Can Dogs Eat Goldfish Crackers?

Don’t we all love goldfish crackers? They are the ideal type of snack – crunchy, delicious, and everything in between.

If your pooch is into snacks just like most others, chances are that they would love them as well, especially when having alone time with you, basking in the warmth of the summer highs.

But does being nice mean they are necessarily healthy for him or her?

image of goldfish crackers

In this article, we will be focusing our search lights on the constituents of dog crackers and answering the question can dogs eat goldfish crackers?

This article seeks to address what goldfish crackers are made of, what their ingredients are in what amounts, what makes them healthy or unhealthy for dogs and whether they should form an integral part of your pooch’s diet.

can dogs eat goldfish crackers?

Let’s cut to the chase. Goldfish crackers are not exactly healthy for dogs, and your dog is no exception to the rule. Most of its constituents can be detrimental to your pup’s health. In certain instances, it can cause severe allergies as well as threaten her welfare. 

But sometimes, we make mistakes that we regret, don’t we? Perhaps, you fall for your dog’s cuteness and pleading look far too often that you offer her some without considering the health implications. Or do you do so out of ignorance. Whichever the case, do not fret. Small amounts of goldfish crackers shouldn’t harm your pup.

They are only a threat when taken in excess. Therefore, you should exercise some caution as far as goldfish crackers are concerned. To help you understand the complexities of goldfish crackers, we will be having a look at some of their constituents.

Goldfish Crackers’ Ingredients 

On the surface, goldfish cracker ingredients are pure heaven. They have rich nutritional value and great taste. If so, what then makes goldfish crackers not ideal for dogs? Let’s examine these ingredients one after the other.

  • Salt 
  • Cheese 
  • Onion powder and garlic 
  • Artificial flavors 
  • Sugar 


It goes without saying that every dog food contains a considerable amount of salt. According to veterinary doctors, dogs need salt for their cells to function. The recommended amount for dogs is between 0.25g-1.5g per 100g of dog food. This means that salt isn’t entirely bad for your dog. What then makes it harmful to your dog?

Here’s the catch. Salt can be harmful when taken in very large amounts and goldfish crackers are extremely salt. When your dog takes too many goldfish crackers, crisps, pretzels, or any other chips that are salty, it can make him/her feel too thirsty. Dehydration and sodium ion poisoning are some of the results of gulping down very salty drinks or munching too many goldfish crackers. The end result, if not controlled, is death.

Some other symptoms dogs display after taking too much salt include diarrhea, vomiting, depression, high temperature, tremors, and seizures. When you detect any of these changes in your dog’s health, take him immediately to the vet for a proper check. 



I have seen quite a number of days under the sun. Some days, I have seen dogs take cheese and do fairly well. On other days, I’d see the other extreme of the spectrum – the dogs fall ill and quite quickly too. Why do these discrepancies happen? 

This is because some dogs, like humans, are allergic to certain ingredients or foods. While some dogs are allergic to cheese, some aren’t. This is known as “lactose intolerance.” Let’s have a surface look at why this happens. 

In school, you were taught that milk contains a lot of lactose, huh?And since cheese is traditionally a dairy product, it also contains sugar in lactose form. The digestive system makeup of dogs is what may make a dog more tolerant than the other. Not breed, not size and definitely not age.

You see, to digest dairy products like cheese, your dog needs to have a lactose-splitting enzyme called lactase. If she cannot produce enough of this lactase enzyme to digest lactose (milk sugar), she becomes lactose intolerant. However, what if your dog isn’t lactose intolerant? Does it mean the cheese present in goldfish crackers is safe to eat? Yes, it is but only if your dog takes it in moderate amounts.

The cheese constituent in goldfish crackers is small relative to salt. But since it is rich in fat, taking them in large amounts can lead to obesity.

Onion Powder and Garlic 

This pair is arguably the most toxic goldfish cracker constituent to your dog. Onion and garlic belong to the allium family,  a lethal take-in for dogs — believe me when I say, a lethal enemy.

Just like the name suggests, onion ‘powder’ is a dried form of onions and so, is a serious threat to your dog’s health. So also is garlic, in its raw, powdered or cooked form. In fact, a tablespoon of onion powder and one medium chopped onion is enough to cause your dog to be very sick, or in some cases, to die. 

Unfortunately, goldfish crackers contain a lot of onion powder and garlic that if taken in excess can stifle your dog’s red blood cells, leading to anaemia and breathing problems. Rather than ration how much you give your pup, why not completely take it out of her diet.

Artificial Flavors and Colors

Goldfish crackers weren’t developed with dogs in mind. Hence, they are not dog-friendly. That said, there are two main versions of them. While one should be completely kept out of your dog diet, the other may be okay for consumption. The two main types include:

  • The rainbow, an “artificial-colored” version of goldfish crackers. 
  • The Garden-Cheddar, a “veggie-infused” version of goldfish crackers. 

The artificial colored version contains lots of sweets, candies, and artificial flavors, none of which is healthy for your pup. These artificial flavors, when consumed in large quantities, stir up gastrointestinal problems in dogs. Do well to avoid them.


Just like humans, dogs can get addicted to sugar when they take a lot. Sadly, it isn’t something they should have in their diet in the first place. 

Sinec goldfish crackers are naturally very salty, lots of sugar are usually added to them to make them taste better. Your dog could see a significant spike in her blood sugar if she takes too much of them. Excess sugars can lead to obesity, and diabetes. 

So, I would advise you to avoid giving your dog goldfish crackers if you have been doing so before. If you are guilty of rewarding your dogs with goldfish crackers treats too, refrain from doing so as they give more negatives than positives 

Nutritional Value — Is it worth it? 

It is best to say that the problematic cost of your dog eating a goldfish cracker far outweighs the potential benefits. One reason is that goldfish crackers contain high amounts of carbohydrates. 

Are carbohydrates bad? Well, not all carbohydrates are bad for your dog. For example, the carbohydrate that comes from vegetables and fruits is acceptable for your dog. But goldfish crackers are made from carbohydrates that contain grains (wheat), which is dangerous and does not have any nutritional value.

Carbohydrates that come from grains can also be harmful to your dog’s digestive system and can even cause fluctuations in his or her energy levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my dog eats Goldfish crackers?  

While it is not advisable for he or she to eat them, taking it one or twice isn’t damning. It only is when it’s taken in excess.  However, if you notice signs like excessive vomiting, the goldfish crackers might have wrought some harm and you need to take your dog to a vet to get him/her checked. 

Can dogs eat goldfish food?  

Goldfish though traditionally designed as fish food isn’t harmful to dogs. In fact, fish foods are rich in protein and can be a substitute for dog food. But there needs to be a balance, as it is advisable you don’t feed your dog fish food. The high protein levels can cause problems for your dog. Although rare, some dogs are allergic to fish and may develop some allergy reactions. It is your job to know whether your dog has these allergies or not.

Can I give my dog a ritz cracker? 

Yes and no. Like goldfish crackers, ritz crackers are mostly composed of carbohydrates and salt. So, they can be harmful to your dog if taken in excess. 


That sums it up to whether dogs eat goldfish crackers, if they can and what to be aware of. Dogs eat near most human snacks, just be sure to be aware of salt toxicity, garlic powder, and any other harmful ingredients that can pose a threat to your dog’s diet.

Jerry Mathis

Jerry Mathis

Jerry M. Mathis is a freelance lifestyle writer, based in California, who writes at Dig Doggy. He has been writing about pet-oriented topics since 2012 and during her career, he has been the editor and contributor for Yahoo’s Canada Pets’ popular website. His most enjoyable activity is giving advice on how to give your animal friends a happy and comfortable life.

Learn More About Pet Care​

Raising a pup shouldn’t at all be hard. Check out some of these other helpful guides to help you become an even better pet parent! 

Jerry Mathis

Jerry Mathis

Jerry M. Mathis is a freelance lifestyle writer, based in California, who writes at Dig Doggy. He has been writing about pet-oriented topics since 2012 and during her career, he has been the editor and contributor for Yahoo’s Canada Pets’ popular website. His most enjoyable activity is giving advice on how to give your animal friends a happy and comfortable life.

About Dig Doggy

DigDoggy® is a free resource for dog owners, with everything from expert product reviews to trusted pet care advice.

All of our reviews and recommendations are based on unbiased research by our editorial team. Read more about us.

Recently Published Guides