The quick answer: Yes, dogs can eat mild pickles, but only sparingly due to the high salt content.
Crunchy and delicious, pickles can be spicy, sour, or sweet. People enjoy pickles with sandwiches, burgers, and even as a low-calorie snack. Pickles are made one of two ways; quick pickling is when cucumbers are soaked in vinegar, salt and other spices such as dill. The other type of pickling doesn’t use vinegar, but rather a salt brine in which the cucumbers ferment. Fermented pickles have the added health benefit of probiotics. Cucumbers aren’t the only vegetable that can be pickled; people consume a wide variety of pickled vegetables, including carrots, bell pepper, and onions (a no-no for dogs).
If you are looking for a snack to share with your dog, fresh cucumbers far surpass pickles because they have more nutrition and less sodium than pickles. However, eating a small bite of pickle won’t hurt your pup so long as it is free of spices like garlic and onion.
Often times, pickles are made with onions or onion powder. Garlic and onions are toxic to pets, so your dog shouldn’t ever be fed any food made with these vegetables or spices that contain them. Check the ingredients label on your pickle jar to make sure it doesn’t contain garlic or onions before sharing a bite of pickle with your dog.
When sharing pickles, it’s best to limit your dog’s intake to a small bite every once in a while. Most types of pickles have a high salt content, and the sweet varieties contain lots of sugar, neither of which is healthy for your dog to consume in large quantities or on a regular basis. Plus, eating too much at once can cause an upset tummy.
For the same reasons previously mentioned, don’t share pickle juice (the liquid in the pickle jar) with your dog because it contains high amounts of sodium, sugar, or vinegar.