can dogs eat pickles

Can Dogs Eat Pickles?

Imagine you are having a backyard BBQ. You are gathered around the picnic table with some friends talking when one of them knocks over the jar of pickles. A bread and butter pickle drops on the ground and guess who is waiting patiently for such an opportunity to scavenge human food? Of course, your dog is there in flash and gobbles the pickle down in a matter of seconds. 

At first, you ask yourself “can dogs eat pickles”. You start freaking out because you don’t know if pickles are toxic to dogs or not. Then you remember this site – can dogs eat? Instead of freaking out, you hop on the website and search for pickles. After reading this article you will understand all there is to know about dogs and pickles. You will be able to put your mind at ease knowing that dogs can eat pickles safely for the most part.

The short answer to the question is yes dogs can eat pickles.  However, there are some that certainly can cause an upset GI tract. This can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. The ones to stay clear of are spicy hot pickles and the ones that are super sweet. Both of those should not be fed to your dog.  As long as you avoid feeding super spicy pickles or super sweet ones to your dog, they should be ok.

What is a Pickle?

In order to answer the question can dogs eat pickles, let’s first talk about what pickles actually are. Pickles consist of cucumbers soaked in brine made of vinegar, water, salt, and spices. The spices can make them sweet, sour, hot, tangy, and other flavors depending on what is added.  Often in the brine, you will find ingredients such as garlic, onions, pepper, mustard seeds, and dill.

Pickles can be classified as a condiment since they are usually put on top of other foods.  Many people will add them to hamburgers or other sandwiches. Another form of pickle, called relish, can be found in hotdogs, omelets, hamburgers, and other foods. While most pickles will not harm your dog, they should not be a dietary staple for your pet. Keep reading to find out why pickles should not be part of your dog’s daily food.

Will a Pickle Hurt My Dog?

Pickles are just cucumbers that are soaked in brine with some spices. So you might be wondering can my dog eat 1 pickle? The answer to that is yes depending on the dog’s weight. The base ingredient, cucumbers are not toxic to your dog. So dogs can eat a single pickle with a minimal chance of harm. Just because they can eat one, does not mean they should eat many of them. The more they eat, the higher the sodium they will get from them. A diet high in sodium can cause many issues for your dog, just like it can for humans.

The brine contains a very high amount of salt. Excessive sodium or salt can cause many health problems in dogs. According to the Merk Manual, the AAFCO recommends that for growth and reproduction, a dog should have 0.3% sodium per day. 

The minimum sodium for an adult dog is 0.06% of their daily food intake for maintaining optimal health. The average dill spear contains around 300-600MG of sodium. Medium-sized dogs are supposed to get around 200MG of sodium per day so you can see how this can be an issue.

Pickles also can contain both garlic and onions which are also not good for your dog. Lastly, some pickles have hot peppers to spice them up which should not be fed to your dog. In general, eating 1 pickle will not harm your dog, but it can still have some negative side effects.  Excessive consumption can lead to GI issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.  

Different Types Of Pickles

can dogs eat dill pickles

Can Dogs Eat Bread And Butter Pickles?

These pickles contain much of what is found in dill pickles. The main exception is the sugar content. If you have never had a bread and butter pickle, they are actually really sweet. As you might have guessed, this sweetness is from added sugars. Sugar is not something that should be added you a dog’s diet. They should only get sugars for the fruits and vegetables they are given. Examples of healthy fruits that contain sugar are watermelon and blueberries.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Pickles?

Yes, dogs can eat sweet pickles.   Sweet pickles are also similar to bread and butter pickles. The main concern with both of these pickles is the added sugar. Dogs do not need to have a lot of sugar in their diets just like humans. Eating 1 of these sweet pickles will not kill your dog. However, they should be avoided to decrease the risk of tooth decay, diabetes, and weight gain associated with added sugars.

Can Dogs Eat Dill Pickles?

These are the most common pickles that are found at summer BBQs. Dill pickles are very similar to Kosher dill pickles.  Both types of pickles contain almost the same ingredients. I believe the only difference is the kosher salt and the kosher dill pickles must contain garlic. These pickles both contain very few harmful ingredients. The dill and cucumbers are not toxic to dogs. These should not be fed in large quantities because of the salt, garlic, and onions. So your dog can eat kosher dill pickles but only in moderation.

Can Dogs Eat Pickles That Are Spicy?

These pickles usually have some form of hot pepper added to increase the heat. Spicy pickles just like hot sauce should be avoided by your dog. The added spice can easily cause issues in a dog’s GI tract. The dog may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and other issues from spicy peppers that are added to this kind of pickle. 

Do not let dogs eat spicy pickles. If your dog does happen to eat some, monitor the dog for any GI issues. Be aware of the dangers of dehydration and how to rehydrate your dog in these scenarios. Keep a fresh supply of water around for your dog to drink as needed. If your dog does vomit or has diarrhea for an extended time see a vet. You might consider feeding a bland diet to the dog over the next few days until the symptoms subside.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs drink pickle juice?

This one is an absolute no, do not let your dog drink pickle juice. The amount of sodium in a jar of pickle juice can cause fatal reactions in dogs. Excess sodium causes multiple issues in dogs.

When a dog consumes excessive sodium, water can be removed from the dog’s cells and blood rapidly. This causes the muscles to tremor and shake. The water leaving the cells can also affect the dog’s brain. When water is removed from the dog’s brain cells, it can cause convulsions, coma, and death. This usually will only occur if the dog does not have access to fresh water.

If your dog accidentally got into a jar of pickle juice, make sure there is plenty of fresh water available for the dog. Drinking water can and will alleviate the effects of the excess sodium. This is one of those things where you should call your veterinarian if this happens to your dog.

Can dogs eat fried pickles?

This is another food that should be avoided. Will fried pickles kill your dog? They most likely will not. If given enough fried pickles they certainly will make your dog ill. There are a few things associated with fried pickles that dogs need to avoid in excessive amounts. It’s actually the same for humans as well. Both the high salt content and the fat are not good for your dog. Excessive salt can cause all kinds of health issues with dogs and even death.

What do you do if your dog got drank pickle juice?

The most important thing is ensuring the dog has ample fresh clean water to drink. If the dog drank pickle juice the excess sodium will pull water from its cells and blood. The dog needs to stay hydrated. It is best to contact your veterinarian for further advice. Monitor the dog for any health concerns and report them to your vet immediately. This could be a medical emergency for your dog depending on how much was consumed.

Summary: Can Dog Eat Pickles?

  • Yes, dogs can eat pickles of wide varieties, however, feed them sparingly.
  • Pickles should not be fed to a dog as a normal part of their diet, sodium is too high.
  • Pickle juice should not be given to dogs because it’s very high in sodium. Seek medical advice if your dog drank pickle juice and give your dog plenty of fresh water.
  • Avoid giving dogs any fried foods due to their high salt and fat content.
  • For a healthier snack try cucumbers, bean sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, or collard greens.  Any of these veggies if blandly cooked or raw can be fed to your dog in moderation.  

Please comment below if you let your dog eat pickles. What kind does your dog enjoy? Let us know!

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