It’s tough to beat a Goldfish cracker for snack every now and again, especially when you want something crunchy, something salty, and something cheesy.
At the same time, though, the last thing that you want to feed your furry little family member are goldfish crackers – precisely for those same reasons!
Dog digestive systems are entirely different than what you’ll find in human beings.
While dogs eat lots of stuff that would turn a human stomach inside out, the opposite is true as well – and most of the time it’s ingredients that you never would have expected that are the most dangerous and really bad for dogs.
Some of the ingredients goldfish crackers contain (like onion powder, garlic powder, and way too much salt) can absolutely devastate the health and wellness of your pooch.
While we aren’t suggesting that a couple of Goldfish crackers every now and again will kill your dog, the truth of the matter is it takes a whole lot less Goldfish crackers to do a number on your animal than you’d ever expect.
Below we dig a little bit deeper into why it’s so important to stay away from these human snacks (and other snacks like Goldfish crackers) as much as possible if you want to keep your animal healthy.
Let’s get right into it!
Goldfish Crackers – Safe for Dogs?
We don’t want to trade in hyperbole here, and it’s important to know that dogs can a couple of Goldfish crackers every now and again without having their stomachs turned inside out.
At the same time, though, you definitely do not want to make a habit of giving your dog human food like this graham cracker or saltine cracker on a regular basis.
Dogs eat dog food for a reason – it is optimized for their diet, for their digestive system, and for the kind of nutrition that they require (a nutritional breakdown completely different than what we require as humans).
There’s a real reason why you won’t find salt, onion powder, or garlic powder on any dog food ingredients list, but you will on Goldfish crackers.
To make this really simple and straightforward, small amounts of Goldfish crackers aren’t going to wreak havoc on your animal. A couple of peanut butter crackers every now and again (especially cheddar cheese flavored crackers) won’t put them in a bind and shouldn’t prove to be life-threatening.
Now, an entire bag of dog Goldfish crackers is something else entirely – and that’s going to put the health and wellness of any dog, of any size or any breed, in some serious jeopardy.
What Makes Goldfish Crackers So Dangerous
There are a couple of different reasons you want to make sure that your dogs eat Goldfish crackers very sporadically, but the biggest reasons have to do with limiting the major ingredients in these snacks that are so devastating.
As we highlighted above, dogs can eat a lot of things that humans wouldn’t even consider putting in their mouths.
But there are some things dogs eat on accident (or some things dogs eat that they been fed by humans not knowing any better) that can cripple their short and long-term health and wellness faster than you ever would have thought possible.
The ingredients we breakdown below are super popular in Goldfish crackers and are exactly the kinds of ingredients you need to steer clear of as much as possible.
Sodium Can Be a Dog Killer
Sodium is the number one threat to your dogs health and wellness when it comes to these kinds of cracker snacks, causing the most devastating health conditions that will really put your dog in a scary place.
Too much salt in a dog’s bloodstream will mess with their biochemistry in a lot of different ways, but the most serious problem that it can cause is called hypernatremia.
This is a condition where dogs lose a tremendous amount of water in their body, causing extreme dehydration and urination problems that proved to be a real health risk.
Just like people, your dog can’t be dehydrated for extended amount of time without running the risk of organ failure – especially kidney failure.
It’s also possible for this extreme dehydration to cause lethargy issues, diarrhea, and severe thirst that inevitably leads to the dog drinking a lot more water than they would have otherwise. That’s going to lead to extreme weight gain in the short term and can later lead to issues like hyponatremia.
Those aren’t ever problems that you want your Pat to face just because you wouldn’t stop sneaking them Goldfish crackers.
Onion and Garlic Powder Isn’t Good, Either
Onion powder and garlic powders are other dangerous ingredients you have to be careful of your dogs getting too much of when the Goldfish.
The digestive system in your pooch was never designed to consume onion or garlic, both of which are actually toxic to these animals. Every time dogs eat Goldfish crackers they are flooding their body with these toxins (without even knowing it), compromising their internal systems and causing all kinds of problems at the same time.
Worse, Fish crackers contain a lot of these powders that are so bad for the health and wellness of your pet. It doesn’t take more than a handful of crackers Goldfish to cause trouble for your dog, especially when you add in the potential for sodium ion poisoning from the excess salt, too.
Can I Give My Dog Any Goldfish Crackers?
If you are wondering “can dogs eat Goldfish crackers at all”, we can confidently tell you that some dogs can handle more of these crackers than others – but all of them are going to have a really tough time as soon as you start giving them these kinds of snacks on a regular basis.
Smaller dogs (obviously) have a tougher time when they eat Goldfish crackers than larger dogs, if only because their bodies are absorbing more of the danger zone ingredients.
Larger dogs that have specific allergies to these additives and ingredient options, though, sometimes can’t eat Goldfish as often as smaller dogs with better tolerances can.
General Rule of Thumb – Five Crackers a Week
As a general rule of thumb it’s not a bad idea to make sure that you are limiting the amount of crackers your dogs eat to about five or week or so.
Any more than that and these crackers stop being a dog treat and start becoming a poison (a toxic poison loaded with salt, fat, and other things that do not belong in dog foods).
You don’t have to write out a weekly report every time you give them a bit of this cat food for humans, but you want to try and keep track of the amount of times using your pet some of these snack crackers for sure.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Eaten Too Many Goldfish Crackers?
There are a couple of obvious signs that your dog has eaten way too many of these snacks and expose themselves to a lot more salt content than they could safely handle.
Heavy panting is one of the most common issues you need to be on the lookout for, and it’s a problem that can quickly sneak up on your pup even if you are on the lookout for it.
Really try to pay attention to the breathing of your dog when you give them these kinds of snacks, checking that it’s consistent with your other dogs or with their “normal behavior”.
If your dog is breathing heavily for no real reason, though, the odds are pretty good that they’ve consumed way too much salt with these treat choices and you need to get them some water ASAP.
Difficulty walking is another problem that your pet might have if they have had way too many of Goldfish or Ritz crackers (another popular snack with a bad ingredient list that you’ll want to keep away from your dogs as much as possible).
Too much toxic ingredients inside of human food snacks can cause disorientation, difficulty walking, and confusion in your animal.
That’s a surefire sign that something’s wrong “under the hood” and you need to not only get them water ASAP but you also need to get them veterinarian attention as quickly as possible, too.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
Vomiting and diarrhea in any amounts whatsoever (even just a little bit) need to be addressed by a legitimate vet immediately.
These are obvious signs that the dog’s diet additions are not “playing nicely” with their internalsand that something is horribly wrong with your animal.
If left unchecked for an extended amount of time, especially if it’s caused by extreme salt intake, you could actually start to deal with organ failure and shutdowns that prove deadly for your animal.
No, it’s critical that you get out in front of any of these serious issues straightaway.
What Should I Do If My Dog Is Really Sick?
There’s really only one thing you can do when you are worried that the amount so snacks your dog has consumed in their regular diet was higher than it should have been – and that’s call your veterinarian.
If you have any concern whatsoever that the salt content or sugar content of the foods that your dogs have consumed was unsafe, or the amount of these snacks could jeopardize their health or wellness, it’s never a bad idea to call your vet and get a professional opinion.
They are usually be able to help diagnose things over the phone (especially if they have a history with your pup), though they might have a couple of extra questions about the health of your animal and want you to bring your dogs in as soon as you have a chance to.