Can Dogs Eat Pickles?

Victoria Lynn Arnold
By Victoria Lynn Arnold. Reviewed by Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP on Dec. 15, 2022
husky dog licking his lips

NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one dog might not be good for your dog, depending on multiple factors, such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.

Cucumbers are a healthy and dog-safe treat, so it only makes sense that you can share a pickle with your pup, too, right? Not so fast. While pickles are made from cucumbers and are not toxic for dogs, they are extremely high in sodium and not a healthy treat for your pup.

Are Pickles Bad for Dogs?

Pickles are not toxic to dogs, and your pup will be perfectly fine if he gobbles one up that dropped to the floor. Pickles contain the same vitamins and minerals found in cucumbers, and they have the added digestive benefits of probiotics from the fermentation process.

But pickles also contain a huge amount of sodium thanks to the brine, so they’re not the healthiest option for your dog to snack on. If a dog eats too many pickles, he can experience high blood pressure or heart disease—though he’d have to eat a lot of pickles to have any adverse health issues. If you walked in on your dog eating a large number of pickles, contact your veterinarian. 

In addition to salt, some pickles (such as sweet pickles) contain sugar, another unhealthy ingredient for dogs. Other pickles have additives that are bad for dogs, too, such as:

Overall, it’s best to keep your dog away from all pickles, whether they be sweet pickles or dill. Give your pup a plain, raw cucumber instead.

Is Dill Bad for Dogs?

While the brine makes pickles a bad idea for your dog, dill itself is safe—and even healthy—for dogs to eat. Dill can freshen your dog’s breath, contains beneficial antioxidants that help fight off heart disease and cancer, and may help reduce inflammation. 

Instead of feeding your pup a dill pickle, the safest and healthiest way to feed this herb to your pup is by sprinkling a little on top of his regular dog food. 

Can Dogs Drink Pickle Juice?

Pickle juice is not safe for your dog. Not only does it contain some potentially toxic ingredients, but it’s also extremely high in salt and could easily lead to salt poisoning. If your dog somehow drank a jar of pickle juice, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Pickles

If your dog eats a pickle that falls onto the floor, he’ll most likely have some mild stomach upset, if that. But if he consumed an entire jar of pickles or pickle juice, contact your veterinarian.

If a visit to the vet is deemed necessary, bring the pickle jar with you to show the veterinarian the ingredients listed. Inform them of any underlying conditions your dog has and, if possible, how many pickles your dog ate. All these factors play into the severity of your dog’s reaction and the veterinarian’s treatment plan.

Featured Image: iStock/Photography by Adri

Victoria Lynn Arnold


Victoria Lynn Arnold

Freelance Writer

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