Can dogs eat cucumbers? The Labrador Site team investigates whether cucumber is good for dogs.
Cucumbers are safe for dogs to eat in moderation. They contain lots of water, and some important vitamins and minerals. And are low in fats and calories.
But cucumbers can be a choking hazard if incorrectly prepared. And too much cucumber can upset your dog’s stomach.
So let’s take a look at how best to serve cucumber for dogs. And just how much cucumber it’s okay for them to eat.
Are Cucumbers Safe For Dogs?
Cucumber is one of the safest vegetables for dogs to eat. And they can eat every part of it – flesh, skin and pips.
But make sure to wash cucumbers well before feeding them to your dog. The skin may contain pesticide residue which could be toxic.
Always cut cucumber for dogs into bite-sized pieces or slices. A large piece of cucumber can be a choking hazard. The tough skin can also be difficult for them to chew and digest.
Also feed your dog only one or two pieces of cucumber a day as a treat. Too much of any fruit or vegetable can upset your dog’s stomach because of the high fiber content.
Are Cucumbers Good For Dogs?
The answer to the question “Is cucumber good for dogs” is a definite yes.
A big plus is that cucumber is very low in calories, about 16 calories to one cup full. Cucumbers are also a hydrating treat as they are about 95% water.
Furthermore, this vegetable is low in salt and fat while packed with many nutritious vitamins and minerals.
Dogs and cucumbers don’t always go together though. Some dogs don’t like the taste or smell of this vegetable. If they do, however, it’s a very healthy treat.
But always remember that treats should only make up about 10% of your dog’s daily diet.
When Are Cucumbers Bad For Dogs?
Mostly cucumbers are only bad for dogs when you feed it incorrectly or give them too much of it.
Let’s take a closer look at the problems cucumber can cause.
Dogs often gulp their food down without chewing it properly. Cucumber can cause choking, or even an intestinal obstruction, if the pieces are too big. Especially if it is a variety with a very tough skin.
Cucumber for dogs should never be given whole. So if your dog really likes this vegetable make sure they can’t get to your stock.
Cucumbers, like most fruit and vegetables, have a high fiber content. If dogs eat too much cucumber they may experience bloat, gas or even diarrhea.
Dogs might be allergic to cucumbers. But this is very rare. To be on the safe side, only try a small bite of cucumber the first time you feed it to your dog.
If you notice any adverse reaction, like swelling of lips or difficulty breathing, contact your vet right away.
Cucumbers are a natural diuretic – meaning that the kidneys excrete more urine.
Your dog could urinate more than usual when they’ve had too much cucumber. Possibly even having an accident in the house or becoming incontinent.
If this happens make sure your dog has enough water to drink and keep an eye out for any signs of dehydration.
So the answer to the question “Are cucumbers bad for dogs?” is that they is only unsafe in rare cases where dogs are allergic to them. Unless you feed your pup too much or the pieces are too big.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Eaten Too Much Cucumber?
You think your dog might have had too much cucumber – maybe they got hold of some when you weren’t watching.
The most common effect of too much cucumber will be mild bloating or gas. They could also have loose bowel movements or diarrhea. Or even urinate more than usual.
Usually this will pass on its own. But monitor your pup to make sure the problem doesn’t get worse. If it does, visit your veterinarian right away.
If a dog has diarrhea together with signs of pain, vomiting, and dehydration this could indicate an obstruction.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers Raw?
Raw cucumbers are fine for dogs. They are the most refreshing and contain all the nutrients.
However, you must make sure that you prepare raw cucumber correctly for dogs. If the pieces are too large, your dog could choke.
And you must wash raw cucumber before serving it to remove any potentially toxic toxins from the skins.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers Cooked?
Cooking cucumber for dogs is fine too. You may even want to mix it in with their regular dog food.
But keep in mind that cooking destroys many of the nutrients in cucumbers.
Can Dogs Have Cucumber Skin?
Cucumber skin is generally safe for dogs to eat. But only if you feed chunks or slices that have been cut to the right size for your pup.
The reason is that cucumber skin is tough to chew and also difficult to digest. You could peel the cucumber, but most of the vitamins and minerals are contained in the skin.
Also consider that cucumbers, or any vegetables for that matter, have usually been sprayed with pesticides. The best option is to use organic vegetables. Otherwise always wash them thoroughly.
Can Dogs Have Cucumber Seeds?
Cucumber seeds are safe for dogs. But you can scoop them out with a spoon if you want a less messy treat.
Can Dogs Have Cucumber Water?
Water infused with cucumber is safe for dogs and a refreshing treat on a hot day.
But before you use a commercial variety just check all the ingredients. Some ingredients, such as the artificial sweetener Xylitol, can be very toxic for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumber Pickles?
Whether cucumber pickles are safe for dogs depends on the ingredients.
Besides the cucumber being healthy for dogs, some of the spices used in pickling are also good for them. Dill, cinnamon, and cloves are safe and healthy.
Nutmeg, on the other hand, is quite toxic for dogs. Pickles with onions and excessive salt could also be harmful to your dog.
Health Benefits Of Cucumbers For Dogs
Cucumbers are one of the healthiest and safest treats for your dog. Compared to other most treats they are low in sugar, salt and fat while providing many healthy nutrients.
This includes substantial levels of Vitamins B, C and K. Also potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
In animal studies cucumbers have been shown to have antioxidant properties and they can help to reduce inflammation.
However, these nutrients are minimal if you follow the guidelines and give your dog only small amounts of cucumber as a treat. Dogs should get all the nutrients they need from their daily diet of kibble or canned dog food.
Can Cucumbers Cause Diarrhea in Dogs?
As we have already explained, the high fiber content of cucumbers can cause diarrhea in dogs.
This usually only happens if dogs eat too much cucumber. Some dogs are, however, more sensitive to fiber.
If you suspect that your dog’s tummy problems are from cucumber, leave it for a day or two and see what happens.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers If They Are On A Diet?
Finding treats for dogs who need to lose weight can be very difficult.
Low-calorie cucumbers are an ideal treat for dogs who are on a diet. Then they don’t have to miss out on treats as a reward during training.
Are Cucumbers Good For Dogs’ Breath?
Some of the plant nutrients and chemicals in cucumbers are believed to act as a breath freshener for dogs. They destroy the bacteria that cause the bad odor in your dog’s mouth.
But cucumbers, or any other fresh fruit and vegetables, should never replace a good oral health care routine for your dog.
Are Cucumbers Good For Dogs With Diabetes?
The low sugar levels in cucumbers make them an excellent treat for dogs with diabetes.
Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that a high fiber diet helps to control blood sugar levels in dogs with diabetes. So the additional fiber provided by cucumbers could be an added benefit.
Are Cucumbers Good For Dogs With Kidney Disease?
Dogs with kidney disease usually require a diet low in protein, salt and phosphorous. Cucumbers meet this requirement.
But in some for some types of kidney disease the diuretic effect of cucumbers might not be good for your dog.
So always check with your veterinarian whether it is safe to feed cucumber to your dog with a diagnosed kidney problem.
How Can I Feed My Dog Cucumbers?
You can feed your dog every part of a cucumber. You can dice it or slice it, leave the skin on or peel it. Use it as a treat or mix some into their food.
Always wash the cucumber first and make sure all the plastic-wrap has been removed. You can peel it if you’re concerned about pesticides. Or if you think the peel might be too fibrous on your dog’s stomach.
Cut the cucumber into small cubes or thin slices to prevent choking. This is especially true for puppies with their tiny teeth.
Only feed cucumber in moderation – even if your dog loves it. What if your dog doesn’t want to eat the cucumber? Don’t worry – dogs have different tastes, just like we do.
Special Cucumber Treats for Dogs
Slice rounds of cucumber. Remove the seedy center and replace it with peanut butter or cream cheese. A healthy picnic treat your dogs and kids can share. Or a Halloween “eyeball” treat.
Frozen chunks or spears of peeled cucumber make a soothing teething chew for your puppy.
Does Dog Food Contain Cucumbers?
As far as we are aware cucumbers are not used in preparing any commercial dog foods.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers – Summary
Cucumbers are a nutritious and safe snack for your dog.
Just make sure to cut it into small cubes or slices. Large pieces, especially with the skin on, are a choking hazard.
Moderation is key, as with any treats. Feeding a dog too much cucumber can cause digestive problems, including gas, loose stools and diarrhea, and vomiting.
Cucumbers are a great treat option because they have so few calories. And cucumber is very refreshing on a hot summer day.
Does your dog enjoy cucumber? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below!
References and Further Reading
- Graham, PA et al. Influence of a High Fiber Diet on Glycemic Control and Quality of Life in Dogs with Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of Small Animal Practice.
- Leili, M. et al. Determination of Pesticides Residues in Cucumbers Grown in Greenhouse and the Effect of Some Procedures on Their Residues. Iranian Journal of Public Health.
- Sabella, K. Can I Give My Dog Cucumbers. PetCoach.
- Szalay, J. (2017). Cucumbers: Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts. Live Science.
- WebMD. (Accessed 2021). Health Benefits of Cucumber.
- WebMD. (Accessed 2021). Why Cucumbers Are Good for You.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website