Sweet foods are not only desired and loved by humans but also by animals, especially dogs. One of the most popular and consumed foods of this type is Graham crackers.
But can dogs eat Graham crackers? There is no problem with a dog consuming Graham crackers. The problem arises when it’s owner feeds them with a large number of cookies.
But let’s first take a look at what Graham crackers are exactly, what they are made of, and what are their benefits or disadvantages.
What are Graham Crackers?
It is a delicious snack made from Graham flour and sugar to give it a sweet flavor. In general, it can have a honey or cinnamon flavor depending on how it was made. The ingredients used to make these kinds of cookies make it carbohydrate-rich.
The most common ingredients used to make these crackers are:
- Graham flour
Can Graham Crackers Negatively Affect Dogs?
These cookies are very delicious and are regularly consumed by families, especially children. Such families may have dogs in their homes, and children, due to their innocence, may overfeed their pets with these crackers.
Graham crackers in excess can be detrimental to the health of not only the dog but also people due to its high amount of carbohydrates. Typically, conventional dog foods are already made with a minimum amount of sugar essential for their body.
If we are not careful, our dog’s health can be affected due to the high content of carbohydrates, sugars, and sodium. Carbohydrates come mostly from wheat and sugar. Humans could carry a high amount of carbs (without exaggeration), but it is dangerous for dogs since they need to maintain a solid energy level during the day.
Our dog can eat Graham crackers but applying strict control over the amount of them that the dog can consume.
- READ MORE: CAN DOGS EAT CARROT CAKE?
How Does the Dog’s Body Act When Ingesting Graham Crackers?
Dogs need the energy necessary to be active during the day. These types of animals need to constantly consume fats, vitamins, carbohydrates, sugars, starches, cereals, glucose, cellulose and more.
So, why is excess carbohydrate in the dog’s body negative? The answer is straightforward. Although we have said that carbohydrates are essential to maintain stable energy in the dog’s body, that does not mean that they must consume large amounts of them.
It has been previously commented that the excess of these biomolecules composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen can affect the health of the pet. Its organism carries out a process of digestion to transform digested food and absorb it to be used by cells. The carbohydrates from the graham cracker ingredients, as they go through this process, are converted into sugars.
These animals have a shorter intestine than humans, so they cannot metabolize vitamins or sugars quickly. That can be very dangerous due to the large number of sugars generated. Their accumulation in the body can cause diseases or problems in the blood and circulatory system.
How Can Excess Graham Crackers Affect Dogs?
People love Graham crackers, and surely dogs love it too. We would love to give our pets everything they like, but it is inevitable to have to control the amount of food they eat. As we have already seen, large doses of this type of crackers can negatively influence the physical and mental health of our dogs due to the high content of sugars and carbohydrates.
Excessive consumption of Graham crackers can cause:
- Diabetes: It is produced due to the high amount of sugars generated during the digestive process. This disease can occur even if the pet consumes little amounts of sugar.
- Obesity: This is one of the most common factors. Increasing the bodyweight of dogs is one of the most pressing problems since it can affect their physical condition (muscles and joints) and also cause problems in the respiratory system. Those circumstances can generate more significant problems causing the death of the animal. The increase in weight is due to the high content of carbohydrates and calories contained in sugars.
- Problems in the respiratory system and blood: Excess sugar can cause alterations in the animal’s circulatory system causing damage to its heart.
- Damage to the nervous and digestive systems: Previously, we commented that the intestine of dogs is tiny as it metabolizes sugars quickly. Therefore, the high production of digestive enzymes causes an overstrain in the digestive system, affecting the bowel and stomach, causing gastritis or ulcers.
- Dental problems: The dog’s organism has similarities to that of a human being. The high amount of sugars affect the teeth in the same way, causing cavities, bad breath, loss of teeth or accumulation of bacteria. Similarly, the gum tissues can be affected. Sometimes, excessive consumption of this type of cookie can generate diseases in the area of the teeth.
- Pancreatitis: High consumption of sugars from Graham crackers can cause the pancreas to perform additional functions. That is, it will excessively produce digestive enzymes to metabolize glucose. That means that the pancreas will have to make an extra effort, and in the end, it will end up inflamed and generating affections.
- Allergy: Graham crackers are made from ingredients that can cause allergies to specific people. Dogs are no exception. Elements like wheat or cinnamon can be the source of allergies in dogs. This condition would cause diarrhea or itchy skin.
- Poisoning: This is the least likely situation, but it is also possible. This extreme case can cause death by consuming large amounts of sweets.
Can Dogs Eat Honey Graham Crackers?
Honey Graham crackers are quite popular due to the quite delicious flavor the honey adds to the crackers, but can dogs eat honey Graham crackers? Honey consists of natural sugars and small amounts of vitamins and minerals, and is perfectly safe for dogs to consume, and that also includes honey Graham crackers.
As long as you only give your dog these Graham crackers in moderate amounts, there shouldn’t be any issues what so ever.
Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Graham Crackers?
According to the ASPCA, cinnamon is non-toxic to most animals, including dogs, so giving your dog cinnamon Graham crackers won’t be any larger issue than a regular Graham cracker.
But just as with regular Graham crackers, make sure to only give it in moderate amounts, and it certainly shouldn’t be a substantial part of any dogs’ diet.
Healthy Alternatives to Graham Crackers
Graham crackers are a perfect gift to reward a dog from time to time. But several alternatives can be used to avoid giving our dogs excess cookies.
Dogs require different amounts of sodium, sugars, and carbohydrates than we do. There are other treats that are healthier to meet the needs of the pet:
- Fruits: They are perfect for the health of dogs thanks to their high content of vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other minerals. Some fruits that these animals can consume are apple, peach, pear, banana, pineapple, papaya, mango, loquat, strawberries, coconut, melon, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries, and oranges.
- Homemade desserts: You can make desserts or cookies using a few healthy ingredients.
Graham crackers are not bad for dogs. Simply, as owners, we must make sure to control the number of cookies we give them to avoid any of the problems mentioned above.
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