Can Dogs Eat Cucumber? Fact Checked By Our Vet
Fresh Greek salad, creamy tzatziki, or just plain, we love cucumber around here. But should your dog be having this crunchy veggie? Before giving in and sharing a bite, have a look at what the experts have to say about it!
Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?
Yes! Cucumbers don’t have any compound that is toxic for dogs. This means that if your pup got into your garden cucumbers or you slipped them a piece at dinner, they should be alright.
Of course, if your dog has never eaten cucumber and they tried it for the first time, it’s important to keep an eye on them.
Related: What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
Although dog food allergies are relatively uncommon, they do happen and sometimes they can be life-threatening. Whenever your dog tries a new food, keep an eye out for mood changes, excessive salivation, digestive discomfort, gas, diarrhoea, vomiting and lethargy. If your dog shows any of these after eating cucumber, take them to the vet. It probably means they are sensitive or allergic, and a vet should asses them ASAP.
Benefits Of Cucumber For Dogs
You might be wondering if cucumbers are as healthy for dogs as they can be for humans. Although dog-specific research on the subject is scarce, we found some interesting studies that show some benefits:
Can Eating Cucumbers Be Dangerous To Dogs?
Although cucumbers don’t naturally have compounds toxic to dogs, researchers do recommend caution with these issues:
PRO TIP: If your dog has had mild diarrhoea for more than 24 hours without signs of improvement, it’s time to get them to the vet. Although most times diarrhoea will solve itself, more than a few hours with it can put your dog at risk of dehydration.
How To Give Cucumber To A Dog
Step 1. Choose the right one
Only give human-grade cucumbers to your dog. Wild varieties of “bitter cucumbers” (sometimes used for pickling) have a higher cucurbitacin content. This compound is mildly toxic and will likely cause digestive troubles.
If you don’t know whether a cucumber is bitter, just try it: if it has a bitter aftertaste, don’t give it to your dog!
Step 2. Peel & cut
Although cucumber peel is rich in fibre, it’s also in contact with the most pesticides and germs. As a general rule, peeling the cucumber before giving it to your dog is your best option.
If you’d rather not peel it, go with organic cucumbers. Pesticides approved for organic farming are generally safer and used in minimal amounts.
Step 3. Cook
This is an optional step, but it’s worth it if your dog has a sensitive stomach. Raw cucumbers (like most raw veggies) can be hard to digest for many dogs. Lightly cooking cucumbers before giving them to your dog will make them easier to digest and avoid excess gas.
Step 4. Offer small bites
Cooked or not, only offer bite-sized cucumber pieces to your dog. Choking is a constant risk with dogs, so it’s best to keep your bases covered and stick to smaller pieces.
Step 5. Don’t be too insistent
What to do if your dog doesn’t like cucumber? If they are rejecting your little treats, we recommend letting it go. Although they can have some health benefits, cucumbers are by no means a must in your pup’s diet.
Sometimes, dogs refuse human foods that will cause indigestion (not always!). So, if your dog doesn’t want to eat cucumber, don’t insist. They can get their micronutrients elsewhere!
Step 6. Keep it occasional
Even if they are a veggie, plain cucumbers should be considered a treat. Don’t give cucumber pieces more than 2 or 3 times a week, even less often if your dog has a sensitive stomach. Remember that your dog’s nutritional needs should be filled through a consistently balanced diet, and cucumbers (or other treats) should be kept for rewards or to spice up their diet.
If you’re wondering if your dog can eat cucumber, go ahead and give them a small piece! This crunchy veggie could be a great low-calorie option for your dog, especially if they like the texture. Of course, always remember that it’s a treat, and cucumber should never replace full meals.
Has your pup ever tried cucumber? Did they like it? Let us know in the comments below!
Are you wondering if your dog can eat other common foods? Check out our full list below:
- What Food Can't Dogs Eat?
- Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?
- Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
- Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?
- Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
- Can Dogs Eat Cheese?
- Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
- Can Dogs Eat Mushroom?
- Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower?
- Can Dogs Eat Eggs?
- Can Dogs Eat Bread?
- Can Dogs Eat Nuts?
- Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
- Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
- Can Dogs Eat Orange?
- Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
- Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?
- Can Dogs Eat Garlic?
- Can Dogs Eat Apple?
- Can Dogs Eat Mandarin?
- Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
- Can Dogs Eat Sweet Potato?
- Can Dogs Eat Capsicum?
- Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
- Can Dogs Eat Carrot?
- Dogs Health Coach. Dehydration in dogs, https://doghealthcoach.com/health/dehydration-in-dogs/
- Lall et al. (2016). Dietary flavonoid fisetin for cancer prevention and treatment. Molecular nutrition & food research, 60(6), 1396–1405. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27059089/
- Seung et al. Cucurbitacin B Induces Hypoglycemic Effect in Diabetic Mice by Regulation of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Alpha and Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 via Bitter Taste Receptor Signaling. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.01071/full