We all love our dogs and want to share snacks with them. But sometimes that isn’t a good idea because dogs cannot always eat the same foods as people can. One of the foods some owners wonder about is if their dogs can eat goldfish crackers, a popular cheezy cracker snack with kids and adults alike.
First off, goldfish crackers have onions, garlic, and salt in them, and these things are present in high levels. That isn’t even good for people to eat in large quantities, let alone their dogs. The main ingredient in goldfish crackers is wheat, which is ok for dogs to eat because it can provide fiber to help with their digestion.
And if it is enriched it can provide vitamins you and your dog both need. In fact, most commercial dog foods have 30 to 70 percent carbohydrates such as refined wheat in them, but if that is included with other bad ingredients then they still can’t eat the crackers.
It might be ok for them to eat one or two of them once in a while, but it is not good for their diets to eat large amounts of goldfish crackers all the time. In fact, it is recommended that they only have five goldfish crackers for the whole week!
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Here are some reasons some ingredients are bad for dogs:
So why are things like salt bad for dogs? One reason is too much salt can cause a condition called hypernatremia. This means they get dehydrated and lose too much water in their bodies. It also causes urination issues to occur. If they get dehydrated they will be lethargic and could have diarrhea.
Salt poisoning in both dogs and cats also can cause vomiting, abnormal amounts of fluid to accumulate in their bodies, and if it damages the kidneys it can result in tremors or seizures or even cause them to go into a coma and die.
Garlic and Onions
A dog’s digestive system cannot digest garlic or onions and they are toxic to their systems. All forms of onions to include raw, dehydrated, powder, or cooked are bad and can damage their red blood cells. The poisonous ingredient in garlic that can hurt or even kill dogs is called thiosulfate. It brings on a condition called hemolytic anemia which causes red blood cell damage.
You may think it doesn’t matter if there is a tiny bit of onion or garlic but this is not true. It merely takes 100 grams of a medium-sized onion to hurt your dog for every 40 pounds of body weight. Symptoms of onion poisoning for dogs can include weakness, being lethargic, fainting spells, pale gums, high heart rate, panting, blood in urine, and decreased appetite.
As for garlic, it only takes about 15 to 30 grams of garlic for each two pounds a dog weighs to be harmful, and garlic powder (which is in goldfish crackers) is worse than fresh garlic!
What to do if the dog ate a large amount of goldfish crackers?
If your dog has already eaten a large amount of goldfish crackers and is showing problems you need to call the veterinarian right away. They may need to make the dog vomit them up or pump their stomachs to get them out.
Or, another option is feeding the dog activated charcoal to absorb the toxins. They also may give your dog IV fluids to get him rehydrated. Or if serious and it has damage the red blood cells, they may need a blood transfusion or oxygen treatment.
What about other types of crackers?
Now you may wonder if dogs can eat any kind of crackers, like for instance Cheez-Its. They can maybe eat two or three Cheez-Its, but again, they have a lot of salt and fat in them which is bad for dogs, and some brands or flavors have onions and garlic, which as previously discussed can poison your pup. Plus they have a lot of fat and that can cause pancreatitis, as Cheez-Its have eight grams of fat in a serving of 15 crackers. Vets agree that level is bad for dogs.
One type of cracker dogs can eat once in a while is graham crackers. However, they do have a lot of sugar in them so they should not have very many of them and it should be a once in a while treat. They can also have a few peanut butter crackers depending on the type of cracker used to make them, for instance you might use Ritz crackers if they are plain and not flavored.
Triscuits are another cracker dogs should only eat one or two of as they are very high fiber and can cause diarrhea. They can also eat one or two oyster crackers since they are very small, but only one or two since they do have salt in them, as well as unsalted regular crackers and unsalted Matzo crackers.
Plus they can eat prawn crackers since they are lower in fat, calories, and salt. But don’t confuse these with shrimp crackers, as dogs cannot eat them due to them having palm oil, salt, and monosodium glutamate in them.
Other crackers they should not eat due to their ingredients include Lance cream and chives crackers, club crackers, Town House crackers, Chicken in A Biscuit crackers, Belvita crackers, or other crackers with similar ingredients. Plus crackers with dairy products like milk or cheese are bad as some dogs are lactose intolerant so it hurts their stomachs. It can cause bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
The bottom line is that it is not possible for us to share some of the kinds of snacks and crackers we eat with our furry pals. Things like goldfish crackers contain dangerous ingredients that can be both harmful and unhealthy for dogs, and even for people too in some cases. So, if you have a dog and want them to stay healthy and happy then it is a good idea to stay away from goldfish crackers.