Can Dogs Eat Cucumber?
Can dogs eat cucumber? When looking for new, innovative snacks to feed your pup, fruits and vegetables are often high on the list due to their healthy reputation. Sadly though, not every fruit and veg is as healthy for dogs as it is humans. In fact, some can be downright dangerous!
So, can dogs eat cucumber? Is that one of the safe vegetables, or one better skipped over?
Can Dogs Eat Cucumber?
Yes, cucumbers are a great healthy treat for dogs!
Is It Safe?
There’s nothing inherently toxic in a cucumber, so you can give it to your dog.
Is It Healthy?
Yes, cucumber can be very healthy for dogs if given in moderation to avoid feeding them too many calories. This, however, isn’t easy to do, as cucumbers are pretty low-calorie!
What Are The Benefits?
The main benefit of giving your dog cucumber is that they don’t have many calories at all. In comparison to their regular treats, the calories in cucumber are likely a lot lower. That means you can replace training treats with it, and your dog will likely love you for it! They do love getting human food at any opportunity, after all, and it can be used to your advantage.
Cucumbers are 95% water. which means they’re great for hydration. Some dogs can be notoriously bad at hydrating themselves and don’t think to drink water, and this can be dangerous — especially if it’s hot or they’ve recently had sickness or diarrhea. Cucumber is an easy way to get some water in.
Are There Any Risks?
There are no risks inherent to cucumber, but there are some things you should bear in mind about the way you give it to your dog!
Don’t use pickled cucumber from a jar. The added spices and seasonings can be toxic to dogs. Salt and pepper is bad enough for them, but onion and garlic powder can be toxic to the point of fatality if enough is consumed. Although it’s tempting to slip them some from the jar when they’re begging, it’s not worth it.
Although they’re low-calorie, you shouldn’t let your dog have as much as they want. Low calories are still calories, and overeating is a real risk to dogs. Obesity can cause many health problems, including strain on their joints and bones.
The last risk is that they can be a choking hazard. This can be prevented by cutting them up into manageable pieces, rather than offering your dog a whole raw cucumber. Some dogs eat so fast that they’ll inhale a very large piece that isn’t quite able to pass through the system, causing them to choke or creating a blockage later.
If you ever notice that your dog has eaten a very large piece quickly or without chewing, keep an eye on them to make sure it passes.
How To Serve It
For safety reasons, you should cut it up into small pieces so it isn’t the aforementioned choking hazard. Raw or slightly cooked cucumber is fine for dogs, as it’s crunchy enough raw that this doesn’t really create any digestive worries.
Cucumbers are also great for teething dogs. Freeze some slices and give them to your puppy to gnaw on, and this will ease the discomfort of their baby teeth falling out and those adult teeth emerging. Puppies can be behavioral nightmares when teething and cucumbers are easy remedies.
Of course, your dog doesn’t have to be teething for you to freeze it. Freezing any fruit or vegetable is a great option to keep your dog cool in summer, and some go as far as freezing them in water or a dog-safe broth to keep them entertained for hours.
As with anything, start with a small piece and work your way up. Dogs can have unpredictable sensitivities and allergies so when introducing anything new, it’s always advisable to start with a small piece.
Small breeds and puppies under six months can be particularly susceptible to these sensitivities. Better safe than sorry!
Other Safe Vegetables
If you want to mix it up a bit, other safe veggies include:
Always be sure to check the specific vegetable (or any food) you plan to give your dog, as not every human food is dog-safe — even when it’s good for us! You should also check that vegetables are unseasoned and not mixed with anything else that could be toxic.
So, can dogs eat cucumber? The answer is yes! Not only can they eat cucumber, it’s actually a great low-calorie snack that can help to hydrate them — and it’s a life-saver for teething puppies. Cut it up into manageable, bite-size pieces and freeze it, and it’ll keep your dog entertained for quite some time. It’s probably better for them than their regular training treats!