If you’ve ever wondered if you can feed your dog goldfish crackers, you may be interested to find out the answer and the reason behind it.
Goldfish crackers are a staple of most people’s pantry, especially if you have young children or just like an easy go-to snack. Goldfish are cheesy and fun to eat, but you may wonder if they are appropriate for our four-legged family members.
Dogs should not be allowed to eat goldfish crackers because they contain no nutritional value, they can cause weight gain, they may cause them to get sick, and they encourage poor dog behavior, such as begging for food.
It’s easy to reach for a handful of goldfish crackers and drop one or two on the floor for our dog to scoop up. Whether you do this on purpose or by accident, it’s worth taking the time to find out if this is an act that should be stopped or if it is a harmless little treat for our fur baby to enjoy.
I am a huge dog fan and have had many of my own. I’ve always tried to steer clear of feeding my pooches human food since I know that many of them are not only bad for their waistline but for their health as well. Let’s explore why goldfish crackers are a particularly bad food choice to share with your pup.
Can Dogs Eat Goldfish Crackers?
We all love our pets and know they love us too. One popular habit to get into is feeding our furry friends foods that are usually considered human foods by nature. It’s fun to offer a special treat to our pups from time to time, but we need to ask ourselves if the food we are feeding them, is doing more harm than good.
An example of this is goldfish crackers. First invented in 1958, these tiny fish were made by a Swedish biscuit maker. Now, these popular snacks are ideal for something to easily grab and take in the car, to the pool, or pack in a lunch.
But when it comes to our four-legged household members, there are much better options to serve up as a snack. And there are plenty of reasons to support why the goldfish should be left to humans to enjoy.
1. They Contain No Nutritional Value
Made with enriched wheat flour and cheese extract, goldfish crackers contain ingredients that make them safe for most humans, unless you have a wheat allergy.
But they don’t hold much nutritional value, and in fact are considered to be an empty-calorie food.
Empty calorie foods will often stave off hunger pains, which is why goldfish are often a good snack for a young child to tide them over until a real meal can be eaten.
But for the rest of us, these types of foods only serve to make us feel full for a short time, before they leave us hungry for more.
For a dog, this is no exception. Filling up on foods that don’t serve any nutritional purpose is not healthy for a dog, as they aren’t great at regulating how much they eat and when.
A food with little to no nutritional value will not keep your dog from eating less later. It will just fill him with foods that do nothing to promote good health and before long he’ll be looking for something else to fill the void.
2. They Can Cause Weight Gain
Another downside to feeding your dog goldfish crackers is that they can cause unnecessary weight gain in your pet.
As I mentioned before, goldfish crackers are considered empty-calorie foods. This means that not only will they do nothing to promote your dog’s health, but these types of foods will also pack on pounds in places your pooch doesn’t need.
Goldfish crackers are mainly made of wheat, and wheat is a carbohydrate. Though we all need a certain amount of carbohydrates for our bodies to run efficiently, too many carbs can result in too many extra pounds.
For dogs, this is also true. Making sure your dog gets the needed amount of carbs to help their bodies grow and function appropriately is important. But the majority of those carbs should be through foods that are designed specifically for their bodies and digestive systems.
3. They May Cause Dogs to Get Sick
No dog owner wants to cause their pooch to intentionally gain unnecessary weight, but we definitely would never do something that would cause them to intentionally get sick.
Though goldfish crackers are mainly made from enriched flour, they also contain onion powder, which is known to be extremely harmful to dogs.
Any form of onions should be kept away from your furry friend. Onions are known to be very toxic to dogs and can do great damage to their red blood cells, which may lead to a variety of issues, namely anemia.
Interestingly enough, onion powder is actually more toxic to a dog than a slice of raw or cooked onion. The powdered form of onion powder has a more concentrated amount of the onion’s ingredients, making a snack food like a goldfish cracker something that could lead to big health concerns for your pup later on.
4. They Encourage Bad Behavior
Finally, another strong argument for why dogs shouldn’t be given goldfish encompasses probably any treat that comes out of your pantry, off your table, or from your plate.
Sharing our human food with our favorite four-legged friends teaches them some bad behaviors that are hard to break later.
It may be cute to give your cuddly pup a morsel of chicken from the grill or the last bite of your sandwich. But, dogs are easily conditioned and learn quickly.
Once they’ve had a few bites here or there, it’s going to be hard for them not to beg for another one.
Having a dog that begs can be annoying. It can also become quite problematic when you have guests or situations when you don’t want him to beg.
But once the behavior is learned, it’s hard for dogs to quit. And that’s not fair to your furball.
Keep the dog treats to bring treats that are made for your dog. You will all be happy because of it.
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright