When it comes to giving your dog healthy snacks, fruits and vegetables can be a great alternative to standard, store-bought dog biscuits (and dog food, if you use kibble as a treat). However, always make sure that whatever fruit or vegetable you give your pooch is safe for them to eat.
Even though it seems logical that any natural food, like fruits and vegetables, is healthy, that’s not necessarily the case. Some human foods are even toxic to dogs. So, it’s important to do your research before tossing your pet human foods. In this particular article, we’ll cover cucumber for dogs. Are cucumbers safe for dogs? Are they beneficial?
So, can dogs eat cucumbers?
Fortunately, cucumbers are one of those vegetables (well, botanically speaking, they’re a fruit…) that are not harmful to your dog, and they can be a crisp, refreshing treat!
Cucumber for Dogs: Is it Healthy?
Can dogs eat cucumbers safely? You bet! Cucumber for dogs is perfectly safe, as long as you feed it to them in moderation. There’s really no downside to sharing this salad staple with your pooch. In fact, cucumber can even be good for dogs.
That being said, there are precautions you need to take when you feed your dog cucumber. Avoid giving your dog a cucumber whole, no matter how big or small your dog, or the cucumber. Instead of putting the whole cucumber, or even large slices, into your dog’s food dish, cut it into small chunks or slices to make it easier for them to eat.
Feeding pieces that are too large present a choking hazard, which is a particular concern if your dog tends to eat their food very quickly. Cutting the cucumber into smaller pieces helps to avoid that potential choking hazard.
Benefits of Cucumbers for Dogs
One great benefit of cucumber for dogs is that they contain very few calories.1 Unlike traditional dog biscuits and treats that are often laden with calories, cucumbers have a low-calorie count, which means that they’re a good replacement for typical, store-bought dog treats from time to time, especially if your doggy needs to be on a diet!
Cucumbers are also a great source of phytonutrients, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial for your pup.2
That said, adding cucumbers to a dog’s diet doesn’t offer a lot of overall vitamins and minerals or nutritional value in general for your dog So, if you’re looking for veggies with a high vitamin and mineral content, cucumber is not that. But the good news is, there isn’t anything in a cucumber that’s harmful to your pooch.3
Cucumber Water: Not Just for People
Cucumber is made up of 95 percent water, so not only is it a tasty treat for your pup, its liquid composition can also help keep your dog well hydrated, which is especially useful on those hot summer days.4
If your dog isn’t drinking as much water as you or your veterinarian think they should be drinking, the amount of water contained in a cucumber can help keep them hydrated. At the same time, cucumber is also a great diuretic.5 So, if your dog seems to retain a lot of water and isn’t urinating as much as they should be, consider giving them a few small chunks of cucumber to see if it helps.
As beneficial as cucumber can be, it’s important that you not ignore symptoms that may indicate that your pup is unwell. Always get medical advice from your vet.
To Peel, or Not to Peel
Cucumbers can be eaten in a lot of different ways; some people eat them raw, skin and all, and others prefer to peel the skin from the cucumber before eating it. For humans, it really just comes down to preference, but can dogs eat cucumber with the skin, or does the cucumber need to be peeled for them to be safely consumed?
As it turns out, it doesn’t matter whether your dog eats the cucumber skin or not. Your pooch may have a preference, but the nutrients and health benefits of cucumber skin are negligible.6
What About Pickles?
Pickles are just cucumbers that are just, well, pickled, right? That’s true, but the pickling process changes the chemical composition of cucumbers, creating some unhealthy levels of nutrients, like sodium, either through brining or adding vinegar to the cucumber. In addition to that, a lot of pickles are also loaded with other ingredients and spices like pepper, onions, and garlic to enhance the flavor for humans. Unfortunately, a lot of those additional ingredients, while delicious for humans, aren’t great for dogs. Onions and garlic, in particular, can be downright dangerous for your pooch.7
So, unless your veterinarian says otherwise, it’s best to keep the pickles in the jar and save them for the humans.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers: Snack Away
Cucumber for dogs is a unique treat idea that your pet will love. With the abundance of cucumbers in grocery stores and farmers markets all year long, they’re easily accessible to most Americans and their four-legged
companions. Depending on the season, cucumbers can also be quite inexpensive.
So, the next time you’re dicing up some cucumber for a salad or sandwich, don’t forget to cut up a few small pieces to share with your dog. They’ll feel like a million bucks eating human food, and you’ll be happy knowing that they’re snacking on something low in calories and high in water.
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