Although it is necessary to cook all fresh vegetables before feeding them to your dog, cucumber in its raw form provides maximum benefits.
If you're a dog owner, you know how difficult it is to feed vegetables to your pooch. Though most dogs just devour a slurry of vegetables and meat cooked together, there are a few who just vanish at the sight of most veggies! We think cucumber is one of the few veggies that even the fussiest of your wigglebums happily munch on.
For most of us, cucumber is the way to beat the heat in summer; bumped with nutrients, water, and fiber, it is the perfect addition to your salads and sandwiches. It can be described as a weight-watcher's dream food!
But is this food that works wonders on your waist safe for your dog? Does it contain any substance that may be harmful to your beloved pooch? Don't these questions run through every dog owner's mind when their little munchkin looks at them with those yearning eyes? Put your mind at ease, because this vegetable is probably one of the best things you can feed you dog. Here are a few reasons why.
Benefits of Cucumber for Dogs
♦ Cucumbers have a high water content and help to keep your dog well hydrated. In addition to this, cucumbers act as a natural diuretic and can help flushing out toxins and other harmful substances from their system.
♦ They are rich in a number of phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants promote good health by scavenging free radicals in the body and will delay the process of aging and help fight cancer.
♦ Cucumbers are rich in minerals like silica, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Silica helps to keep the joints healthy, strengthen muscles and ligaments, as well as aid in calcium uptake by the bones. Potassium is required to counter the effects of sodium and maintain blood pressure. Calcium hastens the process of wound healing, boosts your pooch's immune system, and is required for its teeth and bone development. Magnesium is required for the normal functioning of almost all the metabolic processes.
♦ The skin of cucumbers is rich in vitamin A; however, it is advisable to peel the skin off if the cucumber is not organic. You don't want to feed 'little Casper' any harmful chemicals that may have been sprayed on it! Vitamin A is essential for maintaining good eyesight, a healthy coat, and ensuring proper growth of your dog.
♦ This vegetable is also rich in vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, and folate. These vitamins are required for maintaining a healthy coat and formation of red blood cells.
♦ Munching on cucumbers will kill the bacteria growing in your doggie's mouth and will therefore prevent bad breath and protect your dog's gums against gingivitis.
♦ Cucumber juice can prevent the occurrence of pancreatitis as well as stimulate the pancreas to produce optimum amount of insulin. This can promote good health in our bow-wowers suffering from diabetes.
♦ This veggie also contains certain sterols that help in reducing the blood cholesterol level. Cucumbers also help in lowering the uric acid levels and help in maintaining kidney function.
Can Cucumbers Help Overweight Dogs?
♨ Cucumber are low in calories, rich in fibers, and most of their weight comes from water. It would be a good idea to swap their dyed, processed treats made from meat and meat byproducts with this healthy and all-natural munchy.
♨ Another trick that would help your little lump shed a few pounds is by replacing a quarter of its meal with some crunchy vegetables like celery, carrots, and cucumbers.
♨ Dogs love to show you that they understand your commands and especially love the rewards and praises that follow. So before you give your dog its veggie-loaded meal, make sure you make it work out a bit by playing games or taking it for a stroll. This not only helps your pooch lose weight, but also reinforces its love for the veggies as they become a part of the reward.
♨ If your dog fusses about its food during mealtime, cutback its snacking between meals. Ideally, adult dogs need to be fed only twice a day.
♨ Along with cucumber, you can also add cooked pumpkins, zucchinis, cabbages, tomatoes (without the seeds), and carrots to its meal.
Some dogs may suffer from mild diarrhea when fed with cucumbers as their body tries to adjust to the new food. This tends to resolve itself after a few days. If, however, the diarrhea is severe, stop feeding it cucumbers immediately, and consult a vet before introducing vegetables to its diet again. Excessive feeding of cucumber may also cause diarrhea.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.