A dog with a wary expression looking at pickles, showing they are harmful to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Pickles?

No, dogs should not eat pickles. While the cucumbers from which pickles are made are generally safe, pickles themselves often contain ingredients that are not suitable for dogs. These ingredients can include vinegar, salt, and spices—all of which can pose health risks to your furry friend.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 27, 2024

Did You Know?

Pickles often contain garlic and onions, which are harmful to dogs.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why Are Pickles Bad for Dogs?

Pickles are loaded with salt, which can lead to high blood pressure and dehydration in dogs. Additionally, spices and vinegar used in pickling can upset your dog's stomach, leading to nausea or diarrhea. The overall acidic nature and high sodium content make pickles a poor choice for canine consumption.

How Many Pickles Can Dogs Eat?

It's best to avoid giving pickles to dogs entirely. If your dog happens to sneak a piece of pickle, a small bite is unlikely to cause serious harm. However, refrain from making it a regular treat. Excessive consumption can lead to more severe health issues over time.

Common Misconceptions

There's a common myth that the vegetables in pickles make them healthy for dogs. This is misleading because the pickling process introduces harmful elements like high sodium and vinegar. Always remember, it's the additives in pickles that make them dangerous, not the cucumbers themselves.

Similar Harmful Products

  • Pickled Onions: Contain high levels of salt and potentially toxic onions.
  • Pickled Peppers: Spicy and acidic, which can irritate a dog's stomach.
  • Relish: Often includes added sugar and spices harmful to dogs.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Pickles?

If your dog consumes a pickle, monitor them closely for signs of distress such as vomiting, lethargy, or excessive salivation. Contact your vet immediately if any adverse symptoms appear. Avoid inducing vomiting unless directed by a professional, as this could cause further complications.

In the long run, eating foods high in salt and spices can lead to chronic health problems for your dog, such as kidney issues or hypertension. Treatment costs for such conditions can be significant. Having pet insurance can be a lifeline to cover these unexpected expenses.

What Are Healthy Alternatives?

Instead of feeding your dog pickles, consider these healthier options:

  • Cucumbers: Low in calories and high in water content, great for hydration.
  • Carrot Sticks: Crunchy and full of vitamins, a fantastic snack.
  • Apple Slices: Sweet and nutritious, but remove the seeds first.


In summary, pickles are not a good choice for dogs due to their high salt, vinegar, and spice content. Always consult your vet for tailored advice, particularly if your dog has specific health needs. Keep your pet's diet simple and safe, ensuring they stay happy and healthy!