Can dogs eat crackers? Should dogs be eating human snack foods? How much human food should I give my dog? These are all great questions from some recent first time pet owners. It’s important to ask these questions as well. The information is out there and should be followed to keep your dog in good health for the long term.
Hi my name is Mike and I’ve been working with dogs for over a decade now. I’ve managed to gain some good knowledge an experience over the years and I decided to create the site to get it out there to people like you! Today we will be discussing the question, “Should dogs eat crackers?”. Are human snack foods ok for dogs to eat? Lets find out!
Can Dogs Eat Crackers?
The short answer is yes, dogs can eat crackers. The question we should ask is, “Should dogs eat crackers?”. Crackers and other human snack foods tend to be filled with ingredients that can be somewhat harmful to your pup in the long term. Not to mention that your dog doesn’t really have a nutritional need for grains in their diet in the first place. While it is ok for your dog to digest grains, I wouldn’t call it an optimal food choice for them by any means.
Dogs descended from wolves and as such have similar appetites. I’ve always believed that meat should be the cornerstone of any dog diet but fruits and vegetables have their place too. The proper diet for each type of breed is definitely something I would discuss with my local vet. They may give you some suggestions themselves or send you to a dog nutritionist. Either solution can be extremely helpful with the long term health and care of your pet.
What Human Foods Should Dogs Have?
Snacks and treats for our dogs is one of the main ways we can communicate love and compassion towards them. As such, many people will spoil their pets with extravagant treats and unhealthy human foods. Overall, this behavior may be causing long term harm to your beloved animal. Lets talk about some common human foods that we eat every day and which ones are generally acceptable to toss your dog on occasion.
First up we have the Cucumber. This is one of my favorite snacks to toss to my dog. Cucumbers are great for a lot of reasons. Here are some of the main ones:
- Good water content: This food can help keep your dog hydrated on hot summer days because it has excellent water content. A great snack to feed your dog if it’s hot out and they don’t feel like drinking either.
- Nutritional Value: Cucumbers have a decent vitamin and nutrient profile which can be helpful to your dog’s health overall. Keep in mind that their normal food source should take care of the bulk of nutrition but this is a nice way to augment it in a positive way.
- Frozen Snack: Cutting up a few cucumber slices and freezing them is a great snack for a dog on a hot summer day. They will appreciate the coolness and love the crunch. I always keep a few slices frozen in my freezer for just such an occasion.
- Calorie Light: This food is also great for dogs on a diet as there are very little calories here. A great snack for a plump pup to help get their weight under control while also making them and you feel good about the snacking situation.
Long and short, Cucumbers are a solid snack to give your dog. Great for weight loss with several other decent benefits. You would be hard pressed to go wrong with this snack. Keep in mind that only cucumbers and not pickles should be used. They may be the same vegetable but the added salt content on the pickles can be a problem if over consumed.
Another one of my favorite treats to give my dog. Watermelon is a good snack and has many of the same benefits as the cucumber above. There are also a few drawbacks as well though. Watermelons are a sugary fruit and thus intake has to be watched more carefully for your dog. Diabetes and metabolic diseases are a common issue with older animals and thus need to be watched carefully as your dog advances in age.
Giving your dog watermelon on occasion though is completely fine unless they already have a sugar problem as this fruit will spike their glucose a bit. This is another of those fruits that I like to freeze and give my dog as a treat on hot summer days. A few chunks in a freezer bag make for a nice surprise when I have them out on long hikes and I want to get a little more hydration and energy into them quickly.
A couple of things to watch for. Sugar, as discussed before needs to be watched here. If your dog has sugar issues already, skip this treat and go for one of the other sugar conscious items on this list. The other thing to watch for is seeds. Watermelon contains seeds and they can be a choking hazard. Make sure to buy seedless or take the seeds out yourself before giving your dog this treat. Keep your dog away from the shell as well. It could pose also pose a choking issue.
A good treat for your dog in moderation. This would be one of the foods that dogs would actually forage for in the wild. Berries were a small but vital part of a dogs nutritional profile. Strawberries are nutrient rich but also sugar heavy as well. If your dog has metabolic issues, keep these super rare or eliminate completely.
I find that frozen strawberries are another great treat for your dog on a hot day. Cutting up a few and tossing them to my dog once a month or so is about the right frequency. The sugar content means you have to treat these like a rare snack but your dog will absolutely love them.
There are a few things to watch for here as well. This food can be a choking hazard depending on the size of your dog and how well they chew their food. Keep the berries cut up to bite sized chunks and that shouldn’t be an issue. Make sure to wash them before giving to your dog as well. Berries are sometimes sprayed with a lot of pesticides. Give them a good rinse before tossing them to your pup. Lastly, make sure to cut away the green stem at the top. It generally contains the highest amount of pesticides and can get stuck in your dog’s throat if they aren’t chewing thoroughly.
Peanut butter is a decent treat for a dog but only under the right conditions. This food can be highly processed and loaded with sugars and other chemicals. If you are going to get some for your dog, make sure it is of the organic variety. Typically you want there to be as few ingredients listed as possible. Ideally, salts and peanuts only.
Another important thing to remember about peanut butter is that it is highly calorically dense! This means that giving your dog too much too often will cause them to blow up like a balloon. This is another snack to keep in good moderation. I will typically give my dog a lick of it hear of there if I’m making a sandwich. Once about every 6 weeks or so I will load up a bone with a spoonful or two and freeze it. This works out as a great source of joy and entertainment for about 30 minutes.
So to sum up, peanut butter is a great snack but only in moderation and just the organic types. Keep the ingredient list as short as possible and stay away from sugar filled brands. Your dog will still absolutely love the taste. No worries there!
Human Foods Dogs Shouldn’t Have
We have touched on some of the more popular human foods that dogs should have and we have also answered the, “Can dogs eat crackers?” question. What human foods should dogs stay away from then? Here is a list of a few other common foods and why dogs need to avoid them.
Chocolate is deadly for dogs period. Keep your dog away from this food at all costs. There is no benefit to them even eating a small amount. Problems can start with as little as an ounce consumed but that will depend on the size and tolerance of your dog.
Why is chocolate bad for dogs? 2 main culprits come to mind. Caffeine and Theobromine. Both of these chemical compounds have different effects on dogs but none of them are beneficial. If too much chocolate is ingested, seizures, abnormal heart rate and organ failure can become a real concern. This is especially true for the darker chocolates. If your dog snaps up a small amount of milk chocolate, (less than an ounce) they will probably be ok. The same amount of a darker chocolate or a bakers chocolate for example could cause serious physical harm and possible death.
To sum it up, keep your dog away from all types of chocolate. There are substitutes out there for dogs as well if you really want to give them a chocolate like treat. Just make sure to keep them far way from the real stuff.
Raisins Or Grapes
Grapes and raisins are an interesting problem for dogs. They contain a chemical within them that causes organ failure in dogs in very small quantities. The problem is, we don’t know what compound it is in grapes or raisins that does this.
You should never be giving your dog alcohol but I’ve been asked about wine before as well. Keep your dog away from this drink too. It’s not worth the risk or the emergency hospital visit and associated bill.
I included this chemical on the list because many people out there have diabetes. Xylitol is one of the sweeteners that is used as a sugar replacement for people with insulin issues. The problem is that this chemical is extremely toxic to dogs as well.
Giving your dog food with this chemical compound could cause organ failure or even death in short order. This is another reason why you should refrain from giving your dog human foods especially if you don’t know what ingredients they have in them. Common signs of xylitol poisoning include, lethargy, vomiting, confusion and seizures. If you see any of these signs in your dog after feeding them a questionable food, get a vet on the phone and explain the situation asap.
Can Dogs Eat Crackers Concluded
We have covered quite a bit of information in the last few paragraphs. We started out answering the, “Can dogs eat crackers?” question. Then we moved on to talk about some of the foods that dogs can eat. Cucumbers are definitely one of my strong go to human foods as they are light on calories and decent with water and nutritional content. Your dog will enjoy the fresh crisp of them as well. Don’t forget to toss a few slices in the freezer in those summer months!
We also discussed some of the foods you want to absolutely avoid with your dog. Chocolate and Xylitol would definitely be at the top of my list here. While all of those foods should be avoided, Xylitol tends to be one of the harder ones to discover. It’s important to check food labels if you are going to give your dog a human snack item and make sure that the foods we discussed are no where on the label or ingredients list.
We have covered only a small portion of the foods your dog should and shouldn’t avoid. The entire list would take far too long to type out! I would suggest doing research on any foods you may have specific questions about though. Another great option would be to talk to your vet and maybe look into a dog nutritionist. They will give you some good advice about your dog’s diet and how to keep them happy and healthy for years to come!
New dog in the house? Looking for some training tips? Check out this guide and start training your dog up tonight!