Can dogs eat cucumber? Yes, they can! Cucumbers are a yummy, crunchy, and hydrating treat (they’re 95% water!) that your dog may enjoy just as much as you do. And cucumbers are also a low-calorie and low-sugar treat option with several health benefits.
We spoke with Dr. Michael Robinson, DVM, owner of PACK Animal Care in Lorton, Virginia, for tips and advice on how to include cucumber in your pup’s diet.
Benefits of Cucumber for Dogs
Is cucumber good for dogs? Yes! When fed in moderation, cucumber can be a nutritious addition to your dog’s balanced diet. Here’s how.
- It’s 95% water, making it a very hydrating snack.
- It’s a low-calorie treat option as 1 cup of cucumber has less than half the calories of a typical biscuit dog treat.
- It’s low in sugar, making it an excellent treat option for diabetic dogs.
- It’s an excellent source of vitamins K, B and C, as well as potassium and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals are all an important part of a dog’s balanced diet.
Risks of Feeding Cucumber to Your Dog
While dogs can eat cucumber as a treat or mixed in with their regular food, Dr. Robinson advises taking the following precautions when feeding it to your dog.
- Wash first. Store-bought cucumbers are coated with a wax layer to improve their shelf life. While harmless, the wax can sometimes trap bacteria.Even though you will peel the cucumber, this is still an important step.
- Peel the skin. While cucumber skin is not harmful to dogs, some pups, especially those with a sensitive stomach, may find it difficult to digest.
- Remove the seeds. Cucumber seeds do not contain any toxins that are harmful to dogs, but may cause an upset tummy if your dog has a sensitive digestive system.
- Cut into bite-sized pieces. Large pieces can pose a choking risk. Never feed your dog a cucumber whole.
How to Feed Cucumber to Your Dog
As with any “human” food, you should always consult with your vet before serving cucumber to your dog to determine the right portion size. Even a healthy treat like cucumber should be factored into your dog’s optimum daily balanced diet.
- Raw or frozen. Raw cucumber has the crunch most dogs love and you can freeze cucumber to give your pup an extra challenge, especially if they love to chew or get bored easily. This is an extra-nice treat on a hot summer day.
- A small snack. Treats should never be more than 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake. Too much cucumber can lead to gastrointestinal upset, although Dr. Robinson says this isn’t common.
- As an ingredient in a hydrating and nutritious smoothie or smoothie bowl (see recipe below)
- Mixed in with their regular food. Try hiding the cucumber under your dog’s regular kibble to make them work for this yummy treat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q:Can dogs eat cucumber skin?
A:Yes and no. While cucumber skin is not harmful to dogs, some pups, especially those with a sensitive stomach, may find it difficult to digest. Try a little bit and see how your pet reacts.
Q:Can dogs eat cucumber salad?
A:No. Dr. Robinson recommends avoiding cucumber salad unless you know there are no hidden harmful ingredients.
Q:Can dogs drink cucumber water?
A:Yes. Since cucumbers are safe to eat, cucumbers soaked in water are just as safe. But Dr. Robinson suggests making cucumber water at home since some store-bought options may contain unsafe ingredients, like the artificial sweetener xylitol.
Q:Can dogs eat raw cucumber?
A:Yes! Eating it raw is the best way for your dog to enjoy cucumber.
Q:Can dogs eat cooked cucumber?
A:Yes, but cooking cucumber reduces its water content and nutrients, and eliminates the satisfying crunchy texture that most dogs love. Raw is best!
Top Dog Food & Treats with Cucumber
There aren’t many commercial dog foods or treats made with cucumber, but the good news is that it’s super easy to whip up a treat at home. Here’s one of our favorite DIY recipes:
Before incorporating any new foods into your dog’s diet, always consult with your veterinarian to make sure it’s a safe addition to your pet’s diet given their health, diet needs and current medications. Your vet will tell you if your dog can eat cucumber and the appropriate serving size. If you suspect your pet is sick, please call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your regular veterinarian when possible as they can make the best recommendations for your pet. (If you need help finding a vet near you use this link.)
Expert input provided by Dr. Michael Robinson, DVM, owner of PACK Animal Care in Lorton, Virginia.