Welcome to our complete guide to cucumber for dogs! Answering that all important question, can dogs have cucumber safely?
While fruit and vegetables might be perfectly OK for us to eat, some are considered extremely dangerous for dogs.
The cucumber (scientific name Cucumis sativus) is a widely cultivated plant belonging to the same family as zucchinis, watermelons, squash and pumpkin, and is technically a fruit.
It contains many nutrients beneficial to humans.
But is cucumber safe for dogs to eat and does it have the same nutritional benefits for canines as it does for us?
The answer is a resounding yes!
Cucumbers are incredibly nourishing and contain no compounds that are toxic to dogs making it an ideal food for your precious pooch.
This article gives you all the information you need to know about dogs and cucumbers, so read on!
Can dogs have cucumbers?
As every pet parent knows, many foods are unsuitable for dogs.
But can dogs eat cucumbers?
Yes. Cucumbers have numerous health benefits for dogs which are vital for your pet’s well-being, providing variation in his diet.
Cucumbers contain many essential vitamins and minerals, are low in calories and, because of their high-water content, can help keep your dog hydrated.
They are also a healthier alternative to more traditional dog treats, which often consist of additives and artificial flavouring, especially when used during training.
Are cucumbers safe for dogs?
So the answer to can dogs have cucumber is yes, but are they always safe?
Cucumber for dogs is perfectly safe and, unless fed in vast amounts, should not cause any side effects.
However, you should only let dogs eat cucumber in moderation.
With any new food, it is advisable to feed just a small amount first and wait twenty-four hours for any possible reaction before feeding more.
Dogs respond in various ways, so always keep this in mind when feeding anything different to your pet.
Are cucumbers bad for dogs?
Despite the many health benefits, is cucumber bad for dogs? Can dogs have cucumber too often or in too great a quantity?
We know the answer to the question can dogs have cucumber is yes, but is it always a good idea?
Well, because there is an excessive amount of fiber and water in cucumbers, feeding too many can lead to gastrointestinal disorders such as gas and diarrhea.
Your dog may also experience mild stomach pains, especially if he has a sensitive stomach, but this seldom leads to a more severe illness.
However, if any of the symptoms persist, take your dog immediately to a veterinarian.
You should also never let dogs eat cucumber if they have consumed milk or other dairy products as the combination is likely to cause an upset stomach.
And although dogs and cucumbers go well together, avoid feeding them as pickles as they contain sodium and spices that are highly dangerous for your pooch.
Are cucumbers ok for dogs?
Low in carbohydrates and packed with nutrients, many dogs eat cucumber when given as a treat.
But are dogs allowed cucumber to be fed whole or should it be sliced?
A dog is not exactly the best chewer, so it is entirely possible for him to get a piece stuck in his throat, causing him to choke.
The safest way to give cucumber is cut it into two or three moderately sized slices, especially for smaller dogs and those that eat fast.
Are cucumbers good for dogs?
Is cucumber good for dogs? Absolutely!
Cucumbers are a healthy and tasty way to supplement your dog’s diet.
They contain, in small numbers, the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin K, C, B1 and B6
The benefits of cucumber for dogs are numerous.
It is low in calories, so combined with an exercise plan can help a dog lose weight without having to miss out on rewarding treats.
Cucumber consists of 96% water, therefore, is a tasty way for a dog to stay hydrated, especially after a walk on a hot day.
It improves joint health and strengthens bones.
Cucumber even contains a hormone required by cells of the pancreas for producing insulin, so good for diabetic dogs. Not to mention sterol, which helps keep cholesterol levels down.
It also assists in regulating blood pressure levels, keeps a dog’s skin healthy, thus improving condition of coat.
They are full of phytochemicals and phytonutrients, which help freshen a dog’s breath and destroy odor-producing bacteria in the mouth.
In addition to his they consist of antioxidants that prevent disease and illnesses, potentially boosts the immune system, enhances liver and kidneys, and even metabolism and brain function
However, and this is a big however, your dog should get all of these health benefits from their regular complete diet too.
So whilst it’s great that cucumbers have so many health benefits, they are by no means an essential part of your dog’s diet.
Do dogs like cucumber?
Most dogs love the taste of cucumber and will go crazy when they see you slicing one up.
If only kids had the same reaction when we offer cucumber to them!
However, like us, it comes down to personal preferences.
Can dogs eat raw cucumbers?
Usually, dogs eat cucumber raw, as they love the crunchiness.
Plus, it naturally maintains all the nutrients and goodness that make a cucumber so healthy.
Some people like to boil cucumber for dogs, but raw is considered the best way to feed them.
Can dogs eat cucumber skin?
Will cucumbers hurt dogs in any way if you feed them with the skin intact?
However, dogs find it hard to digest the skin, so if you are feeding a cucumber this way, make sure you slice it as thinly as possible.
There was a case recorded where one owner gave their dog all the peelings from a cucumber resulting in the dog having a seizure the day after.
Because there are vast amounts of bacteria and pesticide found on the skin of a cucumber, which is exceptionally harmful to dogs, this is what probably caused the seizure to occur.
Always wash a cucumber thoroughly beforehand.
It is, therefore, highly recommended that when giving cucumber for dogs as a treat, you should peel the skin first for the safety and health of your pet.
Can dogs eat cucumber seeds?
Whereas in some fruits and vegetables the seeds are toxic to dogs, there are no such worries with cucumbers.
It is perfectly safe to let dogs eat cucumber seeds, which are just as healthy and nutritious as the rest of the cucumber.
Can puppies eat cucumber?
Puppies can eat cucumber so long as they are already weaned and capable of eating solid food.
Remember though, their digestive systems are still developing, so only feed small portions and just as an occasional treat.
If your puppy still receives milk, do not give him any cucumber as it could lead to an upset stomach.
Can dogs eat cucumber?
It is very safe for your dog to eat cucumbers but always in moderation and never combined with dairy products.
Always ensure cucumbers are washed thoroughly first and, preferably, peeled, cut into small slices.
It is best to avoid giving cucumber for dogs with a sensitive stomach to prevent digestive problems.
Cucumbers have a little bit of everything to keep your dog in tip-top condition, making them a winning treat!
Does your dog have a favourite fruit or vegetable? Have you used cucumber as an alternative treat to help your dog lose weight? Share your thoughts with other readers.
Extra reading and references
- Beasley V. (1999). Toxicants associated with stimulation or seizures. In: Veterinary toxicology. Beasley V. Ed. International Veterinary information service.
- Prevalence and Risk Factors for Obesity in Adult Dogs from Private US Veterinary Practices Elizabeth M. Lund, DVM, MPH, PhD1 P. Jane Armstrong, DVM, MS, MBA1 Claudia A. Kirk, DVM, PhD2 Jeffrey S. Klausner, DVM, MS1
- Graham, PA et al. Influence of a high fibre diet on glycaemic control and quality of life in dogs with diabetes mellitus