Do you love pickles? Or do you hate it?
There are two sides of the coin regarding eating pickles. There are those who hate its tangy flavor and aroma; and there are those who love eating it to balance something they’ve eaten out like too much fat, perhaps?
If you have landed on this page, chances are, you are in the “like” corner.
If you love this, can you share some with your dog? Will you be in a pickle if you feed your dog some pickles? Let’s find out.
Can Dogs Safely Eat Pickle?
This is quite a debate, even in doggie blogs. Yes, there are two sides of the coin here, too. Some reading materials would say it is fine; while others will adamantly say, “no”!
But what is the real deal here?
Let’s get it straight. The basic ingredient of pickle, which is usually cucumber and dill, are both safe for dogs to eat.
But it ends there. Once the fruit or veggie is pickled, the combined ingredients that preserve it are not ideal for dogs anymore because it becomes high in sodium already. Plus, pickles may contain spices that are toxic for dogs.
Just stick to fresh dill or cucumber, if you must. When it comes to the safety of your furry best friend, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Let’s get to understand pickle first and get to know some of cool trivias about it:
- Pickle is an old thing dating as far back as 2030 BC. In fact, Cleopatra was rumored to use pickle as one of her beauty regimen.
- Coming from the Dutch word “pekel” and German pókel, pickle literally translates to “salt” or “brine”. Salting it is important in prolonging its shelf life. By immersing the fruit in a saltwater brine, the environment becomes acidic making it impossible for the spoiling bacteria to multiply.
- Every year also, 26 billion pickles are packed in the US. That’s 8.5 pounds of pickles yearly at an average for each American.
- Did you know that Amerigo Vespucci, for whom America was named, was first a pickle vendor before becoming an explorer?
- It is not just cucumber that can be pickled! Almost every fruit or veggie can be brined such as carrots, peppers and even onions.
Not only is the fruit or veggie being pickled make a difference, but there are also different types of pickles depending on the type of spices you soak it in.
- The famous and yummy dill pickles are concocted by pickling cucumbers with brine with vinegar and dill.
- What makes a hot pickle? Add some vinegar and chili pepper to your brine.
- It is a giveaway but garlic pickles are made of the basic brine, vinegar plus, of course, garlic.
- Bread and butter pickles are made of, no not bread and butter per se, but with onions and peppers with brine and vinegar.
Deconstructing A Pickle and Why It Is Bad for Dogs
In the previous section, you learned that pickling a fruit is basically made of brine, which is a salt solution. That alone gives you a clue that, “hey, pickles are salty for dogs.” And yes, that is right!
Let’s also take a look at other ingredients that make up a pickle and let’s check if each is good or not:
- Cucumber or dill– in case you missed it, if these are freshly eaten by your pup, no problem! Both are beneficial for their health. Dill makes your dog’s breath fresh while cucumber is a low-calorie snack.
- Vinegar– a small amount of vinegar, especially apple cider, is safe for dogs. But of course, in pickles, white vinegar is the one commonly used. And to be clear, use it in very little amounts; of course in pickles, it is obvious that it is not the case.
- Salt– brine is basically a salt solution and too much sodium in your dog’s body is bad, really bad! If you look at one medium-sized pickle, it is loaded with 700 to 1,500 mg of salt. It is at least 7x your dog’s daily requirement at 100 mg only!
Too much salt in your pup’s body will result in dehydration which can put excess stress on their kidneys and circulatory system. It can even cause vomiting, diarrhea and seizures.
- Spices like garlic and onions– depending on your pickle, it may also have garlic and onions that are toxic and bad for your dog. These members of the Allium family can cause hemolytic anemia to your canine.
When clumps of hemoglobin build up upon eating these toxic spices, the red blood cells cannot carry oxygen as they should. It also makes the life span of red blood cells shorter, too.
- Peppers– some versions of pickles also contain chilies and pepper which can irritate your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
- Nutmeg– This is also sometimes used as an ingredient. Stay away from it because it contains myristicin, a toxic ingredient for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Dill Pickles?
Dill may freshen your dog’s breath but pickle is just not the right form for it. Remember that dill pickles are made of too much salt not great for your dog’s health. Pass for dill pickles!
Can Dogs Have Pickle Juice?
This can also be translated as can dogs drink brine or salt solution? There you have it, it is a no. It is not healthy for your dog to drink a concentration of sodium. It can make your dog really ill.
And no, if you think that it is great because of the vinegar, such is not the case. Apple cider is one touted as healthy for dogs but not white vinegar which is commonly used for pickles.
Can Dogs Eat Sweet Pickles?
Dogs are not great for too much salt; the same goes for too much sweet. One serving of pickle can contain 7 grams to as much as 30 grams of sugar! Yay, that is like feeding at least one teaspoon of sugar to your dog!
Worse, there are also pickles with a sugar substitute called xylitol. These artificial sweeteners are toxic for dogs! Always read the label and never give your dog anything with xylitol!
Can Dogs Eat Hot Pickles and Bread and Butter Pickles?
Pass! Check again the upper part of this blog and see that these types of pickles can either have chilies, garlic or onions. Please, just enjoy all these by yourself and never share some with your furry best friend.
Should I Give My Dog Pickles?
No, do not give your dogs any pickles as it will really put you in a pickle. Yes, it is a bad situation, indeed!
Just stick to fresh cucumbers and dill, please!
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Pickles?
Do not panic, if your dog ate a slice or two of pickles, have a presence of mind and know which kind of pickle your dog ate.
Especially if your dog has a pickle with a toxic ingredient, bring your pet to the vet immediately. Hopefully, there is none but it is still best to observe your dog within 24 to 48 hours.
Alternatives of Pickles for Dogs
Apart from fresh cucumber and dill, you may also opt to share some apples, carrots and pineapple with your dog. Take your pick of a healthy and dog-approved fruit or veggie as a snack in its freshest form!
Conclusion: Don’t Or You’ll Be in a Pickle
Pickles are not great for dogs mainly because it is made of a brine solution. Too much sodium is unhealthy for your dog and can lead to long-term health issues.
If you love pickles and you love your dog, good! Because it means that you don’t have to share your yummy pickles with your beloved pooch.