Can Dogs Eat Pickles? We Find Out!
Can dogs eat pickles? Dogs are mostly omnivores, so they will eat almost anything you feed them. But not all human foods are safe for a dog’s digestive system. Pickles are one of those foods that are on the risky list. Cucumbers are safe, but as soon as they are dunked in sodium-rich solutions to create pickles, they become harmful.
My Dog Ate a Pickle. Now What?
Can dogs eat pickles? Your dog won’t die from eating a pickle, but you should not be feeding it pickles as a regular snack. A dog’s digestive system is much more sensitive to certain human foods, and pickles are on the no-go list.
A pickle is created by dunking a small cucumber in vinegar, brine or other acidic solutions. The cucumbers are left to soak in the solution until the fermentation process kicks in. Another method is to sour the cucumbers by using a lacto-fermentation process.
The Biggest Danger: Too Much Salt
Dog food has been formulated to contain the exact amount of daily sodium intake your dog needs. As soon as you start giving your dog excessive amounts of salty snacks, it can lead to sodium ion poisoning. This will cause your dog to thirst excessively, which in turn will lead to excessive urination.
Symptoms include depression, diarrhea, vomiting, high temperature, tremors and seizures. In severe cases, it can cause death. Your dog won’t be at risk if it accidentally consumes a few pickles once off, but regularly including pickles as a snack in your dog’s diet is very dangerous.
Another problem of your dog regularly consuming too much salt, is that it will cause high blood pressure, which can eventually trigger a stroke or heart attack. Read this article to recognize symptoms of high blood pressure in dogs.
What about Cooked Pickles?
Do not give your dog pickles mixed with onions. Onions are on the extremely dangerous human food list. It can cause Heinz body anemia. This happens when a part of the red blood cells ruptures after the cell walls thin out. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dark colored urine and breathing problems. You need to take your dog to the vet immediately if any of these symptoms are noticed.
What about Sweet Pickles?
Some pickles do not undergo the intense souring process, such as Dill pickles. But it’s still not recommended as a snack. Rather feed your dog raw cucumbers, which can help with an upset stomach.
Can Dogs Drink Pickle Juice?
An urban legend arose that says you should give a dehydrated dog pickle juice because it’s full of electrolytes. This is a terrible idea because of the left-over ingredients contained in the juice. High salt content, vinegar and spices make a potent combination not suitable for your dog’s digestive system. Read this article to find out what to do when your dog is dehydrated.
Are Pickles Safe For Dogs?
The pickle itself is not the problem, the ingredients in the fermentation solution is what puts them on the no-go list. Most of the time the following ingredients are used to create pickles: salt and sugar, vinegar, herbs, spices and vegetable oil.
Excessive salt or sugar in your dog’s diet can affect its blood pressure, making it spike dangerously high. Your dog’s blood sugar levels are also very sensitive, what might seem like a small amount of sugar to you, can be dangerous for your dog.
Vinegar is made up of water, acetic acid and other chemicals as well as flavorings. Some dogs have shown an allergic reaction to vinegar. It can also cause an upset stomach. When a dog ingests too much vinegar it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as gassiness.
Many herbs and spices are too rich for your dog’s sensitive digestive system. It’s better to steer clear of exposing your dog to seasoning. Excessive amounts can cause an upset stomach, or even vomiting and diarrhea.
Vegetable oil is not harmful in small doses, but it can cause diarrhea if your dog ingest too much of it. It’s best to avoid adding foreign foods and substances to your dog’s daily diet. Also, you need to check with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Although your dog can be classified as an omnivore, the ratio of proteins and other dietary elements must be carefully balanced to make sure your dog receives the correct daily intake of nutrients. Adding strange elements, such as pickles, to your dog’s daily diet can severely throw off this delicate balance.
From the abovementioned list you can see that a pickle recipe includes foreign elements not suitable for your dog’s digestive system. Can dogs eat pickles? You won’t have to rush to the vet with your dog after accidental ingestion. But it is not advisable to regularly feed your dog pickles.
But Aren’t Pickles Vegetables?
The problem with pickling a vegetable, is that the process destroys a lot of the nutrients. Cucumbers contain vitamin C, B1 and K. They are high in fiber and are a great source of molybdenum, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, biotin, magnesium as well as copper. Cucumbers also contain a special mineral called silica that is great for nail-health.
Please Note: when feeding your dog vegetables, make sure you do not add any seasoning. Serve all safe vegetables plain.
Vegetables Dogs Can Eat
Feel free to occasionally feed your dog a slice of cucumber as an alternative healthy snack, rather than a pickle. There are a few vegetables that you can safely feed your dog. But as always, first consult with your vet before regularly including any foreign foods into your dog’s daily diet.
- Carrots are a great low-calorie snack. They are high in beta-carotene that creates vitamin A and also a good source of fiber. Give your dog a carrot as a natural toothbrush to keep its teeth in tiptop shape.
- Broccoli is safe, but should only be given in small quantities as an occasional snack. It’s low in fat and high in fiber. It is also a good source of vitamin C. But if your dog has a sensitive digestive system, rather stay clear of it, it contain isothiocyanates which can cause gastric irritation.
- Celery contains vitamins A, B, and C plus other nutrients that promote heart health and can also help fight against cancer. If your dog is struggling with bad breath, give it a bit of celery for minty freshness.
- Green Beans are low in calories and a great source of fiber, as well as important vitamins and minerals. You can serve them raw, steamed, chopped or canned.
- Potatoes must be served cooked because a raw potato can cause an upset stomach. It’s a great source of iron.
Read this article for a complete list of fruits and vegetables that are dog-friendly.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Pickles?
Can dogs eat pickles? Your dog will not be poisoned immediately when it accidentally eats one or two pickles. But if you regularly include pickles in your dog’s diet, you will be exposing it to severe health risks. Rather pick a safer vegetable as an occasional treat.
Does your dog like vegetables? What its favorite healthy snack?