From sandwiches to salads, cucumbers are a healthy and refreshing addition to many human meals. But what about your dog? Can dogs eat cucumbers too?
Is Cucumber Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Happily, yes! Sliced or diced cucumber makes a great treat for your dog, and can be for you too.Though as is the general rule, your dog should only be given cucumber in moderation. On hot summer days, they can even help keep your pet hydrated due to their high water content. Your dog may find the satisfying crunch and juicy texture of a perfectly ripe cucumber just as thrilling as a biscuit or shop bought treat, so cucumbers make a great, healthy alternative for training treats, too.
Is Cucumber Healthy for My Dog?
Yes. Fresh cucumbers are about 96% water and are a delightfully crunchy way to stay hydrated on a hot day. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium, all important components of a healthy canine diet.
However, pickled cucumbers (and other pickled veggies) are packed with salt and often contain other ingredients that are no-nos for dogs, such as garlic or onion.
So skip the pickles and stick to the fresh veggies.
- Combine peeled, chopped cucumber with chunks of cantaloupe, celery, and pear for a refreshing dog-friendly salad side dish
- Slice cucumbers into rounds and remove the soft seedy center. Stuff cucumber slices with peanut butter or cream cheese (these make fun creepy “eyeball” treats at Halloween)
- Freeze chunks or spears of peeled cucumber for a teething treat for your puppy
- Use small pieces of cucumber as low-calorie training treats
- Top their regular dog food with small pieces of cucumber for a refreshing meal
- Dehydrate slices of cucumber to create a chewy, summery treat
Can Eating Cucumbers Be Dangerous for Dogs?
The only concern with cucumber is that your dog might love them too much and gobble down too many. This could lead to overeating or choking, both a great way to ruin a tasty food.
As with any treat, overeating cucumber can lead to an upset belly. The skin and seeds of a cucumber can be upsetting to a dog’s stomach, so removing those items could help a more sensitive dog enjoy this veggie.
Chomping on whole cucumbers can be a choking hazard. If your dog likes to wolf down her food, chop the veggies into a manageable size.
As with any new food, when introducing cucumbers to your dog, start with a little to make sure that your dog digests it well.
How Much Cucumber Can My Dog Eat?
A common recommendation from vets is to follow the 10% rule. Treats, including raw veggies, can make up 10% of the calories in your dog’s diet.
This might mean that you can treat your Papillon to a slender cucumber spear on a hot afternoon, while your German shepherd might get a big scoop of frozen cuke chunks.
Fresh cucumbers are only about 1% sugar by weight, and one cup of chopped cucumbers has about 1 gram of sugar, 1 gram of dietary fiber and 16 calories. This can make cucumbers a good treat option for dogs on a reduced-calorie diet or with diabetes.
As a low-calorie food, cucumbers make great training treats and can be used as a topper on your dog’s regular dinner. Go ahead and share a slice from your salad with your pup.
For More Information
From carrots to watermelon, there is a wide selection of information on vegetables available on our Can My Dog Eat? directory page.
Learn more about feeding your dog a wonderfully varied diet while learning the limitations of a dog’s sensitive digestive system. We offer a collection of articles on foods that are safe, dangerous or even toxic for dogs to eat, including vegetables, dairy, bread, and junk food.
Learn more about the veggies that are safe for dogs in articles like Can my dog eat cabbage? and Can my dog eat artichokes?