One of the most common, yet essential decisions dog owners have to make every day is whether they can let their dog eat this particular food or not.
With the plenty of options available, a lot of things could go right, but a lot of things could go wrong, too. So, while a piece of cracker won’t really harm your pup, it’s still reasonable to ask, “Can dogs eat graham crackers?”
What Are Graham Crackers?
Graham crackers are popular whole cereal snack foods in America that have been used in baking for just under 200 years. The name “Graham” relates to the usage of a particular type of graham flour in creating the crackers.
Their recipe was developed in 1829 and has been somewhat modified many times between these years. It was because it wasn't until 1900 that bakers and cooking experts made them themselves. The first version of Honey Maid Crackers was not on the market until 1925.
Can Dogs Eat Graham Crackers?
Dogs eating excessive amounts of granulated sugar, one of the ingredients in making Graham crackers, are exposed to several health risks. The surprising amount of sweetener in Graham crackers can lead to inflammation throughout a dog’s body.
Generally, cavities in canines are rarer as their diets have little sugar than in human populations. But again, this doesn’t mean that they are safe from dental issues.
And sad to say, if your dog eats too many Graham crackers regularly, he’ll be more prone to having dental problems sooner or later.
Additionally, more than 50% of dogs in the US are overweight and/or obese. Eating Graham Crackers can quickly increase a dog’s weight, which can have various negative effects on his long-term health.
Diabetes may occur when a dog has trouble keeping the dietary guidelines right. In severe cases, organ damage can happen, which may require life-long treatment.
With all of these side effects (and more), we can say that graham crackers are non toxic human foods that dogs can eat occasionally.
However, they are also not healthy, so you should only give small quantities of these sugary foods if you do give your dog graham crackers.
Are Graham Crackers Good for Dogs?
Graham Crackers are generally made of enriched flour, which means it is packed with iron, folic acid, and vitamin B1, B2, and B3.
Dogs need all of these vitamins and essential nutrients in trace amounts, and without them, they are more prone to develop poor growth or weight loss, anemia, and other health problems that could affect their heart and nervous system.
While you should not resort to Graham crackers for these nutrients, we can't also deny the fact that these sugary treats can give your dog a boost of these important vitamins and nutrients.
Are Graham Crackers Safe for Dogs?
Graham crackers aren't toxic for dogs. They are perfectly safe when given in small amounts in moderation and without added ingredients that are toxic for dogs, such as chocolates. However, long-term or regular intake of these foods will cause dangerous illnesses in dogs.
Graham Crackers come in numerous combinations of flavors – chocolates and peanuts are common. Unfortunately, these foods may cause dogs and cats harm and they can even be fatal for them.
Keep an eye on artificial sugar and chocolate in your cracker pie crust just in case your dog successfully sneaks even a small bite from your plate.
Why Are Graham Crackers Bad for Dogs?
Graham crackers are made with three different components that prevent them from being used for long or frequent consumption by dogs. The nutritional components that cause a dog's health problems in the long term are carbohydrates, salts, and simple sugar.
High sugar snacking can cause diabetes and problems with moderating glucose levels. The high salt content concerns dogs, too.
An excessive amount of sodium from a dog's diet can affect how the kidneys work and can also cause problems with his skin and eyes. Puppies and dogs do not need sugar and overconsumption should be avoided.
Additionally, wheat is the principal ingredient on Graham crackers, which also happens to be a common trigger of sensitivity among breeds.
Dogs sensitive to wheat may experience allergic reactions when chewing Graham crackers. So, you shouldn't give dogs crackers if they are allergic to grains.
Sugary foods are also high in calories. And overly eating a calorie-dense snack can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which can eventually lead to obesity.
This increases a dog's risk of having joint problems like hip dysplasia, and arthritis, as well as heart disease, and diabetes.
A sugary diet also contributes to tooth decay and causes expensive and uncomfortable veterinary treatment. Again, sugar is not inherently good for dogs. So, moderation should always be the key here.
Graham Crackers are particularly hazardous in large amounts because their carbohydrates are based on sugars and mainly on non-natural carbohydrates.
Consumption of too much sugar is also known to trigger a dog's digestive system to convert the carbs into glucose which exacerbates hunger and obesity.
Also, one of the common short-term side effects caused by eating too many graham crackers in dogs is stomach upset. In the long-term, higher calories could cause several health issues as mentioned above.
And since graham crackers don’t really offer high nutritional value, they should only be part of your dog’s treats or snacks. And they should not exceed 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake.
The Nutritional Value of Graham Crackers
Graham Crackers are created with flours, oil, molasses, salt, lard, and cellulose. They also contain cinnamon, and sugar. Sugar is not good for dogs at all, so moderation is also of paramount importance. In particular, Honey Maid's Graham Crackers contain 31 grams of sugar per serving.
Crackers aren't the greatest sweet treats your pet can consume. A graham cracker's nutritional value is lower than some natural snacks such as oatmeal, so moderation is necessary.
Also, while the crackers are honey-flavored, some include various ingredients such as chocolate, which is poisonous for dogs.
Healthy Alternatives for Graham Crackers
We are not recommending letting your dog eat combined treats that include graham crackers, such as the notoriously popular camping snack, S'mores. These sugary treats are not only rich in sugar, but they also contain chocolate, which is toxic for dogs.
Whether you believe it or not, many dogs are happy to eat healthy human foods like pineapples and some are even eager to try eating veggies like peppers or sweet potatoes mixed with dog food or kibble as prizes.
There also exist several training alternatives for eating products – like the food you cook yourself or buy from people.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can graham crackers kill dogs?
The ingredient list for Graham Cracker is not necessarily healthy for the dog but is not poisonous or toxic. If there’s chocolate in the bread or artificial sweetener, then, the story changes drastically.
Make sure you do not add chocolates or artificial sweeteners like xylitol, so your dog is not exposed to any poisonous ingredients. If your dog is allergic to crackers, though, he is more likely to get sick.
Can dogs eat honey graham crackers?
Honey Graham crackers are quite popular for their delicious honey sweetness they are filled with. Natural honey contains many carbohydrates and nutrients and is perfect for dogs to eat because their body can easily consume them.
As long as you give your puppy these crackers only on a very small amounts there should be no problems at all if any.
Can I give my dog cinnamon graham crackers?
Cinnamon Graham cracker contains additional sweeteners (molasse, honey, and dextrose) and cinnamon.
Cinnamon doesn't damage small dogs in tiny doses but too much in a single sitting can cause irritation of inner surfaces. Cinnamon is not dangerous to dogs in a small amount but it can cause irritability.
Can I train my dog using graham crackers?
As long as your pup is healthy, he will never experience any harm when you give him graham crackers as treats or rewards for occasional use.
You can also use them to reward other good behaviors, such as being quiet or not begging at the dinner table. Nonetheless, it is more advisable to use actual dog treats when training your dog.
Can dogs eat gluten-free Graham Crackers?
Dogs can eat graham crackers safely as long as they don't contain xylitol. If your dog has gluten-intolerance these crackers can be safer than a wheat grain product. However, you still need to monitor how many crackers they consume and how frequently.
Given all the risks, we can easily say that graham crackers are not best for dogs. While they are not toxic, these crackers are still unhealthy.
Eating high-calorie foods such as Graham Crackers can cause heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems, not to mention that these sugary foods can also cause tooth decay and other more serious dental problems.
Hence, it's best if you make your own pet snacks or buy snacks made especially for dogs.