Some of us get quite creative when we are looking for treat options for our dogs. Whether you prefer to try to make your own treats or you purchase treats of different kinds, it is important to know just what is safe and acceptable to give your dogs.
Have you ever run out of treats and scoured the pantry looking for options? Just us? Surely we all do this at some point or another. Life gets busy and you just don’t realize you’re low on treats until suddenly you’re out!
Can dogs eat graham crackers? The good news is your dog can eat graham crackers, but you will want to be careful how much you give them. These are best used in moderation and if your dog eats too many or eats them too often, you might start seeing consequences.
In this guide, we will talk about the nutrition factor of graham crackers and dive a little bit deeper into the question “can dogs eat graham crackers?”
We hope you will stick with us as we dig into this topic.
Graham Cracker Ingredients – Are They Good for Dogs?
What you need to keep in mind about graham crackers is that there is more than one type. For example, you can get original graham crackers that are just the plain cracker but you can also get cinnamon graham crackers that are coated with cinnamon.
If you are giving your dog graham crackers, the original version is definitely the better choice overall. Graham crackers are a sweet treat so you will want to be mindful of portions to avoid your dog running into negative health factors, such as obesity and weight gain.
Graham crackers typically contain some sort of combination of the following ingredients.
There could be more additives or preservatives but take note that there is a lot of sugar in graham crackers and that is really what we want you to be most aware of when feeding this to your dog.
Now, if we break it down, there are 3 main aspects of graham crackers that we want to consider for overall nutritional value.
Sugar for Dogs
Sugar isn’t healthy for humans and it isn’t very healthy for dogs either. Some dogs actually have extreme sensitivity to sugar and are negatively affected even by consuming the smallest amounts of sugar.
Just as with humans, consuming too much sugar can raise blood sugar levels in dogs. You should be mindful of the sugar content in graham crackers, particularly when using them as a treat.
We don’t think that this means your dog can’t have graham crackers. We simply want you to be aware that you may not want to overuse graham crackers when feeding your dog. They are best served in moderation.
Carbohydrates for Dogs
Do you feel like you’re reading a healthy-eating plan for humans yet? We lectured you about sugar and now we’re lecturing you about carbohydrates for dogs. Can we just clarify, we’re not here to lecture you but simply inform you!
Graham crackers tend to be high in carbs which isn’t great for dogs. Carbohydrates can often lead to extensive weight gain (in humans and animals alike). The thing with graham crackers is that these carbohydrates come primarily from sugar, rather than being natural carbs within the food. These aren’t the good carbohydrates that will want to feed your dog.
Unfortunately, our dog’s immune systems don’t always receive these carbohydrates well so when they have too many, you might see a negative response such as digestive issues or allergies. In addition, excessive amounts of carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and potentially obesity for your pet.
Wheat for Dogs
Wheat is the primary ingredient in all graham crackers. Wheat is what makes the carbohydrate levels very high as well. You can potentially watch for graham crackers that are gluten-free or don’t contain as much wheat.
The problem with wheat is you may not realize your dog has an intolerance to gluten. Even dogs that don’t have gluten intolerances can experience problems with their digestive systems from having too much wheat.
For the most part, dogs can tolerate wheat in small portions but if you notice any type of stomach sensitivity, you should stop giving your dog graham crackers.
Side Effects of Dogs Eating Graham Crackers
We’ve covered how individual ingredients in graham crackers could potentially affect your dog but let’s talk about side effects that you should be aware of or watch for.
Remember that we told you graham crackers should only be served to your dog in moderation. This is the key factor to remember. With that knowledge in mind, let’s discuss some potential side effects of your dog eating too many graham crackers.
Obesity in Dogs
The combination of sugar, wheat, and carbohydrates that are in graham crackers could quickly lead to obesity for your dog. While a dog having a little extra weight really is not that big of a deal, we are in charge of leading them for long, healthy lives.
Obesity could shorten their overall life but the extra weight on their bodies could also lead to more extensive health issues, particularly joint pain and arthritis.
Dental Issues for Dogs
How many times have you heard about tooth care for humans? Dogs need tooth care too. Just like when we consume too much sugar, we run the risk of getting cavities or even rotting our teeth, dogs can have dental issues from graham crackers.
The sugar levels in graham crackers could potentially be harmful to your dog’s teeth overall.
Diabetes in Dogs
Dogs can suffer from diabetes as well if they consume too much sugar from graham crackers. This could go hand-in-hand with the obesity factor. The sugar and carbohydrates that are in graham crackers could lead to disease for your dog. Diseases require costly prescriptions and monitoring to treat and care for your pet.
Not to mention that your pet will most likely experience discomfort or even pain that is directly related to this health risk.
Your dog could become sick from eating too many graham crackers. It’s possible that they could experience an allergic reaction due to the gluten in the wheat content. Your dog could experience diarrhea or vomiting from consuming these treats in excess.
Allergies in Dogs
The wheat and gluten levels in graham crackers could cause issues for your dog as well. It is not uncommon for a dog to suffer allergies from these ingredients. These allergies may result in things like digestive issues.
On the other side, allergies could cause sneezing and breathing issues. Allergies could also cause itchy skin and breakout issues with your dog’s coat.
Regardless of the effect, any type of allergy reaction could be costly to treat in order to assure the comfort and health of your dog.
Can I Train My Dog with Graham Crackers?
Graham crackers can be used for training purposes, particularly as a special type of treat to reward the dog but you must be careful in using them this way.
The thing you want to remember is the use of graham crackers should just be on occasion and should be minimal in portions. You certainly don’t want to give your dog too many.
While dogs can eat graham crackers in small amounts for training purposes, we actually recommend that you stick to dog treats as much as possible to avoid running into any nasty side effects.
Remember that graham crackers should not be used constantly or regularly in order to avoid your dog consuming too many.
Conclusion for Can Dogs Eat Graham Crackers?
So, can dogs eat graham crackers? To summarize what we’ve tried to portray in this article, there is nothing wrong with giving your dog graham crackers in small doses. Graham crackers are best used for a rare treat or maybe when you’re in a bind and have no other options.
There can be harmful side effects to giving your dog too many graham crackers so simply be mindful of those and try to not overuse graham crackers in your approach. We want your dog to be able to enjoy the treat without it causing any harm.
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