A highly nutritious, low-calorie fruit (yes, fruit!), cucumbers provide a multitude of great health benefits, leading to a happier, healthier, and longer life. If you’re a dog owner, you may be wondering — do these health benefits transfer over to a dog? Can dogs eat cucumbers?
Read on to get all the answers to your questions about introducing cucumbers to a dog’s diet!
Can Dogs Eat Cucumber?
To answer the question simply, yes — dogs can eat cucumbers. Just as it is for humans, cucumbers are a healthy, low-calorie treat that your dog will love. Not only can your dogs eat cucumbers, but given all the different health benefits, your dog should be having some cucumber as a part of their diet.
According to Dr. Karen Becker, 15-25% of a healthy dog’s diet should be fruits or vegetables, and cucumber is a great option! This is one of the reasons why Raw Bistro uses cucumber as a part of our frozen and dehydrated chicken entrees.
Cucumber Nutrition Facts
Here are some of the nutritional details that you can expect with raw cucumbers (per 100g):
- Water: 95.23g
- Energy: 15 kcal
- Protein: 0.65g
- Total fat: 0.11g
- Carbohydrate (by difference): 3.63g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Sugars: 1.67g
- Calcium: 16mg
- Iron: 0.28mg
- Potassium: 147mg
- Sodium: 2mg
- Vitamin C: 2.8mg
- Vitamin B-6: 0.04mg
You can learn more about the nutrients in cucumbers using the resource FoodData Central.
Benefits of Cucumbers for Dogs
The main benefit of cucumbers is the amount of water they contain. A cucumber is about 96% water, which makes them an excellent way to get your dog a little extra hydration. They’re also incredibly low on calories, making them a favorite for humans who are trying to get their dog on a consistent weight-loss regimen.
Along with the hydration benefits, cucumbers are also chock full of Vitamin K, which helps strengthen your dog’s bones. This is an especially beneficial health perk to anyone who has a dog that is exceptionally active — an active dog is going to be putting more wear and tear on their joints, so you’ll want to do what you can to support their sturdy skeletal framework.
However, one of the benefits that you, the dog owner, may be the most interested in is a cucumber’s tendency to kill bad breath. Cucumbers are filled with phytochemicals and phytonutrients that combat bacteria in a dog’s mouth and leave them with fresher breath. Your dog may not notice this perk, but you definitely will.
How to Prepare Cucumbers for Dogs
Now that you know of all the different ways that cucumbers can benefit your dog, it’s time to figure out the best way to serve this tasty treat to your pup.
1. Choose Organic Cucumber
If you can, it’s always beneficial to opt for organic produce. A lot of non-organic produce still carries trace amounts of harmful pesticides, which can be problematic for you, your dog, and anyone else eating your produce. Choosing organic produce is cleaner and healthier. Also, organic farming is sustainable and environmentally-friendly, which makes for a happier planet, as well as a happier pup.
2. Always Wash Your Veggies
It’s important to take the time to wash your fruits and vegetables before you serve them to your dog. Take your cucumber and thoroughly rinse and wash it before serving to clean off any stray germs from the long trip from farm, to store, to your home. Clean food is healthier for both you and your pup!
3. Serve Cucumber Raw or Cooked
You can serve cucumber raw or cooked - it’s completely up to you and what your dog likes. As a general rule, raw cucumber is the simplest and will retain more nutritional value. There is also an added bonus of a little crunch that many dogs love. While it’s true that some nutrients are enhanced through certain cooking processes, other nutrients are diminished. It all depends on the cooking method. Just make sure you make the pieces small enough for your pup to eat!
4. Skip the Seasoning!
Cucumbers are good for your pup, but a lot of spices aren’t the best. A lot of seasoning can overpower your pup’s digestive system. Cucumbers are fine plain, but a pickle probably isn’t good for your dog since in the fermenting process, a cucumber is filled with a lot of sodium and spices. When cooking for your pooch, keep the ingredients whole and simple, like we do at Raw Bistro.
5. Make Cucumber a Special Treat for Your Pup
A cucumber shouldn’t be the only thing your dog eats in a day, but if they’re a huge fan, consider making it a training treat. You can cut cucumber up into small pieces to incentivize your dog to learn a new trick, and feed them something healthy at the same time! It’s an easy way to keep the total amount of fruits and veggies to about 15-20% of your dog’s diet.
Always Consult Your Vet
As with any change you want to make regarding your dog’s health, you’ll want to consult your veterinarian before you begin to add cucumbers to your dog’s diet. Although it’s incredibly rare, it’s still possible that your dog may have an allergy to cucumbers. So, be sure to check in with your vet before you head to the grocery store.
Once you get the green light, check out Raw Bistro’s selection of entrees, for a balanced diet of fresh meat, fruits, and veggies. Together, you can ensure that you’re giving your dog the right diet to make them the happiest and healthiest version of themselves!