Are Pickles Healthy for Dogs?

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Vegetables are an important part of the canine diet so when they're pickled, there's no reason why normal, healthy dogs shouldn't enjoy them as much as people do -- with some important exceptions. Certain kinds of pickles should be kept away from dogs, and some dogs shouldn't be given pickles at all.

Picking Your Pickles Wisely

Many vegetables in addition to cucumbers, including zucchini, peppers, carrots, beans and beets, can be pickled. If the pickled vegetable is one you'd feed your dog when fresh, there's no reason not to offer him a taste. In fact, if your dog happens to be carrying a few excess pounds, Virginia's Burke Veterinary Clinic endorses “sweet and dill pickles” as healthy ingredients in a weight-loss diet.

Pickles to Avoid

Onions and garlic are considered toxic for dogs, which rules out not only pickled onions, but also all pickles heavily flavored with garlic, such as kosher and garlic dills.

Pickles and Sodium-Reduced Diets

If sodium is a health issue for your dog, be aware that lot of salt can go into making pickles. In both people and dogs, salty foods contribute to high blood pressure, which can lead to severe organ damage. For this reason, Vermont Veterinary Cardiology Services warns against giving pickled foods to dogs on sodium-restricted diets, especially those who have already been diagnosed with heart disease.

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