Can Dogs Eat Pretzels? 6 Facts To Know

Snacks that you feel slightly guilty about eating, like small, hard, salted pretzels, or the larger, more traditionally American soft baked, flavored pretzels, are always popular.

Dogs will always be interested in whatever we are trying to eat and enjoy.

Additionally, our devoted pets have a charming way of appearing hungry and innocent in an effort to steal some of our food.

Consequently, you may be curious as to whether or not dogs can eat pretzels. Please, help us investigate this further.

Are Pretzels Safe for Dogs?

As long as they don’t contain any poisonous materials, pretzels are fine for dogs to eat.

The artificial sweetener xylitol is the most crucial component to look out for. Even though this potentially dangerous ingredient is most often hidden beneath layers of fudge or yogurt on pretzels, you should still be on the lookout for it in plain pretzels.

Avoid giving it to your dog under any circumstances; even a small amount can be fatal.

Providing they are xylitol-free, your dog can enjoy one or two pretzels without any ill effects. However, we don’t advise making a habit of feeding your dog salty human snacks.

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Are Pretzels Good For Dogs?

Short version: yes, dogs can eat pretzels, but you probably shouldn’t let them. Long version: it’s complicated.

Although it may seem harmless to their human owners, dogs will benefit little from this treat, aside from the flavor and texture it provides.

The digestive systems of dogs and humans are very different.

It’s easy to forget that dogs have limited digestive systems and dietary preferences because we welcome them into our homes and families with such open arms.

The good news is that dogs can safely eat pretzels unless they have been flavored with garlic, onions, nutmeg, or chocolate.

The less salt and fat a pretzel has, the better it is for your dog, but this is more because it reduces the health risks associated with them than because it adds any meaningful nutritional value.

The salt content found within and often coating pretzels is the main reason why many people advise against feeding them to dogs, especially in large quantities.

We add salt to our food because we believe it improves its flavor, but this practice is universally detested and thus relegates many of the foods we eat to the canine diet.

Foods that are naturally occurring, as opposed to those that have been processed, baked, or otherwise manufactured, are preferable for your dog.

However, providing it doesn’t contain any of the toxic flavors or ingredients we discussed, giving your dog a small hard-baked pretzel isn’t going to do any harm.

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If you’re looking for regular reward snacks or incentives for good behavior, however, it’s best to avoid pretzels and think of something more wholesome as treats for your dog.

Even if your dog has a soft spot for pretzels, giving them to him in this form as treats is probably going too far.

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Nutritional Value of Pretzels

Dogs can’t benefit nutritionally from pretzels, and they may even be harmful.

Glucose levels can increase because pretzels are primarily composed of complex carbohydrates, which aren’t required in your dog’s diet. Your dog needs to get the carbs they need from their regular diet, but a small amount is fine.

Second, the salt content of pretzels tends to be fairly high. Like humans, dogs require sodium for cellular function, though they have much lower sodium requirements. Dogs shouldn’t eat pretzels because of the high sodium content, which can lead to water intoxication.

Saturated fats found in some pretzels are linked to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and even premature death.

Dangers of Pretzels for Dogs

Whether you buy large, soft-baked pretzels or smaller, hard-baked pretzels in snack bags, there are a number of flavorings that can be harmful to your dog.

After all, these are treats created for human consumption, and there’s usually not much reason to feed them to your dog.

Furthermore, many of the ingredients used to make pretzels can be harmful to your dog’s health, if not outright toxic.

But salt is the main culprit that discourages dog owners from feeding their dog pretzels on a regular basis.

The amount of salt that a dog can eat depends on many factors, including the dog’s size, breed, age, and history of eating salty food.

Some dogs immediately vomit after eating anything salty, while others will eat anything with no apparent ill effects.

Excessive sodium and salt in a dog’s diet can disrupt the natural hydration process and lead to serious health problems.

Just the salt from one or two hard-baked pretzels given to your dog as a reward for good behavior and accompanied by a ruffle behind the ears can leave him or her panting for water for hours.

However, things deteriorate further. You should be aware of the dangers of sodium poisoning in your dog if you allow them access to large quantities of pretzels or if they become a regular part of their diet.

This happens when your dog’s body has too much salt and, consequently, is too dehydrated to process the water it consumes.

Because of the high sodium levels in the blood, your dog’s body will try to get rid of the water it contains.

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If your pet is already dehydrated from too much salt, then having them go to the bathroom too frequently could be disastrous. This could lead to long-term health issues, including neurological damage.

Unfortunately, this is because your dog lacks the physiological mechanisms required to process salt and combat its negative effects.

Keep in mind that it’s not just the pretzels; the long-term consumption of any salty food is likely to have a negative impact on your dog’s ability to perform basic tasks.

How Many Pretzels Can a Dog Eat Daily?

Assuming you’re referring to miniature, hard-baked pretzels, which are convenient for doling out as treats, it’s best to limit your pet’s intake to no more than one per day. If your pet is a puppy or a small breed of dog, this limit should be lowered even further.

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It should go without saying that you shouldn’t regularly feed pretzels to your dog, even if you bake them yourself and pay close attention to what goes into them.

Remember that these treats are high in carbohydrates, which can cause a buildup in your dog’s system that is just as unhealthy in the long run as salt.

Carbohydrates are difficult for dogs to digest, so they store a lot of it as fat, which can have a negative impact on their health in the long run.

Weight gain in dogs is associated with a host of health problems, including diabetes, as one might expect.

Be sure to offer your dog plenty of fresh water after he or she has eaten pretzels, especially if it is the first time your dog has ever had them.

When introducing your pet to new foods, it’s important to have all the supplies they’ll need on hand in case they become upset or confused.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Pretzels

There are a number of ways in which your dog could accidentally consume pretzels without your knowledge or consent, such as if a large bag of snacks were to spill onto the kitchen floor or if a well-meaning relative were to hand over a large soft-baked treat to your dog at the family picnic.

Only if those pretzels are flavored with onions and garlic, or if they are of the novelty chocolate variety, is this a true emergency.

Get in touch with your vet and ask for guidance in these tough spots.

It’s possible you’ll be asked to bring Fido in for an examination or treatment, or told to keep an eye out for symptoms.

You should do this in any case, but especially if your dog, puppy, or small breed of dog has consumed a large quantity of pretzels.

That’s because the salt in that bag of pretzels can have some pretty nasty consequences if you eat them all at once.

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In addition to obvious symptoms like vomiting and abdominal pain, your dog may also exhibit other symptoms such as an enlarged tongue, an overwhelming desire to drink, and a general sense of disorientation and sickness.

If any of these signs persist, it’s time to call the vet; just remember that it could be a few days before Fido is back to normal.

It’s also possible that your dog is perfectly healthy; just don’t make your pet’s pretzel theft a regular occurrence.


Now that we know pretzels are bad for dogs, how many will actually hurt your pet if they eat them? Suppose they instead receive a flavored or chocolate-covered pretzel.

Will one pretzel hurt my dog?

A single pretzel will not poison your dog in any way. It’s perfectly safe to give your dog one, two, or even three pretzels. As long as it doesn’t have any extras like chocolate or xylitol, an occasional pretzel is fine.

Can dogs eat pretzels with salt?

And they really shouldn’t. Pretzels with added salt contain far more sodium than is healthy for your dog. The occasional treat of a salted food won’t hurt your dog, but you shouldn’t make it a regular part of your dog’s diet.

Can dogs eat pretzels with peanut butter?

Maybe.  Peanut butter pretzels, like regular pretzels, have a lot of sodium and aren’t great for your dog. Unless, of course, they contain xylitol, which has been shown to be toxic, they should be safe.

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Some brands of peanut butter use xylitol, also known as birch sugar, as a sugar substitute in their products.

Xylitol is extremely dangerous for dogs and has even been known to cause death in some cases. Make sure you carefully read the packaging of your peanut butter pretzels to see if it contains this poison.

Can dogs eat soft pretzels?

True, but they really shouldn’t. The only real difference between hard and soft pretzels is in the baking time and the ingredients used to make them. As they are high in both sodium and carbohydrates, they are not a healthy option for your dog. A small amount won’t harm your dog, though.

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Can dogs eat pretzel chips?

Certainly, but they really shouldn’t. Pretzel chips are bad for dogs for the same reasons regular pretzels are bad for them: they contain too much salt and sugar.

Can dogs eat sourdough pretzels?

And they really shouldn’t. One or two sourdough pretzels probably won’t kill your dog, but they’re not exactly the healthiest treat.

Can dogs eat white fudge-covered pretzels?

No!  White fudge-covered pretzels are typically high in added sugars and artificial sweeteners like xylitol, both of which are unhealthy for your dog.

Can dogs eat yogurt-covered pretzels?

No!  Your dog could get very sick if you fed them any of the many yogurt-covered pretzel recipes out there because many of them contain xylitol.

Can dogs eat gluten-free pretzels?

Maybe.  Before feeding your dog any pretzels, read the label to make sure they don’t contain any ingredients it should avoid. Even though feeding your dog one or two gluten-free pretzels is probably safe, it is still not a good idea.

Can dogs eat honey mustard pretzels?

No!  Honey mustard pretzels are dangerous for dogs because they contain ground garlic, onion, and other spices in addition to the toxic mustard.

Can dogs eat pretzel Goldfish?

And they really shouldn’t. Because of their high salt and carb content, Goldfish pretzel crackers are not a good treat for your dog.

Can dogs eat pretzels without salt?

And they really shouldn’t. However, just because unsalted pretzels may be slightly better for dogs than salted ones does not mean you should give them to your dog.

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Avoid giving your dog pretzels and instead opt for dog treats that have been made for their specific dietary requirements.

Final Thoughts

In most cases, pretzels are safe for dogs to eat; they won’t harm your dog if given in moderation, but they also won’t benefit it nutritionally.

However, the most significant danger to your dog comes from the additives used to flavor pretzels of all sizes.

Examples of these dangers range from extremely toxic, like a coating of garlic dust or onion powder, to less severe, but still unpleasant, issues that can arise from salt.

The symptoms of thirst and general unease are far less obvious unless you know what to look for, making this a surprisingly stealthy culprit.

This is why vets and experts advise against giving your dog pretzels as a treat, though it’s not the end of the world if your dog sneaks one.

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