We all have been there sitting watching tv, enjoying our tea and crackers and there is your little best friend following every movement you make, even looking for the slightest crumb falling. But can dogs eat crackers? We have created this article to help you with all the questions about crackers you could have.
Everyone in the world loves to eat crackers, you will probably find some sort of cracker in most people’s houses. They come in all different seasonings and colors, along with different sizes and shapes. Different countries will usually have a generic favorite type of cracker or seasoning they prefer.
There is a lot to choose from! Our below article is about Saltine Crackers, which are also known as Soda Crackers. Depending on where you are from. We chose this type of cracker as it seems to be the most popular one in the US and worldwide.
Can Dogs Eat Crackers?
Yes, dogs can eat crackers, they are not toxic, but it is not advised to feed your dog crackers. If you insist on feeding your dog a cracker then it should only be on a rare treat basis.
Now, just because your dog can eat them it doesn’t mean you can start feeding your dog them all the time. This would not be healthy for your dog, as their actual dog food has the necessary protein and nutrition they need on a day to day basis.
If you feed your dog crackers on a regular basis, they can start to get in a poor eating habit. You could be filling them up, so they only partially eat their dog food.
An Even worse scenery could be your dog just full-on rejects their dog food and refuses to eat it. They have had a taste of something tastier and will only want that instead. This will take a lot of training and time to get your dog back to his normal feeding habit, if you let this go to far.
What Makes Crackers a Bad Treat?
Now small portions that are given on a rare treat basis are ok for dogs. If you keep feeding your dog crackers all the time though they can start to have a problem with their stomach and have digestion issues. Along with other medical health problems that are more serious in the long term, we talk about this below.
This will be because crackers are actually a processed food, which is not meant for dogs. Usually, you would not give your dog anything processed as you can never be sure what has been put into them. Crackers are a bit of an exception here as they are usually just made up of yeast, baking soda, and white flour, not to be forgetting the salt.
The ingredients do not have any nutritional value for your dog. This is what we have mentioned above, if you fill your dog up on crackers then they are not getting any actual protein or nutritional value to keep them strong and healthy.
If you feed your dog to many crackers or any type of food that is deemed for humans, then you are increasing the risk of any future health or nutritional problems. A lot of cases have been because owners have been feeding their dogs more human food than actual dog food. Dog food is designed to keep your dog strong and healthy.
Can Dogs Eat The Toppings That Come With Crackers?
NO, you should not be giving your dog any of the toppings that humans can eat with there crackers. Such things we are on about are guacamole, hummus, ranch, anything spicy, or dairy.
These sauces can have anything from onion to garlic in them, which is toxic to a dog’s health. These two ingredients are often put in a lot of dips. Check our article on what dogs cant eat, it will give you a better understanding of what they can and can not have.
You should not be feeding your dog anything spicy because they can not handle it, it will cause stomach upset or in some cases something worse. With dairy, it is a lactose intolerance situation, do you know if your dog is lactose intolerant? A lot of dogs are, and many owners do not know because they only feed their dog actual dog food.
If you are eating crackers with dips, you should always be mindful of what is going on. It is easy to get distracted by the TV and not look. You do not want to drop any of that dip on the floor, as dogs cannot eat it.
If your dog snuck some dip of your plate and it had toxic ingredients in it, then you should contact your local veterinarian straight away. It is better to be safe than sorry, I am afraid to say. Even if it is a small amount it is better to get them checked if they have ingested anything toxic.
It is always wise to ask your veterinarian these questions when you see them. So you can know the seriousness of the future situation. This way you are ready for more situations that can happen later on.
The Level of Sodium In Crackers
Crackers can contain a high amount of salt; they add salt to help increase the flavor and taste of the crackers. You can see the amount of salt that is in crackers by the ingredients list on the packet label.
You should keep in mind though that the ingredients labeled on the packages are designed for humans and not dogs. They do not take dogs into consideration. Even if the package says the level of salt on this package is safe for humans, that does not mean it is the same for a dog.
Even “low sodium” crackers that are deemed safer for humans, this is not always true when it comes to dogs. The amount still could be high for a dog compared to a human. Any added sodium to a dog’s diet is not necessary and should be avoided at all costs.
Dogs receive their daily amount of sodium they need from their dog food. Sodium is something you do not want to add or increase to your dogs’ diet.
Even for us humans, we are not allowed to have too much sodium, especially as we get older. Too much salt for a human is really bad for there blood pressure. So if it is bad for us, then it is defiantly bad for dogs as well.
You should also recognize that crackers have fat and sugar in as well. Dogs do not need the added extra fat and sugar to their diets. Your dog can struggle to digest such a product, as the high sodium, sugar, and fat can lead to digestion issues.
Any type of food that is high in sodium is not recommended for your dogs’ diet, especially if they are a small breed as it can affect them more because of there size. Although please note this should apply to all breeds and dog sizes.
Can Dogs Eat Saltine Crackers?
Saltine crackers are covered in salt, they offer no nutritional value. They have 929MG of sodium out of 100G serving. This is ten times! The amount a dog should be in-taking daily, based on an average-sized dog.
Saltine Crackers – based on 5 crackers – 15g
The above table is from the USDA’s Food Data Central Database, it shows that even with just 5 crackers you over on your dogs’ intake of sodium. This is before they have even had anything else like there dog food there meant to eat. Dog food has the correct amount of sodium in for a dog’s diet, so by increasing it by 130mg regularly can be very dangerous.
Giving your dog a high sodium food product will only cause your dog to drink more, which leads to them urinating more. Thirst and urination are two factors to keep an eye on.
Now your dog would need to eat a lot of crackers to be at risk of salt poisoning, but it still is possible that your dog could get sodium ion poisoning if they have eaten to much salt.
Signs to keep an eye out for are seizures:
- An elevated body temperature
They could even die if not treated or recognized early enough.
Salt poisoning in dogs and cats results in signs of vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, incoordination, excessive thirst or urination. In severe cases, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death are possible.
Read the original article – Pet Poison Helpline
Can Dogs Eat Unsalted Crackers Though?
Unsalted crackers are not toxic to dogs, just like other crackers, as long as were talking about the plain version. Even though they have little to none salt on them, it is not recommended to feed your dog unsalted crackers. They still have a relatively high number of calories in them, along with no nutritional value.
Giving your dog snacks that do not have any nutritional value to there diet is not a good idea. This is how your dog will gain weight and become overweight.
Can Dogs Eat Ritz Crackers?
Just like any other cracker brand, we have mentioned, 1 or 2 Ritz crackers are not likely to hurt your dog. As long as they are the plain version and have no flavorings on them. Although they do contain high levels of sodium just like other crackers, along with carbohydrates and bad fats. If eaten often and on a long-term basis, this could affect their lifestyle and cause serious medical problems.
Ritz Crackers – Based on 5 crackers - 16g
For a dog, this is just too much for them. You do not want to be adding extra unnecessary fat to your dogs’ diet, this can lead to health problems further down the line. Some health problems could be diabetes, heart problems, and their pancreas. Each one is very serious when it comes to a dog’s health.
The above table is from the USDA’s FoodData Central Database. It shows that just under a third of the 16g is fat and 10g is carbs, not to mention the Salt level. This is for 5 crackers.
Even if you decided to go down the low-fat crackers option to avoid the risk of some health issues. You still will be getting 105mg of sodium per 5 crackers, which is a lot of salt.
Can Dogs Eat Graham Crackers?
Just with every other cracker we have mentioned Graham crackers are not toxic to dogs. As long as they are the plain version, so if your dog has sneaked 1 or 2 then there should not be anything to worry about.
Graham crackers do not have as much salt in them, than other brands, approximately 115mg for 2 full cracker sheets (32g). Which is better than other cracker brands, but they are still not offering your dog any nutritional benefit. There is not any benefit for your dog eating them.
They still have a rather high salt content and still have high levels of fat and sugar for a dog. As we have mentioned above several times, too much sugar and salt can cause health problems further down the line if you give them as treats always.
Please see the below table showing what is in a Graham Cracker, details are from the USDA FoodData Central Database
Graham Crackers – 2 Full Cracker Sheets – 31g
If you really do insist on feeding your dog a cracker type of food, try out Gone To The Snow Dogs Recipe. In the below video they show you how to make dog friendly Graham Crackers. This is your best bet when feeding your dog any crackers as a treat.
Can Dogs Eat Animal Crackers?
To start with, Animal crackers are not toxic as long as we’re talking about plain animal crackers. Just like other crackers they have little to none nutritional value.
If you have a look at the table below from the USDA FoodData Central Database, it shows there is 4g of fat and 130 calories. This may not sound a lot but for a small dog, this is a lot of fat they don’t need.
Let us also not forget about the 125mg of salt, this is a very high content of salt for a dog to have. It is higher than the daily amount they are meant to have.
Animal crackers – Based on 13 crackers – 30g
Overall, as mentioned above animal crackers are not toxic, but they’re not exactly the healthiest thing to give a dog by a long shot. If you must feed your dog animal crackers, it should only be in small portions, on a rare treat basis. Maybe when you are training them? Although once again there are better healthier things like carrots, dogs love carrots.
Summary – Can Dogs Eat Crackers?
Now we mentioned above that dogs can eat crackers, which is correct they can, they are not toxic to dogs. Although the ingredients that make a cracker can cause your dog problems in the short term to long term.
Your dog can eat one or two crackers and they should be fine, with no problems. But they should not be given to dogs on a regular basis, they should only be given on a rare treat basis.
Check out the below table we created showing all the crackers ingredients in one table.
Comparison of Cracker Based Products
|Saltine Crackers – 15g – 5 crackers||Ritz Crackers – 16g – 5 crackers||Graham Crackers – 31g – 2 full cracker sheets||Animal Crackers - 30G – 13 crackers|
If you do insist on feeding your dog crackers then you need to make sure you keep an eye out for salt poisoning. We have mentioned this above, but it is something you need to seriously keep an eye on.
If you are worried, then please contact your veterinarian straight away. The ASPCA also offer an animal poison line (888) 426-4435, there will be a fee for the call though, $60.
There are so many different types of foods you can feed your dog that is healthier, and they will certainly enjoy them more. Check out our link on what dogs can eat, hopefully it will give you some ideas.