Are Pickles OK for Dogs to Eat?

Pickles are a perfect combination of salty, sour, and crunchy. Whether you’re chopping them up into your tuna salad or crunching on them straight from the refrigerator, pickles are a perfect snack. Are you considering making pickles a snack for your dog? Take note of a few things before you pop open that jar.

Can Dogs Eat Pickles?

Pickles aren’t unsafe for your dog, but they don’t provide any health benefits that they aren’t already getting from their dog food. Pickles are high in fiber, which can help your dog feel full between meals and regulate the digestion. They also have a few essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The combination of these helps fight diabetes, protect the liver, and heal ulcers.

Pickles, however, are very salty. They sit in a sour brine that consists mostly of salt. While salt makes things taste better for humans, it doesn’t do much for keeping your dog healthy. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, dehydration, and excessive thirst. The excessive thirst then leads to excessive urination, so it’s not uncommon to see your dog asking to outside more often. The effects of too much salt are quickly reversible if you stop giving your dog the salty food. A few pickles won’t cause a blood pressure spike or dehydration, so it’s important you keep their pickle consumption to a controlled amount.

It’s important to note that sometimes too much salt can lead to an inflammation of the pancreas. This is called pancreatitis, and it’s a very painful condition that occurs when the pancreas is overwhelmed and unable to break down things like fat and sodium. When a dog gets pancreatitis, their abdomen will become rigid and tender. Your dog might walk with their back hunched or refuse to move. They may cry out in pain when you touch their abdomen or refuse to be touched anywhere on their body. They won’t want to eat, and if they do eat, they’ll probably vomit it back up. Pancreatitis requires hospitalization with IV fluids, antibiotics, and pain medication. If it’s treated promptly, your dog will recover quite well. Lasting effects are minimal and include an increased risk of future episodes and the necessity of a low-fat diet.

Read the Labels Before Feeding Your Dog Pickles

You should become efficient at reading labels if you give your dog human food. There are a variety of ingredients snuck into prepared foods that aren’t good for your dog. Garlic is often put into pickles for additional flavoring. Even if it’s just garlic salt or powder, it still has the potential to hurt your dog. Garlic and onions cause a condition called hemolytic anemia, where the red blood cells are damaged and then burst. Your dog will need hospitalization and possibly blood transfusions if the anemia is advanced.

Unless your vet has specifically told you to give your dog additional foods, then you don’t really have to give your dog anything outside of their regular diet. A few pickles won’t hurt your dog, but over time the salt will begin to catch up with your dog. If your dog has an pre-existing health condition, you should absolutely abstain from giving them any sort of human food unless your veterinarian says it’s okay.

Too Much Leads To: It can lead to excess thirst and other more serious health problems in dogs. Too much salt causes pancreatitis.

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