Can Dogs Eat Saltine Crackers

Can Dogs Eat Saltine Crackers?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

It is not advisable for dogs to eat Saltine Crackers. Saltine Crackers are basically soda crackers made from soy products or wheat products that are very high in sodium.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Saltine Crackers?“.

Saltine Crackers are probably your current favorite snack whether you eat them by themselves or with peanut butter and jelly guacamole or salsa. You are probably watching your dogs begging for some or giving you puppy eyes as you munch on these salty crackers. You’re about to give it to them but you hesitate because you’re wondering if Saltine Crackers are safe for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Saltine Crackers

Can dogs eat Saltine Crackers? It is not recommended for dogs to eat Saltine Crackers because they contain salt sugar and carbohydrates. The combination of these three factors can cause health problems in dogs like weight gain upset stomachs and salt poisoning. Be moderate if you must. Your dogs may occasionally be given one Saltine Cracker.

Can dogs have Saltine Crackers?

It is not advisable for dogs to eat Saltine Crackers. Saltine Crackers are basically soda crackers made from soy products or wheat products that are very high in sodium (you can find the exact amount of sodium in various Saltine Crackers brands near the middle of the page). 

Lets take a look at what Saltine Crackers are and what ingredients are used in two of the most popular brands of Saltine Crackers Premium Saltine Crackers and Zesta Saltine crackers to better understand why dogs should not eat Saltine Crackers. 

What are Saltine Crackers?

In case you’re wondering what saltines are they’re square crackers that are very salty. Saltine Crackers are a great snack with a crisp dry texture. The Saltine Crackers are sometimes sold in perforated sheets of two. Saltine Crackers’ perforated edges make it easy to break one off without damaging another. 

They can be eaten in a variety of ways. You can eat them individually or crush them and sprinkle them on soups or mac and cheese. Peanut butter cheese and creamy Hummus are some of the options people choose to add to their sandwiches. S’mores can also be made with them. 

On the Saltine Crackers there are about 13 small holes. Before baking these holes were punched in the docker to allow steam to escape during the cooking process. This kept the Saltine Crackers flat and kept them from rising.

Saltine Crackers are sometimes called soda crackers because they are made with leavening agents such as baking soda.

What are Saltine Crackers made of?

This type of cracker has a very salty taste as its name suggests. Saltine Crackers are made with four main ingredients: white flour baking soda yeast and coarse salt.

Saltine Crackers ingredients

Take a closer look at the ingredients in Saltine Crackers specifically two of the most popular brands Premium Saltine Cracker and Zesta Saltine Crackers and find out why Saltine Crackers are harmful to dogs. 

Nabisco Saltine Crackers ingredients

Also known as Premium Saltine Crackers Nabisco Saltine Crackers are made by Nabisco. The ingredients in these Saltine Crackers are: 

  • In addition to wheat flour unbleached enriched flour contains niacin reduced iron thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B1) riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and folic acid. 
  • Soybean oil.
  • Partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil.
  • Sea salt.
  • Salt.
  • Malted barley flour.
  • Baking soda.
  • Yeast.

Zesta Saltines ingredients

  • An enriched flour contains wheat flour niacin reduced iron Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate) Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and folic acid.
  • Soybean oil with TBHQ for freshness.
  • Salt. 

There are also no more than 2% of the following ingredients in the Zesta Saltine Crackers: 

  • Corn syrup.
  • Baking soda.
  • Yeast.
  • Soy lecithin.

Saltine Crackers from both popular brands share many of the same ingredients. It is said that some of these ingredients are difficult to pronounce and if you are unsure of what it is or cannot pronounce it on the food packaging it is probably best to skip that food. 

When it comes to the diet of our furry friends this reasoning holds true. Lets review each ingredient individually so you can understand why.

Enriched flour is harmful to dogs with wheat allergies

One of the main ingredients of Saltine Crackers is enriched flour made from wheat flour. If your furry pooch is allergic to wheat please do not feed him Saltine Crackers. 

You will know that your pup has a wheat allergy if he reacts after eating wheat-containing food. There are two things you can do if you’re not sure whether your pet has a wheat allergy. 

To begin with take them to the veterinarian for a checkup. The vet will perform a series of tests to discover whether your dog has a wheat allergy or another type of allergy.

You can also feed the wheat product to your furry friends and see if they react. If they react with any of the following symptoms they may have wheat allergies: 

  • Inflammation or redness of paw pads as a result of licking their paws frequently.
  • A dry flaky itchy skin condition.
  • Bald patches as a result of hair falling out of the skin rapidly.
  • Susceptible to sunburns because of the bald spots.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Gastrointestinal upset.

When you see these symptoms in your furry family members be sure to consult your vet. He or she can confirm whether they are allergic to wheat. If your pooch has been properly diagnosed as allergic to wheat by your vet you should avoid feeding him anything that contains wheat including Saltine Crackers.

You can replace wheat flour with amaranth flour since it is gluten-free and full of protein essential minerals and all the essential amino acids. 

Generally flour is not necessary for a dogs diet. Saltine Crackers contain enriched flour in both brands. A wheat grain becomes flour after it is processed into this highly processed flour. This flour processing removes most of the nutrients from the grain. 

After removing the original nutrients from the flour the manufacturer enriches it with niacin (Vitamin B3) iron thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B1) riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and folic acid (Vitamin B9).

The B vitamins and iron our dogs require are beneficial for their health but we strongly recommend that the vitamins and iron be obtained from their regular diet or from their regular dog food. 

The Saltine Crackers have more harmful ingredients than healthy ones and they are also high in fat so its best to keep them away from our four-legged friends.

Soybean oil with TBHQ is unsafe for our furry friends

When your dog is allergic to soy or sensitive to foods that contain soy soybean oil is a no-no. If you are unsure whether or not your pet has a soy allergy do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian or take your pooch to the vet for a checkup. Its best to know ahead of time so your dog does not react negatively to soy.

You should not feed your furry friends with soy allergies Saltine Crackers since they contain soybean oil.

Moreover when it comes to oil soybean isnot the best type for our four-legged companion. We recommend sticking to one of the following kinds of oil for our pups: 

  • Olive oil.
  • Coconut oil.
  • Sunflower oil.
  • Fish oil.
  • Flaxseed oil. 

Good fats are found in these oils while saturated fats are present in soybean oil. 

You’re probably also wondering what TBHQ is. Tertiary butylhydroquinone abbreviated as TBHQ is a preservative thats harmful to our dogs. We strongly recommend that you avoid feeding your pooch food that has ingredients you do not know or cannot pronounce. 

Saltine Crackers and sunflower oil are kept fresh with TBHQ. Our dog does not benefit from this product in any way. By damaging our furry friends’ DNA and causing cancer in their stomachs it causes harm to their health.

When I learned about this I was terrified and I stopped feeding my two pups Saltine Crackers going forward.

Too much salt can lead to salt poisoning in dogs

The sodium content in Nabisco Saltine Crackers is 27 mg. Zesta Saltine Crackers have a sodium content of 40 mg. Dogs are not accustomed to such high sodium levels. Salt is generally not necessary in the diet of our furry family members.

For every 100 grams of food they should only consume 0.25-1.50 grams of salt. The sodium content of one Zesta Saltine Cracker would fill 0.04 grams of your pups daily salt requirement from a snack that is unhealthy for her. It is the same as fulfilling 16% of the salt intake requirement at the lower end. 

Dogs’ main meals already contain the amount of sodium they need for the day. Your dog would exceed this daily salt intake by 40 mg or 0.04 grams if she ate just one Saltine Cracker.

Salt poisoning in dogs can be caused by eating too much salt. Symptoms of sodium ion poisoning include: 

  • Extreme thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Seizures.
  • Convulsions or muscle tremors.
  • Body weakness.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Lethargy.
  • A decrease in appetite and hunger.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Confusion.
  • Coma.
  • Death (in severe cases). 

Baking soda is not good for dogs

If you give your dog more than one Saltine Cracker they are at risk of getting toxicity from baking soda. Too much baking soda can cause bloating upset stomach pain in the abdomen and vomiting. 

Fortunately dogs are not toxic to baking soda so a small amount should be fine. If your dog licks a little bit of baking soda from the floor or from your kitchen counter do not be alarmed. 

Do keep in mind however that dogs do not need baking soda in their diet. The amount of baking soda you should use per pound of your dogs weight should not exceed 5 to 11 teaspoons.

Yeast is toxic to dogs

While Saltine Cracker yeast is fine for dogs owners should be aware that raw yeast is extremely dangerous for our pups.

Yeast from bread dough that has been left on the counter to rise can cause serious damage to your dogs stomach when eaten accidentally. It is because the warm stomach of your dog is the ideal temperature for yeast to grow.

There is a danger of death when this happens. Gastric dilatation-volvulus yeast (GDV) will cause extremely deadly bloating in your pooch. The yeast can also cause alcohol poisoning in dogs.s. 

We should be able to feed our furry friends the saltine crackers since the yeast isnot raw.

Soy lecithin is harmful to dogs that have soy allergies

If your pooch suffers from a soy allergy avoid giving them snacks or treats containing soy such as Saltine Crackers. Saltine Crackers contain soy lecithin which cannot provide any nutritional benefits to your dog. 

The liver of dogs produces enough lecithin that they do not need to get it from their food. However if you must there are plenty of healthier dog-friendly foods that contain lecithins such as Sunflower seeds eggs cauliflower or chicken liver.

Saltine Crackers are not necessary for our canine companions. 

To provide a little more information about soy lecithin it is used to extend the shelf life of Saltine crackers. Additionally if your pups are overweight try not to feed them food or treats containing lecithin.

Are Saltine Crackers good for dogs?

Saltine Crackers are not good for dogs and can be harmful to them. Lets compare the nutritional profiles of the Nabisco Saltine Crackers and the Zesta Saltine Crackers. 

Nabisco Saltine Crackers Nutrition Facts (1 Saltine Cracker or 3.2 grams)

Name UnitAmount
Calories cal14
Total Fat g0.3
Sodium mg27
Total Carbohydrate g2.4
Protein g0.2
Calcium mg1
Potassium mg5

One piece of Nabisco Saltine Cracker contains 14 calories 0.3 grams of fat and 2.4 grams of carbohydrates. 

Zesta Saltine Crackers Nutrition Facts (One Saltine Cracker or 3 grams)

Name UnitAmount
Calories cal12
Total Fat g0.3
Sodium mg40
Total Carbohydrate g2.4
Protein g0.2
Calcium mg0
Potassium mg3

One Zesta Saltine Cracker contains approximately 12 calories 0.3 grams of fat and 2.4 grams of carbohydrates.

The high amount of Carbohydrate that dogs don’t need

Saltine Crackers contain 73% of carbohydrates. Even though dogs need carbohydrates they do not need to get them from Saltine Crackers. Instead they should get enough carbohydrates from their natural dog food. 

High levels of calories are harmful to dogs

Nabisco Saltine Crackers contain 14 calories and Zesta Saltine Crackers contain 12 calories as you can see. The calories in snacks and treats alone are quite high. 

If you are giving your pooch treats or snacks keep the 90/10 rule in mind. It is recommended that 90% of the calories come from a balanced and complete diet while only 10% should be from treats. 

The size of your dog breed is also important. As for how many calories your furry friends should consume daily it should be about 25-30 calories per pound of their body weight. An example would be:

  • Chihuahua dogs that weigh 7 pounds should only consume 175 calories a day.
  • It is recommended that a 70-pound medium Labrador consume only 1750 calories a day.

In this case a small dog breed only needs 17.5 calories a day for treats. This 10% treat limit has almost been reached with one Saltine cracker of 14 calories. You need to pay attention to what you feed smaller dog breeds for snacks if you have them. If you exceed this 10% treat rule your dog may gain weight and become obese over time.

Saltine Crackers substitute that’s canine-friendly safe and healthy

You can provide your dog with crunchy fruits and vegetables such as:

  • Apples.
  • Bell peppers.
  • Celery.
  • Green beans.
  • Carrots.

As I munch on Saltine Crackers I usually feed my two pups healthy safe and dog-friendly dog treats.   

To replace Saltine Crackers with healthy dog treats here are two suggestions. When I open the package my dogs always do a circle dance when I’m opening them. Whenever they eat one they are always begging for more!

So can dogs eat Saltine Crackers?

Having a healthy and happy furry family member is important to us all. It is very important to provide them with a well-balanced wholesome and nutritious diet every day. Keeping them active will help them maintain a healthy weight. 

There is no doubt that saltine crackers are not healthy for dogs. Try giving them one of them only once or twice a year. Canine obesity and energy and mood issues can be caused by frequent consumption of Saltine Crackers. 

Make sure to keep Saltine Crackers away from your dog since we all know they will devour any and all food you give them (eating very quickly). 

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

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With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

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