Ask a Vet

Can Dogs Eat Pickles? The Answer May Surprise You

Photo of author
Jacquelyn Kennedy
Updated on

Does your dog come running to you whenever you’re eating something and want a piece of it? As the loving dog owner that you are, you may throw a piece of it to satisfy your four-legged friend. But what about forbidden dog foods? Can dogs eat pickles? Is it safe for them?

Feeding your dog can sometimes cause trouble. As their bodies work differently than us, not all foods suitable for humans are good for dogs as well.

Take, for instance, pickles.

In this post, I’ll share the most common question asked on many forums whenever the dog finds his way around the food and gobbles down on pickles.

Can My Dog Eat Pickles?

Can dogs eat pickles1

The answer to that is- Yes.

Surprisingly, an occasional bite of pickle won’t harm your dog. However, you must not include it as a staple in his diet.

Pickles are made from brine or vinegar (or other acidic solutions), salt, and other added spices. What goes into the pickle determines if the pickle is ok for your dog or not.

If your dog is too keen on trying one, just give him a bite or two of the pickle but remember not to overdo it.

Though, there are a few considerations that make pickle a forbidden food for your canine friend.

Now I’ve answered, “Can dogs eat pickles?”


Should Your Dog Eat Pickles?

No. Pickles are not the healthiest of choices for your dog. As discussed above, pickles are made from vinegar and other acidic solutions combined with salt and seasonings.

These ingredients can cause your dog to have minuscule problems or worse, ailments like anemia and heart conditions.

Let me break down the most common ingredients that should definitely not be a part of the pickle you treat your pet with.

Can dogs eat pickles2

Onions (and other allium family vegetables)

Most homemade bread and butter pickle recipes are made using onions. Onions are not good for your dog’s health.

This harmful vegetable contains a high level of thiosulphate. Onions may trigger Haemolytic anemia in your dog.

Hemolytic anemia is more commonly referred to as Heinz Body Anemia. This ailment causes a formation of Heinz bodies in your dog. Essentially, the red blood cells in the Heinz area become brittle and rupture.

The most common symptom of this health issue is that the urine will become dark-colored. Induced by onions and other allium family vegetables like garlic, anemia causes loss of appetite and fatigue.

However, here is the good news:

This health concern rarely becomes fatal. It can be treated by keeping your dog off onions instead of getting him on a healthy diet schedule.

Sodium is just as bad for your dog

Can dogs eat pickles3

In like manner, Sodium in large amounts should not be consumed by your dog.

Unfortunately, a medium-sized pickle contains somewhere between 700 to 1500 mg of sodium. The recommended amount for your dog is around 100 mg per day.

As noted above, I am sure you have a brief idea of how bad a pickle can be for your beloved pet.

Moreover, most dog foods have already added sodium amounting to the dog’s daily requirement. So, your pet doesn’t need the additional sodium in the pickles.

Are you now worried that your dog had that pickle? Hold up a minute, and don’t call your vet yet.

A little amount of pickle in moderation is not going to harm your dog.

However, it is an alien food for their digestive system, and if your dog has a sensitive gut, he may be prone to an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Likewise, excessive sodium can trigger high blood pressure in hypertensive dogs. In the long run, it may lead to an early-age stroke and even a fatal heart attack.

Another thing I would like to discuss in relevance to sodium intake for dogs is …


This is by far a really painful condition for the canine bodies. Dogs who consume regular high-sodium foods like pickles may become a victim of Pancreatitis.

In this condition, your dog’s pancreas stops working properly. Hence, the breakdown of fats and sodium is not possible. Consequently, the stomach gets very sore and the dog has a problem moving around.

For treatment, he may be hospitalized and given IV fluids. But you’ll have to keep him on a low-sodium diet for quite a while to avoid the recurrence of this disease.

And what about pickle juice?

Have you noticed that liquid substance has accumulated on your plate and at the end of the pickle jar?

That’s pickle juice.

With nothing but vinegar, water, salt, and oil, this nasty liquid can make your dog very ill.

While mildly spiced pickles can still be considered for your eager dog, pickle juice is strictly prohibited.

Simply stated, it is poison for your dog and will add to more health concerns for your pet.

Okay, we’ve covered the bad stuff: Sodium, Onions, Garlic, and worse… Pickle Juice.

Now… Coming to Sweet Pickles

If you really must feed your dog pickles, sweet pickles are a better option.

Although, here also, you will have to maintain the limit of servings for your dog. As these sweet pickles are less concentrated, they still contain sugar.

Sweet pickles

Just like sugar is bad for your own health, it can cause diabetes, weight gain, and cavities in your dog. As we love our dogs, we definitely don’t want that.


So keep in mind your dog and avoid the temptation to feed him what you are eating at all times.

May I know the alternative of pickles for my dog?

Given these points above, you might not want to give your dog even that occasional pickle, and that’s alright.

However, you can try these alternatives for pickles for your dog:

  • Cucumber

As you know, cucumber has many benefits. Try feeding your dog raw cucumber instead of the pickle itself.

He may surprise you with how much he likes it.

  • Other Veggies

Another thing you can try is giving them vegetables like carrots, peas, cauliflower and broccoli florets, and more.

These alternatives will keep your pooch satisfied, and as a dog owner, you’ll have peace of mind.

I like to call this a win-win situation for my dog and me.

Should I be worried if my dog has already eaten a pickle?

It can be sickening when your dog eats something he isn’t supposed to. But before you panic and take your dog to the vet, do one thing.

Check the pickle jar for the list of ingredients. If it contains ingredients like onion or garlic and your pet starts to get uncomfortable, get him checked by a vet for a thorough diagnosis.

Otherwise, if this is just a rare accidental gulp, your pooch is most probably fine and in good health. But be careful for the next time.

Can dogs eat pickles – Final Conclusion

A piece or two of pickles won’t harm your dog. But try to keep him on a good and balanced diet with cucumbers and other veggies. However, steer clear of toxic pickle juice for your dog.

Do you have a dog who loves pickles, or has your dog ever eaten a pickle? How did he react to it?

You might also like
Can Dog Eat Bell Peppers?
Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds?
Can Dogs Eat Tuna and Other Nutrition?
Can Dogs Eat Olives?

Photo of author
About the author

Jacquelyn Kennedy

PetDT was founded by Jacquelyn Kennedy, a dog lover and pet admirer. She built the website to provide pet owners with information, experiences, and opinions on breeds, temperament, personalities, health, nutrition, products, and care.