As a dog owner, you’re always looking for a healthy snack for your furry friend. Fruits and veggies like blueberries, bananas and zucchini are always a good choice … but what about cucumber? Is it safe for dogs to eat?
The answer is YES! Cucumber can be a refreshing treat for your dog that also comes with some great benefits. This fruit (yes, cucumbers are a fruit) is a source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and many other benefits.
Today, I’m going to tell you about the 5 main benefits that come with cucumbers. I’ll also provide tips for feeding your dog this healthy fruit.
1. Full Of Antioxidants
Cucumbers contain flavonoids. Flavonoids are naturally occurring antioxidant compounds in food. Cucumbers contain the flavonoids:
Your dog needs antioxidants to help control harmful free radicals in her body …
Free radicals are damaged cells. They come from normal metabolic processes in your dog’s body. And they come from toxins, like pesticides, drugs or pollution.
Free radicals try to repair themselves by stealing from other cells, harming those cells and even your dog’s DNA. This is called oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress accelerates the aging process and contribute to many chronic degenerative conditions like:
- Joint disease
- Kidney disease
Antioxidants help control the buildup of free radicals in the body. This protects your dog from oxidative stress. So the flavonoids in cucumbers can slow your dog’s aging process and help prevent chronic disease.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
One of the flavonoids that I mentioned, fisetin, has great anti-inflammatory properties. Fisetin inhibits the activity of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). COX-2 is an enzyme that promotes pain and inflammation. Some drugs are known as COX inhibitors … but cucumber can also help!
Fisetin’s anti-inflammatory effects may also help with fighting neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
3. Keeps Your Dog Hydrated
It’s something that you might not think about … but cucumbers can be a good veggie to help your dog stay hydrated.
Cucumbers are 95% water. This makes them an ideal treat for your dog on those warm summer days. This might also be a great way of adding a little bit more water into your dog’s the diet. Especially if she isn’t drinking as much water as she should.
4. Low In Calories
One of the great things about cucumbers as a snack is that they’re low in calories. They won’t cause your dog to get chubby … and they’re good for her. There are even studies that show cucumbers are useful in a weight loss diet. This is due to their high water content.
5. May Help Prevent Cancer
Cucumbers contain polyphenols (micronutrients found in plants) called lignans, including pinoresinol, lariciresinol and secoisolariciresinol. These lignans can help lower the risk of cancer.
While research is ongoing, lignans may be helping to protect your dog from cancer by working with the digestive tract’s bacteria. This bacteria may be converting lignans into compounds that help reduce the risk of estrogen based cancers like:
Cucumbers also have cucurbitacin B, which can block the signaling pathways of cancers. These pathways are used by cancers for cell proliferation and survival.
As well as helping spur inflammation in your dog, the COX-2 enzyme can also help cancer growth. It also promotes resistance to conventional treatments. As I mentioned earlier, fisetin prevents COX-2 from doing its job. In this case, fisetin may help prevent cancer growth.
How To Feed Your Dog Cucumber
Now that I’ve told you al the reasons why your dog should eat cucumber, we can get down to how to feed it.
You’ll want to use an organic cucumber for starters. This will help you to avoid harmful chemicals and toxins that are used on non organic produce. It also allows you to skip the wax used to seal non-organic cucumbers for transport.
You’ll want to cut the cucumber into small pieces. The small pieces will help avoid a choking hazard for your dog.
And make sure to keep the peel on! Most of the nutrition and benefits are in the peel. As long as you buy organic, the cucumber peel is perfectly safe for your dog to eat.
The last thing you need to do is take care when adding cucumber into his rotation of snacks. Too much cucumber may give your dog some gastrointestinal and allergy issues. Adding cucumber in slowly can help avoid these issues.
Cucumbers Are A Great Snack!
There’s no downside to letting your dog eat cucumber as a snack. They provide antioxidants and help reduce inflammation. They are made up of 95% water so cucumbers are low in calories and help with hydration. And cucumbers contain compounds that may help prevent and fight cancer. Just make sure you buy organic and your dog is good to go with some cucumber treats.
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Nabavi SF, Braidy N, Habtemariam S, Sureda A, Manayi A, Nabavi SM. Neuroprotective effects of fisetin in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases: From chemistry to medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information. 2016;16(17):1910-5.
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