Disclaimer: Pickles and pups might seem like an unconventional combination. So if your pooch has accidentally eaten a pickle, or if you want to let him have a go at your favorite pickled snack, you might first find yourself asking – can dogs eat pickles?
Much like humans who have unique tolerance when it comes to food, dogs are also unique when it comes to the different types of food they can eat without getting an upset tummy.
So, before you go ahead and toss that pickle to your pup, make sure to perform in-depth research and ask your pet’s vet. In doing this, you can ensure your pet’s safety and guarantee that you won’t find your pup in a pickle later on.
Can Your Dog Snack on Pickles?
Generally speaking, the answer to the question “can dogs eat pickles?” is YES with caution! When it comes to pickles, moderation and careful preparation are important for your canine’s safety.
Three important factors will come into play when you want to feed your dog pickles or if they have accidentally eaten one while you were looking away, and these are:
- Type of pickle
- How many pickles are in a single serving
- How the pickles were prepared
Types of Pickles
You would be surprised just how many different types of pickles there are on the market! While each one might taste similar, they provide different health benefits and effects for your pup.
- Dill. The most common and widely available type of pickle. These pickles have herb dill or dill added into the mix for a unique and refreshing flavor. For some dogs, dill pickles can be used to relieve an upset tummy.
- Sour and Half-Sour. These pickles are preserved in brine without vinegar. The longer they’re left to soak, the sourer they become. The half-sour variety has a crunchy outer shell and retains their rich green color.
Avoid giving dogs sour and half-sour variety pickles as they contain the highest concentration of sodium!
- Sweet. The brine is sweeter compared to other variants, and combines a mixture of vinegar, spices, and lots of sugar. These are the safest and most palatable pickles for dogs.
- Pickled Peppers. Peppers are prepared and preserved the same way as cucumber pickles. These, however, are spicy, so you should probably steer clear of giving your dogs any of these.
Pickle Serving Size for Dogs
For the most part, dogs shouldn’t be given too many pickles. A small amount now and again should be enough to satisfy your pup’s curiosity.
Pickles – while they aren’t exactly dangerous for dogs – aren’t the best snack for them either mainly because of the high quantity of sodium these salty snacks contain that makes them a poor choice for pups.
In fact, a cup of pickles could contain as much as 1,251mg of sodium which is already 52% of a human’s supposed daily sodium intake. For a 30 pound dog, this could surpass daily sodium intake requirements by 1,151mg!
Crunching those numbers, it’s not hard to see that pickles are in fact too salty for canines, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a taste every once in a while.
Dogs will generally try to avoid pickles because most pups don’t find the scent very appealing. However, if your canine companion finds these pickled snacks particularly pleasurable, you should be sure to keep an eye on how much he consumes.
A single slice of a standard dill pickle should be good enough to curb his curiosity and cravings. If he asks for more, you’re going to have to act tough and look beyond the puppy dog eyes for his or her safety!
Pickle Preparation Guidelines
You might be thinking that you’d add pickles into a special dish just for your dog, and that might work in some cases. However, you should ALWAYS avoid putting any onions into the mix.
Any food with onions is a major no-no for your pooch. Numerous canine illnesses have been associated with onion consumption, and among the most dangerous is Heinz Body Anemia which can compromise your dog’s blood health.
If you want to give your dog a taste of pickle, just make sure that you give them a very small portion.
- Choose the Right Pickles. Sweeter variants are always safer for dogs because they contain less sodium. Steer clear of spicy and salty variations at all costs.
- Wash Away the Brine. It might be tempting to give your dog a pickle straight out of the jar, but be sure to wash off any excess brine first to reduce the sodium content.
- Dice the Pickles. If you want to make the pickle easier for your dog to eat, or if you want to dampen the flavor so they can enjoy it with their daily dog food, you can dice the pickles into very small chunks like relish.
Pickle Substitutes for Dogs
So, you want your dog to try something new? Instead of tossing a pickle their way, why not try going natural and opt for something that’s healthier for your pup.
The best substitute for pickles when it comes to your dogs are cucumbers. The reason why pickles are poor snack choices for your pups is that of the overly seasoned brine. Strip that away, and you have a reasonably healthy dog treat!
Cucumbers are the same food minus all the flavoring and sodium, which makes them a hundred times better for your pup. If you think that cucumbers are too bland for your canine companion, you should remember that dogs have a very powerful sense of smell.
With that, even their sense of taste is significantly more heightened than ours. What might seem like a bland cucumber slice to you could be a tasty, refreshing, and enjoyable treat for your dog.
So, can dogs eat pickles? The answer is – it still depends.
As a pet owner, you should strive to understand what your pet can tolerate, what they want, and what’s best for them regarding their diet and safety.
Because every dog is unique, there isn’t a single solid answer that will dictate whether or not your lovable pup can have a pickle or not.
If your furry friend took a slice while you were looking away – don’t sweat it. Pickles in small amounts rarely cause any health problems. Just make sure to keep a close eye on your pup and a tight lid on your pickles to prevent the incident from happening again.
If you want to give your pup an occasional pickle, make sure to provide small, carefully prepared servings infrequently to guarantee a healthy and problem-free digestive system and functioning.
Learn More About Can Dogs Eat Pickles?
Find out more about pups, pickles, and a healthy dog diet by checking out our trusted sources here!