As a side dish at a New York deli or as a zesty sandwich topping, who doesn't love a nice, sour pickle? (Okay, probably a lot of people.) But even if you're a veritable pickle connoisseur, pickles aren't recommended for your dog, even in moderation.
Pickles are made by soaking cucumbers in brine, a solution that contains high amounts of salt. Dogs have a lower tolerance for sodium than humans. Eating salt — especially in large quantities over time — can lead to canine health issues like dehydration and kidney damage.
Apart from their high salt content, some pickles may also be seasoned with garlic or onions, both of which are toxic to dogs. These ingredients can cause gastrointestinal illness, severe anemia, and other serious health problems. And pickle brine often contains other spices, plus preservatives like vinegar, which may irritate your dog's digestive system and cause nausea or vomiting.
The bottom line: It's best to avoid feeding feeding pickles to your canine friend. But by all means, order extra pickles along with your pastrami-on-rye.
If your dog does find their way into a pickle barrel, you should reach out to your vet for advice, especially if you're observing lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, behavioral changes, or other signs of illness. And if your pup ever requires veterinary care due to eating an unsafe food, pet insurance can help cover the cost of treatment.