From sandwiches to salads, cucumbers are a healthy and refreshing addition to many human meals. But what about your dog? Are dogs allowed to eat cucumbers?
Facts about cucumbers
The cucumber (scientific name Cucumis sativus) is a widely grown crop that belongs to the same family as courgette, watermelon and squash (cucurbits).
It contains many nutrients that are useful for humans as well as for some animals and insects. People have been eating cucumbers for over 3000 years and they come in different varieties, all over the world.
Is it safe for dogs to eat cucumber?
As a rule, yes! Sliced or diced cucumbers are a great treat for your dog and can be for you too, but as is the general rule, you should only give your dog cucumbers in moderation. On hot summer days, they can even help keep your dog hydrated due to their high water content. Your dog may find the satisfying crunch and juicy texture of a perfectly ripe cucumber just as exciting as a biscuit or store-bought treat. So, cucumbers are a great, healthy alternative for training treats.
However, you should be careful with cucumbers from your own garden. They can contain toxic cucurbitacins (bitter substances).
Cucumbers from your own garden can be poisonous.
Can puppies eat cucumber?
Puppies can eat cucumbers as long as they are already weaned and able to eat solid food.
Beware, however, that their digestive system is still developing. You should only feed it in small portions and only as an occasional treat.
If your puppy is already weaned and able to eat solid food, keep in mind that their digestive system is still developing.
If your puppy is still getting milk, you must not give them cucumber as this can cause an upset stomach.
Health benefits of cucumber for dogs
First of all, cucumbers are low in calories. You can combine them with a training plan to help your dog lose weight without sacrificing rewarding treats.
Firstly, they are low in calories.
Secondly, they are a healthier alternative to traditional dog treats, which are often made with additives and artificial flavourings.
Furthermore, they are 96% water. Therefore, they're a tasty way for dogs to stay hydrated, especially after a walk on a hot day.
Nutrients in cucumbers for dogs
The nutrients in cucumbers have been linked to various health benefits for humans. And it is possible that dogs can also benefit from these advantages.
Cucumbers provide vitamin K and calcium, which can improve joint health and strengthen bones. They even contain a hormone, Cucurbita ficifolia, which is needed by the cells of the pancreas to produce insulin.
Cucurbita ficifolia is a hormone that is needed by the cells of the pancreas to produce insulin.
It is supposed to help lower blood sugar levels and stimulate insulin secretion. The fibre and potassium contained in cucumbers have been linked to heart health.
They are also commonly used in the diet.
They are also commonly used in skin treatments for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Although these vitamins and minerals are beneficial for your dog, he should still get all the essential nutrients he needs through his dog food. And, as mentioned earlier, dogs need protein and fat as the main components of their diet to meet their nutritional needs.
So, cucumbers are the main source of protein and fat for your dog.
So, are cucumbers good for dogs? Yes, they can be an occasional, healthy and hydrating treat. But you should feed them to your dog in moderation and not as a substitute for their regular dog food.
Can eating cucumbers be dangerous for dogs?
As with any other treat, excessive consumption of cucumbers can cause an upset stomach. The peel and seeds of the cucumber can upset a dog's stomach, so removing these parts can help a sensitive dog enjoy this vegetable.
Chewing whole cucumbers can be a choking hazard. If your dog enjoys devouring his food, chop the vegetables into a manageable size.
If your dog enjoys chewing, chop the vegetables into a manageable size.
As with any new food, start with a small amount of cucumber to make sure your dog digests it well.
Be careful with cucumbers from your own garden
If you grow cucumbers yourself in your garden, however, you should be very careful. Since cucumbers are cucurbits, they may contain cucurbitacins. These are poisonous bitter substances. The bitter substances have been bred out of commercially available cucumbers. As a rule, cucurbitacins are no longer present.
However, if you grow cucumbers, pumpkins and courgettes in your own garden, you should take care to use new seeds from the trade every year. If you keep sowing seeds of your home-grown plants, the original characteristics may return at some point. The vegetables may then contain bitter substances again.
Symptoms of cucurbitacin (bitter) poisoning
After ingesting the bitter substances, the dog salivates heavily, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea occur. If larger amounts are ingested, the nerves are damaged, drowsiness, disorientation and movement disorders are the result. If the poisoning is not treated, death can result from circulatory shock.
Can dogs eat raw cucumbers?
Normally, dogs eat cucumbers raw because they love the crunchiness. It also retains all the nutrients and essentials that make a cucumber so healthy. Many people cook cucumbers for their four-legged friends, but serving them raw is considered the best way to feed them
Can dogs eat cucumber peel?
Can cucumbers harm dogs if you feed them with the peel intact?
Like most fruits and vegetables, the peel of a cucumber contains the most vitamins and nutrients. However, dogs can have difficulty digesting the peel. If you serve a cucumber in this way, make sure you slice it as thinly as possible.
Cucumbers can have a high amount of pesticides on their peel and pesticides are dangerous for pets to consume. If you give your dog cucumbers as a treat, always wash them thoroughly.
And just to be safe, you can consider peeling the cucumber.
Can dogs eat cucumber seeds?
In some fruits and vegetables, the seeds are toxic to dogs. But with cucumbers, there is no such concern. It is perfectly safe for dogs to eat cucumber seeds because they are just as healthy and nutritious as the rest of the cucumber.
Can dogs eat pickled cucumbers?
Although dogs and cucumbers generally go well together, you should avoid feeding them pickles or pickled cucumbers. This form of fermented cucumber contains sodium and spices, which can be very dangerous for your dog.
Can cucumbers relieve bad breath in dogs?
Cucumbers are full of phytochemicals and phytonutrients that can help freshen a dog's breath and destroy odour-causing bacteria in the mouth.
Although they can help with bad breath, cucumbers are not a substitute for toothpaste. Dogs still need to have their teeth brushed regularly, whether they nibble on cucumbers or not.
How much cucumber can my dog eat?
A common recommendation from vets is to follow the 10% rule. Treats, including raw vegetables, should make up 10% of the calories in your dog's diet
This may mean that you can treat your pup to a thin cucumber spear on a hot afternoon, while your German Shepherd can have a big scoop of frozen cucumber chunks.
Fresh cucumbers contain only about 1% sugar by weight, and one cup of chopped cucumbers has about 1 gram of sugar, 1 gram of fibre and 16 calories. This makes cucumbers a good treat for dogs on a calorie-restricted diet or suffering from diabetes.
As a low-calorie food, cucumbers are great as a training treat and can be used as a topper on your dog's regular dinner.