What Is A Graham Cracker?
The graham cracker is made from graham flour and is a sweet flavored cookie, often made with honey or cinnamon.
Graham flour is whole wheat flour that is coarsely ground. The flour is not sifted during the milling process.
Graham crackers are usually eaten as a snack in the USA.
The History Of Graham Crackers
The cracker was named after a person called Sylvester Graham. Reverend Graham, who was a Presbyterian Minister, tried to encourage reform of the American diet in the 19th century. He particularly favored the consumption of whole-grain bread, which he believed would improve the health of Americans.
He felt that a vegetarian diet was best, a staple of which would be bread made by coarsely grinding wheat at home. He believed that this is how humans were intended to live. Accompanied by a puritanical lifestyle, this would maintain the health of the population.
His followers were called Grahamites. ,
What Are Graham Crackers Made Of?
Typically, the ingredients for graham cracker are:
- Whole wheat flour
- Baking soda
- Butter or oil
- Honey or cinnamon
- Vanilla extract
What Is The Nutritional Value Of A Graham Cracker
In considering the question of can dogs eat graham crackers, it is useful to think about the nutritional value of this food.
Graham crackers are typically high in sugar content and are also high in carbohydrates because they contain wheat. These crackers were originally intended to be part of a high-fiber vegetarian diet known as the Graham diet. The original cracker was not as sweet as they are today.
There is not much protein in a graham cracker.
Are Graham Crackers Appropriate For Dogs To Eat?
A lot of people give their dogs Graham crackers as a treat. Dogs often really like them. Americans like them too! But should dogs eat crackers?
One of the problems, when dogs eat graham crackers, is that they are very high in carbohydrates because of the wheat and sugar content. A dog's diet should consist of relatively small amounts of carbohydrates to maintain a healthy body. Humans can tolerate more carbohydrates than dogs. Dogs need their energy levels to remain consistent during the day, which a lot of carbohydrates interferes with. They do need carbohydrates in their food, just not large quantities. Commercial dog foods contain enough carbohydrates, and your dog will not need much more.
The high amount of sugar when dogs eat graham crackers can also be problematic in other ways. The sugar and wheat in the food can result in diabetes, tooth problems, and your pet being overweight. Obesity in dogs can cause many issues, including strain on your the joints and respiratory and blood-related problems. Many dogs are also allergic to gluten. This allergy can cause problems which can manifest in dogs having diarrhea, or itchy skin or various other issues.
The high sugar content in these crackers can also cause problems for the dog's pancreas. The pancreas will over-produce digestive enzymes in response to the excess sugar (glucose). This can lead to inflammation of the pancreas.
When you give your dog this food, it is useful to know that graham crackers also contain salt. Salt is not necessarily bad for your dog in small quantities, but too much of it can cause blood pressure issues for dogs, and in worst cases, can be toxic for your pet.
Graham crackers are relatively high in fat too. A dog that is already overweight should not eat foods with high-fat content, and they should not be given these crackers. In some dogs, food with too much fat, like these crackers, can also lead to diarrhea and other stomach issues.
While cinnamon is not toxic for dogs, some dogs cannot tolerate the cinnamon, which is often added to graham crackers. Some people add chocolate to graham crackers - however, chocolate is very toxic for dogs, so these types of crackers should not be given to your pet.
Food for dogs should comprise quite a lot of protein. Graham crackers are not high in protein.
So can dogs eat graham crackers? In summary, it is not a good idea to give your pet these crackers to eat regularly or in large quantities, because of the problems outlined above.
However, as an occasional treat, and if your dog is not allergic to any of the ingredients (for example, the wheat), then you can offer them now and then, in very small quantities.
If you do intend to give your dog graham crackers to eat from time to time, you might like to make them yourself. Not only will you potentially gain pleasure from home-baking, but additionally, you will know what is in the graham cracker. You can add less sugar and salt than is contained in the commercially available varieties. There are several recipes available on the internet to help you bake them.
If you do feed your dog graham crackers, and you notice that your dog has a bad reaction to them, for example has diarrhea, vomits, or other obvious signs that something is wrong, take your dog to the vet. Do not continue to give your pet this food as it is obviously irritating your pet's system.
Are There Healthy Alternatives To Graham Crackers For Dogs?
Dogs could be given specific types of fruits which have plenty of vitamins and minerals in them. Bananas, melon, blueberries, mango, strawberries, peach and pear are examples of these types of fruits. It is a good idea to speak to your vet about what fruits might be best for your dog and in what quantities.
An alternative could be a healthy doggy biscuit. Again, you could consult your vet about what might be appropriate.
As treats, these should not be given too often, however..