So you’re munching on some pickles and you can’t help but notice your dog giving you the “I want a piece of that” look. Or maybe your dog bit off half your pickle when you were not looking and now you are panicking wondering what’s going to happen to him.
When it comes to the topic of dogs and pickles, there are many theories. Pickles are vegetables that are soaked in a saline solution consisting of salt, vinegar, and assorted spices.
Most animal care professionals agree that pickles are not the healthiest food for dogs, but they are also not considered harmful for your furry friend unless consumed in large amounts. However, there are certain pickles with dangerous ingredients that you should never feed your dog.
How Do I Know Which Pickles Are Safe For Dogs?
Whether or not pickles are poisonous to dogs depends on the ingredients used to make them. You should avoid feeding your dog pickles that are heavily spiced since they usually contain seasonings that may be toxic to your dog, causing a stomach upset or worse.
Pickles cooked with onions or even pickled onions are extremely harmful to dogs due to their high thiosulphate content. Even one pickle may trigger hemolytic anemia which causes red blood cells in your dog to burst. Symptoms of this terrible disease include vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, and dark colored urine. Severe cases of hemolytic anemia may require blood transfusion while others can be fatal.
Another thing to look out for in pickles is the sodium content. Your dog already gets his recommended sodium intake from commercial dog feed. Adding too sodium from salt-laden pickles can lead to hypernatremia, which means there’s too much sodium in the dog’s blood. Symptoms include vomiting, increased thirst, confusion, diarrhea, and seizures. If your dog displays any of these symptoms be sure to take him to the vet.
If your dog regularly consumes pickles with too much salt, he may eventually develop high blood pressure which could then trigger a stroke or heart attack.
Are There Any Health Benefits Of Pickles For Dogs?
You might mistakenly assume that since pickles are vegetables they can be a healthy snack for dogs. However, sadly, it doesn’t work that way. Fruits and vegetables can be a great addition to a dogs diet but the pickling process destroys most of the beneficial nutrients that they contain.
However, not everything is destroyed and there is still some good stuff left. Pickles have a high proportion of fiber which can aid digestion and they also contain small amounts of some minerals and vitamins such as, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Iron. Pickles are also low-calorie, so they can be an occasional alternative treat for dogs that are looking to shed off a few pounds or avoid weight gain.
Non-spicy and unsweetened pickles are the better choices of pickles, with the unsalted option the most preferred for dogs since they have no sodium.
Are Dill Pickles Safe For Dogs?
Dill pickles are not extremely harmful to your dog but they do contain a significant quantity of sodium and have few health benefits to offer to your pet. However, you may get away with giving your dog small pieces of dill pickles as a rare treat.
It may be better to ditch the pickle and feed the dog dill on its own occasionally. Dill contains helpful nutrients for the digestive system and it also helps prevent bad breath.
Are Sweet Pickles Safe For Dogs?
Sweet pickles are the better option if you insist on feeding your dog Pickles. Sweet Pickles don’t usually have a lot of spices in them since their brine liquid is less concentrated.
However, Sweet Pickles still have a notable amount of sodium so you should avoid feeding your dog too many Sweet Pickles if you want to avoid an upset stomach.
Is Pickle Juice Bad For Dogs?
Yes, Pickle Juice is bad for dogs.
You should never feed a dog Pickle Juice as it contains vinegar, a generous amount of salt, and spices all of which are potentially dangerous for your dog.
They could cause an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms, none of which are pleasant to clean up.
Pickles – The Bottom Line
There is little to no benefit to feeding dogs pickles, and some pickles can have catastrophic consequences for your pet.
However, if you must feed your pup pickles, you should go for the sweetened varieties instead of the spiced ones. If you rinse the pickle first, it will get rid of some of the salty liquid making the pickle safer for your furry friend to enjoy.
Regardless of how much your dog loves pickles, they should be a small, occasional treat and never a substantial part of your dog’s diet.