Adding cucumber to salad, lemonade, or even a poolside cocktail can add a delectable freshness that’s hard to beat on a hot summer day.
However, the refreshing nature of cucumbers isn’t the reason you’re likely to hear your dog whimpering and begging for a slice.
Dogs’ omnivorous nature means they actually enjoy the taste of most fruits and vegetables!
So, next time you’re cutting slices of cucumber and see your four-legged friend licking his chops, should you give him a slice?
Are Cucumbers Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Not only are cucumbers non-toxic for your furry friend to eat, but eating them can actually provide a number of health benefits!
Benefits of Cucumbers for Dogs
Due to them being 96% water, feeding your dog cucumbers is a way to keep them hydrated while out on walks.
Additionally, cucumbers only contain eight calories per one-half cup of slices – only 20% of the calories of a single Milk Bone biscuit.
This makes them both an excellent diet food and a great, low-calorie food to use as a reward while training!
Cucumbers also contain trace amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium, all of which are essential for a healthy canine diet.
However, you should remember that cucumbers are not necessarily packed with these nutrients, so be sure to supplement them with other nutrient-dense foods.
Besides containing helpful nutrients, cucumbers also contain certain phytochemicals and phytonutrients which work to eliminate odorous bacteria from your pooch’s mouth. In a way, cucumbers can act like a natural breath mint for your pup! Of course, cucumbers aren’t a substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth.
Cucumbers also contain trace amounts of the mineral Silica, which has been known to help strengthen joints and connective tissue in dogs. For older dogs suffering from the symptoms of arthritis, adding a few cucumber slices to their diet can be a great supplement to help offer some relief.
What Risks Are There to Feeding Dogs Cucumbers?
There are two risks you should be aware of when deciding to feed your dog cucumbers: choking and overeating.
Feeding your dog too many cucumbers carries the risk of upsetting their gastrointestinal tract, which leads to a very unhappy pooch. When trying to decide how much cucumber is appropriate to feed your dog, use the ten percent rule.
This rule, recommended by veterinarians, states that treats should account for no more than 10% of a dog’s daily diet. This means the amount of cucumber you feed your pup should be proportional to their dietary needs based on their size.
Additionally, you should also be sure to cut the cucumbers you’re serving into small, bite-size pieces, especially for small dogs or for dogs that scarf down their food.
We hope you found this article helpful and if your dog ever gets any cuts, abrasions, ear infections or hot spots, we hope you keep Banixx Pet Care in mind. Go to our dog page to learn more about how to keep your dog happy and healthy!