Yes, dogs can eat raw bite-sized cucumbers in moderation. They are a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals. Cucumbers also make a good summer snack as it is a hydrating element, low in calories and fat. However, dogs consuming cucumber should be under proper supervision as excessive cucumber can be hazardous.
What Are Cucumbers?
Cucumber is a popular creeper vine plant in the Cucurbitaceae family that produces cylindrical fruits eaten as vegetables. Cucumber is an annual plant of three primary kinds: pickling, slicing, and seedless. Under each of these types, various cultivars have been produced. Cucumbers are native to South Asia, but they now blossom on almost every continent, thanks to the worldwide demand for cucumbers. Wild cucumber refers to the genera Echinocystis and Marah plants in North America, albeit not closely related.
Cucumber Nutritional Values per 100 g
- Water – 95.23g
- Protein – 0.65g
- Energy – 15kcal
- Total fat – 0.11g
- Vitamin B6 – 0.04 mg
- Vitamin C – 2.8mg
- Fiber – 0.5g
- Carbohydrates – 3.63g
- Calcium – 16 mg
- Potassium – 147 mg
- Sugars – 1.67g
- Iron – 0.28mg
- Sodium – 2 mg
Are Cucumbers Safe for Dogs?
Yes, cucumbers are safe for dogs in moderation due to their nutritional properties. However, it is essential to be mindful about:
Cucumber peels: Cucumber peels should be removed before offering cucumber to a dog. They are hard to digest; hence, they may choke; also, they may contain parasites triggering allergies in dogs.
Cucumber seeds: Dogs should not be offered seeds of any fruits or vegetables due to choking hazards and the presence of cyanide.
Why Are Cucumbers Good for Dogs?
Cucumbers are good for dogs as it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, which includes:
Vitamin B2: Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, is responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats into energy and helps in the production of RBC, which transports nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is essential. Glucose production, red blood cell and central nervous function, hormone control, immunological response, niacin synthesis, and gene activation are all aided by this vitamin.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C acts as a significant antioxidant. It can help prevent inflammation and cognitive aging by scavenging potentially damaging free radicals in the body. Although dogs’ livers can generate vitamin C on their own, supplementation may provide health advantages in some situations.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K is a fat-soluble substance required to create coagulation proteins necessary for clotting blood. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), which is generated in plants and can be ingested through food or supplements, is the most common dietary source of Vitamin K.
Magnesium: At the cellular level, magnesium is involved in energy generation. Magnesium is required to allow the passage of energy whenever your pet moves a muscle, has a heartbeat or has thought.
Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte essential for your dog’s health. Potassium helps electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles work correctly. If your dog lacks this vital mineral, you may notice that they are constantly fatigued, which is not normal, or that they have no desire to eat.
Manganese: Manganese is required to produce energy, metabolize protein and carbs, and form fatty acids in dogs. Manganese is a component of many enzymes and aids in the health and preservation of bone and cartilage in joints.
Fiber: Fiber is an excellent source of nutrients for a dog’s digestive system. The healthy bacteria usually found in your dog’s colon digest fiber into fatty acids. This fatty acid then aids in the recovery of the colon by preventing the expansion of any harmful bacteria.
Water: Water helps your dog’s body to be hydrated. It reduces the chances of dehydration in dogs. Apart from hydrating, it also keeps the digestive tract clean and aids in proper bowel movement.
Low calorie: Low-calorie food is best for dogs as excessive calorie intake can cause diabetes, obesity, weight gain, et cetera. A low-calorie food can always replace unhealthy dog treats.
Quercetin: Quercetin is a naturally occurring antioxidant that promotes the body’s natural anti-inflammatory activities and is especially good for promoting urinary tract health in dogs. Quercetin can also help with pet allergy problems.
Quercetin helps in preventing:
- Heart disease
Kaempferol: This soluble fiber decreases the chances of getting cancer.
Fisetin: Studies have shown that Fisetin, one of the flavonoids, has anti-cancer activity on cells and animals. It has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, hindering the enzyme that promotes inflammation and pain. They may also help fight some neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Calcium: Calcium is an essential dietary component for your dog’s health. It is required for bone and tooth development, nerve impulse transmission, cell communication, muscle contraction, and blood coagulation. Therefore, it’s critical for your dog’s general health that he gets adequate calcium.
Zinc: Zinc is a mineral found in numerous things in the dog’s body, including enzymes, proteins, and hormones. Zinc is also necessary for the immune system and thyroid function. Therefore, zinc insufficiency can cause various issues in dogs, including incapability of infection protection.
Iron: Iron is required to accomplish critical processes, including carrying oxygen throughout the body in the hemoglobin of red blood cells so that the cells can generate energy. Iron is also required to function various enzymes in the body properly.
Molybdenum: Molybdenum is considered an essential nutrient for mammals for enzymatic processes.
Phytochemicals and phytonutrients: Cucumbers are high in phytonutrients and phytochemicals, which help your dog’s breath stay fresh. They also kill the germs that cause bad breath in the mouth.
Why Are Cucumbers Bad for Dogs?
Although cucumbers are good for dogs, a few downsides should be considered. Excessive consumption of cucumber can trigger:
- Due to high water and fiber content, your dog might face:
- Digestive issues
- Frequent urination
- Stomach ache
- If your dog consumes cucumber after drinking milk, your dog can face:
- Abdominal pain
- Gassy stomach
- GI Issues
How Much Cucumber to Feed Your Dog?
The 10% rule is a standard guideline from veterinarians. Treats, like raw vegetables, can account for 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. Therefore, on a sweltering afternoon, you might give your Papillon a delicate cucumber spear, whereas your German shepherd can eat a huge scoop of frozen cucumber pieces.
Cucumbers have just around 1% sugar by weight, with 1 gram of sugar, 1 gram of dietary fiber, and 16 calories in one cup of diced cucumbers. Cucumbers can be a nice treat for dogs on a low-calorie diet or with diabetes because of this.
How to Serve Cucumbers to Dogs?
Here are a few cucumber serving ideas, ideal for your dog:
- Combine peeled, chopped cucumber with melon, celery, and pear slices for a delightful dog-friendly salad side dish.
- Remove the soft seedy center of cucumbers by slicing them into rounds. Spread peanut butter on cucumber slices.
- Unsalted and unseasoned, plain cucumber.
- Freeze peeled cucumber pieces or spears for a teething treat for your pet.
- Add tiny cucumber chunks to their usual dog food for a refreshing dish.
- Cucumber slices are dehydrated to make a chewy, summer delight.
What If My Dog Ate Cucumbers?
The concern should arise if your dog eats the peel and seeds of cucumber, as they can choke your dog and have digestive issues. Take your dog to the vet if the circumstances are remorseful. Peeled and deseeded cucumber will make your dog urinate more, and he will have mild stomach pain, which can be cured at home. If your dog eats an entire cucumber, that can choke your dog. If that is the scenario, visit the vet immediately.
However, before introducing cucumbers to your dog, always take a consultation from the vet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dogs eat pickled cucumbers?
No, dogs cannot eat pickled cucumbers as they are high in salt, distilled white vinegar, and other harmful ingredients like xylitol, leading to the dog’s death.
Can eating cucumbers be dangerous for dogs?
Two dangers may be impending while dogs eat cucumbers. Firstly, too many cucumbers can cause stomach upset in dogs. Secondly, chomping a whole cucumber can cause choking hazards.
Can puppies eat cucumbers?
No, puppies cannot eat cucumber as their digestive system is more vulnerable than an adult dog. In addition, cucumbers can make them gassy and significantly sick.
Winding up the article, we comprehend that cucumbers are great for dogs! However, excessive consumption of cucumber can lead to digestive disorders. Hence, with proper consultation from the vet, ensuring the amount of cucumber is vital. Cucumber otherwise provides various health benefits to the dog as it is packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Therefore, ensure a healthy and happy life for your dog.