“Can dogs eat cucumber?” is a common question from dog owners. BARFer in particular know that many types of vegetables that are healthy for humans can be very dangerous for our furry friends.
Vegetables for dogs as a popular snack
When looking for fresh and varied snacks for dogs, vegetables seem like a great choice. While vegetables in general are very nutritious for dogs, many types of veggies can lead to poisoning in dogs. With the cucumber, however, dog owners don't have to worry if they adhere to certain guidelines.
Ingredients of cucumber
Cucumbers are a popular ingredient in salads, dips or as a fresh snack. Our furry friends also love them. Cucumber for dogs brings variety to everyday food and provides important nutrients. In addition, the cucumber consists of about 95% water and is ideal for those dogs who don’t dring enough and as a little refreshment on hot summer days.
Cucumbers are also often fed as a bland food to support the intestines, because they are particularly easy to digest. In combination with cottage cheese and chicken, they can provide relief for gastrointestinal complaints. The cucumber is also particularly low in calories and therefore a good change for overweight dogs.
In addition to the group of B vitamins, cucumbers contain vitamin A and are a good source of potassium. Other vitamins and minerals are in the marginal range, so overdosing in combination with other dog supplements cannot occur.
However, cucumbers can also contain toxic ingredients!
Cucurbitacine, the toxins in cucumber
Cucurbitacins are the dangerous substances in cucumber. These are bitter substances mainly found in the pumpkin family. They cause the bitter taste in cucumbers, zucchini, or pumpkins. Cucurbitacins are toxic and can lead to poisoning in dogs and humans. If a cucumber contains a lot of cucurbitacins, the vegetable tastes very bitter and is inedible, and you can tell right away.
Commercially available cucumbers usually have no cucurbitacins and are therefore completely safe for dogs and humans. The risk is significantly higher with home-grown vegetables. Through stress such as sudden cold, excessive cold rain, drought or the wrong seeds, cucumbers develop the bitter substances.
In addition, back-breeding can occur in home-grown so that the bitter substances are again contained in the seeds. That’s why you should always use cucumber seeds that do not taste bitter or simply buy them at the store.
Symptoms of cucurbitacine poisoning
Unfortunately, the bitter substances in the pumpkin family can be very dangerous. The dog can go into shock and even death. The following symptoms can occur after poisoning:
- profuse salivation
If you observe any of these symptoms in your dog, you should see the veterinarian as soon as possible, because in the event of poisoning every minute counts.
Can dogs eat pickled cucumbers?
Pickled cucumbers for dogs are not recommended, because the pickles are usually seasoned with vinegar, garlic, mustard and peppercorns. These ingredients are unhealthy for dogs and should not be on the menu. In addition, many sour cucumbers from the jar are refined with sugar or sugar substitutes. These substances can also be unhealthy and toxic for your furry friend.
As a rule, dogs are allowed to eat cucumber. However, cucumbers can contain the bitter substance cucurbitacin, which is poisonous. The risk cucurbitcin is higher in home-grown cucumbers than in store-bought vegetables. If the cucumber tastes normal and not bitter,it is completely safe for dogs. Since the bitter substances are found in almost all pumpkin plants, any such vegetable should also be tested for their bitter taste before offering it to your dog.