Are pickles safe for dogs? That was a question that I received a couple of days ago and thought it was a little weird. Let me tell you why. Because I always find it strange when people decide to feed their pup human foods, and by human foods, I don’t mean chicken or some vegetables because those are the food that dogs eat and there is no issue with that.
But I always find it a little odd when people want to feed their pooch foods like tart, pastry, or in this case, pickles.
That is not to say that some dogs don’t love the salty taste of a pickle and maybe even it even has some benefits for them because it has cucumber in it and there is a good chance that I am biased.
To understand that, in this article, we are going to try to find an answer to the questions such as whether pickles are good or bad for dogs, or they can eat them safely.
To do that, first, let’s look at the ingredients of pickles and how they are made.
Main Ingredients of Pickles:
- Sugar (Optional)
So, Are Pickles Good For Dogs?
Almost all of the macronutrients used in pickles are carbohydrates, and we should mention that carbs are not the most essential part of a dog’s diet because dogs should get most of their nutrition from protein since their biology is way better suited to a high protein diet.
However, carbohydrates, especially the ones that come from vegetables, can have some benefits to pups. Especially the ones that have significant nutritional benefits like broccolis or cauliflowers.
Unfortunately, that is not the case for cucumber. Cucumber is 95% water, and it has minimal nutritional value.
It contains a small amount of vitamin A, sodium, calcium, and iron. Yet, it can be healthy snacks for your pup, especially in the hot summer days.
The second main ingredient used in the pickles is dill, which is a herb that is part of the parsley family. Contrary to the cucumber, dill has a lot of health benefits, and it is an excellent source of minerals such as phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
Even there is a fair amount of protein in this herb, and it can be very beneficial for dogs.
So, when we look at these two ingredients, we can say pickles are good for dogs. However, there are other ingredients in the pickles that might be bad for dogs.
Are Pickles Bad For Dogs?
Salt is an ingredient that can cause problems for dogs. In small amounts, it is an essential mineral both for humans and dogs to sustain their lives. It even has benefits like regulating the blood pressure and balancing the fluids in the body by retaining the water.
However, as it is very obvious from its taste, there is a lot of salt in pickles, a lot!
And, that can cause issues for your pup because it can have adverse effects on the blood pressure and in some cases it can even create a condition called hypernatremia, which happens when there is higher than average sodium concentrations in the blood.
High sodium levels have some other consequences such as increasing the risk of heart disease or kidney disease, and it worsens the symptoms for dogs that already have such conditions.
So, as all the reasons that we mentioned above clearly shows, high sodium intake can be very problematic for your pup, and the fact that pickle jars are just filled with it does not help the situation. So, even only the high salt content makes it very hard to say that dogs can eat pickles safely.
Another ingredient used when making pickles is white vinegar, and while its nutritional value is pretty low, we can’t say that it is necessarily bad for your pup.
It contains 0.1 gram of carbohydrates, which comes from sugar, but since it’s a minuscule amount, it won’t cause any significant issue unless your dog manages to drink dozens of bottles of vinegar.
In some pickles, instead of white vinegar, apple cider vinegar is used, and it has a little different fermentation process, which makes it more nutritious in terms of micronutrients such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and other vitamins.
Also, it is believed to be a flea repellant and very beneficial for relieving itchy skins in dogs. So, unlike white vinegar, it can have some benefits for dogs.
However, we should mention that, for both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar, you should always be cautious of the amounts that your tail-wagger consumes because the vinegar is very acidic and can cause severe stomach issues.
Other than that, spices are usually added to the ingredients in most of the recipes. They can cause various issues such as skin and eye irritation, so we advise you to avoid spices as much as possible to prevent any issues from happening.
So, all of these ingredients make us think that not only pickles are not suitable for dogs, but they can be bad for dogs.
Are Pickles Safe For Dogs?
We already mentioned that pickles are not the ideal food that your pup to have; however, is there a chance that pickles can be unsafe to eat for dogs?
Most of the pickle recipes contain garlic. Garlic and onion are part of the Allium species of plants and some people claim that they are both toxic for dogs and cats. The reason for that is they both include thiosulphate, and it is a chemical that causes a condition called Heinz Body in dogs.
However, there are also some people claiming that this is not simply true.
We believe those people might be right because the reason garlic is considered toxic for dogs is because of a case about a Golden Retriever that died after eating 5 grams of garlic, which equals to almost 60 cloves of garlic and that is a very excessive amount.
In moderate amounts, garlic can have some benefits to your pup, such as preventing the formation of blood clots, decreasing the cholesterol levels, and widening the blood vessels. So, contrary to common belief, garlic can be very healthy for your tail-wagger.
Also, in most pickles recipes mustard seeds are used for seasoning. While mustard has some health benefits for dogs, mustard seeds can be very harmful and even toxic to dogs if they eat enough of them.
So, as a general rule, you should never give your pup food that has mustard seeds in it. This is especially important if you tend to give your pooch the leftovers.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Pickles?
What makes sweet pickles different from the other pickles is that it contains more sugar than the other kinds of pickles.
That also can cause some issues for dogs. As a dog owner, you already probably know that sugar should never be in a dog’s diet.
Because it can cause certain issues like diabetes and excessive weight gain when it is consumed in higher amounts. Even in lower amounts, we never advise you to feed your pup any food that contains sugar because it is not natural for them to have it in their diet.
Can Dogs Drink Pickle Juice?
Pickle juice contains all of the ingredients together, and that is why we believe it might not be the best idea to let your pooch drink pickle juice.
Because as we already mentioned, there are some ingredients in pickles that can cause troubles for dogs such as spices, salt, and mustard seeds. Also, pickle juice can cause some stomach problems your pooch if it drinks it too much.
Conclusion: Are Pickles Safe For Dogs?
It is very obvious that pickles are not the most nutritious food to give your pup.
Too much salt content is one of the most significant problems with the pickles, especially for senior dogs with health problems like kidney disease or heart disease.
Spices and vinegar are the other reasons to be concerned because they can cause some severe stomach problems.
So, even if your pooch loves the pickles and can never get enough of them, we advise you to go to the recipes with low sodium content, and we suggest you avoid the recipes that contain sugar and mustard seeds to prevent the potential problems.