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Are Goldfish Crackers Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Written by Austin S.
Updated: October 10, 2022
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Goldfish crackers are fish-shaped cheesy snacks that most humans find delicious. With such a savory smell, it’s a no-brainer that your dog will want to eat this tasty snack, too! And we all know how difficult it is to say no to those cute little eyes when they want you’re are eating.

However, it’s important as a dog owner to know that your body system differs from theirs. Hence, you should always check to confirm the safety of any food before feeding them to your dog. Now the million dollar question is “Are Goldfish crackers safe for your dog?”

In this article we will be discussing the effects of feeding your dog Goldfish crackers. We will also give insights on what to do when your dog consumes excess amount of Goldfish crackers.

Are Goldfish Crackers Safe for Dogs to Eat?

The answer to this question is complex. Your dog can eat a few Goldfish crackers now and then. But it is advisable not to feed your dog Goldfish crackers as a regular treat. Goldfish crackers contain many ingredients that are harmful to your dog. To this end, it is better to avoid feeding your dog Goldfish crackers. 

Are Goldfish Crackers Safe for Your Dog?

One or two Goldfish crackers, on occasion, will not affect your dog. But remember that you don’t have to give human food to your dog regularly. There are reasons why dogs eat dog food. Dog foods contain the nutrients they need to grow. They are also optimized for your dog’s digestive system. For this reason, you won’t find seasoning or flavors in any quality dog food. 

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Why Are Goldfish Crackers Dangerous to Your Dog?

There are many reasons why you need to feed Goldfish crackers to your dog sparingly. The biggest reason is the ingredients they contain. Goldfish crackers are so yummy because of the salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. But these ingredients are also why you must keep Goldfish crackers away from your dog. The following are reasons why Goldfish crackers are dangerous to your dog. 

Cheese Can Cause Weight Gain and Gastrointestinal Issues

Goldfish crackers contain cheddar cheese. Cheese is generally a safe food for your dog to eat, and is a great protein source. But your need to remember that cheese is a dairy product. If your dog is lactose intolerant, Goldfish crackers are not a good snack choice. 

Furthermore, cheese contains a high amount of fat. Regularly feeding your dog Goldfish crackers will lead to excess weight gain in your dog. Unnecessary weight gain can lead to serious health issues like pancreatitis in the future. 

High Salt Content

Goldfish crackers contain a high level of salt. Too much salt in your dog’s body system can affect its biochemistry. When it comes to salty crackers like Goldfish crackers, sodium is the main threat to your dog’s health. Also, high sodium levels in your dog’s bloodstream can cause fatal health conditions like hypernatremia. 

Hypernatremia in dogs is a health condition that causes dogs to lose a lot of water. This extreme water loss can cause urination problems and excess dehydration in your dog. Excess dehydration in your dog is a severe health risk. If your dog has been dehydrated for a long time, kidney failure can occur. 

Conversely, extreme dehydration can cause your dog to become very thirsty. Severe thirst will lead your dog to drink more water than necessary. Due to this, your dog will gain a lot of weight in a short time. Also, excess weight gain can lead to pancreatitis in your dog.

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Onion Content

Onions are poisonous to your dog. Keep your dog away from cooked, powdered, dehydrated, and raw onions. Goldfish crackers contain some amounts of onion powder. Thus, feeding your dog Goldfish crackers can cause severe anemia. This is because onions can cause serious damage to your dog’s red blood cells. 

Furthermore, every part of the onion and onion plant is toxic to your dog. Even a small amount of onions can have harmful effects. Surprisingly, the onion powder in Goldfish crackers has a worse effect on your dog than fresh onions. Symptoms of onion poisoning include:

  • Bloody urine
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Weakness
  • Fainting 

Empty Carbs

The main element in Goldfish crackers is enriched wheat. Enriched wheat is not harmful to your dog. But it isn’t exactly healthy either. Your dog needs carbohydrates for energy. However, it’s better to get them from healthier vegetables and fruits than from enriched wheat. This is because empty carbs such as enriched wheat can eventually lead to diabetes and obesity. 

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Garlic Content

Goldfish crackers are a staple snack for humans globally. They contain some amount of garlic. The garlic gives the Goldfish crackers an enticing smell, one that can attract your dog. Although research has shown the benefits of garlic to humans, they are not beneficial to your dog. Like onions, garlic is toxic to your dog. 

Furthermore, dogs can’t metabolize garlic the way you do. Thus, it is better not to feed them food filled with garlic. Also, garlic contains thiosulfate, a chemical that is poisonous to dogs. Thiosulfate cause red blood cell damage in dogs, leading to hemolytic anemia. Also, your dog can experience garlic poisoning if it eats excess Goldfish crackers. Symptoms of garlic poisoning include:

  • Pale mucus
  • Bloody urine
  • Weakness
  • Shallow and rapid breathing
  • Anemia
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Jaundice

Presence of Harmful Vegetable Oils

Goldfish crackers are made with some vegetable oils that can harm your dog. Your dog doesn’t need any extra fat in its diet. All the fatty acids it needs are present in the vet-approved dog food you give your dog. 

Vegetable oils like soybean and canola oil are used in making Goldfish crackers. If your dog is allergic to soy, eating Goldfish crackers can cause significant discomfort. Even though canola oil is not toxic to your dog, it is better to give your dog food rich in healthy oil. Some of the oils safe for your dog to eat include olive oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil. 

What Should You Do if Your Dog Eats Excess Goldfish Crackers?

If your dog eats excess Goldfish crackers, give it a lot of water first. The water will help to water down the salt content. Then, you can watch your dog for about 6-12 hours to see if it shows symptoms. If your dog shows symptoms of onion poisoning, garlic poisoning, or sodium ion poisoning, visit your vet instantly. 

Furthermore, your vet will adopt different methods to ease the toxicity caused by the excess Goldfish crackers. Your vet can induce vomiting or flush your dog’s stomach to remove the toxins. Also, the vet can use activated charcoal to absorb any toxin left in your dog’s intestinal tract. Finally, your vet can administer IV fluids to flush your dog’s bloodstream and help it maintain proper hydration levels. 

In severe cases, your dog might require blood transfusion or oxygen supplementation. A few Goldfish crackers will not cause any trouble. But an entire bag will have severe consequences.  

Can Your Dog Eat Ritz Crackers?

Your dog can eat Ritz crackers in small amounts. But it is better to avoid feeding your dog Ritz crackers the same way you avoid feeding it Goldfish crackers. Ritz crackers contain high concentrations of carbohydrates, salt, oil, and fats. In small amounts, these crackers are not a danger to your dog. They become a problem when your dog eats them in excess. 

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Similar Snacks Your Dog Should Avoid

Human food generally seems appealing to a lot of dogs. But some of them do more harm than good to your dog. Goldfish crackers aren’t the only snacks your dog should avoid. The following are snacks and treats that harm your dog’s health. 


As a dog owner, your dog’s health should be a top priority. When feeding them human foods or any new food, carefully pick out the ones that are dangerous to your dog. Snacks high in seasoning or salt should be kept away from your dog. To this end, Goldfish crackers are not a safe snack choice for your dog. 

As discussed in this article, feeding your dog Goldfish crackers can lead to many health problems. If your dog wants a treat, give it vet-approved dog treats or dog-friendly vegetables and fruits. 

In the interim, here are some healthy snack alternatives to Goldfish crackers that will provide your dog with minerals and vitamins per the procedure in each article:

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.

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