Can Dogs Eat Crackers?

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Many of us enjoy sharing snacks with our canine companions.

But before we hand over a tasty treat, we should be sure that what we are giving our dogs is safe.

Some people-food may seem safe to give our dogs, but remember some foods we eat are toxic to dogs, like grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, and garlic.

Also, some ingredients like xylitol are highly toxic to dogs[1].

We may not always check for xylitol, but we should since it is found in foods like baked goods, peanut butter, and pancake syrup.

Though crackers may seem fine to give to our dogs, there are a few things you should know before you hand over this crunchy treat.

Can Dogs Eat Crackers?

Crackers are not toxic to dogs, so yes, they can eat crackers.

But the real question is: Should they?

Most crackers contain a significant amount of sodium.

Though dogs need salt in their diet, they get the required amount from their dog food.

A little extra salt here and there is fine, but dogs have been known to suffer from salt ion poisoning.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual[2], salt poisoning is unlikely in healthy dogs with access to water.

However, salt poisoning is increasing in dogs from acute salt consumption.

The acute lethal amount of salt for dogs is about 4 grams of salt per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

Most crackers are made up of unbleached enriched wheat flour, sugar, fat, salt, flavorings, seasonings, onion and garlic, and artificial ingredients.

Rarely do crackers contain any nutritional value and are often full of empty calories.

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The bottom line is that though these yummy snacks are appealing to our pups and likely will not make them horribly ill, they are not good for our dogs either.

Can Dogs Eat Saltine Crackers?

Yes, dogs can eat saltine crackers, but it is far from the ideal snack due to their high sodium content.

Five saltine crackers contain 135 mg of salt.

Though salt is not highly toxic, the pet poison hotline states that high amounts are still “potentially poisonous.”

Signs of salt poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Incoordination
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Because all dogs are different, some dogs may be more sensitive to salt, so if you happen to find that your dog just ate a whole box of Saltines, it is best to contact your vet for advice.

In addition to salt, saltines contain:

  • Unbleached enriched wheat flour
  • Canola oil
  • Palm oil
  • Baking soda
  • Malted barley
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Yeast

The nice thing is that saltines do not contain garlic or onion powder.

Can dogs eat crackers full of sodium sugar fat unhealthy for dogs

Can Dogs Eat Graham Crackers?

Yes, dogs can eat graham crackers.

In fact, my mom’s dog, Gussie, loves Teddy Grahams, but only enjoys them as a sometimes snack.

Graham crackers, whether they come in a rectangle or teddybear shape, lack any nutritional value.

Though they do not have a high sodium content like saltines, they are much higher in sugar.

Sugar is not toxic to dogs, but neither is it good for them[3]. Sugar can cause obesity and complications with diabetes.

Most graham crackers contain:

  • Unbleached enriched wheat flour
  • Graham flour
  • Sugar
  • Soybean and/or canola oil
  • Honey
  • Baking soda and/or calcium phosphate
  • Salt
  • Soy lecithin
  • Artificial flavor

Bottom line: Graham crackers are not good for dogs. They are not toxic or poisonous, but they are far from nutritious.

Can Dogs Eat Goldfish Crackers?

Yes, dogs can have Goldfish crackers, in moderation.

Goldfish crackers are non-toxic and are the perfect size snack to share with our furry buddy.

However, Goldfish crackers may not be the healthiest snack to share with our dogs either, though they are far from the worst.

A full serving (55 pieces) of Goldfish crackers contains 250 mg of sodium, but unless our furry buddy helps themselves it’s unlikely they would eat that many in one sitting.

And though they are not the worst choice, that does not mean they are a good choice.

They are not necessarily bad for our dogs, but they don’t contain any ingredients that would benefit our dogs, either.

Cheddar Flavored Goldfish crackers contain:

  • Smiles – First ingredient listed
  • Enriched wheat flour 
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Vegetable oils 
  • Salt
  • Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Spices – Including onion powder
  • Monocalcium phosphate
  • Baking soda

Though these crackers contain onion powder, the amount per cracker is not significant and would not cause your dog to become ill, unless consumed in massive quantities.

If your dog does not have a weight issue or allergies, one or two little Goldfish Crackers should not be an issue.

Three Dog Bakery Peanut Butter Animal Crackers safe treat for dogs
Dog-specific crackers such as Three Dog Bakery’s Animal Crackers can be a smart choice

Can Dogs Eat Animal Crackers?

Yes, dogs can eat animal crackers.

Animal crackers have similar amounts of sugar as graham crackers but have significantly less sodium.

Animal crackers are not the optimal choice of treats for dogs with weight issues but are at least better than graham crackers.

It should be noted that I am writing about plain animal crackers and not the iced animal cracker.

So, what’s in an animal crackers?

  • Unbleached enriched flour
  • Sugar
  • Soybean and/or canola oil
  • Yellow corn flour
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Baking soda
  • Soy lecithin
  • Salt
  • Natural and artificial flavor

Based on the ingredient list, animal crackers are not good for our dogs.

They may be offered as an occasional fun treat, but there are far better options available.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter Crackers?

Maybe. It depends on if the peanut butter contains xylitol.

If the peanut butter is free from xylitol, then yes, dogs can eat peanut butter crackers.

However, peanut butter crackers are high in fat, sodium, and sugar, making them the worst choice on this list.

Though they contain a bit more protein than other crackers, it is still not a significant amount.

Peanut butter crackers contain a lot of ingredients that your pup would be better off not eating, like:

  • Enriched flour
  • Soybean oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Salt
  • Malt powder
  • Baking soda
  • Monocalcium phosphate
  • Sodium acid pyrophosphate
  • Soy lecithin
  • Whey
  • Yellow 6
  • Red pepper
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Buttermilk

Though peanut butter crackers are generally non-toxic, you can see that they are definitely not the best choice either.

And if your dog has food allergies, these are definitely not a good choice.

Can Dogs Eat Ritz Crackers?

Yes, dogs can have Ritz crackers. There is nothing in the Original Ritz Cracker that would cause your dog immediate harm.

However, the high fat, calorie, and sodium levels in a Ritz cracker would not benefit them either.

Though these buttery crackers are delicious, they are not the ideal snack for dogs, especially those with weight issues.

Their ingredient list is similar to some of the other crackers on this list, with fats, sugar, and salt near the top of the list:

  • Unbleached Enriched Flour
  • Canola Oil
  • Palm Oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Natural Flavor

Conclusion

Though crackers are generally safe for dogs to eat, they are not a treat I would normally recommend.

If you give your pup a cracker from time to time, no big deal, but it’s not a good choice for a daily treat.

I know I am as guilty as the next dog parent falling for those cute puppy-dog eyes when it comes to sharing a snack, but moderation is key.

Resources

  1. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/paws-xylitol-its-dangerous-dogs
  2. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/toxicology/salt-toxicity/overview-of-salt-toxicity
  3. https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/6-reasons-why-your-dog-shouldnt-have-sugar
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