Can Dogs Eat Crackers (Saltine, Ritz, or Otherwise)?

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Crackers are a cornerstone for the barbecue season, and you are often tempted to allow your canine companion to enjoy a few too! But since that treat is high in carbs, sugar, and sodium, it’s probably better to avoid human crackers in the long term.

Are crackers bad for dogs?

The answer will not surprise you: whereas your dog won’t go dead after gulping a few crackers, it’s not advisable to give this snack to your pup regularly. Their nutritional value is meager. But those are high in calories, nasty preservatives, salt, and fat.  While your dog may enjoy these prohibited ingredients, those won’t do good to a four-legged friend.

Can dogs eat Saltine crackers?

A saltine or soda cracker is a very thin cracker, most often made of white flour, baking soda, and yeast. And of course, it’s generously sprinkled with coarse salt. It has holes over its surface and amazing crisp texture. It has 1,021 mg of Sodium per 100g. Which is more than ten times more than daily recommended sodium intake for an average-sized dog.  And we know that salt is usually deemed toxic for most house-trained animals, including dogs. Whenever possible, it’s much better to ditch high sodium foods from your pups menu altogether. If you do let your dog have some Saltine crackers watch for salt poisoning signs. But I am sure both you and your pet will find better things to do if no Saltines crackers would be terminated.

Can dogs eat Ritz crackers?

As with any other crackers – a couple of Ritz Crackers most likely won’t hurt your dog. Yet, Ritz crackers contain a combination of bad fats, carbs and high levels of sodium that may affect your dog long-term if eaten regularly and in sufficient quantities (e.g., more than 10% of daily calories intake).

One serving (16g) of Original Ritz Crackers has 80 calories, and half of it comes from fat. Too much for a little treat. A dog’s diet is usually fatty,  but most of the fat they require comes from specifically designed dog food. Treats like Ritz crackers add extra fat to your dog’s nutrition, which can end in pancreatitis. This disease is characterized by swelling of the pancreas and can be very unpleasant for your pooch.  

Of course, you can consider low-fat crackers to avoid the risk of pancreatitis, but still, a human size portion Ritz crackers (five crackers) contains 135 mg of sodium. And that’s 35% that daily recommended intake for a dog of average size (around 30 pounds).

People’s crackers for dogs. Summary

While it may be amusing to throw you pup a cracker as a treat once in a while, it’s not the best choice to please your pet. A great idea to avoid the appeal of giving your dog beloved human food is to have low-calorie nutritions dog snacks around. Dog’s treats, even though those suppose to be delicious and supposedly less healthy, have to be as nutritious and balanced as regular food for dogs.    And, according to current Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards,  don’t let those treats make more than 10% of your pup’s daily diet.

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Instead of crackers, quality dog treats will be made specifically for dogs and have attributes which contribute to good health. For instance this quite cracker-ish treat: baked classic wafers by Three Dog Bakery. They feel like cookie/crackers but made with all natural ingredients, has a decent amount of proteins and low on carbs compared to crackers (12 calories per treat). And created with a sensitive pup’s stomachs in mind.


Credits: thanks for the cover photo to  Tafilah Yusof from Pixabay


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