Cucumbers are completely safe for dogs to eat, without needing to peel them. A cucumber is an ideal dog-friendly snack as it contains a variety of important vitamins and minerals as well as being low in calories. We often wonder if we can share fruits and vegetables with our dog and while some can form part of your companion's diet or be used as occasional snacks, others can be toxic, so it’s important to be aware of the different rules for different varieties. Read on to discover more about the benefits of canine cucumber-snacking and how much to feed your dog, as well as an exciting serve suggestion for summer.
Are cucumbers good for dogs?
Cucumbers are packed full of goodness and are a natural and nutritious food for dogs. Cucumbers are about as low as you can go in terms of calories, salt and sugar, and are incredibly healthy as well as being ideal for dogs that are overweight and need to shed a few pounds. Dogs can eat cucumber on a regular basis as a vitamin-packed snack.
Health benefits of cucumbers for dogsWhile dogs are natural carnivores and don’t need large amounts of vegetables in their diet as we do, cucumbers are a great source of vitamins and minerals, as well as other goodness. Besides containing vitamins A (maintains healthy eyes),B (assists metabolism and energy levels), C (boosts immune system), here are just some of the additional health benefits:
- Cucumbers contain a high water content to keep dogs hydrated As cucumbers are over 90% water, they are incredibly hydrating, especially on a hot day. Served straight from the fridge, a chunk of cucumber is a ready-made canine ice lolly!
- Cucumbers contain soluble fibre for better digestion The skin of a cucumber is a great source of soluble fibre which means that it absorbs water as it passes through your dog’s digestive system. This promotes good gut bacteria to keep everything moving and their colon healthy.
- Cucumbers contain Vitamin K to help clot blood and heal bones Dogs do not produce Vitamin K and seek it in their food supply. It has many benefits, from helping to clot blood and protecting against skin inflammation to healing wounds and bones. It has even been proven to help allergies by inhibiting histamine production.
- Cucumbers contain potassium for a healthy electrical charge A dog’s heart, nerves and muscles need an electrical charge to create impulses. Potassium is the main source of this charge and acts as an ‘electrolyte’ that enables your dog to walk, run, jump and even sit on command!
- Cucumbers contain manganese helps convert food into energy Manganese in cucumber helps to keep your dog’s bones healthy and maintain cartilage in joints too. It also helps absorb proteins and carbs from your dog’s diet while stimulating enzyme functions that turn food into fatty acids and energy.
- Cucumbers contain copper for blood and skin health Dietary copper in cucumber helps your dog to absorb iron and generate red blood cells. It also functions in the formation of skin, hair pigmentation and connective tissue.
- Phytonutrients and phytochemicals to freshen your dog’s breath Cucumber contains these two antioxidants which as well as fighting disease, helps to destroy bacteria in the mouth that causes smelly breath.
Can cucumber be harmful for dogs?
- Generally speaking, dogs can eat cucumbers without any harm coming to them, as long as it doesn’t have any seasoning or marinade on it. The risks of a dog eating too much cucumber include diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration. This is caused due to the consumption of too much fibre if your dog's stomach isn't used to it. Like any new foodstuff, it’s best to introduce cucumber into your dog’s diet gradually, trying a single chunk first to see if your dog finds it palatable and to check if it doesn't have an adverse effect on the gut. The second risk is giving your dog too big a piece which may cause a choking hazard. It is always best to cut cucumbers up into appropriate bite-sized pieces before feeding, especially if your dog bolts their food or is a smaller breed. Finally, make sure you clean the cucumber before feeding it to your dog, as pesticides can reside in the skin, which can be harmful to your dog if consumed. Even though cucumber is generally safe for dogs, it's a good idea to check in with your vet to see if your dog can eat cucumber, as they may have specific needs or nutritional restrictions.
How much cucumber can a dog eat?
- A few chunks of cucumber fed to your dog as a snack every few days is an outline guide. The exact amount of cucumber your dog can eat depends on their size. A bigger breed such as a Labrador can eat around a quarter of a cucumber in a given day, whereas a smaller breed like a terrier should only eat around an eighth of a cucumber cut into chunks for snacking per day. Cucumber is a low-calorie snack compared to most other dog treats. This makes it a suitable snack for all types of dogs, including those with diabetes or issues with their weight.
Dogs eating cucumbers: the FAQs
Can dogs eat raw cucumber?
- Yes, dogs can eat raw cucumber, cut into bite-sized pieces. It’s a highly hydrating and nutritious snack packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre while being very low in calories. To start, just try a small chunk to make sure it doesn’t upset your dog’s tummy as an unfamiliar food.
Can dogs eat cucumber skin?
- Yes, dogs can eat cucumber skin as well as the seeds. In fact, the skin is the best part as it is full of fibre and is where Vitamins A, B, C and K are more concentrated. Just make sure you have cleaned the cucumber thoroughly to ensure it does not contain any pesticide residue.
Can dogs eat pickles?
- No, it is not a good idea to feed dogs pickles. This is because they often contain spices and a lot of added salt which are both bad for dogs. Although eating a pickle probably won’t harm your dog, it’s not recommended, especially when plain cucumbers are such a great snack.
How to prepare cucumber snacks for your dog
- Although cucumber should always be served to your dog in bite-sized chunks, there are still a number of tasty options to add excitement to this naturally nutritious snack. Our favourites are ‘Cucumber and Yogurt Coolers’ which can be served straight from the freezer and are perfect for a hot summer’s day, when our canine chums need extra hydration. To make them, just follow the simple recipe below:
Cucumber & Yogurt Coolers for Dogs
3 tablespoons organic Greek yoghurt (with no added ingredients or artificial sweeteners)
1 cucumber (unpeeled)
1 generous drizzle of runny honey
- Step 1: Mix the ingredients in your food blender
- Step 2: Spoon into an empty ice tray
- Step 3: Freeze for 3 hours or until solid
- Step 4: Pop one or two out and feed to your dog to keep them cool as a cucumber on a hot day
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