Can Dogs Eat Saltines?

Can Dogs Eat Saltines?

Saltine crackers are the kind of snacks that we all love. When combined with cheese, you can literally eat the whole pack. As you eat Saltines, you might notice your dog following your every move, clearly wanting some of it. You might feel sorry for him and think about sharing your salty crackers with him. But can dogs eat Saltines?

A big no! Dogs shouldn’t eat Saltines. Saltines contain too much salt for dogs to eat. Consuming too much salt than needed can cause salt poisoning in dogs, which can lead to serious health issues such as liver failure, brain damage, and even death.

We have prepared a guide to understand everything about salt poisoning in dogs and what you should do if your dog has consumed too much salty food. Let’s have a look.

Why are Saltines Harmful to Your Dog?

Saltines, as you can tell from the name, are the type of crackers filled with salt. As a human, eating some wouldn’t hurt you; however, the amount of salt found in the crackers is too much for dogs.

Sodium intake should not exceed 100 mg a day for a healthy dog weighing about 33 pounds. On the other hand, only five Saltines crackers contain 135 mg of sodium. Dogs already get the sodium they need from the dog foods daily. Especially if the dog food you are using is high quality, the sodium levels should be well balanced. 

By giving your dog a few Saltines, you exceed the sodium your dog needs to take in an entire day. This means Saltines are extremely salty for dogs to consume. Now you may wonder what happens if your dog consumes more sodium than he needs. You will not like what we are about to share with you.

Excessive Salt Intake Can Cause Salt Poisoning

A few crackers shouldn’t make your dog extremely sick. Because as an immediate reaction to consuming too much salt, your dog will get excessive thirst and drink a lot of water, which will make him often urinate and dilute the salt in his bloodstream. If the amount of salt consumed isn’t too much, your dog will get rid of the salt in his system by drinking lots of water. 

However, if salt consumption is too much, drinking water may not be enough, and the side effects may be a lot more dangerous. In such a situation, a dog’s muscles will start to lose moisture and become stiff, which will make him shake and have difficulty walking. 

If the consumption of salt is excessive and happens quickly, the cells in a dog’s body will release water to balance the level of salt in the body. However, this will cause his brain cells do not get enough water. This can surface as dizziness in dogs. They may get a headache or seizures as well.

Consuming an excessive amount of salt dehydrates the body in a short time. Even if your dog tries to drink water to compensate for the water loss, he might not be able to drink enough water. When this happens, your dog might experience breathing difficulties, fast heartbeat, fainting, and confusion.

The Common Symptoms of Salt Poisoning

When a dog consumes too much water, he can likely experience salt poisoning. Even though the first symptom of consuming too much salt is excessive thirst and urination, there are other symptoms that you should look out for. These symptoms are:

  • Excessive thirst and urination
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Stomachache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fluid buildup
  • Lack of energy
  • Tongue swelling
  • High fever
  • Convulsions
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death
Can Dogs Eat Saltines?

What to Do if Your Dog Has Eaten Saltines?

Maybe you have given Saltines to your dog, or your child shared his or her snack with your pup. Maybe, your dog found an open bag of Saltines and ate the entire bag. You should know that the amount of salt in Saltines is too much for a dog to consume. Five crackers are enough to pass the recommended daily sodium intake for a 33-pound dog.

Since salt poisoning is a severe condition that can result in liver failure, brain damage, or death, it is recommended that you contact a veterinarian immediately once you know that your dog consumed too much salt.

There is not a strict guideline for you to know how much salt your dog consumed. Therefore, if you know that your dog has eaten a lot of salty food, it is best to consult a veterinarian before waiting for the symptoms to show up as salt poisoning needs to be treated as soon as possible.

What are Other Possible Causes of Salt Poisoning?

There are many other causes of salt poisoning. Frozen water sources and broken automatic water systems tend to cause salt poisoning in dogs.

The most common source of salt poisoning is homemade playdough. It is better to always be around your kids and your dog when they are playing with playdough around the house to prevent any possible salt poisoning.

Ocean water is another cause. If you go to the beach with your pup, he might be too eager to drink from the ocean. He might also drink some ocean water while swimming. It is better to keep an eye on the dog to prevent accidents.

Rock salt, table salt, and soy sauce are other sources that can cause salt poisoning and therefore, should be kept out of your dog’s reach. 

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Saltines?

There are many other causes of salt poisoning. Frozen water sources and broken automatic water systems tend to cause salt poisoning in dogs.

The most common source of salt poisoning is homemade playdough. It is better to always be around your kids and your dog when they are playing with playdough around the house to prevent any possible salt poisoning.

Ocean water is another cause. If you go to the beach with your pup, he might be too eager to drink from the ocean. He might also drink some ocean water while swimming. It is better to keep an eye on the dog to prevent accidents.

Rock salt, table salt, and soy sauce are other sources that can cause salt poisoning and therefore, should be kept out of your dog’s reach. 

Alaaddin Sarac

I've been an avid dog enthusiast since childhood. I started this blog in hopes of helping owners find answers to questions I had after owning my first dog. This website was created as a way to share our love for all things canine with the world. From choosing the best food for your older dog to get the best beds for your tail-wagger, I aim to give you the information you need to give your dog the best care throughout his entire life.