Can Dogs Eat Pretzels?

can dogs eat pretzels

Dogs are curious eaters by nature, and more often than not, it’s easy to give in to their demands and feed dogs human foods that are not good for them. While some foods are toxic to dogs and never okay, there are many foods that dogs can eat, even though they shouldn’t. Processed meats, cheeses, and even many varieties of snacks will not prove to be fatal to a dog, but the preservatives, additives, and especially the salt in foods like pretzels can be dangerous for dogs in high amounts.

So, can dogs eat pretzels? Pretzels do not contain beneficial nutrients for dogs, and the high concentration of salt and sodium in pretzels can cause serious side effects if eaten in large quantities. Ingredients like onion powder, garlic and xylitol can make dogs very ill.

Since pretzels are a highly popular snack, and dogs are always curious about what humans are eating, it is important to know the safety concerns when feeding dogs pretzels.

This guide will look at what ingredients in pretzels are not safe for dogs, and if there are any alternatives with pretzel varieties that would be acceptable to feed a dog.

How many pretzels can a dog eat?

When it comes to human food and dogs, most people are aware of the severely toxic foods that dogs can never eat like chocolate, but fail to realize that there are numerous other foods including pretzels can make dogs very sick if they consume them.

While carbohydrates like bread or dough that pretzels are made out of are not necessarily dangerous for dogs, these complex nutrients are not good for them either. But the main culprits in pretzels that are of concern are salt, xylitol (artificial sweetener), as well as onion and garlic powder.

Too much salt is not good for dogs and can even lead to salt poisoning which will require a visit to the vet’s office. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in pretzels that are harmful to dogs.


In premium dog foods and treats, there is just the right amount of sodium to meet and not exceed a dog’s recommended daily limit of sodium intake. Increased salt consumption is bad for dogs and can lead to health issues such as heart, liver, and kidney ailments.

With this in mind, one or two pretzels will not cause severe harm to a dog, you will just have to be sure to take into account how much salt they are receiving in their regular meals or dog treats as well.

Artificial Sweeteners

Nearly all processed snack foods for humans will have some form of artificial sweetener. These sugar substitutes add just the right amount of sweet flavor to foods without the overpowering use of regular sugar. Artificial sweeteners and sugar are also bad for dogs just like salt, because the insulin response from these foods in dogs can go through the roof much more dangerously than within the complex internal systems that we humans have.

Pretzels have lower concentrations of artificial sweeteners than salt, but this is still never a substance you want to expose a dog to.

Onion and Garlic Powder

Pretzels typically contain trace amounts of onion and garlic powder for added flavor. Onions, in particular, are toxic to dogs since onion toxicity can lead to the decrease of red blood cell production in canines. Both onion and garlic belong to the allium family of vegetables, and since the rapid processing procedures used to create onion and garlic powder increase the toxicity effects in dogs, this can even be worse than if a dog ate pieces of raw onion or garlic.

With all of this in mind, you should never feed your dog salted pretzels, but no more than two pretzels in a 24-hour period should ever be given.

Can dogs eat hard pretzels?

Hard pretzels are the same as regular pretzels for all intents and purposes, but there is an added disadvantage to feeding a dog hard-to-chew snacks because of their teeth.

Biting into a hard pretzel could chip a dog’s teeth and lead to enamel erosion. The best method to keep in mind is never to feed your dog pretzels in the first place.

Can dogs eat pretzels filled with peanut butter?

Peanut butter is one of the few human foods, apart from meat, that is okay for dogs to eat. You may have noticed that most non-meat-based dog snacks and even things like doggy cake or ice cream are made from peanut butter. This is because peanut butter and associated snacks contain very low amounts of sugar and have many beneficial nutrients for dogs like protein and certain vitamins.

With this in mind, there are some concerns with peanut butter to be aware of; it needs to be unsalted, and this is unlikely if made along with pretzels. Also, the pretzel dough is full of calories to dogs and could lead to weight concerns if given to dogs throughout the day. Furthermore, the pretzel dough will likely contain artificial sweeteners.

At the end of the day, snacks that are made for humans will not have concerns for dogs factored into the processing of the snacks. It can be said that dogs can have peanut butter, but there are still the other ingredients that are used in the making of the pretzels that will make the snacks unsafe for dogs.

Add to this the fact that bread dough is also not recommended for dogs and this pretty much cancels out this type of pretzel as being an acceptable snack.

Consider buying some dog treats that are made with peanut butter and feed your dog a few of these treats while you are snacking. These peanut butter crunch snacks by Puppums are similar in texture to pretzels and 100% safe for dogs within moderation.

Can dogs have pretzels without salt?

When asking the question can dogs eat pretzels, salt poisoning is really the main concern that comes along with these snacks? Unsalted pretzels may be a bit safer to give your dog because these types of pretzels are generally made without excess salt, even though a bit of salt is still contained in the dough used to make the snacks.

When dogs eat pretzels, the immediate response inside of their system is a rise in blood pressure due to the salt overdose, so this is not really a factor of concern with the unsalted variety. Still, bread dough is not a good thing to give your dog since there are no beneficial nutrients in the dough that are beneficial for dogs.

Even though you may not have to worry about the salt issues with these types of snacks, there is still the problem of artificial sweeteners in these types of snacks; in addition to onions or onion powder which can prove to be fatal.

What about soft pretzels?

Soft pretzels are certainly going to be a better option since these snacks will be easier for your dog to chew, but there are still the same concerns here.

The main problem with pretzels, no matter the texture or the variety, is the ingredients that are in each snack. Soft pretzels may still contain high levels of salt and artificial sweeteners, as well as all of the above-mentioned ingredients that can cause health concerns with your dog.

If the soft pretzels are unsalted, these may prove to be a better alternative than regular pretzels, but the best action to take when snacking is to have some dog snacks nearby to feed your dog and prevent them from begging.


What is salt poisoning in dogs?

When dogs consume too much salt, their sensitive internal system cannot tolerate the extreme dehydration that occurs. In more severe circumstances, this can lead to a condition known as sodium ion poisoning, which can be fatal. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.

How much is too much salt for a dog?

Most living things need salt to survive and this is true for dogs just as it is for human beings. But unlike humans who can simply pass excess salt through increased urination, the internal system of a dog cannot easily expel the sodium as easily as people.

Dogs should consume no more than 100 mg of sodium per day in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid sodium ion poisoning. With this in mind, no more than one or two pretzels a day would be advisable for a dog, but not feeding a dog pretzels is the best approach.


So, while dogs can eat pretzels, it is not advisable based on the dangerous ingredients that are contained in the salty snacks. An argument could be made that unsalted pretzels made with peanut butter are okay to feed dogs, but opting for a nutritious snack made specifically for dogs is the best option.

It can be hard not to give in to a dog begging to sample the food you are eating, but keeping doggy treats next to you when snacking is a great way to make your dog not feel left out.

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Emma Jones

Emma is the proud owner of Rosie, an F1 Cavapoo. She enjoys writing about what it's like to own a Cavapoo and hopes that you learn more about this breed of dog with her how to guides and tips.

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