Can Dogs Eat Crisps? Updated For 2023
Updated: Nov 3
When it’s Friday or Saturday night and you're kicking back with a beer and Netflix there is nothing better than munching on a bag of your favourite flavoured crisps during your movie night! While you're enjoying crunching on your crisps it's not uncommon for your dog to be sitting there, eyes locked on your every move, hoping for a share of your crispy goodness. But before you throw a crisp to your canine companion, you’ll probably be thinking to yourself, "Can dogs actually eat crisps?" In this article, we're taking a look into the world of potato crisps, tortilla chips, and all things potatoey and crispy to help you decide whether crisps are a safe treat for your dog. We'll explore the potential risks, ingredients to avoid, and offer dog-friendly alternatives treats to keep both you and your dog snacking happily and safely. So, let's uncover the crunchy truth behind dogs and crisps.
What Are Crisps?
Before we look at the main question of whether dogs can eat crisps, let's understand what crisps actually are. Crisps, or "chips" as they are known in some parts of the world, are thinly sliced potatoes or other starchy vegetables that are deep-fried or baked until they become crispy and crunchy then flavoured with a variety of seasonings. They're a popular snack enjoyed by everyone and come in various flavours, shapes and textures.
Alongside potato crisps or chips you have other savoury and crunchy snacks like tortilla chips that are made from corn or wheat and are also fried or baked, resulting in a crunchy snack that's often paired with dips.The appeal of crisps, tortillas and most crisp like snacks lies in their satisfying crunch and huge range of savoury flavours, from classic ready salted and salt and vinegar through to prawn cocktail and even Marmite flavoured, crisps appeal to lots of people and lots of dogs!
While crisps make a tasty and convenient snack for humans, the same might not be true for our doggy companions. In the next section, we'll address the main question: Can dogs eat crisps? Are these savoury morsels safe for dogs to eat, or do they pose potential risks? Let's find out.
Can Dogs Eat Crisps?
Now, let's look at the burning question: Can dogs eat crisps? It's a thought that's crossed many pet owners' minds whilst munching on a packet, especially when their dog's eyes are locked onto the bag of crisps and they are watching you every move.
The short answer is that while yes, you can potentially give your doggy buddy a crisp every now and then, in general, crisps are not a healthy choice for dogs, and so it's usually best to avoid sharing them with your furry friend. Here's why:
🐾 High Salt Content: Most crisps, especially ready salted crisps, are high in salt. While we might enjoy that salty and savoury flavour, too much salt can be harmful to dogs. Dogs have a much lower tolerance to sodium than humans, and too much salt can lead to issues like dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even salt poisoning.
🐾 Empty Calories: Crisps are essentially empty calories for your dog. They don't provide any significant nutritional value that benefits your pet and feeding your dog too many crisps could lead to weight gain and health problems over time.
🐾 Risk of Gastrointestinal Upset: The high fat content in most crisps can lead to an upset in your dog's stomach. If they ingest too much fat your dog could experience diarrhoea, vomiting, or other digestive issues if they have consumed too many fatty and oily snacks.
🐾 Potential Toxic Ingredients: Some crisps can contain seasonings or flavourings that are not safe for dogs. Ingredients like onion powder or garlic powder are toxic to dogs and can lead to serious health issues.
So, while it might be tempting to throw Fido a few crisps, for your dog's health it's best to resist the urge. Instead, consider healthier and safer alternatives for your dog's occasional treats, which we'll explore later in this article.
But what if your dog has already managed to eat a crisp or two or even worse than that a whole bag? In the next section, we'll discuss what happens if your dog eats crisps accidentally and what steps to take.
The Dangers Of Crisps For Dogs
Understanding the dangers of feeding crisps to your dog is crucial for their well-being and good health. While a crisp or two every now and then might not seem like a big deal, it's essential to recognize the potential risks involved. Here are some of the key dangers:
❗ Sodium Overload: As mentioned earlier, crisps can be very high in salt. Because dogs have a lower tolerance for salt than humans, when dogs eat salty snacks like crisps, it can lead to sodium overload. This can result in increased thirst, urination, and, in severe cases, sodium ion poisoning, which is an emergency and requires immediate veterinary care.
❗ Digestive Distress: The deep fried high-fat content in crisps can be tough on your dog's digestive system. Dogs can experience gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhoea and vomiting, which is uncomfortable for them and messy for you as a dog owner.
❗ Toxic Ingredients: Many crisps can contain natural and artificial seasonings like onion powder, garlic powder and monosodium glutamate that can be toxic for dogs. These substances can harm your dog's red blood cells and lead to conditions like hemolytic anaemia, which can be life-threatening.
❗ Obesity Risk: Crisps are fat heavy and calorie-dense and offer little nutritional value. Over time, indulging in these snacks can lead to weight gain and obesity in dogs, contributing to a range of health issues including blood pressure and joint problems.
❗ Dental Problems: The crunchy texture of crisps might seem like it's good for your dog's teeth, but it can actually pose risks. Hard, crispy snacks can break or damage your dog's teeth and can damage gums, leading to dental problems that require veterinary care.
It's crucial to be fully aware of these dangers in order to keep your dog safe and healthy. In the next section, we'll take a closer look at specific ingredients in crisps that you should watch out for if you do decide to share your snacks with your dog.
Ingredients In Crisps That Dogs Need To Avoid
When assessing whether crisps are safe for your dog, it's not just about the potato or corn base; it's also crucial to consider the ingredients and flavourings. Some common ingredients found in crisps can be harmful to dogs. Let's explore them:
❌ Onion and Garlic Powder: Crisps that contain onion or garlic powder are a big no no when it comes to feeding them to your dog. These ingredients are toxic to dogs and can lead to serious health issues, including damage to their red blood cells. If you suspect your dog has consumed crisps with onion or garlic flavourings, contact your vet immediately.
❌ Artificial Flavourings: Artificial flavourings, such as MSG (monosodium glutamate), are often used to enhance the taste of crisps. While these additives are generally safe for humans, they can be problematic for dogs, potentially causing digestive upset and distress.
❌ Excessive Salt: High sodium content in crisps is a major concern for dogs. It can lead to increased thirst, urination, and sodium ion poisoning in severe cases. Dogs should consume minimal salt, so crisps are not an ideal choice.
❌ Spices and Seasonings: Some crisps come with various spices and seasonings that may not agree with your dog's stomach. Spicy or heavily seasoned crisps can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort.
To ensure your dog's safety, it's essential to read the ingredient list on crisp packaging and avoid any product that contains harmful substances like onion or garlic. If you do decide to share crisps with your dog then opt for plain, unsalted, unseasoned crisps and only share a small amount with your dog. However, remember that moderation is key, and even plain crisps are not a healthy treat option.
Next, we'll look at other dog friendly alternatives to crisps that you can consider for your pet's occasional snacks.
Dog Friendly Alternatives To Crisps
As already outlined, crisps may not be the best snack choice for your furry friend, but thankfully there are a range of alternative treats that your dog can enjoy without the associated risks. Here are some dog-friendly snacks to consider:
🐶 Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Many dogs enjoy fruits and veggies, and these options are not only safe but also nutritious. Try offering your dog small pieces of apple, carrot, or banana as a crunchy, healthy snack. These choices provide vitamins and fibre without the drawbacks of crisps.
🐶 Commercially Available Dog Treats: The pet industry offers a wide array of dog treats that are formulated to be not only delicious but safe as well. Look for natural treats made with high quality ingredients without artificial additives like rabbit ears for dogs and consult with your vet for recommendations tailored to your dog's needs.
🐶 Homemade Dog Treats: If you enjoy baking, consider making homemade dog treats. There are countless dog-friendly recipes available online using ingredients like peanut butter, oats, and lean meats. This way, you can have total control over what goes into your dog's treats and in turn what they are consuming.
🐶 Dental Chews: Dental chews for dogs are specifically designed to serve a dual purpose. Not only do they provide a satisfying and tasty chewing experience, they also promote dental health by helping to reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
🐶 Plain Popcorn: If you're looking for something similar to crisps in texture, plain, unsalted popcorn can be an occasional treat for dogs. If you ensure there is no added butter, salt, or seasonings then dogs can eat popcorn.
Remember that portion control is essential when offering treats to your dog as most dogs will think nothing of eating a whole bag of crisps when your back is turned! Even healthy snacks can lead to weight gain if you over feed your dog. Always monitor your dog's reaction to new foods, and if you're unsure about any specific treat, consult with your vet for guidance first.
In our next section, we'll look at some frequently asked questions about dogs and crisps to provide further insights and clarity on this topic.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
As the topic of dogs and crisps raises many questions, we've compiled some easy to refer to and frequently asked questions to provide you with comprehensive answers and insights.
Q1: Are all crisps harmful to dogs?
Not all crisps are equally harmful, but most should be avoided due to their high salt, fat, and potential toxic ingredients. Plain, unsalted varieties are the least risky, but moderation is key.
Q2: What happens if my dog eats crisps?
If your dog consumes crisps, monitor them for any signs of discomfort, diarrhoea, or vomiting. If these symptoms occur or if you suspect your dog ate crisps with harmful ingredients like onion or garlic, contact your vet ASAP.
Q3: How can I prevent my dog from eating crisps?
Store crisps out of your dog's reach, and ensure guests are aware not to feed them to your dog. Use positive reinforcement and treats designed for dogs during training to discourage begging and never turn your back on an open bag of crisps when your dog is in the room!
Q4: Can I give my dog any human snacks?
While some human snacks are safe in moderation, it's essential to choose healthy options. Fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats are generally a better choice than processed snacks like crisps.
Q5: Can dogs eat potato chips?
Like crisps, potato chips are also high in salt and unhealthy fats, so they should be avoided for dogs. If you choose to share a very small amount, opt for plain, unsalted chips.
Q6: Can dogs eat tortilla chips?
Tortilla chips have similar concerns as potato chips, including high salt content and potentially toxic ingredients. Stick to plain, unsalted tortilla chips if you want to offer a minimal amount.
Q7: Can dogs eat flavoured crisps?
Flavoured crisps often contain artificial seasonings that can be harmful to dogs. It's safer to steer clear of flavoured varieties.
Q8: Are there crisps specially made for dogs?
Yes, some pet stores offer dog-friendly crisps or chips that are baked and made from safe ingredients for canine consumption. These can be a better alternative.
Q9: Can I give my dog vegetables instead of crisps?
Absolutely! Many vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and green beans make healthy and satisfying alternatives to crisps.
Q10: What to do if my dog consumes crisps accidentally?
If your dog eats a bag of crisps with harmful ingredients and experiences digestive issues after eating them, monitor your dog and contact your vet for guidance. Some additives like garlic and onion powder can be extremely toxic to some dogs.
These FAQs should help clarify common concerns about dogs and crisps. If you have more questions or need further information, feel free to speak to your vet for personalised advice.
In the final section, we'll wrap up our discussion on whether dogs can eat crisps with a conclusion and some final thoughts on this topic.
Conclusion - Can Dogs Eat Crisps?
In the journey to discover the truth about whether dogs can eat crisps, we've looked at the range of crispy snacks available, the potential dangers some of the ingredients can pose to our doggy companions, and the range of healthier alternatives available. So, what's the verdict?
Can dogs eat crisps? The answer, in a nutshell, is that crisps are not a recommended treat for dogs. While a plain, unsalted chip in very small quantities may not pose an immediate danger, the potential risks associated with crisps make them an option best avoided. The high salt content, unhealthy fats, and possible toxic ingredients in crisps can lead to health problems ranging from digestive discomfort to more severe conditions. To prioritise your dog's well-being, it's wise to opt for safer, healthier treats like fresh fruits, vegetables, or specially made dog snacks.
Remember, moderation is key when it comes to offering any treats to your furry friend. Always read ingredient labels, and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns or if your dog accidentally consumes crisps with harmful ingredients. Always remember that a well balanced diet for your dog is important for their long term health and dog foods like Different Dog, Years or Butternut Box (read our Butternut Box review here and use our Butternut Box discount code to get 50% off your first two boxes) ensure that your dog is eating a perfectly balanced diet.
In closing, our dogs deserve the very best care that we as owners can give them, and that means making choices that support their ongoing health and happiness. While those puppy dog eyes peeping over the sofa may be hard to resist, reaching for a dog-friendly snack rather than crisps will keep both you and your furry friend snacking safely.
If you have more questions or need further guidance on your pet's diet, don't hesitate to reach out to your vet, who can provide tailored advice based on your dog's specific dietary needs.
Thank you for joining We Walk Woofs on this exploration of dogs and crisps. We hope this information helps you make informed choices for your beloved four-legged family member.