Can Dogs Eat Pickles?

Generally speaking, pickles contain nutritional benefits. However, pickles are very rich in sodium and contain many ingredients that can be harmful to your dog.

So, the answer to the question can dog eat pickles is maybe, pickles are healthy if eaten within reasonable limits, but they become unhealthy if your dog eats too many.

How Are Pickles Made?

Pickles are cucumbers that are kept in salted water and vinegar along with some spices. Spices are where the high concentration of sodium comes from.

Pickles are prepared in different flavors, some of which are hot or zesty. Some of these flavors are bad for your dog.

Because there is no typical recipe for pickles, veterinarians recommend knowing what they contain before sharing any with your dog. If you are enjoying this article, check out our article on the best dog food for shar pei.

Pickle Types

Pickles come in different types, the most popular of which is the dill pickle. It is made of a number of cucumbers soaked in salted water, dill, and vinegar. Dill is an herb containing lots of antioxidants.

Just because dill pickles are not toxic for your dog, does not mean you should feed him too many. If you want your dog to benefit from the nutrients that this herb offers, veterinarians recommend you to simply add some fresh pieces of the herb to the dog’s diet.

The second most popular pickle type is the bread-butter pickle. As the name suggests, this type is made of bread, butter, some cucumbers, a few peppers, garlic, sugar, spices, and a few onions. This type of pickle contains ingredients that dogs cannot ingest. Specifically speaking, onions and garlic are not healthy for dogs. They can damage blood cells.

Spicy pickles are also popular. This type is, as the name suggests, made with spices, peppers, and, of course, cucumber. All of the ingredients are tough on your dog’s digestive system. Dogs aren’t accustomed to receiving spicy food. This can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

How Safe Are Pickles?

Because pickles are rich in sodium, they can be unsafe for your dog. They can lead to health issues including abdominal problems and tummy aches.

According to veterinarians, receiving large amounts of sodium-packed pickles will result in vomiting and diarrhea.

Any Good News?

The answer is of course yes. In spite of the negative effects pickles (sodium) can have on your dog’s health, they are also considered a good source of nutrients. Receiving normal amounts is good for your dog’s body, but too much will lead to problems.

According to experts, manufactured dog meals contain from 0.3-0.4% of sodium, allowing for perfect maintenance of the dog’s body.

If you want to offer your dog an alternative snack, you can give him raw cucumbers as a substitute. Cucumbers contain the vitamins necessary for your dog’s health without the unhealthy ingredients that pickles contain.

Is The Vinegar Safe?

While apple vinegar can be good for your dog, white vinegar is hardly praised by nutritionists. This type of vinegar is what’s used to prepare pickles.

Some veterinarians claim that vinegar isn’t healthy for dogs because it’s a topical spray. Surprisingly, vinegar can be used to repel fleas!

Furthermore, vinegar can in fact damage the pH balance in your dog’s skin, dulling his coat and upsetting his stomach.

Because of the high concentration of vinegar in pickles, you might be questioning whether it’s safe to offer them to your dogs or not. If your dog suffers from health issues, heart disease for instance, consult your dog’s veterinarian even if you want to feed him a small serving. If you are enjoying this article, check out our article on the best dog food for saint bernard puppies.

What About Sweet Pickles?

The main ingredient in pickles is the cucumber, and this is healthy by itself. Actually, cucumber is a low-calorie food that is nutritional for a dog. Cucumbers largely consist of water and have a sweet taste.

In order to prepare sweet pickles, you need to add a great deal of sugar to the jar containing the pickles. Dogs can have sweet pickles.

Sugar is not healthy for dogs. It can cause diabetes and obesity. Always look for products that are low in sugar.

It’s worth mentioning that sugar-free pickles aren’t always a good choice for dogs. They often include xylitol which is toxic for pets.

Healthy Alternatives

Cucumber on its own is healthy for your dog; you can just add some vinegar to make it tastier. This will also add additional benefits like strengthening his digestive and immune systems.

There is a veggie called gherkin; it is similar to a cucumber and is used to prepare pickles. You can use gherkin as a substitute. They are easily prepared at home. Remember that pickles are high in sodium. Do not give your furry friend too many.

Apples are also a great alternative to pickles. They contain vitamin C, some minerals, phosphorus, and fiber. Most veterinarians agree that the apple’s peel is safe for the dog to eat. Many vets recommend dog owners to offer their dogs slices from time to time as a healthy treat.

You can cool the apple slices, so that your dog has something refreshing to eat in warm weather.

Wrapping Up

In short, the secret to providing your dog with a healthy diet is balance. Your dog will be fine if he eats a small amount of pickles per day. Large amounts will lead to problems.


Hello, I'm Shelly! I write about all things dogs. I'm a proud mother of 3. So I guess my official title is fulltime mother, part-time dog blogger. Look around and if you have any questions reach out to me