They make for a healthy snack for humans, but can dogs eat cucumbers?
The short answer is, yes! Dogs can eat cucumbers without the risk of toxicity. But, as it always goes with human foods, there’s more to the story than a simple yes or no answer! In this article, we’ll discuss the risks and potential benefits of this crunchy treat, and how they can supplement your dog’s healthy, all-natural diet!
What are the potential risks of cucumber for dogs?
If your dog catches a piece of cucumber that has fallen off the cutting board, there’s no reason to stress. Cucumbers aren’t poisonous to dogs, and a bite-sized piece isn’t likely to do anything.
But, that doesn’t mean that cucumbers are a zero risk treat for dogs.
For one thing, cucumbers contain fibre, which can lead to stomach upset in dogs if eaten in high amounts. So, if your pupper gobbles down the entire cucumber instead of just a piece, then you may anticipate some gastrointestinal issues in the next few hours. Typically, it’s not enough to send your dog to the vet. But if the symptoms last for longer than 24 hours or your dog is in clear distress, you should contact your vet for next steps.
Cucumbers can also pose a choking risk for dogs. Dogs aren’t great chewers, especially when it comes to an exciting treat, so it’s important to give them small pieces.
Finally, as is the case with most foods, some dogs can develop an allergic reaction to cucumbers. This isn’t common, but it’s still a good idea to only feed your dog very small amounts of this veggie to start. Allergic reactions can also be the result of any substances on the surface of the cucumber, such as pesticides or other chemicals. Make sure to thoroughly wash all veggies before feeding them to your doggo.
Can dogs eat cucumbers for health benefits?
As you can see, the health risks of eating cucumbers are pretty low. What are the benefits of this refreshing veggie?
First, cucumbers are high in water. If you’re looking for a treat to cool down your pup in the summer months, cucumbers are a brilliant option. They aren’t a substitute for a fresh bowl of clean water, of course, but a few bites of cucumber on a hot day can be a welcome snack for your dog.
Check out our other DIY summer dog treats!
Cucumbers are also loaded with Vitamins B, C, and K, which can improve your dog’s sight, coat and cardiovascular health. The minerals in cucumbers, like phosphorus and magnesium, promote healthy bones, joints, and muscle growth.
Another great thing about cucumbers is that they’re one of the lowest calorie veggies you can give your dog. If you’re worried about unhealthy weight gain while you treat-train your pup, for instance, dog-friendly vegetables can offer a healthier alternative. That said, it is important not to overdo it, so don’t swap out the treats for fibrous vegetables altogether.
Can dogs eat cucumbers to help their breath?
Yes! Cucumbers are a wonderful way to combat bad doggy breath naturally. The chlorophyll in green veggies like cucumber works to improve your dog’s breath, digestion, and overall health.
We should note, of course, that the best way to eliminate bad dog breath is with regular dental hygiene. In our recent article, Bad Dog Breath: How to Get Rid of It, we talked about the importance of setting up a teeth brushing routine and investing in teeth cleaning chew toys.
How should you feed your dog cucumbers?
Unless your pup doesn’t respond well to cucumbers, you can be pretty sure that the benefits outweigh the risks, here! With these helpful tips to feeding Fido cucumbers, your dog can enjoy them all year long:
- Stick with organic. Lower the risk for pesticides and preservatives by buying locally-grown, organic cucumbers.
- Peel the cucumber if your dog is sensitive to the fibre. Your pup will still benefit from the nutritious elements of cucumber without the fibrous peel.
- Blend cucumbers with watermelon for a frozen summer snack. Blend ‘em up, pour them in an ice cube tray, and give them to your dog for a frozen summer treat.
- Make sure that your dog is getting the full range of nutrients from their meals. It’s fantastic to supplement your dog’s diet with healthy treats. But a few bites of cucumber here and there won’t satisfy their nutritional needs entirely. Make sure your dog is on a healthy meal plan with high quality protein and dog-friendly veggies.
- Keep your dog from grazing on whole cucumbers. Once dogs get a taste of human foods like cucumbers, they might want to sniff out a snack when you’re not around. This isn’t too much of a risk if you keep your cucumbers in the fridge as many people do. But, if you have a vegetable garden at home or nearby, make sure to keep your cucumber-loving dog out!
- Don’t feed Fido from your salad plate. Your dog’s begging face might be adorable, but resist the urge to give them cucumbers off your plate! Not only can this create a difficult-to-break begging habit, but the cucumbers that you find in your salad likely have dressing, oils, or other ingredients that are not good for dogs.
Can dogs eat cucumbers? Yes, but in moderation!
Because dogs are natural omnivores, there are plenty of dog-friendly veggies that you can share with your pup. And as it turns out, cucumbers are one of the best! Packed with nutrients, low in calories, and a cure for bad breath, this crunchy, refreshing vegetable is a winner all around.
Now that you know the answer to, “Can dogs eat cucumbers?”, will you give your doggo a bite?