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Graham crackers are slightly sweet flavored crackers that can be eaten on their own or used to make other tasty snacks like smores. Just like people love them, so do dogs. The question is can dogs eat graham crackers?
This article will answer whether graham crackers are safe for dogs to consume, the potential hazards of feeding your pooch too many graham crackers as well as tasty dog friendly alternative graham cracker recipe.
So, Can Dogs Eat Graham Crackers?
Technically, yes dogs can eat graham crackers. However, dogs shouldn’t be fed graham crackers regularly because the sugar, carb, and sodium content of this food is more than is safe for a dog to consume too often.
Benefits of Giving Your Dog Graham Crackers
Graham crackers provide very little nutritional value. Apart from the fiber derived from the graham flour, there’s not much else your pup can benefit from.
However, if your dog really likes these tasty crackers, you could use it as an extra special treat to reinforce good behavior on a limited basis.
How to Feed Graham Crackers to Your Dog
There’s no single right way to feed your dog graham crackers. The only thing you need to remember is to give it infrequently and in moderation.
Additionally, don’t give them an entire cracker at a time. Break off portions large enough for them to enjoy the crunch, but also small enough to minimize the risk of choking and to keep their portions in control.
Potential Hazards of Feeding Your Dog Graham Crackers
Although graham crackers aren’t toxic for dogs, it does still pose some health concerns. These include:
Potential weight gain
Graham crackers are packed with carbohydrates that can lead to rapid weight gain and even obesity. Overweight dogs are at higher risk of severe health conditions like heart disease, osteoarthritis, and various types of cancer.
Diabetes can be caused by overconsumption of simple sugars, which many graham cracker brands have a lot of in order to achieve the sweet, honey-like taste it is known for. Dogs that eat sugary foods too frequently are at higher risk of diabetes.
Some graham cracker recipes call for oil, shortening, lard, or a combination of the three. Although the fat content in small portions should not be enough to make your dog ill, you should avoid it if your dog is already prone to digestive issues and pancreatitis.
Some manufacturers make their graham crackers with baking soda. While baking soda in very small quantities is safe for dogs to consume, it contributes to their overall sodium intake.
Dogs that are on low-sodium diets to manage their hypertension, heart disease, or other health conditions should avoid graham crackers made with baking soda.
Graham flour, the main ingredient used to make graham crackers, is a type of whole wheat flour. If your dog has grain allergies and intolerances, it’s a good idea to skip this treat altogether and go for grain-alternatives.
What to Give Your Dog Instead of Graham Crackers
Since graham crackers don’t offer much in terms of nutritional value and could present some potential dangers to your dog’s health, consider making your own graham cracker alternative for your dog.
Here’s an easy enough graham cracker dog treat recipe you can follow with simple ingredients you probably already have at home:
Graham Cracker Alternative Dog Treat Recipe
This recipe might not be consistent with the graham cracker you’re used to, but the end result will look similar.
- In a mixing bowl, mash bananas and peanut butter together to make a creamy paste.
- Add in the flour and sugar, and fold continuously until there is a homogenous mixture.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes so it’s easier to roll.
- On a surface that is floured lightly, roll out your chilled dough to approximately 1/3 of an inch thick.
- With a cookie-cutter make small shapes or simply cut small squares with a knife.
- Please your cut-outs on a parchment-lined cookie tray.
- Use a fork to poke holes at the center of each one.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in an oven that’s preheated to 325°F.
- Once baked, leave them on a rack to cool completely before transferring them to a sealed container.
- If you don’t have any graham flour, whole wheat flour should be a suitable alternative.
- Double check the ingredients list of your peanut butter and make sure it doesn’t contain any xylitol. The best ones have only peanuts as the sole ingredient.
Although dogs can eat graham crackers because they are no toxic, it is essential to limit their intake because graham crackers don’t provide a nutritional benefit to a dog’s diet.
It is better to make an alternative like the recipe above, or provide high-quality dog treats that you can purchase if you don’t have time to make your own.