Can My Dog Eat Pickles?
It may seem odd to offer your pooch the pickles that you have removed off of your burger, but, it may happen more than you think. In fact, many people will offer their dogs anything that they do not like or that they have left uneaten. However, this can become hazardous to the animal for a variety of reasons depending on the food, if it has been cooked or not a well as the quantity. So, are pickles safe for dogs to eat? Are they a secret health benefit, or, are they something we should avoid giving them? Let’s take a closer look at this garnish and find out.
What are pickles?
Pickles are small cucumbers that have been preserved in a solution such as vinegar or brine. They are providers of multiple health benefits including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Pickles can help control diabetes issues, assist digestion, help protect your liver, provide natural probiotics as well as help heal ulcers. You may be wondering how pickles can do so much for us! Well, if you have diabetes, and you enjoy eating vinegar based pickles then you are, unknowingly, improving your hemoglobin levels which help to control diabetes. However, salted pickles can increase blood pressure and should be avoided if you have health conditions that can be made worse by high blood pressure. Fresh pickles will contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that can help protect you from disease, help build up your immune system, strengthen your bones, protect your eyes and vision, potentially cure your anemia, and so on and so forth. These superman-like vitamins and minerals found in pickles includes:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
More about Pickles
Indian Pickles (also known as gooseberry or amla) are one of the most commonly pickled fruits. These pickles are known to improve your digestion, protect your liver (they have hepatoprotective properties), as well as reduce your ulcers. In many Indian cultures, they believe it is important to eat these gooseberry or amla pickles before the main course meal to aid their digestion and provide the many other benefits.
It is important that you understand that pickles are not without fault. Pickles usually contain a high amount of salt. The salt that is added during the pickling process not only adds to the flavor, but it also helps to preserve the pickles. If you consume too much salt, then you could cause various health conditions for yourself including hypertension. Hypertension can be caused by consuming a large number of salts or salty foods, or, it can be worsened with the consumption of salt or salty foods. Heart attacks and strokes are two of the most common health conditions that can result in hypertension. If you choose to include pickles in your diet as a health benefit, then you should do so in moderation to avoid overdoing it and causing more harm than good. The Indian pickles (gooseberry or amla) will often contain a significant amount of oils and fat. Continuous consumption of these pickles can lead to high cholesterol and other more severe health issues. Remember, everything in moderation.
Now that we have learned a little bit more about pickles and their health benefits as well as their risks, we can figure out if our dogs should be eating them.
Can Dogs Eat Pickles?
Most of the food that we eat on a daily basis is full of preservatives and other additives that contribute to the taste and the shelf life of the food. Without these preservatives and additives, our food would taste very different, and it would become moldy or inedible very quickly. Commercial dog kibble can also contain preservatives to help the food last longer without going bad and thus making your dog ill. However, these preservatives are safe for dogs. Not all of the preservatives and other ingredients in our food is pooch approved. Pickles and their various preservatives and additives may be one of them.
Pickles can come in many different flavors, types, and can be preserved in a variety of different solutions. Pickles themselves may not harm your dog as long as they are given in small quantities and are a mild type. The mild pickles will reduce the chances of your pooch having an upset stomach later on. However, you should inform your veterinarian of this option before you offer a jar of pickles to your pup. She will need to perform tests (if they haven’ already been done) to determine whether or not your dog has a medical condition that would be worsened by pickles.
For example, if your dog is diagnosed with hypertension or could be prone to it then you should avoid the pickle offering. The amount of salt found in pickles and their juice would cause your dog harm, and that is hopefully not your intention. Your dog may not benefit from the digestive benefits of pickles like you would. In fact, it could cause just the opposite effect. The pickle is a foreign food to your dog, and it could easily upset his stomach causing him to vomit or have diarrhea.
If you have already offered your dog pickles, and he has not had an adverse reaction to them, then you may be in the clear. It is not recommended to feed your dog this food for health reasons, but rare offerings should be okay (as long as the veterinarian gives you the green light). If they are pickles you have made yourself, then you know what is in them. This would be ideal because then you can inform the veterinarian of the ingredients used and she can then decipher whether or not they are pooch safe.
You should never provide a whole pickle to your dog. They can potentially choke on it and cause severe repercussions. Cut up the pickle in small bite size pieces before offering it to your dog. Never allow your dog to drink the pickle juice! Pickle juice is loaded with salt, oils, and vinegar. All of these things can cause your canine buddy to become very sick and even create a health condition (hypertension) that he did not have before.
Consider alternatives to pickles to protect your pooch’s overall health and well-being. For example, pickles were once cucumbers. Consider offering you dog a small piece of cucumber. If he enjoys it and he does not seem to become ill afterward then this may be a refreshing and healthy treat for him. Make sure that the cucumber is fresh; organic cucumbers would be best but not entirely necessary.
Final thoughts to sum up:
Pickle juice should never, ever be offered to your dog. If he even accepts this offering he will become ill, so just don’t do it. Pickles of a mild variety (preferably homemade) and in minuscule quantities should be okay. For example, if your pooch snatches a few pieces of pickle off of your plate or finds them in the trash then he should be all right. If your dog has hypertension or another medical condition then just avoid pickles in his diet altogether. He will not benefit from pickles in the same way that humans would, and they would likely just cause him harm.