Ritz crackers are great snacks for humans. They can be mixed will all sorts of topping giving them a lot of variety. But sometimes we want to share our snacks with our dogs. So can dogs have Ritz crackers?
Dogs can eat Ritz crackers, but not too much. A few crackers from time to time as a snack is fine and will not cause any detrimental effects. But give too much and you might start seeing signs of salt poisoning. So you have to keep an eye on a few things.
- Can Dogs Eat Ritz Crackers?
- Why Can’t Dogs Eat Ritz Crackers?
- How Many Ritz Crackers Can A Dog Eat?
- Snack Alternatives For Dogs
Can Dogs Eat Ritz Crackers?
Ritz crackers are salty snacks made with a lot of ingredients, some of which can be harmful to dogs. These little snacks can be served by themselves or with toppings like peanut butter or cream cheese.
Dogs can eat Ritz crackers if they are given in small amounts. Giving too many may lead to some dangerous conditions due to some ingredients. If your dog doesn’t listen to you, it may eat too much by accident and cause a problem. But Ritz crackers also contain some ingredients that have some nutritional value to dogs.
One serving size of 5 Ritz crackers contains 1 gram of protein. Protein is important in canine nutrition as they need 1 gram of protein per pound of their ideal body weight. It gives energy, gives a feeling of fullness, and helps build muscles. There are better ways for dogs to get protein besides Ritz crackers though.
Giving Ritz crackers to dogs as one serving will provide them with around 20 milligrams of calcium. Dogs need calcium to have healthy teeth and bones. Calcium also helps maintain proper muscle function and prevents muscle twitching. It also plays a part in the blood clotting system. But vegetables like kale and broccoli are better foods for calcium intake.
One serving size of 5 Ritz crackers contains 1 milligram of iron. Iron is essential in the dog’s diet as it can prevent anemia and help normal enzyme functions. It is also important for transporting oxygen all throughout the body. These snacks aren’t enough to reach the dog’s dietary needs so they should get their iron from much better sources like beef, fish, beans, and other fresh foods.
Why Can’t Dogs Eat Ritz Crackers?
Dogs can eat Ritz crackers but they are not very nutritious. Because these crackers contain a lot of harmful ingredients, eating too much will cause problems. Such is salt poisoning from eating too much salt. But a few more ingredients can also cause harm.
Ritz crackers are harmful to dogs because they contain too many carbohydrates. There are around 10 grams of carbohydrates in one serving of 5 Ritz crackers. Dogs do not need this many carbs in the day. In fact, there are special types of dog food with no carbs that can be perfectly healthy for dogs.
Eating too many carbs can lead to obesity and other health problems. Because of that, we recommend the dog gets its carbs from other sources like vegetables.
Unbleached Enriched Flour
This is the primary ingredient in Ritz crackers. It is essentially flour that was first processed and then enriched will all the needed nutrients lost during processing. Vitamins like B1, B2, niacin, and folic acid are added.
Because this flour is made from wheat, it will cause problems for dogs that have wheat or gluten allergy. You may notice your dog having diarrhea at night if it ate too much of these snacks before sleeping. Weight loss is another noticeable symptom. It will also damage the skin and coat of the dog.
Malted Barley Flour
If you use Ritz crackers for dogs, you should be aware that they contain malted barley flour. This flour contains a lot of gluten which can be detrimental to your pet’s health if it has a gluten allergy.
Malted barley flour also contains tannins. These are also harmful to dogs and are known to cause ulcers, seizures, and kidney damage. Consuming small amounts of Ritz crackers will not cause these problems, but consuming too much may lead to them.
One serving of 5 Ritz crackers contains around 4.5 grams of fat. Too much fat in dog nutrition causes danger for weight gain. If dogs do this regularly, they may end up becoming obese.
A high amount of fats in the diet can also cause pancreatitis in dogs. This is a condition where the pancreas gets inflamed. If the dog has pancreatitis, it will experience immense abdominal pain. Dog digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased appetite are other common symptoms. During an attack, the dog may position itself in the “praying position”.
Ritz crackers are toxic to dogs because they contain a lot of salt which can lead to salt poisoning. One serving of 5 Ritz crackers contains 105 milligrams of salt. If the dog eats too many Ritz crackers going over the daily intake limit, you may notice symptoms.
Some symptoms of salt poisoning include excessive thirst, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, discoordination, tremors, seizures, and even coma. This can also lead to kidney damage. Because of this, dogs shouldn’t snack too many salty snacks but get their sodium through their daily meals.
One serving of 5 Ritz crackers contains around 1 gram of sugar. If dogs get too much sugar in their diet, they are at risk of becoming overweight and developing diabetes. An upset stomach can also be caused by excessive sugar intake.
Sugar is also bad for your dog’s teeth. Just like humans, dogs can also get cavities and damage their enamel by eating sugar. This is because sugar accumulates in the dog’s mouth and turns into acid that damages the teeth. That’s why regular teeth brushing is important.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
This corn syrup is additional sugar besides the basic one. It is put in the snacks because it gives an even sweeter taste. But it has all the side effects of regular sugar and makes them even worse. This is why dogs and Ritz crackers are not a good combination.
High fructose corn sugar will cause obesity, diabetes, and an upset stomach. Dental issues are also a common occurrence due to this. Because it is heavily processed, it may also contain mercury as a contaminant.
Leavening Agents And Soy Lecithin
By leaving agents, we refer to substances that cause the dough to expand. These can include things like years, baking powder, and baking soda. If dogs consume too much of these, they can suffer from seizures, spasms, and heart issues.
Lecithin by itself is not a bad ingredient and is commonly found in food for dogs. But soy lecithin is created from soy and it is considered a waste product. Some dogs can be very allergic to soy and experience allergic reactions.
How Many Ritz Crackers Can A Dog Eat?
If you plan on giving your dog Ritz crackers as treats, make sure to offer them in small amounts. One or two crackers would be fine and you should not expect any serious health issues. If the dog ingests a lot of these crackers, you should wait and monitor for symptoms.
Can You Put Toppings On The Ritz Crackers?
So Ritz crackers are a safe treat for dogs in very small amounts, but some people like to eat them with additional toppings. This can include stuff like cheese and peanut butter.
Dogs can eat peanut butter, but you have to be careful about the type of peanut butter you have. Many brands contain a toxic ingredient named xylitol which is detrimental to dogs. Dogs can also eat cheese in moderation. But cheese contains fat and in high amounts can lead to pancreatitis.
Snack Alternatives For Dogs
Because Ritz crackers are not the healthiest treat you can give to your dog, there are a few nutritious dog treats you can consider as alternatives.
A great choice for dog treats is fruits and vegetables. This can include fruits like bananas, apples, and pears, and vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, and sweet potatoes. The fruits can also be frozen and given as treats in the summer.
Besides these, you can also give jerky treats like chicken breast or beef liver. Dairy treats like cottage cheese, ricotta, and cheddar, are also great alternatives but should be given in moderation. There may also be some other safe dog snacks and animal crackers on the market.
Final Thoughts – Can Dogs Have Ritz Crackers?
Ritz crackers are little salty snacks that humans regularly munch on. But dogs can only eat these in small amounts. These crackers contain little nutrients like protein, calcium, and iron. But they aren’t really beneficial to dogs and can only serve as treats.
These little treats contain a lot of ingredients that may be detrimental to dogs. Because they contain too many carbohydrates, Ritz crackers can cause obesity in dogs. The high sugar content and high fructose corn syrup will also cause obesity and diabetes. These snacks are also high in salt and if ingested excessively can cause salt poisoning in dogs.
Because Ritz crackers are not healthy dog treats, you can use some healthy snacks for dogs as treats. Fruits, vegetables, jerky, and some dairy products can be great treats for your dog. Biscuits for dogs also exist which are healthy snacks for canines.
Are Ritz crackers good for puppies?
Ritz crackers are just as bad for puppies as they are for adult dogs. Because puppies need nutrition that helps aid their growth, we do not recommend giving treats with low nutritional value like these crackers.
Can dogs have 1 Ritz cracker?
Dogs can have Ritz crackers in very small amounts, so 1 Ritz cracker won’t cause any problems. Just make sure you don’t give these snacks every day as they aren’t healthy for the dog.
Do Ritz crackers contain xylitol?
According to the ingredient list, Ritz crackers do not contain xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many snacks, but it is very toxic to dogs. Some peanut butter contains this ingredient.