Humans find pickles delicious and satisfying. When you are eating, your dog will beg for a bite like they usually do with everything else humans eat. You might be tempted to give them especially when they beg and plead with intent but you should know that not all human food is safe for dogs. So can dogs eat pickles?
To cut the long story short…
And the answer is yes. It’s hardly one of the human foods that are bad for dogs but they should consume it in moderation. Dogs will benefit from magnesium and other essential nutrients found in cucumbers. However, there are some caveats to be wary of when giving your dog a pickled treat. So, can dogs eat pickles? Yes, except for pickles spiced with onions and garlic.
What kind of pickle though?
We usually refer to pickles as cucumbers that have been pickled or brined, but pickles can go beyond. Everything from vegetables such as carrots to meat can be pickled. You now know in case you thought pickles are exclusively cucumbers.
We shall focus on the traditional pickles – a pickled cucumber which is normally considered a healthy snack for humans. They present health benefits such as the prevention of diabetes. Some even use it as an aid in weight loss.
Pickles themselves are not bad for dogs but the method of preparing them leads to contention as to whether it is safe or unsafe for dogs. Dogs can have pickles but not of any kind.
Dogs and pickles
There are varied ways to pickle a cucumber, some may be fermented and some may be sweet. Others may be combined with pickled vegetables such as onions or garlic, which needs your attention before giving them to your dog. Pickling without additives is good for your dog, however, some dogs don’t like the smell of brine or vinegar and won’t even take a bite.
While there is plenty of human food we can share with dogs without fear of health issues, pickles should be given to dogs in moderation. It is advisable to start your dog with small amounts to make sure pickles don’t hurt their stomach or cause allergic reactions.
When are pickles harmful to dogs?
Homemade pickles made without onions are good for dogs while those spiced with any variety of onions or garlic are harmful to dogs as they can cause anemia. How are onions in pickles harmful? They form Heinz bodies – clumps of hemoglobin that cannot transport oxygen as they should. As a result, it develops into hemolytic anemia.
If your dog suffers from hemolytic anemia caused by onion consumption, studies show that the disease is not fatal unless you’ve been feeding your dog food containing onions over many years. However, it may cause poor appetite, fatigue, and exercise intolerance in dogs.
You can easily alleviate this condition by replacing your dog’s diet with an onion-free diet. And if Heinz bodies persist, remember to eliminate all food from the allium family which contains organosulfur compounds from your dog’s diet.
Garlic is often used as a pickling agent and it is less likely to cause anemia issues in dogs compared to other foods from the allium family. But still, it’s wise to control the amount of garlic your dog ingests.
Are pickles healthy for dogs?
There are other concerns about dogs and pickles. Pickles include cucumbers and spices used. Cucumbers provide vitamins found in vegetables like vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorous. Magnesium specifically is beneficial to a dog’s heart and the good news is that spices for making pickles are safe and yummy for dogs. Dill specifically helps dogs reduce gas and digestive issues. Cinnamon, clove, and other pickling spices cause no harm to the dog’s health. Sometimes nutmeg is used for pickling but not recommended for dog’s food because it causes myristicin.
So, if you want to give your dog a pickled treat, make sure onions, nutmeg, or onion powder are not included as ingredients. A small amount of garlic is ok so if your dill pickle contains a lot of it, you may have to avoid unless your vet gives you a green light.
Can dogs have pickle juice?
Can we feed dogs with pickle juice? You’ve heard a buzz about how apple cider or vinegar benefits your dog and you think pickle juice can benefit your dog too. However, no research proves this claim. Experts claim that using apple cider vinegar as a topical spray is not good for dogs. Vinegar disrupts the pH balance of a dog’s skin making it look dull. Vinegar can cause stomach upsets and diarrhea or even cause stress on kidneys especially older dogs since their kidneys no longer handle the same amount of acid as before.
Due to vinegar being the main ingredient for pickles and with the problems associated, you may be forced to think otherwise about feeding your dog with pickles. Anyway, if you must treat your dog to a pickle, speak with a vet before a slice or two.
What about sweet pickles, are they good for dogs? Cucumbers alone without additives are quite a health for dogs but to make sweet pickles, you need a lot of sugar. Sugar on the other side is not good for dogs. Therefore, you cannot give your dog sweet pickles for obvious reasons.
As you already know ins and outs of pickles, you can conclude that pickles may not be safe for dogs. So don’t give them a pickled treat or even share a bite of pickle before consulting your vet. Often, they will beg for it but you may consider the safest alternatives for pickles. If you must give them a pickled treat anyway, mind looking at the ingredients to make sure it cannot cause harm to your canine friend.
Also, make a pickle treat a seasonal thing to be on the safe side. Your vet will advise you accordingly on how to add pickle treat to your dog once in a while, especially now that you know pickles are not the best option for dogs or even humans. Some dogs may despise the tart flavored pickle but some like it so much. So, do your dog love pickle flavor? Leave your comments!