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Can Dogs Eat Pretzels? | Are Pretzels Bad for Dogs?

can dogs eat pretzels

Sticks, twists, rods, soft, sourdough, dipped in cheese, or dipped in mustard, there’s a pretzel for everyone!  Pretzels of all varieties are a common household snack.  Like most foods that we eat on a regular basis, we consider giving our pup a bite.  First we must ask, can dogs eat pretzels?  Or are pretzels bad for dogs?  Read on to find out!

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Can Dogs Eat Pretzels? (The Short Answer)

Pretzels are not toxic to dogs, but they’re not recommended as being a healthy snack for dogs either.  Like a lot of foods that humans munch on for snacks, there is little to no nutritional value in them—this makes them an unideal option for dogs.  Of all the salty snacks we love, pretzels may be one of the better ones for dogs.  If you can find a salt-free pretzel, that is by far the best choice.  Some concerns with pretzels are that they have high salt content, high carbs, and little nutritional value.  A few pretzels shouldn’t cause any serious problems, but it’s not particularly recommended.

It’s important to remember, that even with the best of intentions, accidents happen and dogs can easily eat things they shouldn’t.  Unfortunately, even if those accidents aren’t fatal, they can result in huge, unexpected veterinary expenses.  That’s why we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.

Are Pretzels Good For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat pretzels?” Now, let’s learn about the benefits of feeding your dog this food! Are pretzels good for dogs?

Pretzels don’t have many health benefits for your pup.  Essentially, pretzels are just bread that is generally coated with salt.  Pretzels are a popular snack amongst humans, but they aren’t considered beneficial. 

Salt-free pretzels are by far the best option if you want to give your dog the occasional pretzel.  Too much salt can cause serious kidney and neurological damage, which is avoided with the salt-free option.  These should only be given in moderation, and not more than one or two should be given at a time. 

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Are Pretzels Bad for Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat pretzels?” Now, let’s learn about the dangers of feeding your dog this food! Are pretzels bad for dogs?

Pretzels aren’t necessarily “bad” for dogs, but they’re definitely not recommended either.  They’re more or less just unnecessary added calories, that don’t provide anything that their dog food doesn’t already give them.  Additionally, the added salt can be dangerous for dogs. 

Similarly to humans, dogs can also have a wheat allergy or intolerance.  If this is the case with your dog, you should avoid giving them any pretzels as they’re made of flour, and is likely to trigger an allergic reaction or intense digestive upset. 

In one serving of hard pretzels, there are a little over 100 calories.  This isn’t a ton, but when given too many or too frequently it can really add up.  Human snack foods are highly attributed to weight gain in dogs, which is why it should be kept to a minimum. 

Humans tend to like pretzels because they satisfy their craving for salt.  Dogs require significantly less salt than humans do.  Too much salt can, in fact, be rather dangerous.  It can cause damage to the kidneys, the brain, and cause salt poisoning. 

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Other Varieties & Related Foods:

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter Pretzels? / Can Dogs Eat Pretzels with Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter pretzels may not be the best choice.  It’s important to look at the ingredients in this product, as the peanut butter included may have xylitol in it—a lethal ingredient to our pups.  The best option here, would be to take an unsalted pretzel and dab a small amount of peanut butter on it that does not contain xylitol.  Almond butter is also a good alternative to peanut butter!

Can Dogs Eat Soft Pretzels?

Soft pretzels are significantly more unhealthy than hard pretzels.  Soft pretzels contain more calories (about 200), more fat, and more carbohydrates than hard pretzels.  It’s probably best to steer clear of these. 

Can Dogs Eat Hard Pretzels?

Hard pretzels are not the best choice of treats to give your pup.  Although a few shouldn’t cause any serious problems, they don’t provide any health benefits, but do provide added calories and salt. 

Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Pretzels?

No, you probably shouldn’t give your pup cinnamon pretzels. Most cinnamon pretzels are soft pretzels, which are significantly more unhealthy than hard pretzels.  Cinnamon itself is safe for our four-legged friends in small quantities, but on pretzels its often mixed with added sugars which makes them significantly more unhealthy.  Some alternative ways to give your dog a cinnamon flavor include putting it on applesauce or oatmeal.

Are Unsalted Pretzels Safe for Your Pup?

Unsalted pretzels may be the best choice for your pup if you insist on giving them any pretzels. This eliminates the high sodium content that is one of the bigger issues with pretzels. That being said, you should only give them a couple, as too many can add too many additional calories that are unnecessary. 

Are Pretzel Chips Safe for Your Pup?

No, pretzel chips aren’t the best option for your four-legged friend either.  Similarly to pretzels, they contain enriched flour, added sugar, and added salt.  This makes them not one of the healthiest options.  If you drop a pretzel chip and your dog licks it up, you shouldn’t panic, as that small amount is unlikely to cause harm. 

Can Dogs Eat Yogurt Covered Pretzels? / Can Dogs Eat Yogurt Pretzels?

No, you should avoid giving your dog yogurt covered pretzels.  Store-bought yogurt covered pretzels contain a lot of added sugar and sometimes artificial sweeteners.  These can include xylitol, a potentially toxic substance for dogs to ingest.  There are some homemade recipes for yogurt covered pretzels.  However, on average, these use around 5 cups of powdered sugar! 

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Have Pretzels?

Overall, pretzels aren’t the best option of snacks to give your dog, but they’re not toxic in small quantities either.  The main issue with pretzels is that they’re high in salt and they have little nutritional value.  This makes the calories not quite worth it.  However, a few pretzels should not cause serious harm either.

Want to Learn More?

Check out these related articles from our “Read Before You Feed” series for more advice on safe foods for dogs!

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and this article should not be taken as medical or veterinary advice.  If you have any questions about your pet’s health or dietary needs, please contact your local veterinarian.