Last Updated on August 30, 2021 by Marco C.
Dogs can eat a lot of fruits and veggies but there are quite a few foods that are toxic to them. So, can dogs have dill pickle or drink pickles juice? Are pickles ok for dogs if they don’t have dill? How about if you add onions?
Such questions can feel silly if you don’t have a dog or have never given your pooch pickles. If you have, however, you know that dogs absolutely adore pickles both as treats and as parts of their everyday meals. We do too, so that shouldn’t be too surprising. Are pickles really ok for dogs, however?
Can Dogs Have Dill Pickles?
They can but only in moderation. The pickled cucumbers themselves aren’t toxic for dogs in any way. That is unless you’ve added some other undesirable ingredients in your pickles. But the pickles alone are ok for dogs as an occasional treat. Unlike other fruits and veggies such as grapes or avocados, there isn’t anything strictly toxic in pickles for dogs.
What Makes Pickles Ill-Advised For Dogs?
The only thing that’s bad for dogs in pickles is the excess sodium. However, even that is fine in moderation, just as it is with people. Sodium, or salt, shouldn’t be ignored, of course. Regular intake of high quantities of sodium can lead to a lot of serious health complications in dogs, similar to health problems in humans.
For example, regular salt intake increases your dog’s blood pressure and with it – the risk of heart problems and strokes. Salt has also been linked with gastric cancer and it’s well-known to lead to kidney problems and the formation of kidney stones.
This makes sodium intake especially ill-advised for dogs who are predisposed to have heart problems. Unfortunately, heart disease is one of the more common health problems for Labradors and cancer isn’t unlikely either.
The vinegar in pickles is also noteworthy but isn’t much of a problem as long as you’re not going overboard with the pickles. Vinegar isn’t toxic for dogs so, just don’t give your pooch too many pickles and it won’t upset your dog’s stomach.
Is The Dill Itself A Problem?
The dill seasoning is actually meant to help alleviate an upset stomach which is good. Giving your dog dill pickles for the dill isn’t a good idea, however, as the salt and vinegar in the pickles will more than counteract the positive effects of the dill.
But if you are wondering between pickles and dill pickles – the latter aren’t worse in any way.
Can Dogs Have Dill Pickles With Onions?
Are pickles bad for dogs if they are with not just dill but onions as well? Unlike dill, pickled onions are strongly ill-advised. The onions are known to be toxic to dogs and to cause a nasty anemia. In that, onions are similar to garlic, leek, and chive. This is another big reason why hamburgers and other human junk food should also be kept away from dogs, although there are lots of additional reasons for that.
Do Pickles Have Any Health Benefits For Dogs?
Fresh cucumbers are a good source of Vitamins C and B, biotin, magnesium, and potassium. Pickled cucumbers, however, aren’t – neither for dogs nor for human. They are a delicious snack but they aren’t exactly “a salad”.
So, the only feasible benefit of pickles is that they are a good training treat. If you find out that your dog loves pickles more than any other treat that you can use them to your advantage. Health-wise, however, they don’t really bring anything to your dog’s diet other than a few extra calories.
How Many Pickles Can You Safely Give Your Dog?
This will depend on the bodyweight of your dog. Generally, giving your dog a couple of small pickles once or twice a week (during specific training sessions, for example) is ok. Similarly, if your dog sneaks a pickle of your dinner plate, that should be fine.
If you have a bigger dog, then a few extra bites shouldn’t be a problem either and your dog will likely enjoy the extra snack. Look at that Husky and wolf-dog duo, for example. However, if you start giving your dog multiple pickles every day, then the extra sodium will likely start playing some nasty tricks on your dog’s digestive system and overall health.
Learn more about: Can Dogs Eat Tangerines And Other Citruses?
Can Dogs Have Dill Pickles If They Drink A Lot Of Water Too?
Keeping your dog well-hydrated is definitely a must whether or not you give it pickles for snacks. As with people, water is great for dealing with the extra sodium in your system and avoiding kidney stones and other kidney or heart problems.
That being said, we can’t really instruct dogs to drink extra water – most of the time we can only make sure that they drink as much as they want to. So, while you can and should make sure your dog is never dehydrated, you can’t really compensate for the extra sodium in your dog’s diet.
Hypothetically, you can make water more alluring for your dog by adding a bit of apple juice or Gatorade in it, as we’ve talked about here. However, that trick will only get you a few extra gulps and can’t compensate for the extra pickles. Besides, such drinks come with their own set of drawbacks.
In short, you can’t really compensate for the extra sodium. You’ll just have to make sure that you don’t give your dog too many pickles.
Can Dogs Have Pickles Juice?
They can but they absolutely shouldn’t! While most dogs will happily gulp on pickle juice, it has a ton of excess salt, vinegar, and sugar in it with zero nutritional value!
What If Your Dog Has Eaten Too Many Pickles At Once?
The immediate issues you can expect to see if your dog overeats on pickles include:
- Muscle tremors
- Excess urination and thirst
- Ataxia, i.e. incoordination
Call your vet immediately if you notice any of those symptoms.
In Summary, Can Dogs Have Dill Pickles?
Pickles can be an effective training snack as most dogs seem to love them. They are non-toxic (as long as there are no onions or garlic) and they are incredibly delicious. Just don’t give your dog too much as they are quite salty.