Can Dogs Eat Pickles? Everything You Need to Know

No, dogs cannot eat pickles. Pickles contain excessive salt, apple cider vinegar, and distilled white vinegar. Along with these, there might be other spices. Pickles can also be sweet, which contains bread and butter, a high amount of sugar, nutmegs, cinnamon, which can be fatal to dogs. 

What is Pickle?

Pickle is a preparation made through pickling. Pickling preserves or extends food storage by anaerobic fermentation in saltwater or soaking in vinegar. The texture and flavor of the food are usually affected by the pickling process. Vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, dairy, and eggs are all examples of pickled foods.

Pickling was most likely invented around 2400 BCE in ancient Mesopotamia. According to archaeological evidence, cucumbers were pickled in the Tigris Valley about 2030 BCE.

Pickling was employed to preserve food for usage outside of the season and for lengthy trips, particularly by sea. Before the invention of steam engines, sailors’ mainstays were salt pork and salt beef. Pickles are created and consumed because people appreciate the tastes they produce, even though the technique was designed to preserve goods. Pickling can also boost food’s nutritional value by adding bacteria-produced B vitamins.

Are Pickles Safe For Dogs?

Pickles are not safe for dogs as the cucumber is preserved in brine and vinegar. Excessive sodium is not suitable for dogs to consume. On the other hand, vinegar is not ideal for dogs as it affects the kidney significantly. Generally, pickles have dill and cucumber, which is suitable for dogs. But, the concern is the other ingredients that affect the dog primarily. 

Why Are Pickles Bad for Dogs?

Pickles are bad for dogs because of the fermentation procedure. Let us dive into the ingredients which affect dogs:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Dill
  • Cucumber
  • Salt
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Spices

The ingredients which are harmful to dogs are:

Salt: Salt is the main component in a pickle. Dogs should not consume above 100 mg of salt each day. Dogs consuming excessive salt can face sodium ion poisoning. The symptoms of sodium ion poisoning are:

  • Dehydration
  • Disorientation
  • Pancreatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Kidney issues
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood-thinning
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Coma
  • Muscle tremors

Distilled White Vinegar: Distilled white vinegar provides no health benefit to dogs. Rather it affects the dog’s kidney. The consequences of consuming distilled white vinegar are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Kidney issues
  • Convulsions
  • Tremors

Onion and Garlic: Onion and garlic belong to the Allium family, which causes severe medical issues to dogs. The consequences of consuming onion and garlic are:

  • Damages red blood cell
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Spices: Spices can harm a dog in various ways. Generally, spices are added in pickles to please the taste buds of humans. However, these spices can cause the following issues in dogs:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas

We also have sweet pickles and bread and butter pickles, which can be dangerous for dogs. The ingredients of bread and butter pickles and sweet pickles are:

Sugar: Too much sweet is not recommended for dogs. Consequences of sugar consumption are:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Heart issues
  • Hyperactivity
  • Cavity issues
  • Periodontal disease

Cinnamon and Nutmeg: Cinnamon and nutmeg contain a harmful compound called Myristicin. Consuming this may lead to:

  • Hallucination
  • Convulsions
  • Disorientation
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Abdominal pain
  • Seizures

Xylitol: As an alternative to sugar, xylitol is added to various packaged foods. They come under the tag “sugar-free pickles.” It is highly poisonous for dogs and leads to their death in severe cases. Xylitol comes in contact with the digestive system of your dog. It gets dissolved in the bloodstream quickly and titillates the pancreas to release insulin. This leads to low blood sugar levels, causing hypoglycemia in dogs. Also, xylitol toxicity results in hepatic necrosis, which damages the liver and leads to acute liver failure. If your dog is left untreated after consuming any xylitol food, he can die due to low blood sugar. Even a minuscule amount of xylitol is toxic for dogs. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include: 

  • Vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Abnormal or tarry stool 
  • Depression 
  • Lethargy 
  • Weakness 
  • Lack of muscle coordination 
  • Accelerated heart rate 
  • Coma 
  • Seizures and liver failure in severe cases 

How Much Pickle to Feed Your Dog?

Feeding pickles to your dog is not a good idea. You may find various other articles saying pickles contain cucumber and dill, which aids your dog’s health, but the truth is, cucumber and dill are beneficial only if they are fed fresh and in moderation! Pickled dill and cucumber contain a lot of salt, spices, and distilled whited vinegar, which significantly affects the dog.

Feeding even a small amount of pickles is harmful to dogs. Hence, the best is to keep pickles away from your dog’s reach and provide him with healthier food items.

What If My Dog Ate Pickles?

Firstly, provide your dog with enough water to dilute the ingredients inside the body. This will lower the risk of symptoms your dog will face. Secondly, visit the vet to check all possible health issues your dog might face for consuming pickles. Thirdly, follow as per the vet prescribes. Finally, keep pickle jars out of your dog’s reach. 

Alternatives to Pickles

There are healthier alternatives you can provide your dogs. For example, you may use them as a treat or as suggested by your vet. The alternatives are:

  • Cucumber
  • Dill
  • Raspberry
  • Sweet potato
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Ripe pears

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat cucumbers?

Yes, dogs can eat fresh bite-sized cucumbers. They are packed with high-value nutritions, which will aid your dog’s bones, skin, coat, and immune system.

Can dogs eat dill?

Yes, dogs can eat dill in moderation. It is rich in antioxidants.

Can dogs drink pickle juice?

No, dogs cannot drink pickle juice as they are high in salt, spices, distilled white vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. All these components are highly hazardous for your dog. 

Can dogs eat kosher dill pickles?

No, dogs cannot eat kosher dill pickles as the pickle contains salt and can trigger many health issues.

Can pregnant dogs eat pickles?

No, pickles themselves are unhealthy and unsafe for dogs to consume due to their high-sodium content. Pregnant dogs must not consume pickles at any cost. 

Final Thoughts

We can easily comprehend that pickles are not safe for dogs to consume. They can trigger various health conditions, which even include seizures and tremors. It is best to offer your dog healthy treats. Remember to consult your vet before introducing any new food to your dog.

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