Crunchy with a salty-sour taste, pickles are the perfect garnish for a variety of meals including hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches! We like them so much that we just eat them by themselves most of the time. But when you’re sitting there about to chow down on a delicious burger and see Fido sitting there giving you those begging eyes, is it okay to throw him a little slice?
Or would it be better to try and divert his attention with a more dog-friendly treat like a regular cucumber?
Can Dogs Have Pickles?
The short answer is that it depends, but you probably should not feed your dog pickles. While cucumbers are fine for dogs to eat, most pickles contain way too many added ingredients.
Moreover, each type of pickle has its own risks to take into account when deciding whether or not to feed it to your dog.
Are Pickles Bad For Dogs?
One of the most common questions people ask is are pickles good for dogs. Rest assured, they are. By eating pickles, your pup will benefit from the numerous vitamins and minerals found within cucumbers including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese.
However, this will come at the cost of simultaneously ingesting other, potentially harmful additives like salt, vinegar, and spices. If you’re looking to give your dog pickles for the health benefits, it would probably be better to just give them plain cucumber instead.
Are Regular Pickles Safe for Dogs to Eat?
We define “regular” pickles as cucumbers that are soaked in a simple brining liquid which doesn’t contain additional foods, spices, or additives. On their own, eating regular pickles will likely not pose a major risk to your dog’s health. However, they should still be avoided. While certainly delicious, pickles are packed to the brim with sodium. Too much sodium ingestion can lead to the development of health issues in dogs ranging from something as minor as an upset stomach to something as life threatening as salt poisoning.
If a dog begins suffering from salt poisoning, he can begin exhibiting a myriad of symptoms ranging from vomiting, diarrhea, lack of an appetite, and lethargy, to more serious issues including tremors, seizures, and even death. If you suspect your furry friend is suffering from salt poisoning, take them to your vet as soon as possible.
Are Pickles with Onions Safe for Dogs to Eat?
It is not safe to feed your dog pickles that have been brined or cooked with onions.
Onions are a non-starter for dogs. Onions, and anything cooked with them, can irreparably damage the hemoglobin found inside your dog’s red blood cells, causing a condition called Heinz anemia.
Dogs that are suffering from Heinz anemia can begin showing a few distinct symptoms that owners should watch out for if they suspect their dog has eaten onions. These include weakness, pale gums, fainting, and reddish urine.
If your dog begins displaying the symptoms of onion toxicity, he will likely require medical attention. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting and will offer ongoing support while your dog’s body recovers and begins producing new healthy red blood cells to replace damaged ones.
Moreover, do not delay in seeking medical treatment. Onion toxicity in dogs can be fatal if left untreated.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Pickles?
So, we know that we shouldn’t give our pups pickles loaded with salt or made with onions. What about sweet pickles? Are those okay to cut up and give to our four-legged friends? Unfortunately, not really.
The secret behind what makes sweet pickles taste so delectable is, well….sugar! Lots of it, too!.
And, as with humans, eating too much sugar can pose a variety of health problems for dogs, including diabetes, weight gain, and even cavities.
Plus, feeding your dog something that’s loaded with sugar such as sweet pickles also raises the risk of upsetting their stomach, which can lead to some side effects that are less than aromatic.
Can Dogs Eat Dill Pickles?
If any type of pickle is bound to be okay for dogs, it’s bound to be the one that’s literally called kosher, right?
Sort of, but not really. Like their infinitely more boring brethren, these savory and tart pickles are also loaded with salt.
And we mean loaded with it. A single medium dill pickle can contain between 700 and 1,500 milligrams of sodium; and that’s between seven to fifteen times the daily recommended amount for dogs. That means a single slice of a dill pickle might just be enough to satisfy your dog’s daily requirements!
However, if you can find dill pickles that are made with substantially less sodium (like the “Low Sodium” options in the grocery store), some pet owners report being able to use a few slices to help freshen their dog’s breath and reduce gas.
At this point, it’s pretty clear that feeding your dog pickles is probably not the best idea. While undeniably delicious, the risks of accidentally overloading your pup on salt or other harmful additives from feeding them pickles are too high to justify feeding it to them. Instead, opt for a sodium-free cucumber!
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