Are Pickles Bad for Dogs & Puppies to Have?

This has been a question on many people’s minds, especially as it is safe for human consumption. Your dog may look at you like it wants a taste of the pickle. Some may even be worried about their dogs picking up remnants on the floor.

Hence the question; are pickles safe for dogs’ consumption? Frankly, it depends. However, you should always put safety first and stay away entirely from feeding pickles to your canine friend.

Some pickles are seasoned with spices that can be harmful to dogs. It is also made up of a high sodium level, which may aggravate existing health conditions like excessive weight gain and high blood pressure. Pickles contain cucumbers, dill, and other ingredients.

Indeed, cucumbers and dill are okay for dogs, but other constituents make up pickles that may not be suitable for your dogs. Therefore, it is advised that you see your vet before giving pickles or any human foods to your dogs. Now, let’s talk about why you shouldn’t give pickles to your dogs. Stay glued.


Pickles are cucumbers. These slices of cucumbers, along with brine, vinegar, and other spices, are then preserved in a pickling salt-water solution. It comes in various flavors, usually made with a variety of resources.

Pickles also have low calories, which makes them suitable as a crunchy and crispy snack. There are different types; the dill pickle, the bread and butter pickle, the hot and spicy pickles, and many more, all made from different ingredients.

Pickles contain various minerals and vitamins that nourish the body. Unfortunately, it does more harm than good for your dog. What makes pickles harmful to your dog is its high content of sodium and the spices it contains.

Why Pickles are Unhealthy for Dogs

Although not all, most pickles have herbs and spices, like garlic in its ingredients. Garlic and other spices included in pickles are toxic and harmful to dogs. Examples of pickles with spices and herbs as part of their ingredients include the bread & butter pickles and the Kosher dill pickles.

If you feed them to your dogs, you may be causing some trouble for them. If at all, the pepper and spices used to make the pickles are somewhat safe for your dogs, there are probabilities that your dog will still experience some stomach disorder. This is because dogs are not used to spiciness, and any sudden change in their meal may cause upset in the stomach.

Apart from the spices used in pickles, its high sodium content is another reason pickles may not be suitable for your dog. Excessive sodium intake can lead to vomiting and seizures, loss of balance, excessive drinking, and diarrhea. It can also lead to death for some dogs with underlying health challenges.

Therefore, animal nutritionists advise that a medium-sized dog should not take more than 100mg of sodium every day. So you need to avoid giving pickles, especially as the dog’s everyday meal may have salt in them. So, to guarantee long life and good health for your dog, you have to limit its salt intake.

However, if you are sure that the pickles only contain cucumber, vinegar, brine, or dill, then it is safe for your dog’s consumption. Cucumbers are low in calories, while dill helps to freshen up the dog’s breath. An example of such a pickle is the plain dill pickles.

You can feed them to your dogs but in small quantities. Alternately, to stay on the safe side, you can feed your dogs with cucumbers only. You also have to give them minimal quantities to avoid watery stools, as too much cucumber consumption can lead to diarrhea.

Despite all the harmful effects of sodium on dogs, it is a major nutrient in the dog’s meal. A dog’s dry food should contain about 0.3% sodium. This is according to the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).
Sodium is necessary for the body to function well, as it enhances the growth and maintenance of the body cells. Lack of sodium in the body can cause danger to the brain and the whole body.

What to do if Your Dog Mistakenly Eats Pickles?

Whenever your dog accidentally eats a pickle or picks up a leftover, the first thing you need to do is to know the type of pickle it ate. Check the type of pickle it ate and see your vet immediately. Your vet can direct you on what to do at that time to keep your dog safe, depending on the type of pickle and the amount it has eaten.

In some cases, your vet might require you to bring your dog for boarding, especially if the pickle it ate contains garlic, onions, or any other spices that are harmful to the dog’s health. You can also reach your local emergency vet helpline through a phone call for help. Although they may charge you for the call, however, as long as it is an emergency, it’s worth taking the step.

If the case requires visiting the hospital and your vet is not available at the moment, they can also recommend the nearest clinic to you. If you don’t want to gamble on what food your dog can eat, you can also see your vet.

Final Words

As we have learned, pickles may not be the perfect treat for your dogs as it contains spices and high salt concentration. Although there are some suitable for your dog, you only have to check thoroughly to make sure it doesn’t contain spices and herbs that can aggravate the intestines. Ensure that whatever you give to your dogs won’t cause any harm to them. 

Also, make sure that you only give pickles and other treats to your dogs occasionally. Furthermore, it is advisable to consult your vet or an animal nutritionist to confirm if pickles can be added to your dog’s diet. Lastly, if your dog seems not to like pickles, do not fret; it may be due to irregularities in the dog’s taste.

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