Should You Let Your Dog Eat Pretzels? It Depends

Written by Austin S.
Published: June 2, 2022
Image Credit Zuzanna Paluch/Shutterstock.com
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Should You Let Your Dog Eat Pretzels? It Depends

Pretzels are yummy; pretzels are crunchy, and pretzels attract dogs but are pretzels suitable for dogs? Pretzel is a popular snack that has the shape of a twisted knot. Pretzels are handheld yeast bread that can be hard and munchy or soft and yummy. Whichever one, both forms have a lustrous brown appearance.

The constituents of pretzels include yeast, sugar, salt, water, butter, and wheat flour. Pretzels are often flavored with garlic, cinnamon sugar, salts, chocolate, and other additives.

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 Pretzels can be made into various shapes and sizes, not only the twisted knot. In the soft form, pretzels are often large with a chewy texture. These soft pretzels are usually sold at restaurants and bakeries. The hard pretzels are more miniature and munchy. These are usually available at grocery stores. 

Either way, pretzels are usually eaten with cheese or yogurt dipping sauces.  Whether you should give your dog pretzels or not depends on several factors.

Reasons You Shouldn’t Give Your Dogs Pretzels 

There are several ingredients in pretzels, and some of these substances are in quantities that are harmful to dogs’ health.

Salt Content

Pretzels contain a high amount of sodium. This high sodium content can cause dehydration, frequent thirst and urination, renal failure, and heart problems. Taking a large number of pretzels can lead to salt poisoning in dogs. 

The usual pretzels are often sprinkled with salt before being baked. This prickly salt makes the pretzels more crunchy and adds to their flavor.

Sometimes, hard pretzels contain a higher amount of salts. This is meant to preserve them for a more extended period.

Dogs are considered to have salt sensitivity, so anything that upsets the average salt balance in their body can lead to sickness. Dogs do not have an efficient means of getting rid of excess salts. Eating large amounts of pretzels can cause dogs to have high blood pressure, increasing their susceptibility to heart problems.

Since dogs are salt-sensitive, you should watch their daily salt intake. Your dog is your responsibility.

two pretzels with sea salt
Dogs are sensitive to salt, so be sure not to give them pretzels with high salt content.

art nick/Shutterstock.com

Some of the Flavors Might Be Harmful to Your Dog

Pretzels are flavored with different spices that can upset your dog’s digestive tract. Spices like onion and garlic powders are present. Onion and garlic are detrimental to dogs. Consuming onion and garlic in large quantities can cause damage to red blood cells. So it’s not advisable to feed pretzels to your dogs.

Likewise, pretzels can be sweetened with several artificial sweeteners. Among these sweeteners is xylitol, a very harmful substance that causes liver damage in dogs.

A High Amount of Carbs

Another reason you shouldn’t feed pretzels is their carbohydrate content. Pretzels are embedded with a high amount of carbohydrates.  This can lead to an elevated blood sugar level in dogs, resulting in obesity. 

The reason for this is not far-fetched; most pretzels are made from wheat flour, precisely refined wheat flour. Refined wheat flour is simply wheat without the outer grain portion. The outer grain portion of wheat contains fiber and some essential nutrients; hence removing this portion implies the absence of these fibers and nutrients.

Furthermore, foods obtained from refined white flour tend to elevate the blood sugar levels compared to other foods that contain just fat and protein. We can deduce that pretzels might not be the appropriate snacks for dogs.

Should Dogs Eat Hard Pretzels?

Hard pretzels are not very suitable for dogs to eat. Hard pretzels contain more salts and calories, implying they don’t provide many health benefits. Several dog treats are perfect for your dogs; pretzels aren’t just among them.

Feeding your dogs one or two sticks of pretzels once in a while is okay. But consuming large amounts within a short period can have consequences.

six pretzel sticks
You should avoid feeding your dog hard pretzels, but one or two pretzel sticks may be okay.

xpixel/Shutterstock.com

Are Soft Pretzels Safe for Dogs?

Whether your dogs should eat soft pretzels or not depends on the content and quantity. Sometimes, soft pretzels may contain ingredients that are not so harmful to dogs if consumed moderately and rarely. In this instance, it’s okay for your dog to take one or two bites of this yummy snack once in a blue moon. 

This doesn’t negate the fact that if they consume soft pretzels in excess, they might come down with a sickness.

Nevertheless, when baked with the entire ingredients,  soft pretzels are even more harmful and unhealthy than hard pretzels. Because soft pretzels contain more calories, more carbohydrates, and even fats than hard pretzels. This means it causes more harm. So it would be best if you avoided soft pretzels.

What About;

Cinnamon Pretzels?

The answer remains no, you shouldn’t feed cinnamon pretzels to your dogs. Usually, pretzels that contain cinnamon are soft types. In small amounts, cinnamon doesn’t pose any threat to dogs. However, cinnamon mixed with other ingredients of pretzels ( such as sugar, salts, garlic, onion, etc.) isn’t something dogs should eat.

Honey Pretzels?

Another type of pretzels are the ones that have honey as their main constituent. Honey Pretzels shouldn’t be served to dogs. Although honey is safe for dogs, taking too much sugar can lead to tooth problems, obesity, and elevated blood sugar levels.

Mustard Pretzels?

Feeding dogs with mustard pretzels must also be avoided because these contain too many spices that might not be safe for your dog’s health.

Health Benefits of Pretzels

Although consuming pretzels might be toxic for your dogs if taken in large quantities. However, if you feed pretzels to your dogs in moderate amounts once in a while, they provide dogs with several nutritional benefits. These include;

Minerals

Hard pretzels specifically contain minerals that are essential for normal body functioning. Among the minerals contained in pretzels are iron and zinc. 

Iron is essential for transporting oxygen in the body. Feeding your dogs small amounts of pretzels once in a few months increases the amount of iron in their body, consequently providing more oxygen to meet their increased muscular activities.

Zinc has several roles in the body. In addition to maintaining the dog’s immune system,  zinc also ensures proper metabolism in the dog’s body and produces new cells and DNA.

Vitamins

Serving your dogs small amounts of pretzels provides about 50 percent of their required daily intake of essential vitamins like B12, vitamin B6, and vitamin B1. A serving of hard pretzels can also provide your dogs with enough folate they need for the day.

The reason for these tremendous nutritional values is that most pretzels are obtained from enriched flour.

hard pretzels
In very limited quantities, hard pretzels may have some health benefits for dogs. Avoid soft pretzels, however.

FotoIdee/Shutterstock.com

How Many Pretzels Can Your Dog Eat?

To be safe, dog owners should desist from giving pretzels to dogs. Stick to other dog foods that have no health risks. Several dog treats have lesser salt contents and provide a high nutritional benefit.

If you decide to feed your dogs a pretzel snack, your best move would be to break a few unsalted pretzel sticks into smaller sizes. Hard pretzels are preferable because soft pretzels pose more significant threats and are often tough to chew.

Nevertheless, you should observe your dog for any signs they might be exhibiting if you feed them pretzels once in a while. Several human foods are not suitable for dogs. They can cause adverse reactions. Therefore, consult your veterinarian before adding pretzels to your dog’s diet.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Excess Pretzel

If you discover that your dog has ingested many pretzels, get them to drink plenty of water and keep them under your watch.  As a result, they might pee more frequently.

Afterwards, you observe them to see if they’re exhibiting any signs of salt poisoning. These include;

  • Intoxicated gaits
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Watery Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Convulsions
  • Excessive Thirst

If your dog exhibits some of these signs, inform your veterinarian. However, taking a few bites of a soft pretzel or a few hard pretzels might not affect your dog’s well-being.

Other Snacks You Should Avoid Feeding Your Dogs

Pretzels aren’t the only snacks that can harm your dogs if eaten in excess. There are other snacks that should be given to dogs in moderate amounts. These include:

Conclusion

In essence, pretzels are not suitable snacks for dogs. Although feeding dogs with a small amount of pretzels once in a few months won’t cause any harm, pretzels still fall on the not-safe list.

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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.