Whether it’s the pleading puppy eyes or the constant whining, it’s hard to resist your dog when they want something we’re eating. The thought that they might like what they see makes it even more tempting. But, can dogs eat cucumbers?
Many dog parents give in to this temptation and share some of their food with their dogs, not considering whether it is suitable for their furry friends. And dogs will eat just about anything, so it’s natural to think that cucumbers are safe for dogs. Plus, cucumbers are tasty and low-calorie. But, some healthy foods will upset your dog’s stomach and result in unwanted side effects like vomiting or diarrhea or even more severe complications.
Not all fruit and vegetables are safe for dogs. As a dog owner, it’s essential to be aware of which ones are okay (and which ones aren’t) so that you can make the right choices for your pup.
So, can dogs eat cucumbers? Or pickled cucumber? And do they have any nutritional value for your dog?
Yes! Some fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs and offer a healthy alternative to conventional dog treats, such as cucumber.
Let’s look at the benefits both you and your dog will experience from eating cucumber. Then, we’ll talk about a few precautions to watch out for regarding fruits and vegetables so you can feed cucumber to your dog safely. Keep reading to learn more!
A Vegetable Snack – What is a Cucumber?
Cucumbers are favored by many Americans. “According to the report, the U.S. per capita consumption of fresh cucumbers amounted to approximately 7.5 pounds in 2020.” Cucumbers have even been deemed a superfood!
Cucumbers are one of the healthiest snacks for both humans AND dogs! They’re healthy and can help with several different ailments, so feeding cucumber is okay. That’s right, good news, everyone! You can share a nice crisp cucumber with your dog.
But, what are cucumbers? First, is essential to clarify that cucumbers are technically a fruit. Yep, you read that right.
Cucumbers are in the same family as other popular items like squash, pumpkin, zucchini (and even some melons). The family they belong to is Cucurbitaceae.
Cucumbers are easy to grow. Therefore, they are grown throughout the world and are usually available year-round. You can find them in the produce sections of most grocery stores all of the time. And, best of all, this delicious fruit is an excellent treat for you and your pup!
When it comes to offering cucumbers as a treat to your beloved dog, you must understand the health benefits and risks that are associated with cucumbers and dogs. So, keep reading to get an in-depth understanding of how cucumbers can support your dog’s body. And how to make sure they don’t cause any harm.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers? The Health Benefits
Can dogs eat cucumbers? Yes!
Cucumbers are a great addition to your dog’s diet. But, when it comes to dog-friendly produce, there’s only one way to know for sure if a fruit or vegetable is safe for your dog to consume. And, that’s by looking into its health benefits.
Eating cucumbers helps your dog stay hydrated because they’re made up mostly of water. A cucumber is about 96% water, which makes them an excellent way to get your dog a little extra hydration. It also helps them feel full so that they can ward off obesity. In addition, cucumbers are a good source of potassium, which can help your dog stay energized while keeping its blood pressure low.
Cucumbers are a nutritious snack for your dog, and they’re really low in calories. A slice of cucumber is about one calorie (and remember: a calorie isn’t a measure of how much food you get, it’s a measure of how much energy it has). And they’re packed with vitamins (like B, K, and C) and minerals (like calcium and manganese, to name a few).
Vitamin K is essential for bone strength. In addition, vitamin K is an incredibly beneficial health perk to anyone with an exceptionally active dog. An active dog will be putting more wear and tear on their joints, so you’ll want to do what you can to support their sturdy skeletal framework.
What’s more? Along with the hydration benefits, you can rely on the mighty cucumber for additional fiber in your dog’s diet. Why does that matter? Fiber can help keep your dog’s digestive tract moving healthily.
Plus, if you have a dog that suffers from bad breath, then you may be happy to know that cucumbers tend to kill bad breath too! Additionally, cucumbers contain tannins (a type of antioxidant) that may help soothe upset stomachs and potentially alleviate inflammation in the digestive tract.
So, as you can see, there are a number of benefits that come with eating cucumbers, even a small piece. If you want to offer a delicious healthy treat that can help fend off obesity and support your dog’s body, the slice of cucumber is a great option. But, as responsible guardians, we must understand what our dogs can tolerate and the foods that can support them. And while the crunchy cucumber is an excellent ally to many dogs, there are some health benefits to be aware of as you offer this treat to your pup. Keep reading to learn more!
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers? The Health Risks
Cucumbers are a tasty, crunchy snack for dogs, and they can be included in a dogs diet. They’re low-calorie, low-sodium, and low-fat. Cucumbers aren’t toxic or poisonous to dogs, so they aren’t a threat to your dog’s health. However, as with any food, moderation is key.
As a whole, the potential risks of cucumbers are twofold: they may cause your dog to overeat, and they can also pose a choking hazard.
So, first, dogs can overeat cucumbers! Overeating cucumbers can cause GI upset in dogs, as with any food item.
If you see that your dog has eaten all of his cucumber slices in one sitting, it’s probably time to stop feeding him more until he has gone to the bathroom once. This activity should happen within a few hours after the last bite of cucumber. Excessive amounts of cucumber can lead to diarrhea and other digestive upset in dogs.
Second, there is a risk of choking when it comes to your dog eating cucumbers.
Any time you give your dog a treat that can break into small pieces, there is the risk of choking. Cucumbers are long and cylindrical, like bones, so it is possible that dogs can choke on them. This choking hazard is especially true for small dogs.
Cucumbers have a compound called cucurbitacin that is bitter and can cause stomach upset in some dogs. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if your dog will be sensitive to this compound, so it’s best to feed them sparingly as a snack. So, while cucumbers are a healthy snack, you can’t just let your pup eat as many cucumbers as they want.
As you can see, cucumbers provide various benefits and risks for your pup. And while they are a delicious and nutritious snack, it is always essential to understand any of the risks associated with offering human food to your four-legged companion. There isn’t too much to be worried about when it comes to cucumbers. But, there are a few essential items to note before you begin feeding your dog cucumbers regularly.
Keep reading to understand how much is too much when it comes to dogs and cucumbers. And, ways to introduce cucumbers into your dog’s diet healthily. Keep reading to become an expert in understanding “can dogs eat cucumbers?”.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers with Skin?
The short answer is yes! It’s OK for your pup if some skin is left on the cucumber (provided it’s not a waxy cucumber).
But if it is a waxy cucumber, you should not feed it to your dog. Waxy cucumbers have skin that can irritate your dog’s gut and cause diarrhea. And as all dog guardians know, it’s essential to avoid diarrhea if possible because it is not the most fun for you or your dog.
As long as the cucumber has soft skin, you are good to feed it to your dog!
But, before you dive into feeding your dog a cucumber with the skin on it, it will always help to wash the cucumber thoroughly. Just as you would do if you were about to eat it yourself, you want to make sure the cucumber has been sufficiently cleaned, so no pesticides are left on the skin (and then fed to your beloved dog).
In the end, the skin of the cucumber is where most of the soluble fiber lives, which supports your dog’s body. But, what is soluble fiber? Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. Because of this, it can really aid in digestion.
So, the fiber moves through your dog’s digestive system, which helps to move food through its body. This movement leads to easier digestion and can help improve stool quality (and reduce constipation). So, sometimes it might be best to feed your dog cucumbers with the skin to help get their digestion moving!
How to Add Cucumbers to a Dog’s Diet
Cucumbers are a fantastic low-calorie snack that can pack in some extra nutrients for your little pup. But not all cucumbers are created equal when it comes to what’s best for your four-legged friend.
So, when you begin adding cucumbers to your dog’s diet, it’s essential to start slow. And, you should always remove the seeds before feeding them to your dog because they can cause an upset stomach.
If you have a smaller dog, or one that might be prone to choking, it may be best to opt for a smaller piece of cucumber. For example, instead of feeding your dog an entire cucumber, slice it up and offer the slices as treats. Or, you can choose to include cucumber slices in your dog’s food and water bowls.
If you live in warmer climates or it’s the summertime, you can always add diced cucumbers to an ice cube tray and make frozen cucumber cubes! These are an excellent treat for any dog on a warm day after walking or spending time outside.
Another cucumber treat that your dog is guaranteed to love is stuffed cucumbers. Once you’ve cut your cucumber in half and taken the seeds out, you’ll want to make larger 1″ slices of cucumber. From there, you can fill the center (where the seeds were) with all-natural peanut butter!
Cucumbers can even be used as a teething tool for puppies. Add your deseeded cucumber spears to the freezer (you can also use cucumber chunks instead), and once frozen, your pup has a healthy treat to use as a teething tool.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers Only? Other Safe Vegetables for Dogs
If you’re like most responsible dog guardians, you’re always looking for ways to make your dog’s life better. You give them the best food, make sure they get plenty of exercise, and spend time with them when you can. But what about healthy treats?
Cucumbers are one of the most versatile things out there. They can be eaten fresh or grilled, made into soup, pickled, and even poured over ice to create a refreshing drink. But, while you may be familiar with all these uses for cucumbers, your dog probably isn’t-and that’s okay!
These crunchy green veggies are not only delicious, but they provide many health benefits as well for your dog. And, in moderation, dogs can eat cucumbers. But, what about other fruits and veggies that are lying around your kitchen? Are there other safe fruits and vegetables, like cucumbers?
Yes! There are several safe fruits for dogs. Apples provide lots of vitamins and fiber for your dog, similar to cucumbers. And another similarity between apples and cucumbers is you must remove apple seeds before feeding the fruit to your dog. Freeze apple chunks in the freezer for a delicious snack that any dog is guaranteed to love!
Your beloved pup can also enjoy blueberries (another superfood), cantaloupe, and cranberries. But, remember, most fruit is packed with sugar, so it’s essential to offer these treats and snacks in moderation. And, if you have a dog that suffers from diabetes, make sure to keep these sweeter items out of its diet.
Some not-safe fruits for your dog are cherries, grapes, and tomatoes. Make sure to keep these items away from your dog to guarantee a healthy dog. AKC offers a comprehensive view here to see a complete list of safe fruits for dogs to consume.
There is a relatively long list of items that your dog can safely eat as a treat, snack, or included in their meals when it comes to vegetables. But, the list is easy to remember when it comes to food that is not safe! Please remember, never feed your dogs onions, mushrooms, or asparagus. In fact, you’ll want to avoid any vegetable in the allium family because it can cause poisoning in its worst cases.
How Many Cucumbers for Dogs is Too Much?
You’re probably pretty keen on feeding your pup cucumbers if you’ve come this far. But if you’re anything like most dog owners, you might be a little concerned about giving him too many at once. So let’s talk about that.
It might seem like cucumbers are a healthy treat for dogs, but it’s not quite that simple. While they’re not toxic or dangerous to dogs, they can cause some pretty unpleasant side effects if your dog eats too many of them at once. That’s why it’s essential to find out how many cucumbers are safe for your dog to eat and how many will cause them to feel sick.
When it comes to offering a whole cucumber to your dog, this may be too much. And, once you’ve crossed the threshold into too much cucumber, you could expect to see GI discomfort and a pup that may experience diarrhea.
Often, most dogs are content after having a few slices of cucumber. However, if you want to add the cucumber into your dog’s food bowl, you may find it digests easier than alone-especially if you have a senior dog that you still feed once a day. If you offer your more senior dog a cucumber before they have had their daily meal, it may upset their stomach. So, in this case, it’s essential to add the cucumber slices to their food bowls.
But, say you leave a cucumber out on the counter, and your big dog happens to snatch most of it while you’re not looking. If your dog eats too many cucumbers, there are a few things that you can do.
First, if your dog accidentally eats too many cucumbers for its size, it’s essential to offer a lot of water to your dog. Because overeating may lead to vomiting and diarrhea, your dog may experience dehydration. This dehydration is why offering water is essential if this happens to your pup.
And, you can always look for additional support to make sure your pup will be okay.