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9 Reasons Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Goldfish Crackers + 5 Tips

Can Dogs Eat Goldfish Crackers

Aside from the smiley faces on the crackers…

Many kids – and some adults, love to chomp them for their taste.

They’re savory and addictive.

And hmm…

They smell good too!

Making a pooch attracted to them begging for a piece.


Is it safe to give your doggo some?

Read on to find out:

  • What goldfish crackers are made of.
  • Whether they’re harmful for dogs or not.
  • How much intake is considered alarming for them.
  • The things you should do if your Fido has consumed too much of it.
  • And many more…

Can dogs eat goldfish crackers?

Dogs aren’t recommended to eat goldfish crackers. Although a few pieces won’t hurt, ingesting them daily and in high amounts is dangerous. Those snacks have too much salt that can lead to dehydration which is lethal, and ingredients that may harm them or cause obesity, diabetes, and pancreatitis.

People also ask:

9 reasons why dogs shouldn’t eat goldfish crackers

#1: Too much sodium isn’t good

It’s no surprise that processed snacks like goldfish crackers contain so much salt.

It makes food tastier and gets people to crave for more after each bite.

But to be clear, dogs are attracted to those crackers due to their scent. And not because of their taste. As experts say that they aren’t a fan of salty grubs.

So, how much sodium is responsible for their addictive flavor?

Well, the label says that there’s 0.0009 oz. (250 mg.) of it in every serving. And this amount might be dangerous for your pooch.

Oh, no. How much salt is okay?

Sodium is essential. Canines need it for creating and conveying nerve impulses.

Also, in balancing the body’s pH. Along with other minerals like potassium and chloride.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, 0.0007 oz. (200 mg.) of it per day is enough for them.

So more than that may result to:

  • Restlessness.
  • Raise in heart rate.
  • Increased water intake.

Is excess sodium fatal?

Unfortunately, yes. They can be poisoned with it.

Vets say that around 0.14 oz. (4 g.) of it per their body weight is lethal.

Let’s do some math.

There are 6 servings in a whole bag of goldfish crackers. So in total, it has about 0.054 oz. (1.5 g.) already which is concerning.

Not to mention the other salty food your dog might consume every day.

This is why there’s still a possibility. So, it wouldn’t hurt to be more careful about it for your Fido’s safety.

And if you know that they ingested too much of it – like a whole bag, make them drink fresh water asap. 

Also, watch out for these symptoms:

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Seizures.
  • Muscle tremors.
  • Lacking strength.

Warning: If you notice any of these signs in your furry friend, have them checked by a vet at once. 

#2: Dehydration

Your Dog Shouldn't Eat Goldfish Crackers Because It Can Cause Dehydration

Eating too much salty food can make dogs extremely thirsty.

It’s quite obvious as we also tend to drink more while finishing a pack of tangy chips or fries.

And if your pup doesn’t drink enough water, to begin with, they could be at risk of dehydration.

This happens when their body hasn’t replenished all the fluids they lost.

So, how to check if they’re dehydrated?

An easy way would be testing their skin’s elasticity.

Gently pull a part of it. And if it doesn’t quickly return to its normal state, that might confirm it.

Other signs to look for are:

  • Vomiting.
  • Thick saliva.
  • Sunken eyes.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Being less active.
  • Dry nose and sticky gums.

It’s best to prevent this from happening. So, as much as possible, avoid giving your Fido food high in sodium. And goldfish crackers are one of them.

Also, make sure to check and fill their bowl with water from time to time. So they’ll be able to drink enough fluids all day.

What can I do to help them?

If you suspect that they’re dehydrated, give them fresh water immediately.

A solution with electrolyte every hour will also help. Specialists say it must be 0.07 fl. oz. to 0.14 fl. oz. (2 ml. to 4 ml.) per pound or their body weight.

Before doing this, ask a vet first for the correct dosage. And if their condition seems severe, go to a pet clinic right away. 

#3: They contain onion and garlic


More like poisons…for your dog.

Those ‘smiling’ crackers have dehydrated onion and garlic in their ingredients.

They’re the worst things you could ever give to your Fido.

And you know what?

Those two are even more potent in powdered form. So it’s highly unsafe for your pooch to eat plenty of goldfish crackers.

What makes an onion harmful?

Every part of this bulb plant screams danger for canines – and for cats too.

And along with garlic, their ‘allium’ family shouldn’t be messed with.

Despite its richness in chemicals that are good for us, humans…

It’s the complete opposite in doggy land.

A medium-sized onion is said to be capable of making a hound sick. And AKC says they might suffer from these:

  • Fainting.
  • Vomiting.
  • Lethargy.
  • Pale gums.
  • Reddish urine.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Excessive panting.
  • Increased heart rate.

How about garlic?


When roasted, its scent and taste are undeniably pleasant to most people.

But again, it’s considered threatening to Rovers.

Research shows that 0.53 oz. to 1.05 oz. (15 g. to 30 g.) of it can affect dogs. So they’ll need to consume a lot of cloves to be ill.

But, some canines are intolerant to it. And that might cause them to be unwell after a few days.

What are its signs?

They’re almost the same with onions, but with additional:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Depression.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Gastrointestinal issues.

You might also want to know: Why do dogs arch their back?

When consumed together

Apart from causing vomiting and an upset stomach which is not lethal…

Both of them might also damage the red blood cells or RBCs.

Yup, and it could lead to anemia.

It’s quite a complicated process. But, VCA explained that a component of them makes the RBCs weak. Which causes some of them to burst.

That’s why they’re indeed dangerous for doggos.

Although they’ll be fine with eating just one tiny cracker, they would beg you for more.

And if left unattended, they can even finish a bag of it.

That’s precisely what happened to one lady who wrote me for help recently. Her dog had gotten to the bag of snacks some guests brought that day. And had eaten all the chocolate gifts!

As you probably know, chocolate tops the list of poisonous foods for dogs. 

So better keep such goodies away from your pooch. And feed them safer foods instead as rewards. Like unsalted meat, veggies, or some doggy-treats.

#4: Food allergy/sensitivity

Aside from spices, those flavored snacks have many other ingredients. And one of them could make your pooch ill and act weird.

It can be gluten from wheat, milk, cheese, or yeast.

So, what are some of its symptoms?

The most common ones are upset stomach and skin irritation.

And also, if they’re:

  • Vomiting.
  • Coughing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Scratching too much.
  • Suffering from diarrhea.

Note: Detecting this is kinda tricky. Because other health conditions also have the same signs. So it’s best to consult an expert just to be sure.

#5: Extra oils

Goldfish crackers also contain canola and sunflower oil.

And those could only bring more fats to your pooch. Since they already get their daily dose from their meals.

Previous studies also suggested that only 5.5% of their diet should come from fats. And the bigger portion of it must contain protein, carbs, and fiber.

#6: ‘Empty calories’

Goldfish Crackers Have Empty Calories

Wheat flour is the base for these tasty crackers.

But, is it dangerous?

Although it’s not as strong as an onion, some Fidos can be sensitive to it. And yours might not be an exception.

This ingredient also contains little nutrients so it’s not that beneficial for dogs. Because the refining process of flour takes away all the minerals and vitamins it has.

“So, what are the better alternatives then?”

It would be best to go for whole wheat instead.

And if you’re going to feed them some carbs, it’d be nice if they’re from natural sources.

PetMD recommends bran, whole oats, corn, or sweet potatoes.

Because these are high in fiber too. And they help in:

  • Making them full.
  • Maintaining ideal weight.
  • Keeping the colon healthy.
  • Controlling blood sugar levels.

They make every calorie count and valuable, unlike the ‘empty’ carbs.

#7: Obesity

They say too much of anything is bad.

So if your pooch eats goldfish crackers daily, it might also result in weight gain in the long run.

And it’s all due to the excess carbs.

Don’t get me wrong here. Carbohydrates are good for dogs…

But not all of them. And only if taken in the right amount.

It’s also the same case for us, humans.

Those snacks have a lot of processed carbs from refined flour. 

It can be another word for ‘sugars’ as these baked goodies contain many of them.

And along with the other ingredients, they could really add pounds to your Fido when not taken care of.

In senior dogs and those with other health problems (e.g., osteoarthritis), a heavy weight can add even more pain. Which will cause them to often groan or grunt.

Note: Old canines more than 7 years old will need an adjusted diet to keep them fit and healthy. It should have lower sodium, higher protein, and lesser carbohydrates.

#8: Diabetes

Aside from obesity, excessive sugar can also lead to other diseases.

Diabetes is one of them. And it’s observed both in dogs and humans.

Research says that the body digests those refined carbs quickly. As a result, there will be an instant rise in insulin and blood sugar levels.

And it happens right after they’re ingested.

Oh, and also, those starches are the culprit for overeating.

That’s why people and Fidos who consume many amounts of it are at higher risk of such health conditions.

Management and treatment

Canines who have this need to be treated for a lifetime. And receive insulin injections every day.

Together with a proper diet (high in fiber) and exercise, these will help them control their blood sugar.

Note: Female dogs who have this may also need to be spayed. This is because their hormones, ‘progesterone’, could restrict a good flow of insulin.

#9: Pancreatitis

This is a serious problem that’s often overlooked by some dog parents. As its symptoms are similar with other illnesses.

So, what causes the pancreas to swell?

Well, it can be due to many reasons. And few of them are linked to eating unhealthy foods.

Experts reveal it could be a result of:

  • Obesity.
  • Diabetes.
  • Genetics.
  • Medications.
  • High-fat diet.
  • Hypothyroidism.

There are also some breeds that are more prone to this. And it’s common in terriers or small-sized ones.

When it comes to diet, Fidos who are often fed with processed and fatty snacks, can have this condition.

So their humans need to watch out for any of these signs:

  • Fever.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Weakness.
  • Dehydration.
  • Hunched back.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Persistent vomiting.
  • Pain in the abdomen.

How can this be treated?

Canines may recover from this. And it’s important that it’s discovered early. Like any other ailments.

Most of them need to be nursed in hospitals. As there are therapies needed. Along with medications.

What should you feed them?

In other cases, they need to fast first. Especially if they’re vomiting.

But when it comes to their meals, they should be low in fat. Easily digested and has protein from meats, and not from plants.

Also, fewer carbs and sugar are a must. And more fresh and refreshing water, of course.

You may also like: Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets? 9 Dangers + 5 Safety Tips

#BONUS: They have no nutritional value

Lastly, it’s due to one simple reason…

There’s no need for them to eat those crackers in the first place.

No matter how savory and nice-looking they are, they’re still of little help to their diet. And what’s worse is, they can even result in diseases.

Dog food was made for a reason. As well as those commercial doggy treats that are suitable only for them.

Those grubs will give them the right nutrition as they cater more to their specific needs. And support their growth and development.

Also, there are other foods that are healthier and safer for your pooch.

Like any other dog parents, you only wish for their good health, right?

So, you may keep those fish-shaped biscuits in your cupboard. And try to feed your Fido, if not the best, better options than salty human snacks. 

Help! My dog ate a bag of goldfish crackers, what should I do?

If your pooch ate a whole bag of crackers, make sure to give them some fresh water first. But, give it to them in small amounts. And in short intervals.

This would help in not making their symptoms get any worse.

Also, check if there are any remaining pieces in their mouth. And keep away any leftovers they might consume.

Make sure they’re out of your dog’s reach.

Merck Vets also says that you may provide them warm water enemas after every few hours. By doing this, you can reduce the sodium levels in their body.

However, these are only emergency care. So, it’s best to call your vet right away for more instructions. And bring your Fido to their clinic asap.