Many pet owners wonder, “Can dogs eat pickles?”
Pickles make an appearance at almost all occasions and parties, dinners, lunches, barbeques, and more. And if we have our canine companion beside us, we often wonder if we can feed them a piece or two of the pickle too.
To answer the question quickly, yes, dogs can eat pickles, but some are worse for them than others. For example, some may contain a lot of sugar or include onion, both of which are not good for dogs and should not be fed to them.
But, you are unlikely to cause your dog any harm by slipping them a pickle every once in a while.
All About Pickles
Pickling is the preservation of fruits and vegetables in a solution of vinegar, salt, and a combination of some optional spices.
The acidic brine created by the salt and vinegar prevents bacteria growth and creates a long shelf life and a lot of flavors.
Pickles are the soaked vegetables and fruits that come out of this process.
Cucumbers are the most common vegetables that are used to make pickles. As cucumbers are typically very healthy for dogs, we end up wondering whether pickles would be too.
Natural and fresh cucumbers are low-calorie snacks.
They are a great source of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Other essential nutrients
Half a cup of sliced cucumber contains about 40 calories, which is much lower and healthier compared to dog biscuits and treats.
What Happens If My Dog Eats A Pickle?
To make pickles, say out of a cucumber, you need to ferment and preserve a few slices of the cucumber.
You will need to soak it in either vinegar, salt, or other ingredients, or a mix of all three.
Even if the pickles, on the whole, offer a few nutrient benefits, all of these ingredients might not be as safe for dogs as they are for you.
White vinegar can cause dogs to develop an upset stomach or diarrhea in some cases too.
If your dog has underlying kidney issues, it might not react well to consuming vinegar, and it may lead to other gastrointestinal problems.
High sodium content, present in both salt and vinegar, can be harmful.
A medium-sized pickle can contain about 1500 gms of sodium.
Wondering “How many pickles can a dog eat?“
The recommended amount of sodium that a dog should consume per every 100 calories of food is 100 milligrams. Any amount that is within 100 milligrams per day should be safe for your canine buddy.
Some pickles contain high content of garlic and onions. These ingredients can damage your dog’s red blood cells and result in anemia.
Some may have bell pepper in the mix, which is totally fine.
Besides salty and tangy pickles, some sweeter options are also available in the market.
This form of pickle is very high in sugar, around 7 to 30 grams in one piece.
Too much sugar consumption, even in the form of pickles, can cause:
- Tooth decay
- Plaque build-up
- And other health severities
If you go for a sugar-free pickle alternative, make sure it does not contain xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener that can be lethal for dogs.
Dogs that have diabetes, kidney issues, stomach issues, or other health implications should keep away from pickles. They should consume vegetables and fruits in their fresh, raw form instead.
More info on what vegetables dogs can eat.
Are Pickles Bad Or Good For Dogs?
Can pickles kill dogs?
Pickles have a high sodium content, but this shouldn’t be a problem for most dogs.
However, some dogs may have a bad reaction to pickles. It could potentially cause them to vomit, develop an upset stomach, have muscle seizures, and have other side effects (but this is extremely rare).
Wondering what to feed the dog after vomiting?
If your dog has not vomited again for at least 6 hours, offer them a small, bland meal.
This meal can consist of white rice, boiled meat, or a portion of their regular dog food.
If, after a bad reaction, your dog still craves a piece of pickle, give them a piece of cucumber, carrot, apple, seedless watermelon, zucchini, or blueberries instead.
And perhaps leave pickles off the monthly grocery shopping list!
Can Dogs Drink Pickle Juice?
Pickle juice is the juice that the pickled vegetable or fruit is soaked in. It is mainly made out of vinegar, salt, and other spices.
Pickle juice has a very salty and tangy taste to it.
Compared to plain vegetables, it has a high sodium content, so it is best not to feed your dog pickle juice. High salt consumption can do more harm to your dog than good.
Luckily, because of the bitter taste and pungent smell of pickle juice, most dogs would turn away from it right away.
Can Dogs Eat Dill?
Dill is one ingredient that is often used in pickling – You will see ‘Dill Pickles’ on many pickle brands.
Dill should be totally fine for your dog to have a bit of in tandem with the pickles as long as there are no other bad ingredients in there.
Many people notice their dog also had a chew on dill growing in the garden, and this should be totally fine as well.
Most dogs won’t be that interested in it after that initial taste!
Can Dogs Eat Fried Pickles?
Fried pickles are sliced pickles that are battered and deep-fried.
If the fried pickles are made of simple ingredients like cucumbers and dill, your dogs can have a few slices of them. But if the fried pickles contain any ingredients that may be harmful to the dog, it is best not to give them any.
We hope this article helped you get a definite answer to the common question “Can dogs eat pickles?”
Next time you see your dog’s eyes gleaming with hope and desire to get a piece of the yummy pickle that is on your plate, don’t be afraid to give them a taste of it. But only that—a taste!
Next up, can dogs eat bananas?