Are Cucumbers Bad for Dogs? Here’s What You Need to Know

Eva Hagan - Author

Jun. 30 2023, Published 10:36 a.m. ET

Stock photo of a dog taking a bite of a cucumber.
Source: iStock

It can be confusing to keep track of what dogs can eat, and what could potentially harm them. For example, dogs can eat apples, but they can’t eat grapes. They can eat mangoes, but they can’t eat tomatoes. They can eat broccoli, but they can’t eat mushrooms. Do you see what I mean?

So, can dogs eat cucumbers?

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Stock photo of a Corgi sleeping in bed with cucumbers over their eyes.
Source: iStock

Can dogs eat cucumbers?

Yes, dogs can eat cucumbers. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, cucumbers are a great snack for your dog, especially if you are trying to watch your dog's weight. At only 8 calories per half cup, a cucumber can actually act as a healthy treat replacement.

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Cucumbers also have many nutritional benefits for humans and dogs alike. They are nearly 95 percent water, making them a great hydrating snack; they are also full of antioxidants, and can reduce inflammation, per Trupanion.

Stock photo of Boston Terrier running in field.
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However, there are some potential risks in feeding your dog's cucumber. Eating a cucumber whole can be a choking hazard, and if a dog eats too much cucumber, there is the danger of digestive issues. These can easily be prevented by cutting the cucumber into small pieces when feeding it to your dog, and monitoring how your dog reacts to the food, per American Kennel Club.

Can dogs eat cucumber skin?

Yes, dogs can even eat cucumber skin. It is possible that the skin could be harder to digest. This is why it’s best to introduce new foods like cucumber gradually, just in case it leads to issues with digestion, per PetMD.

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Two dogs eating cucumbers in grass.
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Feeding your dog the skin of the cucumber should generally be fine, as long as you keep it in moderation. According to PetMD, you need to consider the size of your dog when feeding them “human food.” A dog under 30 pounds, or a small dog, should have no more than three cucumber slices. A dog over 50 pounds, which is considered a large dog, can have a handful.

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Here's the best way to prepare cucumbers for dogs:

There are several ways you can prepare a cucumber snack for your dog. Trupanion suggests peeling the cucumber, removing the seeds with a spoon, and then pureeing it in a blender. Then take the puree and freeze it in an ice tray. After letting it sit for a few hours or overnight, remove it from the freezer and feed it to your pet.

Another option, suggested by PetMD, is simply cutting cucumbers into small slices and offering them as treats.

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Boston Terrier begging for food.
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Can dogs eat pickles?

Despite cucumbers being healthy for dogs, pickles are not. Pickles often contain high amounts of salt, as well as garlic or onion, which are both toxic to dogs, per PetMD.

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Woman offering Boston Terrier an apple slice.
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Too much salt can be poisonous to dogs and can lead to hypernatremia or salt toxicosis. This is when the levels of sodium in the bloodstream become too high, and can damage their cells and tissues. Although salt toxicosis is rare, it can happen, especially if your dog ingests a large amount of salt in a short period of time.

As detailed by the American Kennel Club, Signs that your dog could be experiencing salt toxicosis include symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, decreased appetite, and extreme thirst.

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