Crackers are a snack that most people keep on hand, and since they’re most often bite sized, they seem to be perfect as a dog treat as well. If you’ve ever tossed your dog a cracker, they probably wolfed it down without chewing it too much and were keen to have another right away. The salty and buttery taste of crackers will make just about any dog think they’ve done something right. But is it OK to give your dog, or are there better options?
Most people that have a dog have given it some people food as a form of a treat at one point or another. It’s just to easy to toss them something that we’re eating, without thinking about it. But it’s a bad habit to get into for several reasons. It trains your dog to want what you’re having, blurring the line between what’s theirs and what’s yours, but also because if you start doing it too often it could lead to stomach problems.
That’s why it’s best just to stick to dog food and water, with the occasional dog treat when they earn it. This will keep the bad habits at bay, and will avoid any potential problems from giving them too much people food.
Can I Give My Dog Crackers? Answer: Not Recommended
Although crackers may not seem dangerous for your dog, and they really aren’t in small occasional quantities, they still aren’t something that you need to give your dog or that you should give your dog. Imagine your dog as a well-oiled machine.
Dogs are a result of thousands of years of evolution. Only relatively recently have they started sharing homes with humans. It’s a good life for them, seeing how they get their needs met. But nature never meant for them to have things like crackers, so it’s not really doing them any good to have them.
Most crackers have a lot of salt added to make them taste like, well, crackers. That means they are higher in sodium than many foods, and for a dog they are going to be really high in sodium. The Nutritional Facts you see on the box are calculated for us, not for dogs. The Daily Value of sodium for dogs is not the same as it is for humans, and if you’re giving them a good dog food, they are already getting their sodium needs met by that.
If anything, you’ll just make them thirsty and they’ll end up drinking more water. But the take away here is that there are only two kinds of foods you can give your dog: those that are good for them and those that aren’t. You always want to consider this when you give them things. While it may be fun to toss them a treat once in a while, make it a dog treat and not a human treat.
Proper Dog Treats
Giving them dog treats that are made for dogs will make everyone happy. You’ll be happy because you’ll see them light up when you start to open the box or the bag of treats. They’ll be happy because they’re getting something out of the ordinary. Plus you can be content knowing that there will be extra vitamins and nutrients in the dog treat, or it will be one that helps freshen their breath or scrape the gunk off their teeth.
It might be boring giving them the same food and water each day, you may get the feeling like you’re treating them as if they were a prisoner and not a beloved pet. But dogs don’t think of food the way we do, and it’s not a quality of life enhancer the way it is for us. For dogs food is fuel, and stops that hungry feeling they get each day. Sure, it tastes good to them, but they don’t savor it and wonder what lobster tastes like.
Giving them a high quality dog food in lieu of all sorts of table scraps, people snacks, or other oddball foods is a way better idea, and will lead to better health not just now but for the long term.