Because of their whole wheat reputation and their compatibility with other healthy spreads like peanut butter and hummus, wheat thins are a go-to cracker for many of us when we’re in need of a nutritious snack.
You, the dog owner, may have pondered the question of whether or not wheat thins are appropriate for canine consumption.
Can Dogs Eat Wheat Thins?
If you want a short answer, then yes. While dogs won’t die from eating wheat thins, the long-term effects on their health aren’t good.
While it’s probably fine to give your dog a few crackers occasionally, making them a regular treat could be harmful to their health.
Nutrition Information for Original Wheat Thins:
About 16 pieces make up a serving.
22% of daily recommended intake of carbohydrates
4 grams of sugars
Total dietary fiber content, 3 grams
Condensed to 1 g
One gram of monounsaturated fats
The 2g Protein
Total Sodium 230mg
Potential Health Concerns
Wheat thins may not be the healthiest option for your dog, but before we get into why, let’s break down what’s in them.
Whole wheat flour, sugar, soybean oil, salt, leavening, baking powder, refining syrup, malt syrup, and vegetable color are typical wheat thin ingredients.
One of the main ingredients to watch out for when feeding your dog wheat thins is salt/sodium.
Wheat thins are often salted or seasoned with sodium to improve their flavor. Wheat thin packages typically list the total amount of sodium or salt present in the product.
The sodium and salt levels are considered humane, but they are harmful to your dog.
In comparison to humans, dogs have a much lower salt tolerance. As a result, if dogs eat too much salt or sodium, they risk developing hypernatremia, which is characterized by high blood pressure, an electrolyte imbalance, and the death of nerve and muscle tissue.
Since this is the case, it is critical that you never feed your dog a brand that contains added sodium. Dogs suffering from salt poisoning may exhibit any number of symptoms, including retching, loose stools, tremors, convulsions, and even death.
Wheat, the primary ingredient in wheat thins, is also a cause for concern. Some dog owners, seeing wheat in the cracks, automatically assume that their canine companions shouldn’t eat them. Certain canine breeds are wheat-sensitive.
While the causes and mechanisms of antibody response are largely unknown, it is known to occur in some dogs and potentially cause significant distress.
Dogs with a wheat allergy often experience itchy skin, hair loss, skin infections, and chronic ear infections. These allergies pose a serious health risk and even cause death if they go untreated.
Wheat thins and other savory processed foods typically contain sugar. However, sugar isn’t an appropriate addition to a dog’s healthy diet.
Diabetes, obesity, blood sugar imbalances, and even behavioral changes have all been linked to sugar consumption in dogs.
Many experts believe that sugar is addictive for dogs and is the primary cause of canine obesity.
Synthetic Vitamins and Minerals
However, as you can see from the list of ingredients above, wheat thins also contain enriched flour, cornstarch, soybean oil, and artificial colorings, despite the fact that whole wheat grains are commonly cited as the main ingredient.
All of these ingredients contribute very little to your dog’s health due to their low nutritional value. That’s right; even whole wheat flour without any added bleach or vitamins is nutritionally deficient.
Although these flours have added vitamins and minerals, the germ and bran that make them so nutritious have been removed.
Also, these fortified vitamins are frequently depleted in the processing stages and only added back in synthetic form, which is much inferior to the natural vitamins and minerals present in pure wheat.
High Carbohydrate Levels
Your dog will get a lot of extra carbs from the wheat thin ingredients. You already know that most carbohydrates are poorly tolerated by canine digestive systems.
Now, it’s true that dogs can benefit from eating some carbohydrates, specifically those found in vegetables and fruits. Those from grains and sweeteners, on the other hand, may be linked to a variety of health problems.
To begin, if your dog consumes an excessive amount of these carbohydrates, his body will convert them into glucose, which has been linked to obesity.
Your dog’s energy levels may fluctuate due to these carbohydrates, making him or her tired all day long.
Artificial Preservatives and Colorings
And finally, no one, not even the producer, benefits from the use of artificial preservatives and colorings. Nothing good can come from eating them, not even for your dog. Many dogs have developed cancer after being exposed to preservatives.
Side Effects of Dogs Eating Wheat Thins
Wheat thins provide virtually no nutritional value for dogs, as can be seen from the table above. The most serious issue is that wheat thins have 230 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Dogs should get 100 milligrams of sodium for every 13 and a half kilograms (28 and a half pounds).
So, for a medium-sized dog, just one serving of wheat thins contains more than twice the recommended daily amount of sodium. Pets can experience a wide range of health problems after consuming excessive amounts of salt.
Dogs will gain weight if they eat a lot of wheat thins because they contain a lot of sugar, fat, and salt.
Long-term effects on health are serious, including increased risk of arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
A dog’s lifespan is reduced by at least 6-12 months due to obesity. Dogs need their owners to keep their weight at a healthy level.
Wheat is not only nutritionally worthless, but it also causes allergies in some dogs. Allergies to the wheat and grain in wheat thins have been reported in dogs.
Your dog’s skin and coat will become unhealthy as a result of this.
Itching, biting, redness, and bleeding are common signs of wheat allergy in dogs.
The more dogs eat human food, the less they eat their kibble or proper dog food.
You should not make it a habit of giving your dog wheat thins as a treat.
Some dogs develop a reliance on their owners to the point where they refuse to eat regular dog food. Feeding your dog a regular diet of wheat thins is not recommended.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Consumed a Lot of Wheat Thins
Do your best to remain calm and watch your dog closely for the next few hours if he or she has accidentally eaten wheat thins.
He should be fine unless he has a wheat allergy or is sensitive to any of the ingredients listed.
The high fiber content of wheat thins, however, makes them a poor choice for your dog.
If this happens, refrain from feeding or watering him for 8-12 hours to give his digestive system a break. Consider feeding him a bland diet of rice and chicken after 12 hours.
You should take your dog to the vet if the wheat thin was spread with a dip like ranch, guacamole, nut butter, or hummus, as these condiments often include ingredients like garlic and xylitol, which are highly toxic to dogs.
Your veterinarian can help you determine if there are any toxicity risks and how to handle your dog in the event of a reaction, even if the wheat thin wasn’t smeared with these dips.
Can dogs eat wheat crackers?
If your dog does not have a wheat or grain allergy, then you can feed him wheat crackers. But remember that wheat crackers aren’t the healthiest snack option for your dog.
The problem is primarily caused by the high levels of salt typically found in wheat crackers. Because of its unique flavor, salt is primarily considered a human food.
Sodium is processed and absorbed by humans in a more efficient and effective manner than it is by dogs. Remember that a dog weighing 30 pounds (13.61 kg) should get no more than 100 milligrams of sodium per day.
To avoid an emergency vet visit, make sure your dog is not allergic to wheat or grain before feeding them wheat crackers.
Healthier Alternatives to Wheat Thins For Dogs
If your dog has developed a taste for wheat thins (likely after sampling one), you may want to consider baking him some treats made with more nutritious ingredients like rolled oats, natural peanut butter, and pureed pumpkin.
In this way, you can make your own wheat thin snack with complete control over the ingredients.
Instead, you could get your dog some dog biscuits or treats. I guarantee that your dog will enjoy these more than you do.
Pick treats that are gentle on your dog’s stomach while also cleaning their teeth and freshening their breath. The top choices are as follows: There are a number of safe dental chews for dogs with stomach sensitivities.
Given that they don’t have a wheat or grain allergy, dogs can safely eat wheat thins and other wheat crackers in moderation.
Overfeeding your dog on wheat thins can lead to weight gain and other serious health problems because of the high sodium content of these crackers.
Dog treats, kibble, and even fruit like apples are all preferable options to giving your dog table scraps.