Can Dogs Eat Pretzels? What Amount Is Safe?

Here's what to know before feeding your dog pretzels.

When we’re eating our snacks, it can be really hard to say no to our dogs’ begging. But some snacks that are enjoyable for us can be toxic to our dogs. For example, can dogs eat pretzels? Or are pretzels one of those snacks that need to be avoided at all costs?

We reached out to a vet to figure out whether or not pretzels are safe for dogs to eat, and if so, how many pretzels you can share with your pup during snack time.

Are pretzels safe for dogs?

Though a single salted, unflavored pretzel may not necessarily be toxic, you definitely shouldn’t make pretzels a regular treat for your dog.

“My advice is to avoid feeding pretzels to your pet,” veterinarian Dr. Alex Schechter told The Dodo. “[They] contain high salt content, additives and carbs that can pose risks to your dog's health.”

Potential dangers of pretzels for dogs

According to Dr. Schechter, the high sodium content in pretzels can lead to health issues like excessive thirst, urination and dehydration.

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

And those are just the dangers of salted, unflavored pretzels. Pretzels with added flavoring or coatings of chocolate or yogurt can actually be deadly.

“The flavored pretzels [that] contain ingredients such as garlic or onion powder … can lead to an upset stomach,” Dr. Schechter said, “and the sweet pretzels may contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol,” which is toxic to dogs.

“Pretzels are also high in carbohydrates and hold the potential to increase the blood sugar levels in the pet, and excessive consumption of pretzels can cause obesity in your pet,” Dr. Schechter added.

Can dogs eat pretzels often?

So, with all that in mind, the answer to this question is no. Your dog should not be eating pretzels of any kind on a regular basis.

Again, if one of your salted, unflavored pretzels falls on the floor and your dog nabs it before you do, then there isn’t too much cause for concern. If he gets into the entire bag, though, or sinks his teeth into one of your flavored or chocolate-covered pretzels, then he could be in trouble.

Symptoms of both salt and xylitol poisoning include lethargy, vomiting, weakness, pale gums, diarrhea and seizures, with more severe symptoms of xylitol poisoning being bloody stools, drooling, disorientation and jaundice. If any of these symptoms occur after your dog eats a pretzel, contact your vet immediately.

If you feel bad about not being able to share your pretzels with your begging pup, just remind yourself (and him!) that you’re doing him a favor, and give him a healthier dog treat instead.