Crackers offer the perfect balance between sweet and savory and come in just the right size for a quick snack. While eating this, it might have occurred to you to share it with your dog. However, is it safe?
The snack comes in many different varieties, some containing dog-friendly ingredients. Therefore, your dog can eat some crackers, but still, you should be careful. Let us look at some of the reasons why caution is necessary.
Are Crackers Safe for Dogs?
Although they are not completely unsafe for your furry friend, keeping dogs away from crackers is best. This is because they are specifically made for humans and are not safe for consumption by dogs.
Dogs eating food meant for humans can face harmful repercussions, such as heart disease, allergic reactions, or joint and skeletal issues.
While feeding them a couple of crackers now and then is not harmful, your dog will not benefit from them.
Crackers are made mainly from flour. This is a refined grain with most of its minerals and vitamins removed. The lack of these nutrients removes any nutritional value that might benefit your furry friend. It might even result in obesity or lack of appetite.
Additionally, your pup might enjoy the snack too much, making them overeat. This can make them too full to eat their own food and, as a result, miss out on the nutritional benefits they would get from their food.
The adverse is also true. If your dog eats too many crackers and also eats their food, they can gain weight too quickly, leading to obesity. Crackers have empty calories that add weight. This is most noticeable in smaller dogs. Adding just an extra pound can adversely affect their body mass.
Why Crackers are Unhealthy for your Pup?
Aside from the empty calories and lack of nutritional value, crackers have even more unhealthy constituents for dogs. These include:
High Sodium Content
Dogs don’t require as much sodium in their food as we do. Feeding them dog food is important as it contains all the sodium dogs need. Crackers have a high salt content, making them too salty for dogs.
High salt levels in a dog’s diet can lead to sodium ion poisoning, a condition where a dog’s blood has too much salt. The poisoning can be harrowing to your dog’s health, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and increased urination.
It also causes dehydration, leaving your dog with excessive thirst. Dehydration or too much water intake can also lower its appetite and make it sluggish. These symptoms are too risky to warrant feeding your dog crackers.
Crackers are made from many different ingredients and some can be dangerous to dogs. For example, some crackers use onion and garlic powder. These two ingredients kill red blood cells in dogs, which can cause anemia.
Some use chocolate or chocolate chips which are toxic to dogs. If you insist on sharing some crackers with your dog, make sure you get dog-friendly ones. Check the list of ingredients and only pick those with safe ones to avoid putting your pup’s health at risk.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Animal Crackers?
Can Dogs Eat Unsalted Crackers?
If crackers contain too much sodium, then getting unsalted crackers answers that problem, right?
While that might sound reasonable, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Unsalted crackers are not a good treat as they still use flour. As mentioned above, refined flour doesn’t benefit dogs.
It also contains an arguably high number of unwanted calories. Don’t feed your dog unsalted crackers regularly if you don’t want them to gain unnecessary weight.
How About Crackers Containing Seeds?
Among the many varieties of crackers are those containing seeds. These might be safe for your pup, depending on the seeds used.
Dogs can get some nutritional values from seeds, such as fiber. For example, the flaxseed used in commercial dog food contains moderate amounts of fiber that is safe for dogs. It also has anti-inflammatory effects that can improve your pup’s health.
Grains like quinoa and amaranth are also beneficial. Amaranth, for example, has nine amino acids, making it a source of complete protein for your pet.
Quinoa is also a good seed for dogs, offering the same nutritional benefits as amaranth. However, avoid giving any crackers with quinoa to dogs with arthritis or kidney problems because the grain contains high levels of oxalates that can worsen the conditions.
Other crackers that your dog can benefit from are flourless chia seeds crackers. The seeds contain anti-inflammatory properties and boost your pooch’s immune system. You can also feed dogs crackers with hemp seeds as they give your dog’s immune system some support.
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are also healthy for dogs. Crackers made with pumpkin seeds contain zinc which is beneficial to your dog’s immunity. However, stay away from sunflower seed crackers if your dog has liver problems.
Related: Is Pumpkin Good For Dogs?
While some crackers with seeds might be safe for dogs, you still have to control the amount they eat. Although certain seeds are healthy, they are not to be used as an alternative to your pet’s overall diet. You should also be careful and choose those with seeds that don’t make your dog’s condition worse.
Your vet can help you identify any food allergies or conditions your dog has and the seeds you should avoid.
What About Sweet Crackers?
Graham crackers are an example of sweet crackers that might appeal to dogs with a sweet tooth. So, Graham crackers are no safer than regular ones. They have high levels of carbohydrates and sugar that can upset a dog’s stomach.
They can also cause irregular blood sugar levels, weight gain, dental problems, and diabetes in dogs. Also, like other crackers, they contain high sodium levels that can harm your pup.
While crackers are a fine treat for humans, it is not so for dogs. Be careful how many you feed your pup, the ingredients used, and the number of times you feed them to your dog. Stick to at least one or two crackers every week, or even stay away from them totally, to protect your dog from their harmful effects.