Cool refreshing slices of cucumbers make the perfect healthy snack for a hot summer day. But whenever I cut up some cucumber slices, I always notice my dog eyeing me with those large puppy eyes. But wait, can dogs actually eat cucumbers?
Dogs can safely eat cucumbers when given in moderation. In fact, cucumbers are known to provide dogs with a little bit of everything, such as Vitamin K, Molybdenum, Biotin, Copper & Potassium. And because cucumbers are made up of mostly water, they’re a great low-calorie treat for dogs that may be a bit overweight.
They’re well-rounded nutritional vegetables with extremely low calorie, making them a “clear winner” for your dogs. But what exactly does this mean in terms of health benefits for your canine pal? Let’s further investigate.
6 Health Benefits: Dogs and Cucumbers
To fully grasp the health benefits of feeding cucumbers to your dog, let’s examine the nutritional value of the delicious cucumber. A common misconception is that cucumbers don’t offer a lot of nutrients for you and your dog.
Many people think that there’s a lot of water (and there is), but not enough nutrients. They’re only partly right. Cucumbers are filled with a wide variety of nutritious vitamins and minerals that even your dog can enjoy. Here are just a few.
A Cup of Cucumbers (104 grams) Contains:
- 16 Calories
- Vitamin K – 19% DV
- Molybdenum – 12% DV
- Potassium – 4% DV
- Copper – 4% DV
- VItamin C – 4% DV
- Vitamin B1 – 3% DV
- Manganese – 4% DV
- Vitamin B1 – 3% DV
- Biotin – 3% DV
These vitamins and minerals all sound good. However, what does this actually translate to when it comes to health benefits for your dog? While there hasn’t been extensive research on these vitamins and dogs, most veterinarians suggest there can be benefits.
1. Vitamin K promotes strong bones in dogs
Looking at the nutritional value of cucumbers, one vitamin sticks out – Vitamin K. For humans, we can get 19% of our daily recommended Vitamin K intake from just a single cup of cucumbers! But what does this vitamin actually do for your dog?
Vitamin K is responsible for a number of things, including building strong bones. Cut up some slices of cucumbers for your dog to ensure strong bones, especially for active dog breeds that put a lot of stress on their bones.
If cucumbers aren’t your dog’s thing, they can find Vitamin K in fruits like pineapples, peaches, carrots, strawberries, celery, broccoli, blueberries or apples. Raw tomatoes also have as much of this vitamin as cucumbers!
2. Cucumbers are great a dehydrated dog
Have you ever heard that the human body is made up of 50% to 60% water? It’s roughly the same for a dog’s body. Water is so important for dogs and frankly, many dogs don’t get enough of it. And they aren’t able of telling us they’re thirsty!
Fortunately, cucumbers are great snacks that provide your dog with an extra boost of water. This can be especially useful on a hot day. But what’s amazing is that cucumbers are made up of 96% water. That’s roughly as much water as celery or tomatoes!
If you feel like your dog isn’t drinking enough water, i’m sure they’ll be more than excited to eat a few slices of cucumbers. Some dogs so hard that they often forget they need some water to refuel. But a lot of dogs would never turn down a treat.
Note: I like to use cucumbers as a refreshing treat after I take my dog out for a nice, long walk. It’s a quick way to rehydrate them, while rewarding them for a good walk.
3. Cucumbers are good for weight loss
There are tons of dogs that are overweight due to the nature of a canine’s diet. With a high concentration of protein in dog food combined with the appetite of a dog, it’s really no big surprise.
If a dog loves to eat, a dog will always be asking for more treats. But giving in to a hungry dog is probably not the best idea, especially for their health. A potential solution: cucumber as treats.
Because cucumbers are primarily made of water, it is a great diet food for both dogs and human. In a cup of cucumbers, there is only 16 calories! Next time your overweight dog eyes your cucumbers, don’t feel so guilty sharing with them.
If your dog doesn’t like cucumbers, broccoli is also a low calorie snack that’s roughly 91 percent water.
4. Cucumbers will freshen your dog’s breath
A little known secret is that cucumbers are always filled with phytochemicals and phytonutrients that will actually help freshen your dog’s breath. The phytochemicals do so by killing off odor-producing bacteria stuck in your canine’s mouth.
Apples also do a great job freshening a dog’s breath, but not in the same manner. Apples with scraping off the junk on the canine’s teeth. In addition, the strings in celery can act as a natural floss for you dog, thus freshening their breath.
This doesn’t mean that this is the solution for never brushing your dog’s teeth. It is still important to do so and recommended to be done everyday (although everyday isn’t absolutely necessary).
5. Cucumbers for a healthy liver and kidney
Another wonderful benefit of cucumbers is that it promotes healthy liver and kidney in dogs. Just a few slices can go a long way.
They are excellent vegetables that are known for optimizing the liver and kidney for the best efficiency of those organs. This is true for humans and certainly true for dogs as well.
If your dog is suffering from a condition regarding the liver or kidney, a few slices of cucumbers may benefit them. However, always consult with your vet before relying on cucumbers as a supplement or treatment for a medical condition.
6. Cucumbers can promote healthy joints and bones
Cucumbers are also known to contain Silica, a mineral that helps with strengthening the joints and connective tissues. Older dogs with pain, swelling or stiffness in certain joints can benefit from a little cucumbers in their diet.
Dogs suffering from arthritis can relieve some of their discomfort with a few slices of cucumbers. In case your dog doesn’t like the taste of cucumbers (why wouldn’t they?), another great vegetable that has this same effect is carrots.
Like always, consult with your vet if you plan to use cucumbers to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, though there should be no problem.
2 Potential Side Effects of Dogs Eating Cucumber
With all the health benefits that cucumbers provide your dog, it’s a no brainer alternative to your typical dog treat. However, like with all fruits and vegetables, there may be some potential side effects – with or without moderation.
1. Diarrhea in Dogs
An excessive amount of water and fiber can lead to loose stool or diarrhea in dogs. The “problem” with cucumbers is that they contain mostly water and a respectable amount of fiber. Usually water and fiber is a good thing, but it could turn into a bad situation if too much is in the system.
What’s more likely to happen is a mild side effect, such as gas. If you feel like your dog is extra gassy after cucumber consumption, you probably fed your dog too much. Lay off the cucumber slices for a while and they should be fine.
If diarrhea in your dog seems to persist for more than a day, contact your veterinarian immediately. The best way to balance out the diarrhea is to go back strictly to their regular dog food.
2. Stomach Pains in Dog
It’s not likely that a dog experiences severe stomach pains after eating cucumbers, but it is possible. Mild stomach pains are more common but usually happens only in dogs with a sensitive stomach.
If you feel that your dog’s behavior is unusual and they may be experiencing stomach pains, stop feeding them cucumbers and contact your vet. Every dog will respond differently to certain foods, so always be aware of their situation after cucumber consumption.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumber Skin?
Dogs can eat cucumbers with the skin or peel intact, but it’s generally recommended that you remove the skin beforehand.
Dogs have a difficult time digesting the cucumber skin, but small portions should be okay. It’s always best to just peel the skin to be safe.
However, if you cut the cucumbers thin enough, the cucumber peels may be better for them to digest.
Even with that option, it’s always better to take the extra few minutes to peel the cucumber. When it comes to your dog, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
A dog owner fed her dog all the peelings of a cucumber, and the dog ended up having a seizure the next day. This wasn’t so much because of the skin, but because there is so much pesticide and bacteria on the outside of the cucumber.
There’s no surprise that pesticide is extremely harmful to dogs. In addition, it’s a bit difficult to wash off completely. The solution: peel the cucumbers.
How Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?
A little tip: Cucumbers make excellent low-calorie dog training treats. If your dog actually enjoys cucumbers, I would consider this option over traditional dog treats.
Keep training your dog without having to worry about them becoming a little too heavy.
Although using cucumbers as dog treats will decrease the chance of your dog gaining much weight, they can still suffer from potential side effects.
It might be a good idea to switch it up with actual low-calorie dog treats to decrease the likelihood of side effects. Moderation is key for human foods.
Cucumber Preparation For Dogs
The first step is to wash the cucumbers thoroughly even if you plan to peel the skin of the cucumber.
The pesticide on the skin can get on your hands, and then on your dog. It’s just a safety precaution when serving cucumbers to dogs.
It’s highly recommended that you peel the skin of the cucumber. You’ll want to cut the cucumber into smaller, thin slices.
Feeding your dog a large chunk or the whole cucumber could cause a piece of vegetable to get stuck in the intestinal tract in the dog. Dogs aren’t exactly known to be the best chewers.
Start off with just a few slices of cucumber. It’s important to not go all out if this is your dog’s first time eating the vegetable.
Although rare, it’s possible for a dog to have an allergic reaction or side effects to even a few slices. Every dog is different and will react differently. It’s impossible to tell you exactly how your dog will respond to eating cucumbers.
Observe your dog for about 24 hours after their consumption. Check to see changes in the stool and any unusual behavioral changes. Changes in the stool can include both diarrhea and constipation.
A change of behavior can include a lack of energy, or on the contrary, excessive energy. If everything seems okay, then your dog is in the clear. Happy feeding!
Cucumber Parmesan Chicken Dog Treats
Combining a savory taste of chicken and the healthy benefits of cucumbers and you have yourself a dog treat to die for!
If your don’t doesn’t like the taste of cucumbers, they will certainly love the taste of this delicious dog treat. This dog treat was brought to you by the doggy chef.
- 1 Cup of cucumber (grated finely)
- One Chicken breast (pre-cooked and chopped)
- 1 Tbsp of parmesan cheese (optional)
- 4 Mint leaves (chopped)
- 1 Cup flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Mix all the ingredients into a large bowl thoroughly. You can use your hand.
3. Roll dough into small 1 inch balls and flatten onto the baking sheet with a fork.
4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy and golden
5. Stick the treats in the fridge to cool down.
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