Crackers are some of the most harmless things a person can eat. It seems like there is no harm giving a few pieces of it to your dog. However, can dogs eat crackers, or will it harm them? There are a few things you need to know.
To be fair, everyone gives their dogs human food.
We don’t look at the ingredients, and most of the time, we think nothing of it. In the end, if it isn’t toxic for us, why would it be harmful to our four-legged friends?
Still, to answer the question ‘Can dogs eat crackers?’ you have to dig a bit deeper.
What Are Crackers Made of?
To understand can dogs eat crackers, let’s look at the ingredient list. Some ingredients that are perfectly acceptable for us are toxic to our pets.
Most crackers contain sodium. As we all probably already know, sodium is an important part of every mammal’s diet. However, too much sodium can be extremely dangerous for canines.
If you can’t resist giving your dog a cracker, choose one that contains only a small amount of sodium.
Most crackers contain around 30-100 milligrams of sodium per one cracker, which is too much for your furry companion.
Luckily, there are some low-sodium crackers out there that are safer – at least when it comes to their salt amount.
Keep in mind that dogs probably already ingest enough sodium through their regular meals.
If they eat too much salt regularly, even if it isn’t in dangerous amounts, they can get salt poisoning. This can result in seizures, sometimes even in death.
Luckily, most dogs will only become excessively thirsty, and they’ll urinate a lot. Still, why would you risk your pet’s wellbeing?
Some of the signs that your dog ate too much sodium include:
- Bad appetite
- Frequent urination
- Body tremors
If your dog ate crackers, then experienced any of these symptoms, you should contact your local vet.
Don’t let your dog suffer. Even unsalted crackers can contain enough sodium to cause problems unless eaten in a moderate amount.
A lot of crackers contain spices. This makes them tastier compared to their unsalted, mundane twins.
However, this also makes them more dangerous for canines. Most spices, such as garlic, onion, and pepper, can upset your dog’s stomach. Some might even cause serious health issues. Just to make sure, it’s better to avoid feeding your dog crackers altogether.
Chocolate and Xylitol
Now that you’ve understood that salt is a no-no for dogs, you’re probably thinking about giving him sweet ones. This is also dangerous for more than one reason.
Most importantly, chocolate can be deadly for dogs. Chocolate contains caffeine, which can cause seizures in dogs.
This can end up being fatal. Even if crackers don’t have any chocolate, they might have xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that can be found in many diet sweets. It is another common ingredient that is extremely toxic for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Crackers?
After reading what ingredients commonly found in crackers are toxic for dogs, we think the answer is clear. We wouldn’t recommend feeding crackers to your dogs.
The only option to be sure is to inspect the ingredient list thoroughly. This way, you can make sure nothing in that particular kind of crackers can harm your companion.
However, even then, we’d recommend giving your dog one to two crackers at most. If nothing else, even sweet crackers contain some small amount of salt.
Sure, your dog might beg, but not everything he wants is good for him. What might be a tasty little snack can turn into an urgent visit to the vet.
Not just that, but most crackers are also high in carbohydrates. Dogs don’t require a diet that is high in carbohydrates.
In fact, if they eat healthy fruit and vegetables, they are already ingesting all the carbs they need. Carbohydrates that originate from grains are not fit for dogs. They can only lead to weight gain while having no positive effects.
Can Dogs Eat Graham Crackers And Other Similar Varieties?
Graham crackers are a kind of sweet crackers that don’t contain either chocolate or xylitol. This sounds like a safe alternative to salty snacks, right? Not so much.
Graham crackers don’t contain anything particularly dangerous for a dog. However, they don’t have any nutritional benefit, so your pet doesn’t really need to eat it.
For example, one graham cracker contains around 5 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of sugar. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it really is.
Dogs don’t need any carbohydrates and sugar added to their regular diet. If they eat Graham crackers too often, they’ll likely become obese.
They might also develop other issues, such as dental problems or even diabetes.
You might also wonder, can dogs eat Ritz crackers, which is one of the most popular cracker brands.
Once again, the answer is ‘No’. Ritz crackers are also high in sugar and carbohydrates. They also contain gluten, which is a common cause of allergy in dogs.
Canines can’t really digest wheat, as they are descendants of wolves. Wolves rely on protein, and their stomachs aren’t made for eating wheat. This is why gluten sensitivities are widespread in dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Animal Crackers?
Unlike ordinary crackers, animal crackers contain ingredients that can’t directly harm your pet. If you have a dog, you probably know how crazy your companion gets if you open a bag of animal crackers.
Since they have ‘animal’ attached to it, you likely can’t resist giving some to your dog. In the end, there can’t be any harm in feeding your dog crackers that are made for him.
Just like humans, dogs really shouldn’t eat sweets and junk food. Animal crackers are just that – junk food for dogs.
They usually look cute and have a taste that’s appealing to dogs, but they don’t have any nutritional value. In fact, most animal crackers are fairly hard to digest.
Sure, you can’t harm your dog by giving him one animal cracker from time to time. However, if this becomes a regular practice, your dog can become obese and even develop diarrhea.
It can be a good idea to give animal crackers to your dog as an award. This way, you can make sure he eats them only on special occasions.
Still, you want to make sure these crackers don’t contain raisins. Some animal sweets even contain chocolate, which is, as we’ve already said, extremely dangerous.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Whey Protein
Read the ingredient list carefully before introducing these sweets to your pet.
Keep in mind that crackers are dry food. Too much dry food is never good for anyone, and the same goes for your dog.
So, if you wondered can dogs eat crackers intended for them, now you know. Nothing will happen if he has a treat every now and then.
However, if you go overboard, your dog might develop stomach problems. Not to mention the quite certain weight gain!
Can Dogs Eat Any Human Snacks?
It isn’t recommended that you feed your dog with any snacks or sweets intended for humans.
Not only will these make your dog – and you, as well – overweight, but they can be quite dangerous.
As we’ve mentioned before, most sweet snacks contain either chocolate or xylitol. This on its own makes them toxic for dogs.
Even if they are free from these ingredients, too much sugar is never a good thing. Corn syrup is another common culprit behind diabetes in dogs.
In fact, it’s probably much worse than regular sugar, as it’s processed. This can never be healthy.
On the other hand, salty snacks contain high amounts of sodium. This is another ingredient that your dog shouldn’t intake outside of his regular meals.
Read Next: Can Dogs Eat Quesadillas
A lot of snacks have the spices mentioned above, so there is really no way around it. Dogs shouldn’t eat junk food in any way, shape, or form.
While some crackers seem like a harmless snack, the reality can be a bit different. Although they aren’t as dangerous as some other human foods, you still shouldn’t give them to your dogs.
They are high in sodium, sugar, and carbs, all of which cause health issues.
So now you know the answer to the question ‘Can dogs eat crackers?’ is: ‘No.’ Is there anything you can give to your dog that he’ll enjoy without harming his health?
You can always give your dog some healthy food and vegetables he’ll enjoy eating. For example, paprika and carrots are always a good idea.
Just make sure to check first, as some plants are dangerous for dogs, as well.
Of course, nothing will happen if your dog steals one or two crackers from the bowl on your table. However, this shouldn’t become a regular thing. Watch out for symptoms of sodium poisoning and contact your vet if you notice anything suspicious.