If your dog is begging for a taste of a pickle, it can be tempting to give in to your pup’s adorable charms. But don’t unscrew the lid of your jar just yet—although pickles are not often toxic to dogs, that doesn’t mean they are safe.
Technically, there are vitamins and minerals in a pickle that benefit dogs. However, the downsides to pickles far outweigh any slim benefits your dog may receive from snacking on them. In this article, we will go over why pickles are not considered a healthy treat for dogs as well as which vegetables are good for our furry friends.
What Is in the Pickle?
The typical pickle is a cucumber that is preserved in a salt-water brine. Vinegar and other spices are often added to the mix; however, there are endless possibilities regarding which seasonings can be added to any jar of pickles.
While one pickle may be unhealthy at worst, another may be toxic to your dog. This article will attempt to go over some of the most common pickles, but since it is impossible to review every recipe, it is vital that you know which ingredients are in the jar of pickles in your refrigerator, especially if any of them may be toxic.
The dill pickle is one of the most common pickles. It is made with cucumber soaked in brine, which usually contains vinegar, salt, and water. Dill is included in the mixture. The dill herb is not bad for dogs, but the vinegar and salt are less desirable.
Bread and Butter Pickles
Bread and butter pickles are a sweeter type of pickle that contain more complicated ingredients. These can vary depending on who makes it, but generally, the ingredients include sugar, spices, peppers, onions, and garlic.
Onions and garlic are dangerous for dogs to consume.1 Although most bread and butter pickles should not have enough onions or garlic to cause too many issues, there is always a chance that your dog will become poisoned by them. It’s in your dog’s best interest to avoid these pickles entirely.
Hot and Spicy Pickles
Hot, spicy pickles typically contain chili pepper or other hot spices that can seriously damage your dog’s gastrointestinal system. This can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, so keeping these away from your dog is best.
Are Cucumbers Safe for Dogs?
On the upside, cucumbers are perfectly safe for your dog to eat! They are low in calories, sodium, and fat, making them an excellent treat for dogs that need to maintain a healthy weight. Plus, they have a high water content and offer excellent hydration.
Are Any Pickles Healthy for Dogs?
Essentially, pickles are unhealthy for dogs due to the ingredients, not due to cucumbers. So, are there any pickles that dogs can safely eat? Not really. Most pickles are formulated with a salt-water brine, and while sodium is an essential part of a healthy dog’s diet, the sodium content in pickles is far too high.
Any benefit that pickles bring comes from the cucumber. If you want to give your dog a new treat, avoid the pickles and stick to safer vegetables instead.
What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Pickle
If your dog eats a pickle, there is no need to panic. Most pickles do not contain enough toxic ingredients to lead to poisoning, so your dog will likely be fine. The worst he may experience is some digestive upset.
However, it is still advised that you talk to your vet. Make sure that you have a list of the pickle’s ingredients on hand to report to your vet. If your vet believes any of the ingredients are a cause for concern, they may recommend that you bring your dog in.
What Are Some Vegetables That Dogs Can Eat?
Pickles aren’t healthy for your dog, but cucumbers are. Which vegetables can be good treats for canines?
Carrots are included in many dog foods due to their high fiber content and beta-carotene. They are a low-calorie snack with an excellent crunch that can support your dog’s dental health.
Celery is known to help keep your dog’s breath fresh while boosting his heart health and fighting cancer. It is also packed with vitamins A, B, and C.
Plain green beans are safe for dogs to eat, as they are low in calories and high in fiber.
Pickles are not a healthy treat for dogs; depending on the specific ingredients, they may even be dangerous. However, cucumbers themselves are a perfectly safe treat, and they provide many health benefits. Other vegetables are also safe for your dog, so stay away from the pickles and focus on the veggies that will make your dog happy and healthy.
Featured Image Credit: Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels