Are Pretzels Safe to Feed Your Dog? What Vets Say

We as humans may love all kinds of sweet, salty, and savory snacks without regard to our health. But our dogs have different dietary needs.

Kori Williams - Author

Mar. 25 2024, Published 10:03 a.m. ET

A Labradoodle puppy outside eating from a bowl.
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When it's time for you to unwind for the night, you might reach for your favorite salty snack. For many, a bowl of pretzels alongside their favorite show and their pup is the best way to end the day. Although you love snuggling up and sharing your couch with your four-legged bestie, that doesn't mean you should share your comfort foods.

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Although pups love when we share our food with them, we can't share everything. So, can dogs eat pretzels or can this snack be harmful to them in some way? Of course, you'll always want to check with your vet before introducing any changes to your dog's diet, but read on for the basics on feeding your dog foods like pretzels and bread.

A close up of salted, soft, homemade pretzels.
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Can dogs eat pretzels?

According to The Dodo, on occasion, dogs can eat pretzels. If you give them one at a time and make sure it isn't flavored, a pretzel won't be harmful to your pup. However, pretzels aren't a good choice overall since they don't have any nutritional value, and in general, they should be avoided.

In an interview with The Dodo, veterinarian Dr. Alex Schechter said that pretzels contain too much salt, additives, and carbs to be a safe option. Feeding them to your dog can lead to several health conditions, including dehydration.

"Also, it can cause heart disease or kidney failure in dogs,” Dr. Schechter said. “Besides, if your pet consumes a massive amount of pretzels, it also may lead to salt poisoning."

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A brown dog looking up in font of a brown, empty bowl.
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If you feed your dog flavored pretzels, the health concerns could be much worse. Not only can they upset your dog's stomach, but some artificial sweeteners can be toxic to dogs. They can also cause your pup to gain an unhealthy amount of weight. If you're looking for a special treat for your pup, consider fruits like raspberries or pineapple pieces.

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Can dogs eat bread?

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can eat bread. But just like with pretzels, it's only something they should have in moderation. The publication points out specifically that white and wheat bread are safe as long as your pup doesn't have any allergies to things like gluten.

Plus, Dr. Laura Robinson, DVM told Y! Sports that dogs aren't meant to digest bread.

A Border collie holding a baguette in their mouth.
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"I wouldn't give more than a couple bites [of bread] on occasion (i.e. a few times a month)," Dr. Robinson told Y! Sports. "If you give too much, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even a blockage, as the yeast can cause the bread to expand."

While bread also doesn't have any nutritional value, it does have a lot of carbs which can cause weight gain. That's part of the reason why it's so important to make sure your dog's diet is balanced with other foods that benefit them.

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A Dachshund watching someone eat a piece of bread at a kitchen table.
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Although bread itself isn't harmful to dogs, the dough can be. The American Kennel Club says that, when eaten, the yeast can release ethanol into the bloodstream. If the amount of ethanol reaches a toxic level, it could cause alcohol poisoning. Symptoms of this include:

  • Coma
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Weakness.

If your dog does eat bread dough or you believe they have, contact your vet immediately.

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