If you’re keen on your diet and would want to lose weight and be healthy at the same time, you do know that cucumber is the best snack for you. While you’re at it, you see your dog creeping up on you, almost as if he’s wanting to have a bit of the fresh treat, too. But you’re not sure if it would have the same healthy and nourishing effects on your dog just as it is with you. If you’re still stuck on this dilemma, then here are some tips on how you can give your dog cucumber and if it is safe for them.[toc]
What is a Cucumber?
Cucumber is a widely known vegetable that came from the Cucurbitaceae family. Other vegetables of the same kind are squash and melons. Vegetables under this category are generally rich in water content but it’s low in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium – making it a great dietary replacement for humans. At the same time, it has a mild and refreshing taste that will leave you satisfied and hydrated without even drinking water.
Are Dogs Allowed to Eat Cucumber?
The great news is that yes, your dog is very much allowed to eat cucumber! According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), It’s perfectly safe for your dogs to eat as it serves to be a low-calorie and crunchy snack that most the dogs love. It contains a lower number of calories with just about 8 per half cup of a slice, compared to the traditional dog snacks you can purchase in the market. This is a great and healthy treat especially if you’re watching your dog’s weight. There are other health benefits your dog can get from it as it is proven to be high in phytonutrients and it also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Make sure to check our list of dry dog food for American bulldogs HERE!!
Can Dogs Eat the Skin and Seeds of Cucumber?
Since it has been established that cucumber isn’t toxic for dogs, we would now have to consider which parts of the cucumber you can serve them. Not every part of the cucumber can be eaten by dogs. Mostly, cucumber skin is safe for your dog to eat but most dogs don’t really like the taste of it. This is just kind of the same with humans as some of us may prefer skinless cucumber over the ones that are not skinned. You can try to test if your dog would prefer the cucumber with the skin on by giving him both a small piece of cucumber with skin and also a piece that has been filled. During the first time, you’re going to hand your dog his first cucumber serving, it’s advised to observe his reactions toward it. This is so you can monitor how your dog will react, either positively or negatively, and so you can limit how much your dog will eat and if there’s any chance that you could give the snack to him again in the future.
If your dog will spit out the cucumber skin, then this just means one thing – they don’t like it. Don’t force it the second time around as your dog might be turned off by the overall vegetable itself.
Can Dogs Eat Cucumber Seeds?
Cucumber also contains seed. At first glance, you might think that this could be a choking hazard to your dog but the seeds of the cucumber are not that big to be considered one. So, yes, your dog can eat cucumber seeds and at the same time, these are also safe for dogs to eat. You can choose to scoop it out with a spoon or leave it inside the cucumber. You can also mix up the chopped cucumber with your dog’s food or you can give the whole piece on its own. Check our review on dog food for pitbulls
What Kinds of Cucumbers Can Dogs Eat?
Cucumber is just a general term for a more specific and narrowed down a list of cucumbers. There are actually two kinds of cucumbers: slicing and pickling.
Slicing cucumbers are the ones that are eaten fresh. This is the kind you usually see in supermarkets. They are usually 6 to 9 inches long and their skin is usually glossy and dark-green in color with their ends tapered. The skins of slicing cucumbers are often waxed to lengthen their shelf-life.
Pickling cucumbers are not usually found in supermarkets that’s why you might not be familiar with this one. You can get these kinds of cucumbers in the farmers’ market and specialty produce stores. Pickling cucumbers are also known as pickles. Compared to slicing cucumbers, these are usually smaller and are also used primarily for preservation in either vinegar, salt, sugar or water.
To make it clearer, you can share slicing cucumbers with your dog but not the pickling kind! This is because of the added content when it comes to pickling cucumbers which are salt and sugar which can be considered toxic or lethal to your dog especially if it is ingested in large amounts.
If you’re not familiar with the types of cucumbers then it would be best for you to purchase one at the supermarket. In this way, you would know that what they have are probably slicing cucumbers and are safe for your dogs!
Are Cucumbers Good for Dogs to Eat?
Yes. Cucumbers are good for dogs to eat! It’s a low-calorie treat after all which also offers vitamins and minerals at the same time. It’s a known fact that dogs love to be rewarded. You’re hitting two birds with one stone if you give cucumber as a treat. Your dog is rewarded and, at the same time, it’s healthy and good for him!
Health Benefits of Giving Cucumber To Your Dog
It has been established that cucumber is a great treat you can give to your dog as it is a healthier alternative than most of the dog food that is sold in the market. Here are what your dog can get from eating cucumbers:
- Cucumbers have high water content – This kind of vegetable is known to be mostly made of water and it’s true! The higher the water content of food, the lower it’s carbohydrate content because carbohydrates are insoluble in water. This is probably the best reason why cucumber is an excellent treat for your dog.
- It keeps your dog hydrated all day long – This can be contributed to the fact that cucumbers have high water content. It’s a hot day but your dog isn’t a fan of drinking water and you just can’t simply force him to drink. The best way to make him stay hydrated is to give your dog a slice of cucumber.
- It’s recommended for dogs that are over their recommended weight – You cannot just ask your dog to go on a diet! It doesn’t work the same way with humans wherein they can suppress their appetite. You have to be the one in control of what they’re going to eat. If your dog is way above their recommended weight or is bordering to being overweight, then you should be more careful about what type of food you give to your dog. Cucumbers are perfect for them since it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, has high water and fiber content has a low-calorie count and could make your dog feel full.
- It can freshen your dog’s breath – Aside from cucumbers being rich in water, it’s also rich in phytonutrients and phytochemicals. These are natural nutrients that are found in food which can freshen the odor of your dog’s breath.
- It’s rich in antioxidants – Incorporating foods that are rich antioxidants are important to your dog’s diet because these are naturally-occurring chemicals that will protect your dog’s cells from the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are produced when the body breaks down food or is exposed to smoke and radiation. The presence of free radicals in the body of your dog may affect the functions of their hearts and could develop cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
- It’s a great source of vitamin A, B1, B6, C, D, and K. Now you might think those are a lot of one single slice of cucumber but it’s true! Giving your dog even just a slice of this treat can help improve your dog’s skin, eyesight, digestion, and protein levels.
- It can help reduce cholesterol levels – Cucumbers are really the best options to give overweight dogs or to those dogs that have high cholesterol levels. It can be attributed to a compound that can be found in this vegetable called sterols. This compound can help block your dog’s body from absorbing cholesterol.
- Keeps blood pressure levels well-regulated – If your dog is hypertensive or has a current cardiac ailment, then giving him cucumber could help regulate his blood pressure levels.
- Improves the functioning of joints – Cucumbers contain silica which is known to improve the overall function of joints and could even ease the pain from arthritis.
- It can improve your dog’s brain health – Cucumbers contain an element called fisetin. The function of this element can help improve your dog’s overall brain health meaning it could reduce the risk of memory loss and is perfect for aging dogs as it could protect your dog’s brain cells from the damaging effects that come with the process of him getting old.
- Kills cancerous cells – This is probably, by far, the strongest health benefit your dog can get from eating cucumbers. Cucumbers contain an element called cucurbitacins. This element functions as a hunter and killer of cancerous cells (if they are already present in your dog’s body), and could also prevent the cancer cells from spreading further throughout your dog’s system.
- Could reduce health problems – Some of the problems cucumbers can solve are reducing the risk of any infections or inflammations, especially skin-related ones, and could even heal these conditions if they are already present. It can also help improve the present and underlying conditions of kidney and liver problems.
How to Serve Cucumber to Dogs
Before serving cucumber to your dog, make sure you clean and wash it thoroughly. This is to ensure that you will be able to remove the pesticides and chemicals that may be present on it. You can opt to peel off the skin or not, depending on the preference of your dog. However, some dogs can spit out the peel of the cucumber because it’s not that easy for their bodies to digest the cucumber skin. You can give a slice of cucumber to your dog either when it’s raw or cooked. You can also opt to give it to your dog as a substitute for a treat, or can use it as a garnish and mix to his current dog food to help him feel less hungry. Aside from that, cucumber can also be boiled for about 5 minutes and then it can be served to your dog. It’s important not to turn the cucumber into a pickle as it could be dangerous to your dog. I recommend you read our list of low-fat dog food for dogs
How Many Cucumbers can I Give to my Dog?
Although cucumber isn’t considered to be toxic to dogs, everything should be given in moderation as too much could affect your dog in a negative way. If somehow, your dog has overindulged or has taken an excessive amount of this vegetable, then it can lead to stomach and digestion problems such as stomach ache and diarrhea.
During the first time, you’re going to feed your dog a cucumber, make sure that you observe first how your dog will react. Give everything in moderation and limit just how much he would eat. There’s no specific amount on how much you can give to your dog so it’s more of a trial-and-error as it is a case-to-case basis. Whichever amount that may work for your dog won’t be able to work as well for other dogs so it’s best if you should estimate it firsthand.