Dogs, unlike cats, possess omnivorous tendencies that have them licking their chops over almost any human food, whether those foods are good for them or not.
As owners, we tend to assume incorrectly that all fruits and vegetables must be healthy for dogs if they are good for us. This assumption, unfortunately, leads to emergency veterinary visits and very unhappy dogs.
Some fruits and vegetables, however, are safe for dogs and offer a healthy alternative to conventional dog treats. Cucumber is one of these vegetables.
Are Cucumbers Safe for Dogs?
Cucumbers are perfectly safe for dogs to eat, and offer a low-calorie, crunchy snack that many dogs love. Cucumbers only contain about 8 calories per one-half cup of slices, compared to the 40 calories in a single medium Milk Bone biscuit, and are very low in sodium and fat.
There are two potential risks of feeding cucumbers to dogs: overeating and choking. Feeding your dog too many cucumbers won't cause serious damage in most cases, but eating too much of any food item can cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset in dogs, especially if it is a new food your dog has not eaten before.
The best rule of thumb for determining how much cucumber to feed your dog is the 10 percent rule. Veterinarians recommend that treats should only make up 10 percent of your dog's daily diet. This means that the amount of cucumber you feed your German Shepherd Dog will vary greatly from the amount you feed your Chihuahua. As with any new food, introduce cucumbers slowly into your dog's diet and keep an eye out for any adverse reactions.
Are Cucumbers Good for Dogs?
Cucumbers are an excellent, healthy treat for dogs. They are especially good for dogs that need to lose weight, as their low-calorie content offers some rewards without the rolls.
Cucumbers also have high water content. This crunchy vegetable is actually 96 percent water, which makes it a tasty and hydrating summer treat after a vigorous walk.
Combined with exercise and a weight-loss diet plan, cucumbers and other safe fruits and vegetables can be a great way to help your dog lose weight without cutting out rewards, especially if your weight-loss plan involves training for a fun new dog sport or if your dog needs encouragement to improve her leash manners.
However, leave the pickle jar on the shelf. Pickles contain added spices and salt that can be harmful at worst and unnecessary at best. While a bite of pickle probably won't hurt your dog, stick with plain cucumbers as a regular treat and avoid feeding pickles of any variety to dogs.