Can Dogs Eat Pickles?

Here’s the deal 🥒

If you’re at home eating from a jar of pickles, the idea of sharing a bite with your dog might have crossed your mind. But can dogs even eat pickles?

It all depends on how the pickle was made and how many pickles your dog actually eats.

The Dodo reached out to Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance, and Dr. Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon and consulting veterinarian for FiveBarks, to learn more about pickles and dogs.

Are pickles safe for dogs?


Even though cucumbers are safe for dogs, that doesn’t mean pickles automatically are too.

According to Dr. Burch, pickles themselves aren’t an issue — but certain ingredients can be toxic to dogs.

“Dogs can eat pickles, especially if one accidentally drops to the ground, but I do not recommend making them a daily treat for your pet,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo.

Why are pickles bad for dogs?


The main problem with eating pickles is the high sodium content.

“Excessive ingestion of sodium can be problematic for dogs with underlying medical conditions and even in the short term for healthy dogs,” Dr. Burch said. “Consumption of a large amount of salt in one sitting can lead to excessive drinking, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination and seizures.”

It’s also important to note that some of the seasonings that can be used to make pickles shouldn’t be ingested — like really spicy things or garlic and onion powders.

“While some pickles are fine to feed to your four-legged friends (like plain ones), others are not. When unsure, err on the side of caution,” Dr. Simon told The Dodo. “If herbs and spices have been used, they may cause stomach upset and symptoms such as vomiting, bloating and diarrhea.”

Signs of salt poisoning in dogs


If your dog has too much salt, the first sign is excessive thirst.

Other signs of salt poisoning in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration (indicated by panting, dry gums and weakness)

Dehydration can be fatal in dogs if it’s too severe or goes untreated.

How to treat salt poisoning in dogs


If you suspect that your dog has had way too much salt, you should talk to your veterinarian immediately to get proper treatment.

A veterinarian will give a dehydrated dog IV fluids and electrolytes, treat seizures and provide any other supportive care that’s needed.

What to do if your dog ate pickles


If your dog eats a pickle that has fallen on the ground or was swiped off your plate, you don’t need to worry. “Dogs who eat many pickles, such as the entire jar, need evaluation by their veterinarian for monitoring and treatment,” Dr. Burch said.

So while your dog grabbing a quick bite of a pickle once in a while shouldn’t be an issue, you shouldn’t start using them as her go-to snack.