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Are dogs allowed to eat cucumbers?

As a dog owner, you of course know that a balanced diet is very important for your dog's health. Caution is therefore advisable, especially with foods that are not explicitly intended as food for dogs. After all, some foods can even be toxic for dogs and their consumption can be fatal in the worst case.

Find out below whether dogs are allowed to eat cucumbers or whether you should rather do without this snack for your four-legged friend.

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Vegetables as a healthy snack for dogs?

Vegetables are known to be rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. They are therefore rightly considered to be extremely healthy and should not be missing from our own plates.

In principle, dogs can also benefit from the nutrients in vegetables. However, the natural nutritional needs of our four-legged friends are known to be quite different from our own. 

In addition, some vegetables that are suitable for us contain substances that may not be tolerated by dogs or may even be toxic. If you are unsure whether you can give your dog a piece of cucumber, however, you usually don't have to worry about this.

Cucumbers as a low-calorie snack for dogs

Cucumbers consist mostly of water. This makes them very low in calories. 100 grams are only about 16 calories. Apart from that, cucumbers provide your four-legged friend with potassium and vitamin A as well as smaller amounts of various other micronutrients.  

Their low-calorie content makes cucumbers a good snack during a diet, not only for people with weight problems but also for overweight dogs

In addition, due to their high water content, they can help your four-legged friend drink enough fluids in summer. This can be an advantage, especially for dogs that drink very little.

Gherkins are not suitable for dogs

While dogs usually tolerate normal cucumbers without any problems, pickled gherkins are not suitable for four-legged friends. They contain vinegar and various spices, such as mustard seeds and garlic. In addition, gherkins available in supermarkets often contain sugar and various additives. 

Of course, none of this has any place in a balanced dog diet. When it comes to gherkins, the answer to the question of whether dogs can eat gherkins is therefore clearly no.

Cucumbers for your dog: Cucurbitacins are a risk

Although dogs are generally allowed to eat cucumbers, their consumption is not completely without risk. Just like some cruciferous vegetables and cucurbits, cucumbers can produce certain bitter substances (cucurbitacins). These are potentially harmful to both humans and dogs and can lead to poisoning in higher doses.

Whether a cucumber has a high content of cucurbitacins can be determined quite easily by its taste. This is because they ensure that the vegetable tastes remarkably bitter. If in doubt, try the cucumber yourself before giving it to your dog.

Cucumbers available in our shops do not usually contain cucurbitacins, so the risk is negligible. However, with a cucumber from your garden, it can be different, as the plants produce the bitter substances under stressful conditions, such as sudden temperature changes.

Among other things, cucurbitacins have a strong laxative effect. Possible symptoms of poisoning in dogs include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting as well as strong salivation and disturbances of consciousness. If you notice corresponding complaints in your four-legged friend after eating cucumbers, an immediate trip to the vet is of course essential.

Cucumbers as a snack for dogs - our conclusion

As you can see, the question of whether dogs can eat cucumbers can be answered in the affirmative. As long as you limit yourself to cucumbers and do not offer your dog pickled cucumbers or cucumber salad with dressing, no problems with digestibility are to be expected.

However, due to the possible formation of cucurbitacins, it is advisable not to reach for home-grown cucumbers and instead feed your dog salad cucumbers from the supermarket.

Regardless of this, cucumbers are of course not a food that provides your dog with the nutrients it needs. Even if there's nothing wrong with an occasional piece of cucumber, your four-legged friend's diet should of course consist primarily of high-quality dog food. In the Bellfor range, you will find a large selection of dog food and dog snacks for the species-appropriate nutrition of your dog.

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