A Saltine or soda cracker is a square-shaped thin cracker made up of flour, baking soda, and yeast, and is found in different varieties that are sprinkled with coarse salt.
About the texture, saltine crackers have perforations spread over its surface and are found in dry and crispy textures.
People love to have a few saltine crackers with a cup of tea or with a glass of juice in the mid-morning or afternoon. Saltine crackers are famous for their taste.
Most people love them, and if they have a dog, there might be a question arising in their mind is a saltine cracker safe for my dog or not?
Can Dogs Eat Saltine Crackers?
Yes, dogs can eat saltine crackers, but an excess of everything is bad. Sometimes, dogs can eat crackers, but in moderation. As saltine crackers are rich in sodium salts, therefore, their intake should be limited to once in a while.
But if your puppy is having a saltine cracker, you should carefully monitor the sign of sickness. Mostly, saltine crackers cause stomach upset in dogs.
Pros And Cons Of Saltine Crackers For Dogs
As a light snack, saltine crackers are beneficial for human, but should be consumed in moderate quantity, in excess can pose harmful effects on health.
Humans can consume saltine crackers efficiently, but this is not so in the case of dogs. So you should be careful about consuming saltine crackers by the dogs, even if your puppy friend is staring at you with innocent eyes as you are having the snacks and not sharing with your puppy friend.
As, crackers are rich in calories, salts, fats but dangerous preservatives also. In a nutshell, saltine crackers contain 941mg Sodium in every 100 grams of saltine crackers.
This much amount is about ten times more than the recommended daily amount for an average-sized dog.
Therefore, consuming an extra amount of salt can be toxic for dogs resulting in salt poisoning. Also, saltine crackers are a rich source of calories, amounting to more than the required quantity for dogs.
It is estimated that 100g of saltine crackers have about 418 calories, 9.46g of proteins, about 8.64g of fats, and 74.95g of carbohydrates. In light of all these, Saltine Crackers are nutritious for dogs, but these can pose hazardous effects on the health of dogs.
Consuming too many saltine crackers is injurious but if your dog had a small chunk of a saltine cracker, you need not worry, it’s not harmful. But you should be careful and don’t offer saltine crackers to the dog.
Your Dog Has Eaten Saltine Crackers? Now What?
As saltine crackers are rich in sodium and salts, the excess consumption of saltine crackers can pose serious effects. So, if your dog has consumed saltine crackers you should be very conscious about its health, observe its side effects.
Salts poisoning can occur if saltine crackers are consumed in excess. There would be high levels of salts in the blood, condition known as Hypernatremia may occur.
As, it is an intrinsic quality of salts to absorb water, so if salts are present in excess in a dog’s blood, it will capture moisture, even from muscles causing them to become wither and stiff.
This will exhibit some signs of poisoning in a dog like shaking and jerking. Dehydration results in your dog feel thirsty.
There may be some neurological manifestations, just because of excess salt results in water loss from brain cells also, and signs of neurological damage may be presented as convulsions, leading to coma and even worse condition may lead to death.
So if your dog is having, excessive thirst, difficulty breathing, high heart rate, confusion, and is feeling jerky, you should be conscious about its health and seek medical attention for prevention from worse conditions.
5 Symptoms Of Salt Poisoning
Actions To Take If Your Dog Is Has Salt Poisoning?
If your puppy friend had consumed too many saltine crackers and is developing symptoms of salt poisoning, it is an alarming sign for you.
Don’t leave your little friend alone. Firstly, give him hydration therapy, i.e. allow him to drink plenty of water according to his desire, as dehydration is very severe as a result of salt poisoning and excessive thirst builds a desire to drink water.
After that, seek special medical attention. It is an emergency, rush to the nearest vet as soon as possible. If possible, also bring all the previous medical records of the dog with you, so that it may help in treating the poor soul quickly.
Treatment Plan For Salt Poisoning In A Dog
The vet will have a different treatment plan according to different signs and symptoms. Firstly, they will be testing for vital signs, i.e. pulse rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, and blood pressure.
The other tests, for diagnosis, are checking for reflexes, weight. Height, vision, and hearing tests. As all medications are given according to the weight and height of the dog.
If conditions are worse then they can go for other rapid diagnostic tests such as blood count, cardiac diagnosis, urinalysis, CT scan, and ultrasound MRI (to examine the damage to the lungs, brain, and heart).
After all these prerequisites, the treatment plan is formulated, which mainly involves the treatment of dehydration first by the administration of IV fluid therapy and correction of electrolyte imbalance.
Hypernatremia is then corrected gradually, as sudden shifts of sodium levels back to normal may lead to brain swelling or heart failure.
This gradual reduction of salt levels may take even two to three days, depending upon the amount of sodium (saltine cracker consumed) in blood.
Salt levels can be corrected by co-administration of diuretic drugs along with fluid replacement therapy.
If a dog is already having brain swelling, this is called cerebral edema, there will be an inflammatory reaction in the brain that should be corrected by administrating corticosteroids like dexamethasone, etc.
After the proper treatment, your dog will be kept under observation for at least one day, so that any of the side effects may be corrected immediately.
There may be some advised food for some days, for supplementation of proper treatment and for proper monitoring you will be advised proper follow-up visits of your dog, follow these follow-up visits timely for your friend’s good health.
Alternatives To Saltine Crackers For Dogs?
If you are eating saltine crackers, and your doggy is looking at this with innocent eyes, just avoid to share these saltine crackers with him and instead give him some snacks that are beneficial for him.
There are a lot of alternatives that you can present to your dog while enjoying your saltine crackers. Backed Classic Wafer, made of natural ingredients and looks and taste like crackers, are beneficial for dogs.
These are prepared with a special nutritional supply of carbohydrates and proteins that are suitable for a dog’s meal. They are also suitable even for sensitive stomachs.
Wellness Natural Grain Free Dog Treats and Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Biscuits Dog Treats both are beneficial for your dog.
Both come in the form of biscuits. These are rich in fats, proteins, and carbohydrates according to the requirement of the dog’s appetite. Many more such formulations are available. So, don’t put the life of your friend doggy by sharing saltine crackers with them.
Saltine Crackers, even good for human health, are also safe for dogs if consumed in moderate quantity.
But in excess, it may cause salt poisoning as saltine crackers are rich in salts especially sodium, the total sodium content in the saltine crackers is about ten times more than the daily salt requirement of a dog.
So, the consumption of saltine crackers may lead to salt poisoning in a dog. There can be moderate to lethal manifestations of salt poisoning in dogs.
Moderate manifestations include excessive thirst, nausea, difficulty, breathing, and fast heart rate but the worsen situation may even lead to confusion, convulsion, coma, and eventually death if not treated promptly and properly.
All the manifestations are basically due to net dehydration of the body as a result of excess salt in the blood. Salt poisoning is an emergency and must be treated promptly and effectively, treatment is mainly symptomatic.
Apart from giving your doggy friend, saltine cracker, there a lot of other alternatives available, that are of the same shape but fit according to the dog’s need.
So, take special care of the dog’s health and diet, and avoid giving those things that are harmful to their life.