Can dogs eat cucumbers?
The cucumber (botanical name: Cucumis sativa) is a very low-calorie and refreshing vegetable. With only 12 kcal/100g, cucumbers are particularly suitable for diets and are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. If you're wondering whether your dog can enjoy cucumbers too, you'll find the answers here.
Yes or No?
Yes, dogs can eat cucumbers. But there is also a rare danger connected with cucumbers.
We show you the advantages and disadvantages of cucumbers for dogs and how you can best feed them to your dog.
5 good reasons for the crispy crunchy cucumber
Good for relaxed muscles, heart and strong bones and teethCucumbers contain 165 mg/100g of potassium, which regulates the water content of the cells and is essential for the heart and nerves. Cucumbers also contain an astonishing amount of calcium and phosphate for a vegetable with so few calories, both of which are important for bone formation and teeth.
Rich in beta-carotene
Cucumbers are very rich in beta-carotene (370 µg/100g), a precursor of vitamin A, which is a very powerful antioxidant and can reduce both cancer and cardiovascular disease. Besides, it is the vitamin that strengthens eyesight. Vitamin C is also present and supports the antioxidant effect and strengthens the immune system. Unlike humans, dogs can produce vitamin C in their own bodies, but supplements can be helpful.
For a slim line: Low in caloriesWith only 12 kcal/100g, cucumbers are absolute diet wonders and can also be enjoyed by dogs who actually need to lose weight. Especially as a snack, they are very helpful for dogs that have to watch their weight.
Refreshing and hydratingEspecially in summer, a fresh cucumber is always very refreshing and contains a lot of water. This also helps our dogs against thirst and dehydration as well as overheating.
Good for the memoryCucumbers contain a large amount of the yellow plant pigment fisetin, which scientists have found in tests strengthens long-term memory and protects cells from ageing. At the same time, it has an anti-inflammatory effect.
2 dangers to watch out for in cucumbers
Avoid bitter cucumbers - check cucumbers from the gardenBitter-tasting cucumbers can contain the bitter substance cucurbitacin, which is toxic to dogs and humans. Cucumbers that can be bought in our shops normally do not contain cucurbitacin. Cucurbitacin can occur especially in wild or ornamental cucumbers, courgettes and pumpkins. Backcrossing or reintroduction with back mutations can lead to the occurrence of the toxic bitter substances in cucumbers, courgettes or pumpkins, especially in gardens. Therefore, you should be careful here and try home-grown cucumbers beforehand. If they are bitter: hands off! If your dog does eat bitter cucumbers, courgettes or pumpkins, you should take it to the vet or veterinary clinic as soon as possible. Here you can find more information on what to do if your dog is poisoned and what the symptoms look like: Preventing, recognising and treating poisoning in dogs.
Bloating and intolerances possibleRaw cucumber can be difficult to digest for very sensitive dogs' stomachs. My dogs have tolerated raw cucumber with peel very well so far, but very small breeds or sensitive dogs may have intolerances and stomach and intestinal problems. In this case, you should try peeled cucumber, even if it contains fewer nutrients, or avoid feeding your dogs cucumber altogether.
The best way to feed cucumbers to your dog
Cucumbers are best fed raw and pureed
Cucumbers contain the most vitamins and minerals raw and with the skin. It makes sense to puree the cucumber or chop it up very finely so that your dog can absorb the healthy substances. In this way, they can be a regular part of the fresh vegetable ration when feeding your dog.
It is better not to peel cucumbers
With cucumbers, many vitamins and nutrients are in the skin. Most dogs tolerate cucumbers very well and can eat them with the skin on. Wash the cucumber well and then chop it up. If your dog does not tolerate cucumbers well, you can also try peeled cucumbers.
No gherkins or pickled cucumbers
Always use raw cucumbers and not pickles. These are unhealthy for your dog because of the salt content and other spices and additives.
More ideas for serving:
- Small raw pieces as treats: You can give your dog very small and raw cucumber pieces as training treats.
- Frozen for teething or to keep your dog busy: Pureed and frozen in a hollowed-out toy or in another container, your dog will be busy while licking it out. When teething, the "cucumber ice cream" can also have a cooling and pain-relieving effect.
- Provides water in summer and refreshes: Especially in summer, you can give your dog extra water with cucumber pieces and prevent it from getting dehydrated.
Better organic and regional
Regional free-range cucumbers that have not been grown in a greenhouse or imported from abroad have the best eco-balance. Greenhouse cucumbers are often not only grown with artificial fertiliser and treated with pesticides, but also with fungicides. Therefore, it is best to use regional organic free-range cucumbers or wash them very well before processing.
How much cucumber can my dog eat?
To give you an idea of how much cucumber your dog can eat per day, we use average BARF calculations:
- The daily food portion of a dog is about 3% of body weight.
- In BARF feeding, the vegetable part of the diet should make up about 20% of the total amount.
- Two-thirds of this is vegetables and one-third fruit. Around 13% of the daily portion would therefore be vegetables.
Example calculation: An adult dog of 10kg would therefore receive a vegetable portion of approx. 40g per day. Cucumber can be a part of this with other vegetables. So we are talking about maybe 15-20g of cucumber a day for a dog weighing 10kg.
Note: BARF rations should be calculated individually for your dog according to age, breed, size, exercise, state of health and tolerances. The above rough calculation of the pumpkin portion is only intended to give you a feeling for how much or basically how little vegetable your dog should get.
Start with small quantities
Many dogs tolerate cucumber well. For sensitive dogs, it is best to ask your vet beforehand whether you can feed it cucumber. They know your dog and his individual needs and weaknesses best. As with almost any food, there is a risk that your dog may be allergic to cucumber or simply not tolerate it well. If not tolerated, it can cause flatulence, diarrhoea or even vomiting. It is therefore always advisable to test cucumber in very small quantities at the beginning. If your dog shows allergic reactions such as swelling, breathing problems, rashes, itching, coughing or other allergy symptoms, you should of course stop giving him cucumber and contact a vet.
Conclusion on feeding cucumbers to dogs
Cucumbers are one of the most suitable vegetables for our dogs. So you can include them in their daily diet. Cucumbers are very low in calories, refreshing and contain many healthy vitamins and nutrients. They are best eaten raw, with their skins on and finely chopped to form a regular part of the BARF diet.
Beware of home-grown cucumbers or those that taste bitter! There is a danger of poisoning! If your dog is one of the few dogs that do not tolerate cucumbers well, it is best to find another vegetable that it tolerates better.
When are cucumbers in season?
Cucumbers are in season from the warmer spring in early May until September. During this time, fresh healthy outdoor cucumbers are available regionally.
Where do cucumbers originally come from?
Just like courgettes and pumpkins, cucumbers belong to the gourd family. These originate from India. Nowadays they are grown almost everywhere in the world where there is enough water and warmth.
How to store cucumbers properly
You can store cucumbers very well in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator. They will stay fresh for about one week.
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