Can dogs eat pretzels? While a bite-sized amount isn’t likely to cause major health issues, you should avoid giving pretzels and any other salty snacks to your dog. Oktoberfest can be heaps of fun, but many Oktoberfest foods are carb-heavy and contain a large amount of salt.
Read on to learn what happens when dogs eat too much salt, as well as which Oktoberfest human foods to avoid sharing with your pooch.
Salty Foods That Are Bad for Dogs
You already know this one: pretzels. Can you share one from a bag of pretzel sticks? No. Soft pretzels or twisty hard pretzels? No and no. Pretzel bites with salted peanut butter inside? Super no.
If dog owners are hosting Oktoberfest, at least serve unsalted pretzels. This way, in case your dog’s dream comes true and someone does a party foul, it’s less dangerous to your dog’s health when he “cleans” it off the floor.
You might find a handful of salt-heavy human snacks at an Oktoberfest celebration. Be sure to keep the following away from your furry best friend:
- Sweet pretzels
- Sausages (including Bratwurst)
Breaded meats like chicken schnitzel are a no-no. The bread mixture may contain harmful ingredients like onion powder, garlic, and, of course, excess salt. The same goes for sausages.
Why sweet pretzels, though? Because there’s a chance those sugary pretzels contain the sweetener xylitol, a very toxic ingredient to dogs.
But, hey, what’s the wurst that can happen?
Salt poisoning, that’s what. At the end of the day, eating too many salty snacks is bad for dogs.
According to DVM Larry Thompson of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, symptoms of too much salt include:
- excessive thirst
Also known as sodium ion intoxication, these symptoms can occur within hours of ingestion.
Holy schnitzel! My dog ate a salted pretzel! What do I do?
First of all, don’t panic. If it was just a bite, Fido should be fine–just keep a close eye on him and watch for any unusual signs.
If your dog ate a large number of hard pretzels or an entire salted soft pretzel, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Call the Pet Poison Helpline immediately at 855-764-7661.
In general, more than 1.5 grams of salt per pound of body weight is the amount of salt that can be lethal to dogs.
Safe Oktoberfest Food for Dogs
Believe it or not, there is a surprisingly healthy snack that won’t wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system as long as it’s given in small amounts: sauerkraut.
Unseasoned sauerkraut is safe for dogs to eat and gentle on your dog’s stomach. In fact, sauerkraut comes with a number of health benefits for your furry friend.
Saurkraut is a great source of iron, probiotics, vitamin A, carotene, and vitamin C. The nutritional value of this people food helps support the immune system, skin and coat health, and gut health.
Sauerkraut is high in sodium, so dog lovers need to be cautious. If your dog has kidney problems or heart disease, do not give them sauerkraut. Always talk to a vet before introducing new foods to your pup.
Dog food is for dogs. Human food is for humans.
Maybe your pup is used to getting whatever he wants. If that’s the case, you’ve got a brat on your hands (pun intended).
Stop encouraging their begging behavior by giving them table scraps. More importantly, if you aren’t sure if a certain snack food is safe for dogs to eat, just let it be. Instead, keep dog treats on hand like freeze-dried beef so they can feel included in the festivities.
Another good idea that will keep your pup occupied and away from the salty people food is to give them a dog puzzle game. This way he can satiate his appetite for tasty treats while keeping himself entertained.
And this should go without saying, but leave the keep the carbohydrate-heavy beers to yourself.
Have a safe and enjoyable Oktoberfest. Prost!
If you think your dog or cat has been poisoned by salt, call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.