Can Dogs Eat Pickles?

It might seem like a strange question to some people, but if you are a dog owner, you will know that our dogs like some peculiar things, and they never seem to know what’s right for them. 

It is up to us to do the research. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the ingredients that go into making pickles to answer the question – can dogs eat pickles?

safe for dogs to eat

Yes! Dogs can eat pickles in moderation; however, they are high in sodium and shouldn't be fed to your dog on a regular basis. 

Garlic flavored pickles should be avoided as garlic is toxic to dogs. Garlic belongs to the Allium family which is toxic to dogs.

In this article, we will discuss:

  • What is a pickle?
  • Are pickles safe for dogs to eat?
  • Can dogs eat fermented vegetables?
  • What are ingredients in pickling not safe for dogs?
  • Can dogs have pickle juice?
  • Can a dog eat sweet pickles?
  • Can dogs eat dill pickles?
  • Are there any alternatives to pickles for dogs?

Related Topic: Can dogs eat figs?

What Is A Pickle?

A pickle is a vegetable that has been soaked in a brine solution. The solution contains salt, vinegar, and a variety of different spices. 

Either you love or hate Pickles. Pickling is a great way to preserve veggies, making them last longer, though, and they can do have plenty of health benefits. 

Pretty much any vegetable can be pickled, such as cucumber, peppers, and onions.

can dogs eat pickles

Are Pickles Safe For Dogs To Eat?

Just because we eat pickles, it doesn’t necessarily mean that our dogs should. Many human foods are toxic to dogs and can make them sick. Some human foods can be fatal to a dog if it eats them. 

But what about pickles? Has your dog eaten one? Are you freaking out?

If we ask the question – can dogs eat pickles – the simple answer is, of course, a dog can and will eat whatever they want if they have free access to it. 

Are pickles safe for a dog to eat, though? It depends on what kind of pickle.

Pickles aren’t just limited to vegetables. Meats and fruits can also be pickled. So it’s essential to be specific. 

Pickles are not generally bad for dogs unless we are talking about an ingredient that is toxic for them, like onions, for example. 

But the method of pickling may come into play, as well as the ingredients involved in the pickling process.

So let us assume that the ingredient being pickled is dog-friendly, for example, a cucumber, and move on to talk about the pickling method and ingredients involved.

Can Dogs Eat Fermented Vegetables?

Fermented vegetables are known to be a superfood with a reputation for helping to fight cancer. Generally speaking, fermentation is not harmful to dogs. 

Fermented vegetables are optimally digestible for dogs and offer powerful probiotic benefits.

So yes, dogs can indeed eat fermented vegetables. But that doesn’t mean that they will. Not all dogs have a taste for them. 

So yes, dogs can indeed eat fermented vegetables. But that doesn’t mean that they will. Not all dogs have a taste for them. 

You should only start with a small amount, in the beginning, building up gradually to 1-3 teaspoons per 20 pounds of body weight. And never force a dog to eat something that they don’t want.

jar of pickles

What Ingredients In Pickling Are Not Safe For Dogs?

Many pickles are made with white or yellow onions, and this is a problem for dogs. 

Onions contribute to the formation of Heinz bodies in dogs, which are clumps of hemoglobin that cannot carry oxygen like they usually should. 

Hemolytic anemia is also a risk because the red blood cells tend to die more quickly than usual. 

You don’t have to panic if your dog eats some onion because they are more harmful overtime when a dog consumes them regularly for many years. 

Garlic is another common ingredient in pickling, which is in the same family as onion. 

There is divided opinion as to whether garlic is toxic or healthy for dogs to eat. As a general guide, only feed small amounts, as moderation is the safest method.

Many pickling spices are safe for dogs, and they can contain many health benefits for them. 

For example, dill, cinnamon, and clove help to relieve and reduce digestive issues. 

Nutmeg, on the other hand, should be avoided, as it is highly toxic to dogs.

Can Dogs Have Pickle Juice?

People rave about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs, and so you may be wondering if pickle juice with its vinegar content is also a healthy supplement for your dog. 

The difference is that white vinegar used in the pickling process, and this is quite different from apple cider vinegar. Have you ever noticed that people don’t generally tend to rave about the health benefits of white vinegar?

The truth is that most dogs don’t even like the taste of vinegar, which is probably a good thing, because it can disturb the PH balance of a dog’s skin. Vinegar can lead to all sorts of irritations, allergies, and infections.

Can A Dog Eat Sweet Pickles?

Tangy pickles are generally a low-calorie snack, and as long as the main ingredients are all dog-friendly and your dog enjoys them, a few tangy pickles won’t do your dog any harm. But is this the case for sweet pickles?

Sweet pickles get their sweet taste from; yes, you guessed it, sugar, and a lot of it. Sugar is not suitable for humans, and it is no good for dogs either. 

It can lead to all sorts of horrible health problems, like diabetes, obesity, and cavities.

Sugar should be avoided at all costs. It’s bad enough that some budget dog foods contain high amounts of sugar to encourage dogs to eat it. 

Don’t’ be fooled by any sugar-free alternatives either as they often contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs.

They won’t die or become ill if they do eat sweet pickles, but you should avoid feeding sweet pickles to your dog because they are incredibly unhealthy for them.

Can Dogs Eat Dill Pickles?

The non-garlic variety of savory dill pickles is not going to make your dog ill, but one thing to watch out for is the high content of salt that is present in all pickles.

Did you know that one medium-sized dill pickle contains between 700 and 1,500mg of sodium? 

When you consider that a teaspoon of salt contains around 2,300mg of sodium and is the upper limit of healthy human consumption, it may put this into perspective for you.

The suggested daily requirement of sodium for a dog is just 100mg. Equal to about a slice of dill pickle. Forget a whole one!

Are There Any Alternatives To Pickles For Dogs?

Understandably, dog owners sometimes feel like they want to share their food with their dog. What dog owner doesn’t offer titbits under the table? You’d have to have a heart of stone.

If you are one of these dogs owners, then here is a safe list of some human food titbits you can share with your dog that won’t impact his health:

  • Apples without the pips
  • Pineapple without the skin
  • Carrots, raw or cooked without onions or garlic
  • Fresh cucumber
  • Cooked sweet potato
  • Frozen or cooked peas
  • Cooked meat and rind (not cooked bones)

Here is a list of human food titbits you should avoid:

  • Cooked bones (they splinter)
  • Avocado
  • Salad onions
  • Salty chips
  • Salty crisps
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins (highly toxic)
  • Spam
  • Anything sugary
  • Anything with caffeine
  • Alcohol (unless specially designed for dogs, like “pawsecco for dogs” or “dog beer”)

Summary

When it comes to knowing what food to offer your dog and what foods to avoid, sometimes it is better to stick to a diet and treats that are designed especially for dogs. This way, you are unlikely to go wrong and end up with a hefty vet bill because you have made your dog sick.

With a little bit of research, though, you will always know what is safe to offer your dog. So keep your mobile phones handy, Google is your friend!

I hope I've been able to answer your question, can dogs eat pickles?

can dogs eat pickles?
(Last Updated On: June 12, 2020)
Liz
 

I'm a self-employed blogger, life-long pet parent, and lover of dogs and somehow manage to have time to pursue another of my passions - writing. I’m the primary contributor and editor of PUPPY FAQS. I love to write about nutrition, health, and care of puppies. In my spare time, I volunteer at my local dog shelter. If you have a question that needs answering, please leave a comment below, and I will do my best to explain it.

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