Can Dogs Eat Pretzels? Is It Safe?

Warm and fluffy or hard and crunchy, pretzels are guilty of deliciously satisfying our taste buds. The salty and buttery treat has been a pastime delicacy for decades. You can choose to nibble on it as a snack or pair it with soups and dips for a hearty meal.

You’re craving a late-night snack and grab a bag of pretzels from the cabinet. Fido is beside you with a hungry and longing look waiting for a bite. But before you share that peanut butter pretzel with your furry best friend, you’ll want to read this article first.

Can your dog eat pretzels? Are pretzels harmful to your dog? Find out all you need to know about feeding this salty snack to your pup.

Do Dogs Like Pretzels?

Dogs eat everything and won’t hesitate to chow down pretzels if you feed them. Man’s best friend is a curious eater and will find most human foods, including pretzels, appealing. But some dogs won’t fancy eating pretzels. It might be your Fido’s instincts are raising an alarm of danger ahead because of too much salt, or they accidentally nibbled a few bites in the past and had a terrible experience.

Whatever the reason, some dogs don’t like pretzels which is good news for dog parents. Unlike humans, some pups avoid salty treats because they taste bland. You’ll be glad they won’t nag you for a bite while you devour your favorite snack. Furthermore, pretzels can be dangerous to your pup’s health.

Why Are Pretzels Bad For Dogs?


Dogs can eat pretzels, but they shouldn’t. What seems like a tasty, innocent treat for humans offers no nutrition for pooches beyond the flavor and texture.

Dogs, unlike humans, have complex digestive systems. As a dog parent, it’s sometimes so easy to forget that canines cannot eat or digest most of our foods. The excellent news is pretzels are safe for your dog to consume in small amounts and if they don’t have toxic ingredients like chocolate, onion, garlic, and raisins.

So, if you’re feeling generous and want to reward your pooch, the plainer the pretzel, the better- although you’re not adding any beneficial nutrients, you are reducing the health risks.

The following ingredients in pretzels pose a health risk to your Fido:

High sodium: The reason pretzels get a bad reputation as a dog treat is their high salt content. High salt consumption leads to salt poisoning, which can cause complications such as diarrhea, lethargy, depression, excessive urination and thirst, seizures, tremors, coma, and even death.

According to the Association of American Feeds, dog food should have about 0.3% sodium. However, one salted pretzel has about 16% sodium which is too high. Your Fido can only ingest and withstand around 1.5 grams of sodium for each pound of body weight. You should consider more wholesome natural foods for regular snacks or rewards for good behavior.

Carbohydrates: Unlike humans, carbs are not considered essential nutrients for dogs. They can get their nutritional requirements from fats and proteins. Processed carbs take a toll on your pup’s digestive system and contribute to extra pounds, leading to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, dental issues, and cancer.

Flavorings: Some of the toxic ingredients to look out for before feeding your pup pretzels are seasonings and flavors such as garlic, onion, chocolate, cheese, and raisins. Onion and garlic contain a toxic substance known as allium that can cause stomach upset and anemia in dogs.

Chocolate pretzels are the ultimate worst snacks to feed your pup. Chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine which is poisonous to dogs. Your four-legged companion will experience vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and, sadly, death as a result of consuming chocolate.

Stash raisin-flavored pretzels far away from your pup. Raisin toxicity in dogs causes vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite, ammonia odor, and kidney failure.

Cheese-flavored pretzels are no exception since most dogs suffer from lactose intolerance and will experience gastrointestinal upset. Cheese is also high in fat and can lead to weight gain, obesity, and pancreatitis.

Can Dogs Eat Unsalted Pretzels?

If you’re thinking of feeding chewy pretzels, make sure it’s the plain or low-sodium variety. But although they are unsalted, you should avoid feeding your dog pretzels on a regular because they are still high in carbs and sugar. Too many carbs will cause health issues such as diabetes, cavities, and heart disease.

Pretzels are empty calories that will only disrupt your Fido’s healthy balance. A good rule of thumb is to stick to natural, wholesome dog food since most processed human foods are harmful to your dog’s health.

Can Dogs Eat Pretzel Sticks?

Pretzel sticks are a no-no for your pooch. They are coated with salt and are not healthier than the original version. 100mg of salt daily is enough for a 33-pound dog, yet only 23 pretzel sticks have 200mg of salt.

Your canine could gobble this many pretzels sticks within seconds without your knowledge, upping their risk of experiencing sodium poisoning. If you must feed your pup pretzel sticks, ensure no more than two pretzel sticks, and only as an occasional treat.

Dangers Of Feeding Pretzels To Dogs

Due to the high salt content in pretzels, your dog will likely develop salt poisoning if they have too much of the treat. Signs of salt poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Extreme thirst
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Excessive urination
  • Lethargy
  • Fluid buildup
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stomach pains
  • Seizures (severe case)
  • Weakness
  • Respiratory issues
  • Tongue swelling
  • Kidney failure
  • Coma (extreme case)
  • Death (severe untreated cases)

Sodium poisoning, also known as sodium-ion intoxication, manifests symptoms within a few hours after ingestion.

How Many Pretzels Can Dogs Eat?

If we’re considering small-sized, hard-baked pretzels that can be dished out as treats, it’s safe to give your pup only one a day. You can even give less if you’re feeding a puppy or a smaller breed daily. But still, you shouldn’t be feeding your pooch pretzels daily.

Also, hard pretzels are better since the soft kind can be extra chewy and maybe a choking hazard. Monitor your dog’s behavior and digestion to ensure this snack and the quantity consumed is not detrimental to its health.

If you’re baking pretzels at home, ensure you use dog-friendly ingredients. Avoid anything that could potentially cause toxicity to your dog. Also, have fresh water ready when you give your pup pretzels, especially if it’s their first time. New foods can wreak havoc on your dog’s system, and plenty of clean water can help them adjust.

Your Dog Ate Pretzels? Here’s What To Do

Whether it’s the kids sharing a big, fluffy baked treat with your doggo during brunch or your pup nibbling on a spilled bag on the kitchen floor, your dog can quickly eat pretzels without your knowledge. Contact your vet right away, especially if your puppy or small dog has eaten a lot of pretzels.

A pretzel or two will not kill your dog, but it’s best to offer plenty of clean water and electrolytes. If your tiny pooch has gobbled an entire bag of pretzels, your vet will administer fluids and electrolytes and monitor it for kidney issues and brain swelling.

If your dog experiences acute salt toxicity and their brain is affected, your vet will administer medication such as mannitol or dexamethasone to minimize the inflammation.

Nevertheless, some dogs don’t react adversely even after munching on an entire bag of pretzels. They may appear fine, but you shouldn’t make it a habit.

Alternative Nutritious Treats For Dogs

Instead of tossing your pooch an extra Pretzel stick, stock up on tasty dog treats that offer excellent nutritional value. Here are some of the best canine treats you can buy.

The Bottom Line: Can Dogs Eat Pretzels?

Pretzels do not cause your dog any harm if fed in small amounts, but they don’t add any nutrients to your pet’s diet. Whether hard or soft, salted or unsalted, all are loaded with unnecessary salt, calories, sugar, and carbs that are bad for your pup’s health.

The flavor and seasoning added to the twisted bread pose the most significant health risk to your Fido. Commonly used seasoning like onion, garlic, and salt are often the real culprits and can adversely affect your dog’s health.

Besides, your dog has a lower tolerance to sodium and flavors than you. So, vets recommend you feed your K9 a healthy dog treat instead. But if they swipe one out of the bag, you shouldn’t panic.

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