Pictures yourself making some Smores or having a Graham cracker snack. A pair of beautiful pleading puppy eyes sits next to you. Begging for a treat. Surely one won’t hurt… right?
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Are Graham Crackers Safe for Dogs?
Luckily Graham crackers are not harmful to dogs. In small doses, they are safe for dogs to eat. Graham crackers offer no nutritional benefit to dogs. They will not form a routine part of the diet.
Sugar containing crackers like Graham crackers are okay for dogs to eat in small doses, occasionally. Long term consumption of Graham crackers will lead to health problems for dogs, though.
Another issue is that Graham Crackers are often served with other ingredients. Graham crackers and melted marshmallow ring a bell, doesn’t it! Chocolate and peanuts are also often served with Graham crackers. Some of these ingredients can be toxic or harmful to dogs. Think about more than just plain cookies when figuring out how worried you should be about your dog eating a Graham cracker.
Graham cracker pie crust is also okay in small doses – but be on the lookout for any artificial sugars or chocolate.
What stuff makes Graham Crackers wrong long term?
Graham crackers are made up of three different components that make them unsuitable for long term or frequent consumption by a dog.
The ingredient list is essentially flour, water, oil, molasses, and a few other ingredients. None of these ingredients are individually toxic to dogs. The nutritional components that lead to dogs’ trouble in the long term are carbohydrates, salts, and simple sugars.
High sugar snacks can lead to diabetes and problems with moderating sugar levels. This can, in turn, lead to other issues in the joints and eyes for dogs. Puppies and dogs do not need sugars – and the health problems that arise from overconsumption are entirely preventable. A sudden increase in sugar can also result in diarrhea or nausea. Messy! Oddly enough, there is little proven evidence that sugar causes obesity in dogs.
The high salt content is also a concern for dogs. An excess of sodium in the diet can affect the way the kidneys work – and in turn, lead to issues with the skin and eyes. Overall, health will take a dive if a dog has excess salt over the longer term.
The carbohydrates in the crackers break down into energy – which can lead to overconsumption of calories. Too many calories can mean a dog that is carrying more weight than is healthy.
Side Effects of a Dog Eating Too Many Graham Crackers
There are two types of side effects of a dog eating too many graham crackers. Short term effects can result in an upset stomach. In the long term, increased calories can give issues.
Dogs have developed the ability to process (or at least not be negatively effected) carbohydrates. Bread and sugar are carbs – and you sure know that Graham crackers have their fair share of both. When a dog eats a Graham cracker, they are unlikely to become unhealthy from it. However, some dogs will process the carbohydrates and ingredients better than others.
As with any new food, it would not be surprising to see some minor stomach upset. This can present as runnier poops or even diarrhea. If it lasts more than a day or is severe, pain-causing, or associated with blood, seek Veterinarian advice urgently. (It is always better to be safe than sorry).
Experts say that no more than 10% of a dog’s daily calorie intake should be snacks. Graham crackers do not provide any essential nutrition and should be considered snacks or treats.
If there is a higher calorie intake over time, we end up with an overweight dog. According to society, over 50% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese to prevent pet obesity. Their data shows that an overweight dog is a genuinely prevalent problem.
Overweight dogs live less healthy lives. They also lead to shorter lives. So while it is okay if your dog does eat a Graham cracker – don’t let it become a frequent treat.
Can Graham Crackers Kill Dogs?
Eating the occasional Graham crackers will not kill a dog. Unless there is an extreme allergic reaction, then eating a Graham cracker will not kill a puppy.
The ingredient list for Graham crackers is not necessarily healthy for dogs but is not toxic or poisonous.
If there is chocolate or artificially sweetener on the Graham cracker, then the story is different. Be mindful of such toppings as they can be poisonous.
Graham cracker alternatives for dogs
Graham crackers will not form a significant part of the diet. They would only ever be considered a snack or treat.
There are many better snack options that you can use as dog treats that your dog will go bonkers for. Prepackaged snacks like the always famous Duck Jerky will provide a healthy, delicious, and easy treat. Easy to have on hand, and puppies and dogs LOVE this kind of dried treat.
I like that it can take a while for some dogs to eat. Others will wolf it down – but if your dog likes to apply with it – you get some distraction and intrigue.
You can also use duck jerky treats for nose work games. You can sniff train with this healthy snack! Check out how to play a simple DIY nose work game at home.
Nose-work is excellent because it burns both energy mentally AND physically. It can also be done indoors quickly – it is one of the most easy indoor dog games or activities.
Can Dogs Eat Graham Crackers Conclusion
Graham crackers can be eaten by dogs safely. Only in moderation, as too many will lead to short and long term consequences. There is no nutritional benefit to dogs from eating Graham crackers.
So if your puppy has eaten a bit of Graham crackers, you likely do not need to stress!
It does pay to be mindful of toppings (chocolate, nuts, or sweeteners) than may give harm to your dog.