The Spicy Question of ‘Can Dogs Eat Pickles?’
As the saying goes, dogs are man's best friend and this is undoubtedly the case after thousand's of years of close relationship between the two. Of course, in the past the reasons for this close relationship were more to do with practical benefits such as dogs' usefulness in helping with hunting and protection of people and their properties.
Nowadays though the human canine relationship has taken on a new dimension with the aspect of companionship becoming central. Indeed, throughout the world, dogs have become one of the most popular household pets. As a result the issues of how best to care for one's canine friend have become increasingly important and naturally one of the main things that dog owners need to think about is their dog's diet.
So, What's the Answer?
The general response to this question is that in small quantities, pickles probably won't do a lot of harm to a dog, so probably there's not too much reason to worry if it has eaten a small amount of pickle, either from the garbage can or stolen off a plate. However, if a dog owner is considering regularly feeding their dog pickles there are a couple of important things to take into account.
There are many different questions that a self respecting dog owner could ask about foods, one simple example of which is 'can dogs eat pickles?' Although this might not seem the most pressing question to raise, there are a number of situations where this issue of whether dogs can eat pickles could come up. Pickles are a common accompaniment to many foods such as hamburgers, so can easily end up being thrown out into the trash, and as such be easy pickings for a scavenging dog.
Alternatively, while a human owner is enjoying a tasty pickle, it could be tempting to give into the longing eyes of their canine friend. Finally, vegetables (even pickled ones!) are generally regarded as healthy for us humans, so it's logical to think that maybe they will do our pet dog good as well. Overall then, the question, 'can dogs eat pickles?' is worth thinking about.
It's a High Salt Content Food
Firstly, pickles are a high salt content food, as salt is an important part of the pickling process. Salt can however cause dehydration and excessive thirst in a dog, so if you as a dog owner notice your pet drinking and as a result urinating more than usual it's probably a sign that pickle consumption needs to be stopped or cut down. This problem is usually easily reversible, but care should be taken as a consequence of long term excessive salt intake could be inflammation of the pancreas, a painful condition for a dog which would need veterinary treatment.
Secondly, in the pickling process garlic and even onion could be used. These are potentially harmful for a dog as a chemical compound, thiosulfate, contained in them, has been shown to cause damage to haemoglobin in dogs' red blood cells. This can result in a type of anaemia, which would be have unpleasant consequences for the dog and need special treatment. Thus when asking, 'can dogs eat pickles?' it is important to check the label on the pickle jar to be sure that it doesn't contain onion or garlic.
There are some possible health benefits to feeding a dog pickles, due to the fact that pickles contain fibre plus other nutrients, such a vitamin K. This means then that if a dog owner so desires, a small amount of finely chopped pickle shouldn't do too much harm (and might even do a little good!) to one's canine friend, but ultimately when thinking about the question of 'dogs eat pickles?' or any other food for that matter, maybe the best approach is to ask whether they would eat the respective food in nature or not.
Further Reading & Vet Info -