Pickles are not something people agree on in general. Some hate it, while others love to include them in their diet or just have them as a snack.
While they definitely manage to give a hint of refreshment to our meals, is this food safe to share with dogs? Could you feed pickles to your dog, too?
It seems that there isn’t a unique answer for this question. Let’s get deeper, and find out what makes pickles so controversial when it comes to feeding our four-pawed pals with them.
Dogs love to eat, nothing new there! Sometimes to the point where they’ll eat something they shouldn’t and that’s bad for them. So, it’s your responsibility as a dog owner to know what you can and can’t share with your dog. In order to avoid problems, you have to inform yourself before you give something new to your dog.
So, it this article we’ll answer the following question:
Can I Give My Dog Pickles?
The answer to this question isn’t that simple – it depends on the pickle and on the amount. Pickles themselves are not toxic to dogs. However, they are very rich in sodium, vinegar and spices. These “ingredients” can possibly be very dangerous to dogs.
On the other hand, there are some safe options when it comes to feeding your dog pickles. We’ll take a look at them as you scroll down, but first let’s see why pickles can be unsafe to dogs!
Are Pickles Dangerous?
As mentioned, pickles themselves are not dangerous, but they can be in some forms.
First of all, their sodium level is very high, as that’s what pickled means – to put something in salty water, add vinegar and spices and let stay for a while. However, this isn’t a good combination for our dogs, as sodium/salt isn’t on the desirable list for dog-food. This is especially important if your dog has to follow a low-sodium diet.
Second, it’s not uncommon for pickles to be prepared with onions and garlic. As you know, both of these spices should definitely be off-limits for dogs. Other spices, such as salt, are also undesirable for dogs.
So, in order to avoid these problems you should choose sweet pickles, with low levels of sodium and without any other spices. If you do that, there should be no problems with giving your dog pickles occasionally.
Are Pickles Healthy?
Now that you know what kind of pickles are safe to give your dog, you’re probably wondering if these safe options are beneficial. Pickles are not really the healthiest food for your dog, but they’re not completely without benefits. What makes pickles nutritionally valuable are:
- High fiber level
- Rich in vitamins, in particular vitamin A and K
- Source of potassium, manganese, calcium and iron
For more info on dogs and pickles, check out the video below!
How Much Pickles Can Dogs Eat?
If your dog likes pickles and you’ve made sure they’re without any dangerous spices, you’re good to go. However, you shouldn’t overdo it either as too much pickles can have bad consequences.
First of all, if you start feeding your dog pickles on a regular basis, the sodium level in their body will build up and your dog will expect you to give him or her pickles frequently. There is no need for that much sodium in your dog’s body, as he should be getting the right amount of sodium through its dog food. Any additional sodium will be unnecessary and even harmful in some cases.
Second, feeding your dog pickles will increase the chances of digestive problems and an upset stomach, especially in big amounts. This is why you should limit your dog’s pickle intake to a couple of small slices once or twice a week. More than that will only lead to problems.
Pickles VS Cucumbers
Pickles are cucumbers, just “pickled”. So are they equally healthy (or unhealthy) or is one a better option than the other?
Yes, you guessed it – cucumbers are a much better option for your dog. Besides being unsalted and without added spices, cucumbers are mostly made of water which makes them a great treat way to keep your dog hydrated if he’s not drinking enough water. Furthermore, cucumbers are great breath refresheners, they contribute to a healthy skin and have many more benefits.
By the time the cucumber becomes a pickle most of the nutrients are lost, which is why it’s always healthier to give your dog cucumber instead of pickle.
Can Dogs Drink Pickle Juice?
Lastly, you may wonder if the pickle juice left in the jar is safe for dogs. We wanted to answer this question as it’s really important – the answer is no! Pickle juice is basically water with salt, vinegar and spices and should be a big “no-no” as it can lead to nothing else but an upset stomach and health problems.
While pickles can be fine in some cases, pickle juice should definitely not be consumed by your dog and you should keep it far away from him or her.
Pickles themselves are not dangerous or toxic. However, because of their high sodium level, salt and potentially the onions and garlic in them, pickles can be very dangerous. As you know, salt and various spices can be really harmful to dogs and you should never serve them any seasoned and/or salted food. However, if you choose sweet pickles, with a low sodium and salt level, dogs can in general eat them safely.
Pickles do have some benefits, such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, cucumbers are a much better option as they have much more benefits and they’re a really healthy treat option. If your dog absolutely loves pickles, you can serve them in moderation and sliced up in tiny pieces. Just don’t overdo it, as your dog will probably deal with stomach problems after eating to many pickles.
The bottom line is – pickles are safe if they’re not salted and unseasoned. However, your dog doesn’t really have a need for them or will benefit much from them. If your dog likes them – go for it – just remember to serve them properly!