Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?

helloBARK!
By helloBARK!
Updated on 30 November 2020
Expert Content

It’s easy to make the assumption that all fruit and vegetables are good for dogs.

While some fruit and veg can make healthy and tasty snacks for dogs in moderation, there are some food items that your canine companion shouldn’t eat under any circumstances.

For example, grapes and raisins are poisonous to dogs and you should contact your vet immediately if you suspect your pooch has eaten either of these food sources.

Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. The content of our articles does not constitute veterinary advice. It’s always best to speak with your vet or a certified pet nutritionist before making any changes to your pet's diet or feeding routine.

Dog owners may love adding some cucumber to their salad but is this green vegetable a healthy alternative to conventional dog treats?

The American Kennel Club write on their website:

Cucumbers are perfectly safe for dogs to eat, and offer a low-calorie, crunchy snack that many dogs love.

The AKC go on to write that cucumbers make a healthy treat but dog owners should be careful that their dogs don’t overeat or choke. If your dog gorges on too much cucumber, it could lead to gastrointestinal (GI) upset. Dog owners should cut cucumbers into small chunks before feeding to their dog.

However, we wanted to learn a little more about why cucumbers are considered safe for dogs to eat, so we spoke to six experts to find out what benefits cucumbers can offer our canine companions and whether there is anything else to consider when feeding some cucumber pieces to your four-legged friend.

A Healthy Snack

Cucumbers are considered a healthy snack for dogs given these green vegetables are full of goodness.

Emilie Bess, a Ph.D. biologist and Rover.com blogger said:

Sliced or diced cucumber makes a great treat for your dog… 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.

Dr. Heather Venkat, Companion Animal Veterinarian with VIP Puppies added:

A lot of dogs enjoy the crunchiness of cucumbers, since the skin is safe for them to eat; but is best enjoyed cut up into bite-size pieces rather than giving them a whole cucumber.

Rich In Vitamins

One of the benefits of feeding your dog some cucumber pieces is that this vegetable is full of vitamins.

Here’s Dr. Heather Venkat, Companion Animal Veterinarian with VIP Puppies to provide some more insight:

Cucumbers are safe for dogs to eat. Cucumbers have many health benefits for dogs because they are rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, and magnesium.

Good For Hydration

Cucumbers can help to keep your dog hydrated on warm summer days. However, please remember to slice up the cucumber before you feed it to your dog. Small chunks works well.

Dr Sara Ochoa, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Veterinary Consultant for Doglab.com said:

Cucumbers are about 96% of water, so they are great for dogs who are needing to lose weight. With the high water content, cucumbers can cause your dog to have diarrhea if they eat a large amount of them. Also, it is best to cut these into small pieces. If you give your dog a whole cucumber, they may swallow large pieces and it will get stuck or cause them to choke.

Dental Hygiene

Dr Shadi J. Ireifej, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Expert at Vet Triage told us:

Dogs enjoy the crunchy texture and maybe it can help with dental hygiene.

Low Carb Treat

Dr Shadi J. Ireifej, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Expert at Vet Triage

They’ve got a low amount of calories. There’s around 8 calories per one-half cup of slices… Aid in satiation as a “filler” if your dog is always hungry and on a restricted diet.

Dr. Heather Venkat, Companion Animal Veterinarian with VIP Puppies

They are a low carb/low fat snack for dogs, which help with pooches needing to lose weight and or to help naturally lower their blood pressure.

The 10% Rule

Emilie Bess, a Ph.D. biologist and Rover.com blogger

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.

This point is echoed by Dr Shadi J. Ireifej, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Expert at Vet Triage

Avoid excessive amounts for risk of gastroenteritis: Daily treats should only be 10% or less of the total amount of foods ingested per day. Constipation may also be possible with excessive ingestions due to the fiver content of the skin.

Don’t Feed Whole Cucumber Or Big Pieces

As we mentioned above, it’s not a good idea to feed your dog a whole cucumber or cucumber in big chunks. This green vegetable can pose a potential choking hazard.

Dr Sara Ochoa, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Veterinary Consultant for Doglab.com warned:

If you give your dog a whole cucumber, they may swallow large pieces and it will get stuck or cause them to choke.

Dr Stephanie Lantry, Co-Owner of Animal Medical Clinic of Gulf Gate and Vet Expert at Airvet.com said:

They are not toxic to dogs. However, you do need to be careful to cut up the cucumbers because they are a potential choking hazard. Also, some dogs can be sensitive to the roughage and cucumbers can cause indigestion.

Cucumbers are high in water content and are generally pretty tolerable for dogs as long as they don’t overindulge.

Dr Shadi J. Ireifej, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Expert at Vet Triage added:

Dog owners can avoid choking hazard by feeding small pieces of cucumber and avoiding in dogs who are fast eaters or tend not to chew their food before swallowing. Wash before ingestion.

Anything Else To Consider?

You should speak to your vet before you make any changes to your dog’s diet. We advise talking to your local vet to learn more about the potential benefits and risks of feeding your dog some cucumber treats.

Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. The content of our articles does not constitute veterinary advice. It’s always best to speak with your vet or a certified pet nutritionist before making any changes to your pet's diet or feeding routine.

Wrapping Up – Our Final Thoughts

So, cucumbers can make healthy, low carb treats for dogs provided they’re fed in moderation and cut into small pieces.

This green vegetable can promote good hydration and dental hygiene.

However, pet parents should cut the cucumber into manageable, small chunks to avoid choking hazard. Don’t feed whole!

Remember to feed your dog cucumbers in moderation to avoid tummy upsets and the risk of gastroenteritis.

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