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Can Dogs Eat Pickles? | Are Pickles Bad for Dogs?

can dogs eat pickles

In a pickle about feeding your dog pickles?  Whether your pup snuck one while you weren’t looking or you’re doing your research in advance to see if you can share, let’s get you an answer!  Can dogs eat pickles?

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Can Dogs Eat Pickles? (The Short Answer)

Pickles aren’t toxic to dogs, however they aren’t particularly healthy for dogs either.  So while it’s usually alright to share a bite with your dog every once in awhile, it’s not particularly recommended.  If you choose to do so, make sure it’s fed sparingly and only a bite or two at a time.  As pickles are usually made with various spices and there’s no “standard” recipe, you do need to be particularly careful with making sure you know all the ingredients aren’t toxic to dogs before feeding.

It’s important to remember, that even with the best of intentions, accidents happen and dogs can easily eat things they shouldn’t.  Unfortunately, even if those accidents aren’t fatal, they can result in huge, unexpected veterinary expenses.  That’s why we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.

Are Pickles Good For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat pickles?” Now, let’s learn about the benefits of feeding your dog this food! Are pickles good for dogs?

The primary health benefits of pickles come from the cucumber itself.  Cucumbers are full of magnesium which is helpful to your dog’s cardiovascular health and reduces their risk of heart attacks.  They’re also loaded with nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, manganese, and phosphorous.

Not only does the cucumber contain nutritional value but depending on how it’s prepared, the seasonings can also have some positive health attributes.  Some spices like dill, clove, and cinnamon are not only safe for dogs but also good for them.  Dill, in particular, helps to reduce digestive issues and help your dog have less gas.

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Are Pickles Bad For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat pickles?” Now, let’s learn about the dangers of feeding your dog this food! Are pickles bad for dogs?

By far, the biggest danger of your dog consuming pickles is the added spices.  Garlic, onion, and nutmeg are three commonly added spices that are not only unhealthy for dogs but toxic.  Never feed your dog pickles containing any of these ingredients.  In addition, since there aren’t standard recipes for making pickles, it’s important to make sure you check every ingredient to make sure it isn’t toxic to dogs before feeding your pooch.

In addition to potentially-toxic spices, pickles in general simply aren’t healthy for dogs.  This is largely due to the very high sodium content.  Large amounts of sodium in a limited timeframe can result in excessive drinking, diarrhea, loss of balance, vomiting, and seizures.  This is why it’s important to only give small amounts of pickles to your dog if you choose to feed it to them at all.

Finally, many varieties of pickles are spicy and spicy foods can cause your dog to have an upset stomach.  In general, tend to opt for sweeter pickles than the spicier varieties.

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Other Varieties & Related Foods:

Can Dogs Eat Dill Pickles?

Dill pickles, much like regular pickles, aren’t toxic to dogs but aren’t particularly healthy either.  Dill itself is actually healthy in small quantities.  However, many dill pickles are seasoned with garlic which is toxic for dogs, so if you choose to give your dog dill pickles, make sure every ingredient is safe and garlic is not included in the list.

Can Dogs Eat Pickle Spears?

As long as none of the included seasonings are toxic to dogs, pickle spears are safe for them to consume.  However, it is still recommended that you avoid feeding your dog pickles in general, as they aren’t particularly healthy and the high sodium isn’t good for your dog.  If you choose to give your dog pickles, opt for a single bite instead of an entire spear or, even worse, multiple spears.

Can Dogs Drink Pickle Juice?

No, dogs should never drink pickle juice.  In effect, you are removing the only part of the food healthy for dogs (the cucumber) and leaving behind all the unhealthy parts (salt, white vinegar, seasonings, etc.)  While pickles aren’t healthy for dogs, letting them drink pickle juice (even diluted in water) is more dangerous and not recommended.

Can Dogs Eat Pickled Beets?

Beets by themselves are a safe food option for dogs.  However, pickled beets run the same risks as standard pickles, with high sodium and a variety of potentially toxic spices.  If you check all the ingredients to make sure none of them are toxic to dogs it likely won’t hurt them in very small quantities.  With that being said, they aren’t healthy for dogs and we recommend not feeding it to them.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Pickles?

Sweet pickles are, in general, better for dogs than other varieties because they are less spicy and therefore are less likely to upset a dog’s stomach.  However, they still pose the risk of toxic seasonings and still aren’t healthy for your dog.  If you choose to feed your dog sweet pickles after reviewing the ingredients list, do so in very small quantities.

Can Dogs Eat Pickled Eggs?

Hard-boiled eggs are safe for dogs.  However, once they become pickled, they are much less healthy and potentially dangerous.  Only feed your dog pickled eggs (very sparingly!) after reviewing all the seasonings and ingredients to make sure none are toxic to dogs.  Even then, it’s still not recommended due to high sodium content.

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Pickles?

While your dog eating a bite or two of pickles is usually no cause for a vet trip, it’s not worth the risks and general unhealthiness in our opinion to feed it to your dog.  Always make sure you check every seasoning and ingredient to make sure they aren’t toxic for dogs.  Even better, avoid feeding them altogether as even when they’re safe, they’re not healthy.

If you dog does end up consuming pickles with toxic ingredients, you should call your vet immediately.

Want to Learn More?

Check out these related articles from our “Read Before You Feed” series for more advice on safe foods for dogs!

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and this article should not be taken as medical or veterinary advice.  If you have any questions about your pet’s health or dietary needs, please contact your local veterinarian.