can dogs eat cucumbers

Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?

Growing up in a rural area I have always been an avid gardener. One of the easiest things to grow in the northeast is cucumbers. During the summer months, we get large quantities of them from the garden all at once. One decent-sized plant can easily make 10- 15 cucumbers in a season. I also tend to grow more plants than are needed.

After making more pickles than we can eat in a year I started to wonder what else can they be used for. Often we end up leaving them on the plants until we want a cucumber salad or some cucumber sticks.  Since we had such an excess amount, we wondered if dogs can eat cucumbers.

The good news is, yes dogs can eat cucumbers safely!

So if your dog is anything like mine, and it grabs a fresh cucumber from the plan, there is nothing to worry about. There is nothing toxic in cucumbers for dogs. They are mostly water, which everything on the planet needs.

The good news is that cucumbers are safe for dogs to eat in moderation. Just like any new food, do not feed large quantities all at once. If you give too much at one time your dog can get what dog owners sometimes call rocket butt! Nobody wants to deal with that and I am sure you get the picture if you have owned a dog for any amount of time.

Are Cucumbers Safe For Dogs?

Cucumbers are perfectly safe to feed your dog.  There are a few things to consider though.  The first thing is your dog’s eating habits.  If your dog commonly scarfs food down without chewing, it’s best to give them in slices. The whole cucumber is the perfect size and shape to be a choking hazard.  So be cautious in how you feed them to your dog.   Another serving option is to cut them into spears.  This reduces the overall diameter which reduces the choking hazard.  

The other consideration is how and where the cucumbers are grown.  Homegrown pesticide-free cucumbers are great for your dog.  The ones that are sold in the store or conventionally grown are often sprayed with pesticides which can be unhealthy for your furry friend.  Cucumbers are actually on the top 20 list of pesticide-contaminated foods according to the EWG.  I think just last year they were number 18 on the list.  In the past, they have been part of the dirty dozen.  

Can dogs eat cucumbers raw or should they be cooked?  These are vegetables that do not need to be cooked for the dog to eat them.  Some other veggies like sweet potato and broccoli should be cooked to give the dog the maximum absorbable nutrients.  

Can I Give My Dog Cucumbers Daily?

Yes, dogs can eat cucumbers daily, they make a nice crunchy snack.  Cucumbers are a great snack for dogs for a few reasons.  If you have an overweight dog, they are a low-calorie high water content treat.  Both the sodium and fat content of cucumbers are very low.  Around 95% of a cucumber is plain old water.  The other 5% does offer some trace minerals and vitamins.  More information on the vitamins can be found below.  Dogs can eat cucumbers daily but only in moderation.  Do not overfeed your dog or unbalance their diet by giving more than 10% vegetables daily.  

Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers Skin?

The only skins that you should avoid feeding to your dog are ones from conventionally grown cucumbers.  The main reason is the skin can absorb the pesticides that are applied during the growing season.  It is best to just peel the skins off of conventionally grown ones and discard them.  Removal of the skin will greatly reduce the number of pesticides your dog is exposed to.

If you have homegrown or organic cucumbers the skin is safe for the dog to consume.  Organically grown produce is not sprayed with the highly toxic pesticides that are used in conventional farming.   I grow my own and do not find the need to spray anything on them, even organic bug-controlling agents are typically not needed.  

Besides the potential toxins from the pesticides, there are not any toxins that are present in the skin.  The skin also adds the crunching sound that many dogs like.  So if you buy organic or grow your own they are perfectly safe to feed your dog with the skins on.

Are Cucumbers Good For Dogs?

Cucumbers do not contain anything that is considered harmful to dogs.  Some of the benefits of cucumbers for dogs are the essential vitamins and minerals.  Vitamin A, vitamin K, calcium, protein, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are among some of the healthy things found in cucumber.  None of the vitamins and minerals are found in high concentrations except for vitamin K.

It turns out that cucumbers are packed with vitamin K which is often prescribed to dogs with blood clotting issues.   Vitamin K helps a dog synthesize the protein that allows their blood to clot when they are injured.  If a dog has low levels of vitamin K, it will not have the ability to form blood clots.  While this doesn’t replace prescription medications for dogs with low vitamin K, it certainly has its benefits.  

slice the cucumber for your dog

Can I give my dog a whole cucumber without slicing it?

This is not advisable.  Do not feed your dog the whole cucumber without slicing it up.  There is a chance that it can get lodged in your dog’s throat, especially for smaller dogs.  It is best to serve dogs cucumbers in slices or spears to avoid the choking hazard.  

How Often Can I Give My Dog Cucumbers?

Since there are no associated harmful side effects you can give dogs cucumber pieces daily as a treat.  Depending on the diet model you follow, you should be careful not to overdo the number of vegetables given per day to your dog.  You do not want to displace other more important items that your dog needs such as protein, calcium, and phosphorous. Typically dogs should be fed no more than 10% vegetables per day as part of their diet.  

What Are The Benefits Of Cucumbers For Dogs?

Besides all of the crunchy fun for your dog, cucumbers are a low-calorie tasty treat.  The high water content, low fat, and sodium make them a better choice than conventional treats for dogs that are overweight.  They are after all 95% water and your dog will not pack on any extra pounds from eating them.  As they say though, give everything in moderation.  To avoid any upset to the dog’s GI tract, do not give loads of cucumbers to the dog on its first day.  Introduce your dog to them slowly over a few days and there should not be any issues.  

Can Dogs Eat Cucumber Seeds?

The cucumber seeds are perfectly safe for your dog.  They do not contain any toxins.  There is the possibility that eating too many of them can cause some distress to the dog’s GI tract.  Always introduce new foods slowly so you can evaluate how your dog reacts to them.  It is not recommended that you let your dog eat seeds that were intended to plant. Store-bought seeds can be coated in substances to assist them in germination. However, there is nothing to worry about if the dog ate the seeds from fresh cucumber.

Summary: Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?

  • Cucumbers make a great healthy snack for dogs.
  • Don’t feed more than 10% of your dog’s diet as cucumbers.
  • Peel any conventionally grown cucumbers to remove pesticides.
  • Do not introduce them to your dog’s diet rapidly, you both will suffer the consequences! 

Please comment below if you incorporate cucumbers into your dog’s diet. What is your dog’s favorite way to munch on them?

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