Pickles are essentially cucumbers preserved in brine or vinegar and are one of the most popular condiments found in food. While it depends on the type, most veterinarians do not recommend dogs eat pickles. Although pickles are not toxic and can be safe for dogs to have, you shouldn’t give your dogs pickles or pickle juice because of the extremely high salt content. This treat may contain ingredients like garlic, onions, spices, or preservatives that can be toxic for dogs.
To help you learn more, we’ve created a guide on pickles for dogs. From side effects to alternatives, explore below for reasons on why pickles are bad for dogs.
Can Dogs Have Pickles?
Pickles are not always the healthiest choice for treats to give to your dog. Yes, pickles are delicious and okay for humans to eat in moderation; however, they are not a healthy treat for dogs in any way, shape, or form. You may be wondering why they are not good for dogs because cucumbers are so healthy for them and pickles are made from cucumbers.
It’s not the vegetable itself that makes pickles unhealthy for dogs. The brine in which pickles are preserved is high in sodium, vinegar, and spices. All of these things can be harmful to dogs. In fact, one spear of pickle contains over 360 mg of sodium, which is over 3 times the recommended daily amount for dogs to consume! In addition, some common spices used in pickle brine like garlic, onion, jalapenos, cloves, and cinnamon are not recommended for dogs to eat.
There are some pickles that dogs can eat in moderation. You just have to make sure that they are unsalted, unsweetened, and have no seasonings. If you choose to go down the unrecommended path and give your dog pickles with additives, make sure to give them sweetened pickles rather than salty and sour pickles such as dills.
Are Pickles Good For Dogs?
While this isn’t the healthiest treat, pickles provide some nutritional benefits to dogs. Pickles have a lot of vitamins, minerals, and fiber since it is made from cucumbers. In addition, pickles are oftentimes made with dill, which is high in vitamin C and B6 and is good for dogs to eat. However, we recommend giving dill to your dog as a fresh herb rather than as an ancillary ingredient to pickle brine.
Since they’re fermented, pickles also contain probiotics that can provide many health benefits. These include fighting off infections, strengthening your dog’s immune system, and increasing the absorption of vitamins and nutrients from food.
Although pickles contain some health benefits, the negatives, unfortunately, outweigh the positives. If you plan to give your dog pickles, we recommend making them yourself since you can control the ingredients used in the brine.
Side Effects of Dogs Eating Pickles
It is important to never give your dog a lot of pickles in his diet. The more pickles they eat, the higher their sodium levels can get, which can lead to several problems. Too much sodium in the diet can cause kidney issues, high blood pressure, and heart disease. To be on the safe side, you might just want to steer away from giving your dog pickles altogether.
How Many Pickles Can My Dog Eat?
We do not recommend giving your dogs any pickles since there are many other snacks out there that are not only healthy but are also a delicious snack for your dogs. However, if you choose to give your dogs pickles, it’s imperative that you only give pickles in very small amounts because of their high salt content. You should also review the ingredient list to make sure that the pickles do not contain anything toxic or poisonous to dogs.
Give your dog 1 to 2 pickle slices, cut into small pieces, once or twice a week. Do not give your dog a whole pickle, as this can be difficult to digest. A few slices are plenty, and it won’t add too much sodium to your dog’s diet.
Can I Give My Dogs Pickle Juice?
You should never give your dog pickle juice because of its high salt and sugar content. Essentially, pickle juice contains the vast majority of the negative ingredients from pickles without the added benefits. Some folks believe that pickle juice can be helpful for dehydration; however, this is incorrect and the added salt to your dog’s diet can actually create more issues with hydration. In addition, dogs suffering from heart disease or renal failure should avoid having too much salt in their diets as it can lead to increased health complications for your pups!
No, Don’t Let Your Dog Have Pickles
It’s not wise to feed your dogs pickles even though they are high in fiber, vitamins A and K, manganese, iron, calcium, and potassium. Although a couple of slices every so often should be OK, we recommend limiting this snack for your dogs because of its high salt and sugar content. Instead, you should give your dogs fresh cucumbers!