Can Dogs Eat Goldfish Crackers? Here Is An Answer!

Goldfish crackers are a favorite snack of many people. They’re fish-shaped cheese crackers that are both entertaining and delicious, and they make a wonderful treat for any occasion!

While people generally enjoy eating Goldfish crackers, what are the consequences if your dog eats them too? Are goldfish crackers safe for dogs?

can dogs eat goldfish cracker
Can Dogs Eat Goldfish Cracker?

No, Goldfish crackers are a great snack for humans—especially when you’re craving something salty, cheesy, and crunchy—but it’s safe to say that Goldfish crackers are not the safest or healthiest treat for your dog for several reasons. 

First, dogs do not require any of the nutrients found in these crackers. Second, they have a significant amount of salt in them, and this is a serious concern since too much salt can be detrimental to a dog’s health. This can result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and other symptoms.

Lastly, consuming a large amount of them may result in your dog acquiring pancreatitis, which can be fatal if left untreated.

The occasional cracker is generally alright for your canine companion, but don’t go overboard with feeding them to your pup. Most of the time, it’s the ingredients you’d never expect that can be harmful and even dangerous for your pup that can do the most damage. Most goldfish crackers contain onions, garlic, and way too much salt, which can all affect your furry friend’s wellness and health.

Read on to find out why you shouldn’t feed your dog goldfish crackers.

What are the ingredients in Goldfish crackers?

Let’s first have a look at the ingredients found in Goldfish crackers to get things started. The full list is quite lengthy, but we have narrowed it down to just a few main highlights. The most important ingredients worth noting are as follows:

  1. Salt
  2. Cheese
  3. Artificial flavors
  4. Garlic and onion powder
  5. Wheat


Salt is exceptionally hazardous to dogs, especially in high concentrations such as what is found in Goldfish crackers and other common snack foods made for people. Sharing salty food with your dog is not a good idea. It can make your dog seriously thirsty and lead to dehydration as well as sodium iron poisoning.

One of the most severe conditions your dog can get from too much sodium is hypernatremia. Your dog’s body may lose too much water and develop urinary problems or organ failure. Look out for symptoms like:

  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • High temperature
  • Disorientation
  • Swelling
  • Increased thirst

If your canine companion exhibits any of these symptoms, immediately transport your dog to the nearest veterinary hospital for treatment.


Cheese is usually safe for your dog to eat and can even be a great source of protein. However, you have to keep in mind that it’s a dairy product, and it may not sit well with your dog’s digestive system if they’re lactose intolerant. Cheese also contains fat, and that can be bad for your dog if they eat it regularly.

Remember, moderation is key in everything you feed your pup. White cheddar cheese and low-fat mozzarella are better than the cheaper and often high-salt gold and yellow cheeses.

Artificial flavors and colors

As what is mentioned above, these cheeses may also contain a vegetable dye called annatto.

Annatto can also be used for giving Goldfish crackers some of their artificial coloring and making them very yellow. However, this ingredient can cause seizures in some dogs, and that’s the last thing you’d expect from a seemingly harmless cracker.

Giving your dog any food or snacks with coloring or additives is not recommended. They don’t need them, and quite simply, your dog won’t care what color the food is because they can’t see color as we do. On a positive note, some companies now offer Goldfish crackers that are made entirely of natural coloring ingredients, so this is a step in the right direction.

Garlic and onion powder

When it comes to Goldfish crackers, you will need to be cautious about your dog ingesting any because—with every cracker—they are eating a large amount of garlic and onion powder, both of which are very detrimental to a canine’s health.

Your dog’s digestive system was never intended to handle the consumption of onions or garlic, both of which are toxic to canines. Every time dogs consume Goldfish crackers, they are infusing their bodies with these chemicals (sometimes without even realizing it), weakening their internal systems and generating a slew of issues simultaneously, according to the ASPCA.


Onions are toxic to your dog, and you have to keep them away from pups, whether they’re cooked, raw, powdered, or dehydrated. They can cause significant damage to a dog’s red blood cells, which can result in anemia. Because of the onion powder found in Goldfish crackers, your dog can become pale and anemic if they were to consume a large amount of them.

To become a significant issue, it only takes one hundred grams of a medium-sized onion per 40 lbs of your dog’s weight to have negative side effects surface in most cases.

You may be shocked to learn that the onion powder in Goldfish crackers is much more potent than what is found in raw onions, too! As a responsible pet parent, you have to stay vigilant because your dog will happily devour a bowl of unattended Goldfish crackers if given the chance.

Onion Poisoning Signs and Symptoms

If you believe that your dog has consumed an excessive amount of Goldfish crackers, which contain significant amounts of onion powder, look for the following signs:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Fainting
  • Decreased desire to eat
  • Blood in the urine
  • Elevated heart rate


While garlic enhances the crackers’ flavor, it is still a substance that is highly poisonous to dogs and should not be given to them for any reason. Even though garlic benefits us in various ways, dogs do not digest it in the same manner that humans do.

Garlic and onions both contain thiosulfate, and your dog cannot digest it. In your dog’s body, it can cause red blood cells to rupture, resulting in life-threatening hemolytic anemia.

It would take only 15 to 30 grams of garlic per kilogram of your dog’s weight to cause harm, and the potency of garlic powder is much higher than fresh garlic. Therefore, it has a higher likelihood of making your dog sick. Some dogs are also more sensitive to garlic than others, so it’s essential to know what kind of sensitivities your pup has.

Garlic Poisoning Signs and Symptoms
  • Lethargy
  • Jaundice
  • Weakness
  • Anorexia
  • Anemia
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Panting
  • Shallow breathing
  • Weakness

Garlic poisoning can hurt your dog’s digestive system as well. Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, a loss of appetite, and depression will also likely be experienced by some canines as a result of garlic powder poisoning.

To make matters worse, Goldfish crackers have a high concentration of these powders, making them very detrimental to your pet’s health and well-being. More than a handful of Goldfish crackers can be enough to cause problems for your dog, especially when you consider the potential of sodium ion overdose from the excessive salt as well.

Enriched Wheat Flour

Enriched wheat flour is the main ingredient in Goldfish crackers. While it’s not toxic for your dog, it’s not good for their nutritional health and wellness either.

The wheat flour used in these crackers is usually not 100% whole wheat. “Enriched flour” means that the natural nutrients have been stripped away. Other nutrients are typically added in place of those, including folic acid, niacin, and riboflavin.

Enriched wheat flour is classified as empty carbs because it will only increase your dog’s caloric intake without any nutritional benefits. This can result in weight gain. The more you feed your dog Goldfish crackers or other similar snacks, the higher the chances of them developing obesity or diabetes.

Additionally, snacks with enriched wheat flour will only briefly spike the blood sugar (blood glucose) levels in your dog. As a result, they’ll only be energetic for a short period before they crash as their energy levels decrease rapidly.

What Amount of Wheat is Sufficient?

Carbohydrates being included in a dog’s diet is a new and quite intriguing topic of much discussion. Even though carbs make up 35%-65% of the majority of commercial dog foods, various studies have demonstrated that dogs require just a small amount of carbohydrates in their optimal and ideal diet.

A large portion of the amino acids required by your dog can be synthesized from fat-soluble proteins. On the other hand, dogs are still omnivores (meaning they eat both meat and plants), and the carbs found in Goldfish crackers are unlikely to cause significant danger to their health in the short term.

However, consuming an excessive amount of refined wheat carbs—such as those contained in Goldfish crackers—will cause your dog to gain weight. When feeding processed food to your canine companion, exercise caution at all times. Whole wheat alternatives should be considered whenever feasible.

What is the best way to tell if my dog has consumed too many Goldfish crackers?

Indications that your dog has had far too many of these snacks will be presented in a variety of clinical signs. Some of the main signs that will be displayed by your dog after overeating Goldfish crackers are as follows:

Vomiting and diarrhea

A legitimate veterinarian should be called as soon as possible when your dog has vomiting and diarrhea happening in any amount (even a small amount) due to overeating Goldfish crackers.

These two digestive responses are clear indications that a dog’s food changes are not “doing well” with their internal organs and that something is wrong with your furry companion.

It is possible that—if the condition is left untreated for a lengthy period, and particularly if it is caused by excessive salt consumption—you may find yourself faced with organ failure that can be fatal for your pet.

Difficulty Walking

Another issue your pet may experience if they have had an excessive amount of Goldfish crackers is difficulty walking.

The high concentration of hazardous substances in human food snacks may cause your dog to get disoriented, have difficulties walking, and become confused.

That is a sure indicator that something is amiss in your pet and that you need to immediately seek veterinary treatment.

Excessive Panting

When it comes to canine health concerns, excessive or frequent panting is one of the most prevalent signs for which you need to watch. It is also one of the issues that may sneak up on your pup even if you are paying close attention to their respiration when you offer them these sorts of snacks (i.e., Goldfish crackers). It’s wise to keep up with any changes after consumption to be able to tell if the breathing changes correspond with a new snack or if those irregularities are just your dog’s usual odd behavior and mannerisms.

If your dog is panting hard for no apparent reason, the chances are high that they’ve consumed far too much salt as a result of the Goldfish crackers they ate, and you should bring them some fresh water as soon as possible. Be sure to contact your vet if they display worsening symptoms and also to check if your dog’s vet has any advice for how to best navigate the situation.

What do I do if my dog goes through the whole box of Goldfish crackers?

If your furry companion has consumed an excessive amount of Goldfish crackers, the first thing you should do is offer them plenty of water to flush the toxic chemicals from their system as fast as you possibly can. You’ll also want to look for any of the symptoms listed above.

If your canine pet exhibits any of the symptoms mentioned above, take him or her to the veterinarian immediately.

What do veterinarians do to resolve toxicity caused by Goldfish crackers?

Veterinarians may use numerous ways to ease the toxicity and accompanying symptoms of a dog eating too many Goldfish crackers. Your vet can use different treatments to stabilize your dog and help them recover depending on the type of toxicity your pup is presenting with.

  • They can flush your dog’s stomach or induce vomiting to remove the toxins.
  • Activated charcoal can be used to absorb any remaining toxins from your dog’s gut.
  • Intravenous fluids may also be given to help maintain proper hydration levels and flush your dog’s bloodstream.

Your dog will then be closely monitored to ensure that the body starts producing healthy red blood cells again. In severe cases of toxicity, it may be necessary to perform oxygen supplementation and a complete blood transfusion. You don’t have to worry about this if your dog only eats a few Goldfish crackers, but it may very easily be a problem if they eat an entire bag.

dog eating goldfish cracker
Dog eating goldfish cracker


What kinds of crackers are safe for dogs to eat?

Dogs can safely consume plain or unsalted crackers both in very small quantities and only on rare occasions. Avoid including any type of crackers in your pet’s food regularly since they are not nutritious and provide no health benefits to them whatsoever.

How many Goldfish crackers can my dog safely eat?

Your dog can safely eat only a few pieces of Goldfish crackers without any harm. However, Goldfish crackers are tiny and look appealing to any dog, so it wouldn’t be surprising if your pup eats more of them when you’re not aware.

Therefore, it’s safer to ensure your furry friend can’t reach the package at all. Keep your snacks stored in a closed cabinet or on top of your fridge where they can’t accidentally spill or be snatched down.

What is it about salt that causes dogs to become ill?

When left untreated, salt poisoning in dogs manifests as clinical indications such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, anorexia, lethargy, impaired walking, abnormal fluid accumulation inside the body, excessive thirst, urination, probable renal damage, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death.

Salt is not a mineral that dogs need in the amounts that we humans are used to consuming on an everyday basis, so it has a very significant negative effect on them when consumed.

Is it true that all human treats are dangerous to dogs?

Even though some treats are quite innocuous (unless your dog is allergic to them), many treats include substances that are detrimental to a canine’s health.

Furthermore, our canines must receive a well-balanced diet. It is usually advisable to feed dogs proper dog food so that they do not become overfed with unhealthy foods or ingredients like sweets or lactose.

Related Reading: Can Dogs Eat Persimmon Fruit?

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.