Can Dogs Eat Goldfish Crackers? 3 Healthy Alternatives

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

We all know that yummy treat that we cannot resist, goldfish crackers! Kids love it, and so do lots of adults too. But what if your pooch falls in love with it too? Can dogs eat goldfish crackers?

No, dogs cannot eat goldfish crackers. Unfortunately, what’s generally safe for children may not be so for your fur baby. Though many of you may have fond memories going around with a pack of Goldfish crackers growing up, feeding your dog some out of habit will cause more harm than good in the long run.

In this post, we look closer at what goldfish crackers are and how they can be harmful to your beloved pet.

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What is a goldfish cracker made of?

Goldfish crackers are made mostly of cheddar cheese (100% of that to be exact) and then some. I’m sure we’ve all been there; growing up snacking on a pack of Goldfish crackers. Little would we have thought that such a childhood delicacy can be so toxic to dogs.

A quick search on the Internet tells me that Goldfish crackers are high in sodium and have both onion and garlic powder in them. These umami ingredients are also what cause pet dogs to be rushed to the Vet due to severe dehydration and constipation issues.

Doggy says, read this too: Can dogs eat marrowfat peas? Useful diet tips

Will my dog get sick after eating goldfish crackers?

While anything in small amounts is generally safe for your dog, how do we determine when your pet has had too much?

Goldfish crackers contain high quantities of salt, garlic, and onion powder amongst other ingredients like carbs, sugar, gluten, and unknown levels of spices.

Severe dehydration and sodium poisoning are both very real dangers that could land your dog in the hospital due to toxicity issues.

Furthermore, some of these ingredients may also cause allergic reactions such as lactose intolerance, respiratory difficulties, and gastrointestinal problems if your dog has underlying allergies that were previously undiagnosed.

In other words, there is a high risk of your dog getting sick from eating Goldfish crackers- so don’t leave those crumbs on the ground!

Doggy says, read this next: Can Dogs Drink MiO? [Learn The Dangers]

What makes goldfish crackers so dangerous for dogs?

Goldfish crackers are a pure delicacy for us as a child, but even too many packs a day had caused us dehydration and constipation in the past, hasn’t it?

When it comes to your furbabies, this snack pack is quite dangerous to their digestive system.

Due to the high level of sodium in each pack, these crackers may cause your dog to develop severe dehydration.

If your dog is one who does not fancy his water bowl, it may end up getting constipated and develop further gastrointestinal problems thereon.

The onion and garlic powder in these crackers are also considered harmful ingredients for dogs.

As even just a small quantity is already highly toxic and can easily cause quick allergic reactions, some even deadly ones as it throws off their digestive or even respiratory systems.

Doggy says, read this too: Can dogs eat chicken broth with onions? Don’t make mistakes!

What are the side effects of eating goldfish crackers? 

Goldfish crackers are savory in nature and contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs.

While excessive sodium in the system may cause dehydration, in some serious cases, the same may also cause sodium poisoning.

Initial side effects would include vomiting, nausea, or even diarrhea while taking in small quantities of onion or garlic powder is enough to cause your dog to become delirious, start heavy panting, has increased heart rate, fever, lethargy, and even uncontrolled seizures.

In some situations where they are not brought to the Vet in time, complications like acute liver disease, kidney damage, and heart issues may arise.

Doggy says, read this too: Is it safe for dogs to eat quince fruit?

What should I do if my dog ate too many goldfish crackers?

In the unfortunate situation where your dog has ingested too many goldfish crackers, you will have to monitor if it shows any symptoms that suggest discomfort, poisoning, or worse, food toxicity.

At the initial stage, you may want to feed your dog some water in short intervals to increase the hydration level and to flush out the toxins from his system on its own.

You should also try to make sure that there are no more leftover snacks lying around and that it is only fed a healthy, balanced diet for the next 24 hours at least.

Monitor its symptoms for the next 6 hours or so. If symptoms persist or become worse, this would be a sign for you to rush it to the vet for a detailed check-up.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Can dogs eat Swedish fish candy?

Will my dog get sick after eating goldfish crackers

How to treat toxicity in dogs?

While not all dogs may end up with a toxicity problem, some smaller breeds may succumb to food poisoning caused by the ingredients meant for human consumption. 

Depending on your vet and his preferred method of treating toxicity, he may opt to either orally administer activated charcoal to remove toxins from your dog’s digestive system through their poop or induce vomiting to flush out toxins from your dog’s upper gastrointestinal tract. 

Each of these methods works to remove toxins from your dog’s bloodstream in the shortest possible manner as time is key when it comes to saving your dog’s life. Apart from that, your dog may have to be hospitalized for a day or two at the vet’s in order to be administered IV Fluids to flush out any remaining toxin from their bloodstream. 

In rare but more extreme cases, a blood transfusion may be necessary to ensure your dog’s life can be preserved.

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Doggy says, read this too: Can dogs eat hamster treats? Read before you try!

How to keep your dog from begging for goldfish crackers? 

Savory snacks sure are tempting options for your dog.

However, as it is difficult to keep track of their intake, it would be best if you could feed it other healthy snacks made for dogs as a safe alternative.

In cases where you do not have any other snacks at hand, you may consider redirecting their attention to other activities besides eating such as playing fetch, watching tv, brushing his fur, or taking him for a walk.

As dogs have short attention spans, leading them away from their food bowl or where the snack is can also stop them from begging for snacks.

What other snacks should I avoid feeding my dog?

In short, you should avoid feeding your dog any snacks made for human consumption.

As dogs have smaller digestive systems, they may not be able to process food as well as us. Anything high in sodium should be a red flag and shall be avoided at all costs.

Other than that, many ingredients in food made for human intake also contain onion and garlic granules as well, which should be treated like poison to dogs.

Although they may be fragrant and add umami flavor to the product, they can be fatal for our dogs if they are ingested in high doses.

All crackers, chips, popcorn and even chocolate made for humans should always be avoided lest you want to risk a visit to the vet with your poor dog.

Healthy snacks that you can feed your dog

Generally, snacks made for dogs are healthy and suited to balance out their digestive system. Some may also promote silkier fur and healthy gums in the long run!

If you are wondering about the TYPES of human snacks that are healthy and safe for your dog, there are plenty of natural options for you to choose from as well.

There’s broccoli, pumpkin, potatoes, baby carrots, cucumber, and even ice cubes amongst others!

As these options are also high in minerals and vitamins, such natural snacks may also benefit your dog’s health.

Here are some other great options that fellow dog owners love.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are goldfish crackers good or bad for dogs?

Goldfish crackers are not healthy for dogs. The occasional piece or two can be considered your dog’s ‘cheat meal’ once in a while, but they should never become a habit. Limit your dog snacking on Goldfish crackers to less than 5-8 pieces a week to ensure there are no toxicity issues.

What happens if my dog eats goldfish crackers?

If you feed your dog a very small amount of goldfish crackers once a week, there should be no problem with its health. However if your dog has ingested the entire pack, it would be wise for you to monitor his symptoms within the next 24 hours. If the situation deteriorates, please contact your vet as soon as possible.

Can my dog eat Ritz crackers?

The general rule of thumb is that all human snacks in large quantities are not healthy for dogs. You may want to consider limiting your dog’s Ritz crackers consumption to just a few bites a week. In any case, do consider changing to a healthier, more suitable option for your dog.

In conclusion: Can dogs eat goldfish crackers?

I would highly advise against feeding your dog goldfish crackers no matter how much they seem to enjoy it. The risks far outweigh the benefits in my opinion, and there are lots of other healthy snacks that it can enjoy too!

Anytime you wish to feed your dog human food, especially processed food, consider the fact that they are built differently from us and might cause serious health issues.

Sticking to a well-balanced diet and ensuring it has lots of activities is a far superior way to keep your pooch happy!

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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