Can dogs eat pickles ? There have been one or two occasions where dog owners experience a health scare because their dogs just ate something that they shouldn’t have, such as pickles. Well, can dogs eat pickles? Is it safe for them? The short answer is yes and no. Keep reading to understand why this is the case.
What are Pickles ?
Pickles are made from cucumbers that are dipped in a brine solution containing spices, salt, and vinegar. There are different types of pickles, including ginger, sweet, and dill pickles. Each pickle solution is different depending on the kind of ingredients and spices used, and that is where the question concerning their safety arises.
Can Dogs Eat Pickles ?
As with most human food, pickles can be shared with dogs. However, one must know all the ingredients before giving their dog pickles. This is because there are some certain ingredients that dogs are allergic to and could, therefore, harm them
Ingredients to Avoid When Buying Pickles Intended for Dogs
Most pickles are made with onions, which are harmful as they contribute to a condition known as Heinz bodies. When a dog eats onions, clumps of hemoglobin may form preventing proper oxygen flow. This will cause the red blood cells to die quicker, and as a result, a dog may develop hemolytic anemia.
Studies show that hemolytic anemia is not fatal. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to take this information lightly. This is because anemia comes with its risk factors. This condition may cause fatigue, loss of appetite, and the inability of dogs to do any exercises. Additionally, onions belong to the allium family of foods.
Therefore, dog owners must avoid other vegetables belonging to this family such as leeks, garlic, chives, and scallions to prevent hemolytic anemia in dogs. Watch out for symptoms such as vomiting, dark colored urine, breathing difficulties, and diarrhoea.
The brine solution in pickles contains salt causing it to have a high sodium content. Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that any dry based dog food should provide at least 0.3 percent of sodium for proper dog growth and development.
Therefore, giving your dog their regular diet as well as pickles runs the risk of exceeding the required sodium amount. If a dog consumes too much salt, they may experience nausea, seizures, excessive drinking as well as the loss of balance. Doctors, therefore, recommend giving dogs plain cucumbers as an alternative.
Nutmeg contains myristicin. This is a toxin that, when taken in large amounts, may cause hallucinations in dogs. Other symptoms include dry mouth, disorientation, and heart blood pressure for up to two days.
Types of Pickles That Are Safe for Dogs
Always remember that only the pickles themselves and not the juice are good for dogs. The high sodium content in the pickle juice combined with spices is not safe for dogs even when it’s diluted.
• Sweet Pickles
Sweet pickles have a low sodium content and are therefore safe for dogs. Just remember to pick one that has no spices. Additionally, dogs should only eat this as a snack and not as food because sweet pickles have a high sugar content which could lead to weight gain and even worse diabetes in dogs. You must also avoid sugar-free pickles because they contain artificial sweeteners that are harmful to dogs.
• Dill Pickles
These types of pickles are less nutritious compared to other kinds of pickles and should be given in moderation. Unfortunately, one dill pickle slice contains approximately 700 to 1500 milligrams of sodium, which is close to the human consumption limit. This means that your dog should only eat one slice of dill pickles to avoid consuming excessive sodium.
• Gingered Pickles
Fresh ginger is safe for dogs and is even used to ease stomach aches in dogs. Similar to other pickles, ginger pickles should only be given as a snack and in moderate amounts, especially for puppies to avoid nausea and heartburns.
• Egg Pickles
These pickles have little health benefits compared to real eggs and should, therefore, be given in small amounts.
• Beet Pickles
These pickles are only safe for adult dogs and should never be given to puppies as they may pose serious health risks.
Overall, pickles contain some nutrients that may be beneficial to dogs. These nutrients include vitamin A which supports vision, vitamin K, which promotes bone formation, magnesium which helps the nervous system, zinc, among others. Additionally, plain pickles have low calorie and fiber content as well as low cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes in dogs. It’s, therefore, crucial to ask a veterinarian before feeding your dog pickles.