instantly give their pup to eat sauerkraut by the time they note that their dog eats it.

I’m afraid that’s not right. When you observe that your dog likes to eat sauerkraut, then you should insert it in tiny portions to your dog’s diet for many days. You should also stop for one day and give it the other day. This is something you should do with any new food (especially human-made food) that you want to add to your dog’s diet. Watch your dog’s behaviour with caution as you introduce new foods to its diet. 

If you observe something strange or ailment symptoms, then stop feeding your dog with sauerkraut and call your vet. Do not suppose that by the time the dog next door eats sauerkraut without any issues, your dog will eat it the same way. They could be of the same breed and size, but this isn’t something you can rely on again. Each dog has different genetic weaknesses.

How to Deal with High Amounts of Sodium in Sauerkraut So Dogs Can Eat it Easily

There is one technique to reduce the high amounts of salt inside the store-bought sauerkraut. Even if you find and get low in sodium sauerkraut, you must again reduce it as much as possible and feed it in moderately.

The process is simple:

Chop the sauerkraut in tiny pieces or blend it a little bit in a blender (don’t make it puree though). Wash it inside a colander with cold water. Then soak it overnight in a bowl with warm water (no more than 115 degrees Fahrenheit) and let it 8-12 hours. 

Then refresh the warm water again and leave it for four more hours. Time to taste it yourself. If the intense smell and salt flavor are not decreased, you can soak it for an hour or two inside natural apple juice. 

Then it will hopefully be ready. Despite that this is a long and an annoying little procedure, it is worth the time and effort because your doggy will, at last, eat sauerkraut quickly (mixed with its regular dog food or other homemade food) without high amounts of salt.

So far so good but, despite everything I have mentioned above, in what cases is sauerkraut bad for dogs, though?

 Why Is Sauerkraut Bad For Dogs?

As we have already answered some basic questions like “can dogs eat sauerkraut” and “why is sauerkraut good for dogs” as long as we have analyzed the health benefits of sauerkrauts to dogs. Now I will tell you what you must avoid and be careful when giving dogs to have sauerkraut.

Despite the fact that there are many health benefits for dogs from sauerkraut, you must be aware of some dangers that can come up. The most important things to take a closer look at our preparation before feeding it and the ingredients that store-bought cans of sauerkraut contain.

Even so, the homemade sauerkraut is higher in quality than any store-bought; we prefer the ease of the ready cans of sauerkraut and put quality aside.

Store-bought or Homemade Sauerkraut?

Store-bought sauerkraut types aren’t fatal for dogs, but in the long run, the extra sodium, the preservatives and the additives can cause some health disorders to your pup, and it is better to avoid them.

The other crucial thing to watch out is the ingredients inside the store-bought packages. Many different manufacturers add various spices and seasonings to boost the flavor, but these will probably be harmful to dogs. If there are any spices like garlic, onion, or caraway seeds, you should avoid them because these ingredients are toxic for dogs!

Make sure to exclude these ingredients from your homemade sauerkraut recipes if you ever try to make any. I suggest you make them, they are much more nutritious and healthy, both for you and your dogs. 

There is a possible side effect from sauerkraut whatever it is homemade or store-bought, that will affect you more than your doggy. If dogs overeat of it, due to the high amounts of fiber, they will have gasses! You know! The kind of: “OPEN THE WINDOW RIGHT AWAY, REX DID IT AGAIN”! But you shouldn’t be worried about dog farting; it is absolutely normal.

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Frequently Asked Questions On Dogs Eating Sauerkraut 

Is sauerkraut good for dogs to eat?

Yes, of course, as I said above, dogs can eat sauerkraut and get a lot of nutritious vitamins and minerals, and probiotics! As long as you follow the instructions with which store-bought sauerkraut to avoid and how to prepare it or make your homemade dog-friendly sauerkraut, your doggy will be fair well.

How do you make sauerkraut for dogs?

I have an easy and healthy recipe for homemade sauerkraut for dogs here:

Homemade Sauerkraut Safe For Dogs

Here is an easy and clean recipe from Healthy Food but DO NOT ADD the chilli powder, the cumin or caraway seeds.

Is Pork and Sauerkraut Safe for Dogs?

Sure, dogs can quickly eat pork along with sauerkraut. However, you must be cautious with the pork to be well cooked and without spices. Small portions would be best for any dog because the combination of pork and sauerkraut would have a hard time digesting it if it isn’t in moderation.

Will cooked cabbage hurt my dog?

No, it will not hurt your dog. Dogs can eat cooked cabbage or sauerkraut, but in my opinion, you should avoid it because cooking destroys the nutritious components inside any food and it becomes useless for any pet to eat. Although cooking can dilute the cellulose and the high amount of fiber cabbage has, and dogs can digest it quickly, there are no nutritional benefits with cooked food.

Can Dogs Eat Uncooked Sauerkraut?

Sure, most of the time, dogs can eat sauerkraut that is uncooked, but you have to prepare it the right way as I mentioned above. There are no additives, caraway, onion/garlic/chilli powder or other toxic spices for dogs; then dogs can have sauerkraut without any problem. Nevertheless, it would help if you did not forget to introduce it gradually to your pup’s diet and feed it in moderation.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Sauerkraut?

The same rule applies here. Dogs can eat canned sauerkraut, but it would be best if it was homemade, really low in sodium. Canned sauerkraut has A LOT of salt, and that is not something you want to add to your dog’s daily nutrition plan. One way to make it better is to rinse it with cold water, and then soak and let it for 12 hours inside water, so you expel most of the salt that it contains. So, a moderately tiny portion of canned sauerkraut will not cause any issues to your pup as long as it doesn’t contain other toxic seasonings, spices and additives.

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Sauerkraut?

Yes, dogs can eat sauerkraut, and by far the best option is to feed them homemade sauerkraut that contains zero, or really low amounts of salt. Of course, you should give it to your pup in moderation, as you should do with any treat.

So, suppose you’d like to feed some sauerkraut to your doggy. In that case, I urge you to insert it slowly to its diet, always in small portions and pay attention to its behavior for anything strange and possible side effects that sometimes appear. Symptoms like gasses, upset digestion, vomiting, bloating and diarrhea should ring a bell to you, and you should stop giving sauerkraut or any food to your dog. But as I always recommend, it is better to consult your veterinarian.

I hope this article helps you understand what you have to do if you decide to give sauerkraut to your dog as a treat or as a part of its diet. Follow the steps I mentioned above and enjoy it with your furry friend!