I can picture it. You’re slicing up a cucumber to add more refreshing flavor to your ice water. Your dog is sitting at your feet, looking up at you imploringly as you wonder, “Can dogs eat cucumbers?” What do you do?
Are cucumbers good for dogs?
Cucumbers are a great snack for a dog. They are made up of mostly water and have a refreshing taste that many dogs love. So go ahead and offer Fido a little slice!
Cucumbers are a great healthy treat option (especially for dogs who need to lose weight) as they contain only 8 calories per ½ cup of cucumber slices. Whereas each Milk-Bone™ dog biscuit contains 40 calories per biscuit! Cucumbers are also low in sodium and fat, which is great news for your canine friend.
It’s such a good snack you can serve it in a variety of ways to make it even more interesting to your dog. A cucumber at room temperature is different from a cold or even frozen cucumber. Dogs like novelty so, on a hot day, you might choose to freeze a few ice cubes with cucumbers in them for Fido to enjoy in the back yard or as a reward for a training session.
Are cucumbers safe for dogs?
The only two things to watch out for with cucumbers are the hazards of choking and feeding too much.
Dogs can eat the entire cucumber, skin and seeds included. But that doesn’t mean you should just hand him the whole one and let him go to town.
He might enjoy gnawing on it like a bone but that doesn’t mean it’s good for him.
To prevent your dog from choking on the cucumber, you’ll want to cut it into small pieces that are easily chewed and swallowed… especially if your dog tends to gulp food. No need to peel it, but definitely offer it in smaller sections.
There’s also a risk of overeating… and too much of a good thing is still too much!
Eating too much cucumber won’t necessarily harm your dog but it could cause an upset stomach and lead to some messy bathroom breaks. Foods that are new to dogs are more likely to cause stomach upset. So be sure to offer new foods gradually, with just one new food at a time.
Can My Puppy Have Cucumber?
Puppies’ digestive systems are still developing and are especially sensitive to new foods.
When they first come to your home, they may not want to eat anything at all! It can be overwhelming for puppies to leave mama dog and their littermates, which can lead to loss of appetite.
This is very normal and will definitely get better in just a few days. During this initial phase, resist the urge to offer a lot of different foods to your new furry friend. Stick with puppy kibble and save the human food taste testing for when he is just a little bit older.
Any kind of transition to a new food needs to go very slowly, especially for a new puppy.
One thing I love to do with my dogs is set up enrichment activities to help keep their mind and body active. Physical and mental exercises are both so important to dogs!
My pups love to dig and shred so I make a busy box full of toys, rags, old boxes and other items. I sprinkle some kibble and treats, like cucumbers, throughout the box and then let them enjoy themselves.
Each dog gets their own box and they love it! It’s perfect for a hot day when taking a walk isn’t a great idea.
Cucumbers would be great to use in Kongs, which I like to fill ahead of time and freeze. Frozen Kongs take a little longer for the food to come out, and often feel great on sore, teething gums.
And if the pup has to do a lot of licking to get all those tasty treats out that’s an added bonus! Licking is a natural calming activity for dogs. I give my dogs frozen filled Kongs when they go into their crates during the day so they have something fun to look forward to!
What About Pickled Cucumbers?
You may think that if cucumbers are OK, so are pickles. Nope! Pickles are actually bad for dogs because they contain salt and spices that can be harmful to dogs. So keep those to yourself. I personally love pickles and I even named my dog Pickles! He’s my training buddy and is featured prominently in all the training games in my online course.