Keeping track of which foods are safe and unsafe for your dog can be quite a chore, and I can’t blame your for panicking every time your dog accidentally eats something which lies in the ‘Unsure’ category. Sometimes, you’re just genuinely curious whether or not your own snack can be snuck of as a treat to your dog under the table. So today, I’m going to be talking to you about whether your dog can eat pickles.
Pickles aren’t the first thing that pops into mind when discussing your dog’s diet, but there comes a point when you’re going to wonder whether or not it’s a safe bet to give to your dog (or for your dog to accidentally eat off the table when your back is turned for a split second).
Let me get this off the table: like most foods, pickle is okay for your dog to eat. But, and yes, there’s always a but, only if it is eaten in a safe amount, especially if it has ingredients that can be particularly harmful for your dog. Let’s explore these conditions more.
As you may know, onions can pose a harm to dogs as they can thin your dog’s blood and give them a form of anemia (Heinz body anemia). That being said, any pickles that have been cooked or prepared with onions is automatically a no-no. In fact, any food that involves onions should be avoided for your dog’s welfare. Also, never feed it pickles when your dog is on a strict low-sodium diet. Remember, pickling, by nature involves sodium.
Less Sodium and Spices
Pickles are basically prepared with a large amount of sodium, vinegar, and other spices, on occasion. Any of those ingredients in excess are not safe for your dog to eat. Sodium, most especially, is best avoided when possible. A dog’s diet usually only needs a very low sodium content, just check your dog food. So deliberately feeding your dog something that has a high concentration of sodium can be more harmful than good.
In the same manner, some spices are better left untouched by your dog. Dill, for example, can be quite helpful in some health emergencies, but again, not healthy in large amounts.
Choose The Variety
Apart from the more common types available on the market, there are also some options that are better suited for your dog, if you insist on feeding them the occasional pickle. Get an unsweetened, unsalted, or un-spiced variety. As mentioned above, most of the ingredients in pickles are not good when in huge amounts. At least these types are less loaded with the risky ingredients than their counterparts.
Pickles which are naturally sweet (not with artificial sweeteners) are also a good option because it means that they were prepared with less briny (thus less sodium) solution. If getting pickles for your dog, it’s best to get one that doesn’t have any spices at all. Low sodium and unspiced = ideal pickles.
Always In Moderation
Fine, if you really want to give your dog a taste (though it’s not exactly something that dogs crave for), remember that too much of a good thing can be bad. Just a small bite would suffice. If possible, slice a whole pickle into tinier, more manageable pieces lest your dog choke when it tries to eat the pickle whole. Also, just the occasional pickle, please. Never make it into a dietary staple for your dog.
Are There Benefits?
While not supposed to be your number one source for nutrition, they can have some benefits accompanying them. For one, they are rich in fiber. There are also vitamins and minerals in them, but nothing that makes it preferable over other human food that can actually be fed to your dog or any well-formulated dog treats on the market. Plus, your dog may not even like them in the first place.
If you really want to give your dog a treat, you’re better off giving them a plain cucumber. That’s as unsalted, unsweetened, and unspiced as you can go, and there are more benefits and less issues about feeding that to your dog vs. when you feed pickles to it.
What About Pickle Juice?
Nope, pickle juice is in no way good for your dogs. Again, it has a very high sodium content, and you don’t know the extent to which it could pose serious health issues for your dog. It can range from an upset stomach to something way worse. So no, keep your dog away from the pickle juice.
There you have it, they are not the best treat to give your dog, and in that line of thinking there are practically no pickle based treat for dogs. If you really want to avoid any health issues for your dog, the closest thing you can give them that involves pickles is their name. As for the food, better avoid it rather than regret it in the end.
If your dog accidentally eats some, and one too many is already bad enough, call your veterinarian immediately to determine the next course of action. There may be a need to purge the high amounts of sodium that ingesting pickles or pickle juice can bring about to your dog. Your dog’s stomach can also become upset, and your vet will have to address any other health issues that can occur.
Cucumbers are a safer, more beneficial treat to give your dog. So don’t worry about not being able to feed it pickles, because it’s so much better and safer in the long run. You can make a cucumber dip for your dog, which is tastier, has less dangerous ingredients, and you can prepare it yourself.