You’re in luck, my friends! Not only are cucumbers safe for dogs to eat, but they’re also a healthy low-calorie snack-a-roo for your pup. Just make sure to stick to plain, raw or cooked cukes when sharing snacks—avoid seasoned cucumbers and their high-sodium pickled relatives.
Precautions To Take When Sharing Cucumbers With Your Dog
Plain cucumbers (both cooked and raw) are a safe and healthy snack for dogs. Just make sure to take a few snacking precautions:
- Peel ’em First – The waxy skin can be tough to digest, and cause an upset tummy. It’s best to peel them before sharing.
- Cut Into Slices to Prevent Choking – It’s best to cut up cucumbers into slices before sharing with your pup. Some dogs get a bit over-ambitious with their food, and forget to chew. A whole cucumber, or even large chunks, can become a choking hazard.
- Avoid Their Picked Cousins – Although pickles aren’t necessarily harmful to dogs, they are very high in sodium. Some pickles also contain spices and ingredients that are toxic to dogs (like onion or garlic).
- Share in Moderation – As with all dog treats, snacks like cucumbers should only amount to 10% of your dog’s total daily calories. Excess treats can cause stomach upset and pack on too many pounds.
Cucumber Nutrition And Health Benefits
Cucumbers are a delicious and nutritious snack for your pup. They’re high in Vitamins A and K, which helps support bone growth, immune health, eyesight, and more. Cucumbers are also very low in calories, so they’re a great snack choice for dogs who are trying to lose weight, or stay light n’ fluffy. Plus, some dogs really love their crunchy, munchy texture.
(Serving size: 1 cup peeled cucumbers)
Vitamin C 3mg
Vitamin K 16mg
Vitamin A 105 IU
How Much Cucumber Can My Dog Eat?
When it comes to any type of dog treats, the general rule is to limit snacks to 10% of your dog’s total daily calories. For example, if your dog eats 200 calories per day, you should only give them 20 calories in snacks per day (and therefore 180 calories of complete and balanced kibble per day). Keeping track of their snack calories will help prevent future obesity and joint issues caused by excessive weight.
However, make sure you don’t overdo it on cucumber alone. If you’re only taking calories into consideration, then eating a full cucumber would, technically, be within the safe zone for a 10lb dog. BUT! Think about how much water and fiber is in a cucumber. If you’ve ever eaten too much watermelon, you probably know what we’re talking about—Mount Vesuvius levels of explosive poops! Let’s just say, it’s not advisable, for instance, to give a tiny Chihuahua an entire cuke. It’s best to start with one or two small slices to see how your dog handles it. You can increase the amount of cucumber over time.
- Start by giving your dog just one or two slices to test the waters
- If your dog seems to handle that well (meaning no explosive poops and no hotboxing your house with farts), then add a few more slices the next day
- Don’t exceed 10% of their daily calories with snacks
Try This Fun Cucumber Recipe
Your dog already thinks you’re cool, but after you make these treats they’re going to think you’re as cool as a cucumber! This quick and easy recipe is especially refreshing in the summer, but your dog will love it all year round.
Just remember to account for the extra calories in the yogurt and honey when planning your dog’s diet!
Ingredients And Supplies:
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup non-fat green yogurt
- Optional: 2 tbsp honey
- Ice cube tray or silicone mold
- Peel and cut cucumber into slices
- Place in blender with yogurt and honey
- Blend with pulses until smooth (Add a bit of water if necessary)
- Spoon mixture into ice cube tray or silicone mold
- Freeze overnight
- It’s ready for snacking!
This article has been reviewed by Margo Hennet, DVM.
Margo Hennet, DVM, cVMA, and veterinarian at BARK is a canine nutrition, health, & wellness connoisseur. She has a combined 10 years of experience in clinical medicine, research, and education—that’s 70 dog years of know-how—and graduated from Colorado State University as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She completed specialized training in internal medicine prior to working as a general practitioner in Colorado, has authored peer-reviewed publications and textbook chapters, holds certification in veterinary medical acupuncture, and is a member of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and American Veterinary Medical Association.
“Fooddata Central Search Results: Cucumber With Peel, Raw.” FoodData Central, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 Apr. 2019, https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168409/nutrients.