Can Dogs Eat Marmite? 2023 Update
Updated: Oct 21
Can dogs eat Marmite? Generally no (but with exceptions) it is not advisable to feed your dog Marmite as it is not considered safe for dogs due to its remarkably high salt content of nearly 11% by volume. Although high in protein and low in fat as well as providing and array of beneficial B vitamins, dog owners should be wary of feeding Marmite to their dogs without understanding its potential hazards and advantages. Read on to find the definitive answer to whether dogs can eat Marmite.
Table Of Contents
Our guide to the pros and cons of Marmite for your dog
1. Can dogs eat Marmite
2. What is Marmite?
3. Why is it called Marmite?
4. How is Marmite made?
5. Nutritional profile of Marmite
6. Is Marmite good for dogs? 7. Is Marmite dangerous for dogs?
8. What are the symptoms of sodium poisoning in dogs?
9. What about the B vitamins?
10. Conclusion. Can dogs eat Marmite?
✅ Some dogs love the taste of Marmite
✅ Can be a source of B vitamins
✅ Low in fat
✅ High in folic acid
❌ High salt content
❌ 10.8g of salt per 100g
❌ Potential for sodium poisoning
Can Dogs Eat Marmite?
Yes, dogs can eat Marmite, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Marmite is not toxic to dogs and can be consumed in small amounts. It is made from yeast extract and contains ingredients like salt, B vitamins, and other nutrients that can be beneficial for dogs in moderation. However, due to its high salt content and calorie count, it's essential to offer Marmite as an occasional treat rather than a regular part of your dog's diet.
What is Marmite?
Marmite is a savoury spread that was invented in 1902 by German scientist Justus von Liebig. It is made from yeast extract and is known for its distinct strong flavor. The main ingredients in Marmite include yeast extract, salt (sodium), and extracts from spices and vegetables. This spread is commonly used as a condiment, typically spread on bread or crackers, and is popular in many households, particularly in the United Kingdom. Despite its polarizing taste that tends to evoke either love or dislike, Marmite is rich in vitamins and minerals and is often used as a source of these essential nutrients.
Why is it called Marmite?
The name "Marmite" comes from the French word "marmite," which refers to a large earthenware cooking pot. The jar of Marmite features an image of this cooking pot on the front. The product gets its name from this French word because the spread was originally created in the 19th century by a German scientist who discovered that the yeasty brewing by-products could be bottled and eaten. The word "marmite" accurately reflects the vessel used in the brewing process that contributed to the creation of the spread.
How Is Marmite Made?
Marmite is made through a process that involves utilizing yeast extract derived from brewing by-products. Here's an overview of how Marmite is made:
🐾 Brewing Process: Marmite's creation starts with the brewing process, during which yeast is used to ferment and brew beer.
🐾 Yeast Extract: After the brewing process, the resulting sludge left at the base of the brewing vessels, which contains yeast extract, is collected. This yeast extract is a key ingredient in Marmite.
🐾 Centrifugation: The yeast extract is transported to the Marmite production facility, where it undergoes a centrifugation process which splits the yeast extract into two products.
🐾 Heating: One part of the yeast extract is heated to kill the yeast present in it. This step ensures that the yeast does not continue to ferment and create additional by-products.
🐾 Flavorings and Salt: After heating, flavorings and salt are added to the yeast extract. This enhances the taste and gives Marmite its characteristic savory flavor.
🐾 Bottling: The yeast extract, now enriched with flavorings and salt, is bottled and packaged for distribution.
Throughout this process, Marmite retains its characteristic high protein content and abundance of B vitamins. Despite its simple list of ingredients, Marmite offers a range of nutrients beneficial for good health.
What is in Marmite? Nutritional values for Marmite
Marmite contains a variety of nutritional components, including vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. Here are some of the nutritional values typically found in Marmite:
🐾 Vitamins: Marmite is rich in B vitamins, including vitamin B12, niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), and folic acid (B9). These vitamins play crucial roles in energy metabolism, cell function, and overall health.
🐾 Minerals: Marmite contains minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and selenium. These minerals are essential for various bodily functions, including bone health, nerve transmission, and antioxidant defense.
🐾 Protein: Marmite is a source of protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and more.
🐾 Calories: Marmite is relatively low in calories, making it a flavorful addition to meals without contributing excessive energy.
🐾 Salt (Sodium): Marmite contains a notable amount of salt (sodium). While sodium is essential for bodily functions like fluid balance and nerve transmission, excessive consumption of salt can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure.
It's important to note that Marmite is often enjoyed in small amounts due to its strong flavor and nutrient concentration. While it offers several beneficial nutrients, its high salt content means that it should be consumed in moderation, particularly for dogs and individuals with certain health conditions.
Is Marmite good for dogs?
While Marmite contains several beneficial nutrients such as B vitamins, minerals, and protein, it's not considered a particularly good or recommended food for dogs. Dogs have different nutritional needs and sensitivities compared to humans, and their diet should be tailored to meet those specific requirements.
Marmite's high salt content is a concern when it comes to feeding it to dogs. Excessive salt intake can lead to health issues like increased blood pressure, dehydration, and even sodium poisoning. Additionally, Marmite's strong flavor might not be appealing to all dogs, and some may find it too overwhelming.
Is it dangerous for dogs?
Marmite is not inherently dangerous for dogs in small amounts, but it's important to be cautious due to its high salt content. A small taste or occasional lick of Marmite is unlikely to cause harm to a generally healthy dog. However, it's crucial to avoid overfeeding Marmite or allowing your dog to consume it in large quantities.
Marmite's salt content can pose a risk if consumed excessively. The high salt intake can lead to sodium poisoning, also known as hypernatremia. This condition occurs when there's an excessive amount of sodium in the blood due to the consumption of salty foods.
Sodium poisoning can cause severe problems in dogs and in severe cases, seizures, coma, organ failure, and even death. To prevent sodium poisoning, it's essential to monitor your dog's salt intake and avoid feeding them foods that are high in salt.
What are the signs of Sodium Poisoning in Dogs?
Sodium poisoning in dogs, also known as hypernatremia, can lead to various symptoms. If your dog consumes a large amount of salty foods like Marmite, it's important to be vigilant for these signs:
Excessive Thirst: Dogs with sodium poisoning may drink water excessively due to the increased sodium levels in their bloodstream.
Excessive Urination: The high sodium content can cause increased urination as the body tries to eliminate the excess sodium.
Vomiting: Sodium poisoning can lead to vomiting, which is the body's way of trying to expel the excess sodium.
Lethargy: Dogs affected by sodium poisoning may appear lethargic, weak, or unusually tired.
Diarrhea: Diarrhea can be a symptom of sodium poisoning as the body reacts to the elevated sodium levels.
Seizures: In severe cases, sodium poisoning can lead to seizures, which can range from mild to severe and life-threatening.
Coma: Extreme sodium levels can lead to altered mental states, including coma, in the most severe cases.
It's important to note that the severity of symptoms can vary based on the amount of sodium ingested and the individual dog's size, age, and overall health. If you suspect that your dog has consumed a large amount of salty foods and is showing any of these symptoms, it's crucial to seek immediate veterinary care.
What about those B vitamins?
Marmite contains a range of B vitamins, including B12, niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), and folic acid (B9). These B vitamins play essential roles in a dog's overall health and well-being. Here's a brief overview of the benefits of these B vitamins for dogs:
Vitamin B12: This vitamin is crucial for maintaining healthy nerve function, producing red blood cells, and aiding in the metabolism of fats and proteins. It also supports proper brain function and helps prevent anemia.
Niacin (Vitamin B3): Niacin is essential for energy metabolism, helping convert food into energy. It also contributes to healthy skin, a strong nervous system, and proper digestive function.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Riboflavin is necessary for converting food into energy and maintaining healthy skin, eyes, and nerve function. It also supports the production of red blood cells.
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9): Folic acid is important for cell division and growth, making it essential for tissue repair, DNA synthesis, and overall growth and development. It also supports healthy red blood cell formation.
While these B vitamins are important for dogs, it's worth noting that a balanced and complete dog diet typically provides these vitamins in adequate amounts. If your dog's diet is well-rounded and tailored to their specific nutritional needs, they should already be receiving the necessary B vitamins.
In conclusion, the question of whether dogs can eat Marmite has a nuanced answer. While it's true that dogs can technically consume small amounts of Marmite without immediately harmful effects, it's important to exercise caution. Marmite is a spread that contains no toxic ingredients, but its high salt content and calorie count raise concerns about its suitability as a regular treat for dogs.
Marmite is rich in beneficial nutrients such as B vitamins, including B12, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. However, these nutrients can also be obtained from a well-balanced and complete dog diet that is tailored to their nutritional needs.
The risks associated with Marmite consumption revolve around its high salt content. Excessive salt intake can lead to sodium poisoning, resulting in symptoms such as excessive thirst, urination, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and even more severe complications in extreme cases. For dogs with pre-existing health conditions like heart, liver, or kidney issues, the risks are even greater due to the impact of excess salt on these conditions.
To ensure the well-being of your furry friend, it's best to approach Marmite cautiously. A small taste or occasional lick is unlikely to cause harm, but larger quantities, regular consumption, or feeding it to dogs with specific health issues should be avoided. Instead, prioritize dog-friendly treats and foods that are specifically formulated to meet their nutritional requirements.