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Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers? Vet-Approved Feeding Facts & FAQ

Written by: Chris Dinesen Rogers

Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

cucumber

Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers? Vet-Approved Feeding Facts & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

BVM BVS MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

While we like to think our pets can eat all the same foods we can, dogs are completely different animals with unique dietary needs. While they are omnivores, they still enjoy a hefty serving of meat, so you might not think of vegetables as an exciting treat for them. However, certain vegetables like cucumbers are safe for dogs to eat, and some dogs really love the cool and crunchy feel!

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Why Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?

To put it simply, there is minimal risk of feeding a small amount of cucumbers to dogs. Let’s look at the pros and cons of offering these veggies just below.

The Benefits of Feeding Dogs Cucumbers

We’ll start with the nutritional value of cucumbers since it’s something we prioritize when deciding what dietary additions to consider. Remember that dogs require a lower caloric intake than humans. An adult male human can consume 2,500 calories daily. However, a 10 kg (22lb) canine should get approximately 640 calories daily. Knowing this approximate figure for your pet is essential to making informed choices on diet for them.

Simply put, cucumbers are a low-calorie snack for dogs. They contain only about 8 calories per half-cup serving, and they are also low in sodium and almost completely fat free. Better yet, cucumbers are around 95% water, which keeps your pup hydrated. They also contain some vitamins, including vitamins B, C, and K. However, this isn’t all that important considering your dog should be getting a complete and balanced diet from their daily dog food.

Cucumbers for dogs.
Image Credit: Alexey Laputin, Shutterstock

The Risks of Feeding Dogs Cucumbers

There are two main risks of feeding dogs cucumbers, and they include choking and overeating.

To reduce any chance of choking, we recommend peeling and seeding the cucumber and cutting it into small, bite-sized pieces before offering it to your pup.

Treats like cucumbers should only make up 10% of your pup’s daily calories. Of course, you’d have to feed your dog a lot of cucumber to make a significant dent in this percentage! It’s worth noting that cucumbers may not agree with some pets’ digestive systems, potentially causing nausea, vomiting, or gastrointestinal (GI) distress, so always feed a small amount of cucumber first to see if there are any adverse effects for your pup.

How to Feed Your Dogs Cucumber

We prefer to use treats like fresh fruits and vegetables as training aids, which can be a valuable tool for food-motivated pets. You should prepare the cucumbers as we described above. You should only give your pet a piece or two the first time. Waiting to determine if your dog has an adverse reaction is essential when offering any new food. If your dog handles the cucumber well, you can add it to the list of rotations of different treats you give your pup.

Moderation is essential. Cucumbers, like other members of the family Cucurbitaceae, contain a chemical called cucurbitacin. Its function is to ward off birds and other animals by its bitter taste, and it’s concentrated in the peel of cucumbers. Cucurbitacin can cause nausea and vomiting if given in large quantities. The effect has been documented in humans, too. Luckily, selective cultivation has reduced these risks and the bitterness. Nevertheless, the caution still applies.

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FAQ

Can I Give My Puppy Cucumber?

Yes, you can offer your puppy small amounts of raw cucumber, prepared as we’ve discussed. However, we recommend giving your pup a commercial, complete diet and treats formulated for their life stage to ensure they’re getting everything they need during this critical part of their development.

A puppy eating from a bowl.
Image Credit: Gladskikh Tatiana, Shutterstock

Are Cucumber Seeds Toxic to Pets?

Cucumber seeds aren’t poisonous. However, the texture might seem odd to your pet and some pups find them hard to digest. Basically, it’s best to just remove the seeds before offering them.


Can Dogs Eat Pickles?

While raw cucumber is okay to feed your dog, you should never offer your pet any pickled cucumbers. The nutritional value is similar. However, they also contain a lot of sodium. A 100-gram serving of dill pickles has 809 milligrams of sodium. The AAFCO recommends that adult dogs get 200mg of sodium per 1,000 kcal of food.

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Conclusion

Cucumber can provide a nutritious treat for your dog, particularly if you feed it in moderation. It offers a healthy snack that is low in fat and calories. We recommend only giving your pup small pieces of the seeded and peeled vegetable to reduce any risk of choking or obstructions. However, only use the raw, unprocessed kind of cucumber and skip the pickles which are high in salt and which can be harmful to your pet.


Featured Image Credit: ka_re, Pixabay

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