Not that many foods share the popularity of cucumbers. People love them, but can dogs eat cucumbers as well, and are cucumbers for dogs safe to consume? What are the health benefits of cucumbers, and are there any side effects of giving cucumbers to dogs?
If you've been wondering, “can I give my dog cucumbers,” the short answer is yes – dogs can eat cucumbers without any issues.
Cucumbers may be popular among people, but it's an underrated vegetable among dogs. Rarely will you see people giving cucumbers to dogs, or any dog foods including cucumbers as part of their ingredient list. Here's what you need to know about them.
What are cucumbers?
Cucumber is a popular vegetable from the gourd family Cucurbitaceae.
Cucumbers are extremely low in calories, very high in water content and pack some punch when it comes to nutritional value and especially hydrating properties for dogs.
This is what a cucumber looks like:
While there are hundreds of cucumber varieties, the edible types are labeled as either pickling or slicing cucumbers, which are the ones you can give to dogs.
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Cucumbers for Dogs 101
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?
Yes – it's safe for dogs to eat cucumbers. But as with any other vegetable, fruit or food item, it's best to practice moderation.
Cucumbers offer dogs multiple health benefits in a well-rounded way. Because they are so low in calories, cucumbers make for a perfect dog treat, especially on hot summer days when your canine needs an extra push in hydration.
The following vitamins and minerals can be found in cucumbers (in low numbers):
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
What do all these components mean in terms of your dog’s health? Let’s investigate further and see how much these vitamins and minerals impact our pets.
10 Potential Health Benefits of Cucumbers for Dogs
A cucumber may seem like an inconsequential vegetable because of its low calorie and high water content, but they actually do serve as a healthy addition to any dog's diet.
Here are the ways that cucumbers can benefit dogs:
1. Potassium, magnesium and fiber work together to regulate blood pressure.
These three minerals are present in cucumbers and team up together to regulate your dog’s blood pressure.
2. Antioxidants in cucumbers work to prevent diseases and illnesses.
Cucumbers are full of antioxidants, which fight cell damage caused by free radicals within the body. This may result in lowered risk of cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.
3. Cucumbers assist dogs in losing weight.
Substituting your dog’s sugary-filled, fatty treats with cucumbers can lead to your dog losing weight. Cucumbers are mostly water and so low in calories that the switch will do your dog’s waistline some good.
4. Vitamin C enhances and improves the immune system.
The Vitamin C in cucumbers is a water-soluble vitamin that promotes the activity and function of white blood cells. This, in turn, strengthens your dog’s immune system.
5. Cucumbers promote healthy kidneys and liver.
This vegetable optimizes the kidneys and liver, assisting both organs in functioning in more efficient ways.
6. Vitamin K in cucumbers strengthens bones.
Vitamin K is crucial for the construction of strong bones. Cucumbers can aid a working, herding, or highly active dog who places more stress on joints and muscles by ensuring strong, healthy bones for lifelong agility.
7. Vitamins B1 and B6 increase metabolism and brain power.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) promotes normal growth processes and allows carbohydrates to be metabolized in the body.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) produces red blood cells to maintain normal brain functions.
8. Cucumbers necessitate hydration in dogs.
Cucumbers are roughly 95% water, making them a perfect treat to give your dog on a warm summer day or after a vigorous walk or run. Dogs need proper hydration and cucumbers can provide that for them.
9. Silica in cucumbers can strengthen muscles and joints.
Cucumbers contain silica, a type of mineral that increases the strength and flexibility of a dog’s joints and connective tissues.
This is especially helpful for older dogs with hip dysplasia and arthritis as it can reduce pain and inflammation within the joints.
10. Cucumbers can freshen a dog’s breath.
This vegetable is a natural means by which to keep your dog’s breath smelling fresh and clean. Cucumbers contain phytonutrients and phytochemicals that destroy odor-producing bacteria in your dog’s mouth, promoting fresher breath.
Bottom Line: Adding cucumbers to your dog’s diet in appropriate amounts can improve your dog’s health in numerous ways.
Side Effects of Cucumbers for Dogs
Unless ingested in excess amounts, there are no side effects of cucumbers for dogs.
Like all foods, cucumbers should be fed to dogs as treats only in moderation. Feeding your dog cucumbers in excess or in place of meals can result in digestive discomfort or illness.
Dogs who eat a lot of cucumbers may experience gastrointestinal disorder.
Gastrointestinal disorders in dogs as a result of eating too many cucumbers:
Vomiting, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and gas may result from the ingestion of too many cucumbers.
Mild stomach pain may also occur, although rarely will this develop into a serious illness.
As an occasional, healthy dog treat, cucumbers are very good for dogs. Cucumbers eaten in excess, however, may distress a dog’s body and cause unnecessary stomach distress.
Peel the cucumber skin before feeding to your dog.
While dogs can eat cucumber with the skin intact, it’s best to peel the cucumber first before giving it to your dog.
Generally, cucumber skin isn't bad for dogs, but some dogs may have a difficult time digesting the skin and suffer from gastrointestinal distress as a result.
Additionally, cucumber skins may contain bacteria or pesticides. So it's safer to peel the cucumber although a little cucumber skin here and there should not be a problem.
Can I Give My Dog Cucumbers?
Yes, you most definitely can give your dog cucumbers, as long as you feed them in moderation.
Cucumbers are a rare, all-around beneficial food that is as good for dogs as it is for humans. They are particularly great for keeping your dogs hydrated.
It is an excellent, nutritious snack for dogs that when given in moderation, and can improve various aspects of your dog’s health.
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