As a doggy parent, you know that some fruits and vegetables are safe, and can offer many health benefits to your pooch. If you’re into sharing human foods with your dog, you may wonder whether cucumbers are safe for dogs and what would happen if your pooch had a slice.
So, can dogs eat cucumbers? Yes, dogs can eat cucumbers. Low in calories and fat, cucumbers can be a healthy snack for dogs of all ages. They also have high water content and are a great veggie for dogs who are on a weight loss plan. While fresh cucumbers are good, you shouldn’t feed pickled cucumbers to dogs.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about feeding your dog cucumbers. Keep on reading to find out more!
Are Cucumbers Safe for Dogs?
Not only are cucumbers safe for dogs to eat, but they are also an amazingly healthy treat for dogs. Cucumbers are made from 96 percent water which makes them a refreshing and hydrating summer snack for dogs.
This veggie is also low in fat, sugar, and calories which makes it a great treat option for diabetic dogs or pooches that need to lose weight.
Like all other fruits and veggies, cucumbers are a good source of dietary fiber that supports proper digestion and helps your dog feel fuller longer. Cucumbers also contain antioxidants and are high in vitamins and minerals that can boost your dog’s immune system.
Benefits of Cucumbers for Dogs
Besides being low-calorie treats for dogs, cucumbers can also improve your dog’s overall health. The biggest benefits of eating cucumbers are:
1. Cucumber Supports Good Digestion
Cucumbers are high in fiber and also high in water which promotes regular bowel movement and proper digestion. The fiber from cucumber is necessary for your dog’s digestive system and can help soothe symptoms of an upset stomach (source).
If your dog suffers from a mild case of constipation or diarrhea, eating cucumber can help regulate their stool without the vet’s assistance.
2. Cucumber Promotes Bone Health
Cucumber is a good source of vitamin K, which is involved in several functions within your dog’s body. Vitamin K supports the maintenance of strong bones and increases bone density, thus decreasing the risk of fractures and sprains.
3. Improves Immune System
This green veggie is also a good source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that supports a strong immune system and is also involved in tissue repair. Dogs who eat cucumbers as treats may be more adept at fighting diseases and infections than those dogs who don’t consume vitamin C regularly.
4. Cucumber Supports Muscle & Nerve Function
Fresh cucumbers are also a good source of magnesium that plays many important roles in your dog’s body. Magnesium is necessary for proper muscle and nerve function and is also involved in energy production.
Magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and bone problems in dogs (source).
Risks of Cucumbers for Dogs
While cucumber isn’t toxic to dogs, there are certain risks associated with feeding it to dogs. The most common downsides of feeding cucumbers to your dog are:
1. Choking Hazard
Like many other fruits and vegetables, cucumber can pose a choking hazard, especially to small dogs. Due to its firm texture, cucumber can easily get lodged inside your dog’s throat if they don’t chew it properly.
To prevent your dog from choking, cut the cucumber into bite-size pieces and supervise your dog while they are eating. Feeding a whole cucumber to dogs is never a good option, and will most likely result in a trip to the emergency clinic.
2. Gastrointestinal Upset
While a small amount of cucumber is good for dogs and supports proper digestion, too much can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. Feeding your dog too many cucumbers can cause loose stool and diarrhea, especially if your pooch isn’t used to high-fiber foods.
As with all other human foods, introduce cucumbers to your dog slowly to ensure proper digestion. And if your dog develops an upset stomach, stop feeding them cucumber and give its tummy a few days to recover.
How Much Cucumbers Can a Dog Eat?
While cucumber is healthy, it can’t be used as a substitute for complete and balanced dog food. You should feed cucumbers as a low-calorie treat, making sure not to exceed the 10 percent treat rule.
This means that cucumbers should make up only up to 10 percent of your dog’s daily calorie intake. If you aren’t sure how much cucumber that is exactly, talk to your vet and they will tell you how much cucumbers your dog can eat.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers Peels?
Cucumber peels aren’t toxic to dogs, but they can cause digestive upset so remove the peel before serving cucumber to dogs to eat. Eating a small amount of cucumber peel shouldn’t harm your dog in any way, so don’t worry if your pooch manages to eat some.
How to Feed Cucumbers to Your Dog?
Most dogs love to eat cucumbers and there are many ways you can serve this veggie to your pooch. Just don’t forget to peel and wash the cucumber first before offering it to your dog as a delicious treat.
Popular ways to feed cucumber to dogs are:
- Slice a fresh cucumber and feed as a treat
- Cut the cucumber into cubes and mix it with your dog’s food
- Freeze cucumber sticks and serve them as a treat for a teething puppy
- Make a refreshing smoothie using cucumbers, carrots, and celery
- Cut small pieces of cucumber and use them as training treats
Crunchy and delicious cucumbers can offer many health benefits to your dog and serve as a hydrating low-calorie treat. To take full advantage of everything cucumber has to offer to your dog, feed it in moderation as a refreshing treat.
While cucumbers are safe for dogs, eating too much can cause digestive upset and diarrhea so don’t overfeed your dog. And while peels are technically safe, they can cause digestive problems so it’s best that you remove them before feeding cucumber to your dog.