Who doesn’t love a cheese or peanut butter cracker? I know I do, and in the past, my dogs have enjoyed them with me as well. But, you might wonder, can dogs eat Ritz crackers?
Dogs can eat Ritz crackers in small amounts, but they aren’t very nutritious. Too many Ritz crackers may lead to salt poisoning for dogs, so be careful to feed them only in moderation and provide your dog with water alongside their snack. Be sure to check toppings like peanut butter or cheese separately to ensure it’s dog-safe.
This article will discuss whether dogs can eat Ritz crackers, topping risks, and more.
Ritz Crackers are Safe in Small Amounts
Are ritz crackers safe for dogs? Only if they’re fed in small amounts. For instance, one peanut butter cracker is fine for most dogs, so long as the peanut butter is dog safe. (Some peanut butters contain Xylitol, a highly toxic sweetener to dogs.)
However, a whole box of crackers might not be safe for your dog–and it certainly isn’t healthy for them.
Below, we’ll talk about why Ritz crackers should be fed only in moderation and the risks for your dog if they eat too many.
Ritz Crackers aren’t Nutritious for Dogs
Ritz crackers aren’t healthy for dogs and mostly provide empty calories. Feeding dogs nutritious treats is better–some good ones include cooked, unseasoned meat, healthy vegetables, or dog-safe fruit.
Of course, the key is moderation. Like humans, dogs can eat an unhealthy snack now and again and be okay so long as they aren’t fed dangerous foods like chocolate or raisins.
Too Many Crackers Can Cause Salt Poisoning
The real risk when it comes to Ritz crackers is salt poisoning. Luckily, small amounts don’t contain enough salt to poison your dog. In extreme cases, a dog eating a whole box of crackers–especially if they don’t have access to fresh water to drink afterwards–might suffer from salt poisoning.
While dogs need some salt in their diet, they should get all they need in their food. Excess salt is unhealthy for dogs and can lead to poisoning in severe cases. Symptoms of salt poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, lack of coordination, decreased appetite, increased thirst or urination, tremors, seizures, or coma. Too much salt can also damage your dog’s kidneys.
It’s difficult to say exactly how much salt it would take to poison your dog. There are many variables, including their size, health, and how much water they drink. For instance, a small dog who is dehydrated and has kidney disease will likely become ill sooner than a large, healthy dog without kidney issues.
When in doubt, call a veterinarian or pet poison hotline for advice. Tell them how many Ritz crackers your dog ate, any existing health problems, and if you’ve noticed any behavioural changes.
Do Ritz Crackers Contain Xylitol?
The following ingredients are listed on Ritz’s website for their Original Ritz crackers:
- Unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour)
- Reduced iron
- Thiamine Mononitrate (vitamin B1)
- Riboflavin (vitamin B12)
- Folic acid
- Canola oil
- Palm oil
- Leavening (calcium phosphate, baking soda)
- High fructose corn syrup
- Soy lecithin
- Natural flavor
We encourage you to always read the ingredients on the packaging before feeding your dog new foods.
Xylitol is a sneaky ingredient because companies call it by various different names. It might be listed as birch sugar, wood sugar, or birch bark extract.
Can Dogs Have Ritz Crackers with Toppings?
Humans rarely eat plain crackers. You might eat them with peanut butter, cheese, or other fun toppings and want to share them with your dog.
Whether or not this is healthy depends on the topping, of course!
Peanut butter is often safe, but many brands contain the sweetener Xylitol which is toxic to dogs and other pets. Be sure to check the ingredients before feeding it to your dog. Xylitol can also go by birch sugar, bark extract, or wood sugar.
Dogs can eat cheese and crackers in moderation, including sliced cheese or spray cheese. Just make sure the cheese does not contain toxic seasonings! Remember that cheese is also high in fat, so it can cause pancreatitis if fed in high amounts.
If you’ve cut up lunch meat for your crackers, you might want to pass on feeding these to your pup. They can contain unhealthy amounts of fat or salt or toxic seasonings.
- Are Goldfish Crackers Safe for Dogs to Eat?
- Can Dogs Eat Saltine Crackers?
- Can Dogs Eat Animal Crackers?
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Touchr/Shutterstock.com
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