You either love it or hate it. That famous Marmite slogan of course. But is suitable for a dog? Would they even enjoy it if you were to provide it? Intrigued, I spent some time researching the suitability of this popular spread in the diet of dogs. I’ll be sharing all that I found here today.
So, can dogs eat marmite? Dogs shouldn’t eat marmite or only do so very infrequently and in very small amounts, due to the high sodium content. One small spoonful of marmite will not harm or make your dog sick, but it is not an ideal treat to regularly feed your dog.
Dogs can soon and quickly develop preferences for certain treats; and this can include marmite too.
Then there comes those doggy eyes; the ‘I want more’ look that makes it almost impossible to refuse.
So it naturally follows to question whether or not to introduce this particular food altogether.
In reality, and like most things in life, it’s all about the dose.
Diet undoubtedly plays a massive role in the health of our dogs.
It’s all too easy to overfeed our companions, and it gets worse if we do so with the wrong foods – particularly those high in calories, salt, and sugar.
For this reason, doggy treats specifically designed for dogs (and the higher quality options rich in nutrients) are generally the better option.
They can be a great way to supplement the diet; even if they are more tasty for your dog!
Nevertheless, let us now take a closer look at the safety of marmite for a dog, and of different serving sizes.
We will also explain in further detail why marmite is not ideal, along with some of the other treats that are best excluded.
Lastly, we will be taking a look at some of the best alternatives, so be sure to keep on reading if you want to treat your dog in the greatest way possible.
Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Marmite?
Marmite is safe in very small servings, but it can be harmful if not dangerous if consumed in large amounts. Equally, while a small amount should not cause any issue – it is not ideal nor optimal.
Here is why.
While marmite does provide some health benefits to humans (containing yeast, folate, along with a number of the different B-Vitamins) it is very high in salt!
While salt is required in the diet of your dog for optimal cell functioning, they only need around 0.25g – 1.5g per 100g of food.
When we look at the nutritional content of marmite, in one serving there is almost 1 gram of salt!
This is more than the recommended daily intake of salt for medium-sized dogs, let alone small-sized dogs.
And, we must remember that marmite will not be the only food item that provides salt; a lot of their staple feed will naturally contain it, along with some of the other foods they will eat across their diet.
But what happens in the context of too much salt?
PetMD states that it can result in excessive thirst in minor cases, but sodium poisoning, vomiting, diarrhea depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures. It can even cause death in extreme cases.
So while it is true, a very small amount of marmite is not theoretically toxic to your dog; its not an ideal food and you can only offer very small amounts at a time.
In fact, its probably best not to introduce it in the first place.
There are numerous online forums of dog owners who claim that they have been feeding marmite to their dog without an issue; stating that it appears to be entirely safe.
However, this does not necessarily mean it is optimal, nor should we conclude that this is something that we should necessarily be feeding.
Instead, there are other, better treats that are not so high in salt and can be equally enjoyed.
So, If your dog has or eats a small amount of marmite, there is no need to panic. You’ll just need to observe them and give them plenty of access to fresh water, limiting other foods that contain salt for the following few hours.
If however, your dog accesses a jar that is left unattended, then you may need to consult your vet whom will be able to offer advice, and perhaps will need to intervene to support your dog and help to balance their electrolytes.
Why Dogs Should Not Eat Marmite
Dogs should not eat marmite because of the adverse effects that salt can have on your dog.
As previously stated, a small amount of marmite is not toxic in the immediate realm of time, but feeding too much of it too regularly will begin to cause long-lasting adverse health issues.
We’ve already covered what an increase in salt looks like right away; an increase in thirst and potential imbalances that can lead to dizziness and shaking.
But over time, it will raise your dogs blood pressure which in turn, will have an impact on your dog in other ways.
High blood pressure is connected with stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure, among other health problems.
Ultimately, dogs are more sensitive to higher salt levels than humans.
So, you shouldn’t really feed marmite; there is no need to and there are always better options.
Other High Salt Foods To Avoid
There are a number of other foods that inherently are high in salt that are also, best to avoid feeding. The main ones are:
Popcorn is okay to offer in small amounts and occasionally to your dog, as long as it’s unsalted and unbuttered.
Salted and buttered popcorn can lead to dehydration and obesity. Hard, unpopped kernels can also damage your dog’s teeth and gums.
Dairy, in general, is not good for your dog.
People often use cheese to treat their dog during training, but cheese is generally high in salt, lactose, and fat.
Overeating cheese can cause diarrhea or constipation and, in the long term, gastrointestinal problems and obesity.
Peanut butter is also a popular training treat used by many owners; however, it is high in fat and energy, and most brands add a lot of salt and sugar too.
For this reason, it is best avoided, unless of course you can seek out low-salt, low sugar brands and be careful with how much you provide.
Better yet, consider making your own peanut butter – it’s relatively easy to do, and there are many online videos and blogs that can show you how it’s done.
When you do buy peanut butter, you must also make sure it doesn’t contain Xylitol – an artificial sweetener used in numerous diet products.
Xylitol is safe for human consumption, but it’s highly toxic to dogs and other animals.
Only a small amount of the substance can drastically lower your dog’s blood sugar levels. Xylitol can also severely damage your dog’s liver cells.
Chips, Fries, Crisps, Crackers, and Pretzels
These foods are undoubtedly high in salt, but unfortunately, they are often offered as treats to dogs.
These foods, while tasty, are just not good for your dogs health.
We love our dogs and seriously want to spoil them, but chips, fries, and the like provide minimal to no nutrition and only potential side affects. Especially over time.
Instead, be sure to offer tasty but far healthier treats.
Better Treats To Offer Your Dog
The best treats to offer your dog are treats designed for dogs. These will have the right blend of nutrients your dog needs, and they will come with clear instructions of when and how to provide and feed them.
There are a number of excellent brands available on Amazon, which is my personal go to whenever I am running low and need to get more for my dog!
Nevertheless, it’s essential not to give too many treats to your dog as they get most of the nutrition they need from their primary diet.
Even the healthiest treats hurt your dog if offered in excess!
Make sure to only offer treats when your dog does something good during training or when they obeys your commands.
Avoid foods that are salty, sweet, spiced, or fatty.
Your dog must be trained to know when to take treats correctly – this makes it easier to reward them too.
If you do choose to offer human food as treats to your dog, the following foods are safe:
Broccoli is a vitamin-dense vegetable, that can also help your dog to naturally clean their teeth.
But as a cruciferous vegetable, offer it to your dog sparingly as it can digestive upset and a lot of powerful, violent smells!
Crunchy veg like green beans, carrots, and broccoli are good for dog’s teeth and nutrition.
Green beans are full of vitamins and iron, but you should cook them before serving them to your dog. While they are safe raw, they might cause indigestion.
Chicken is a great treat and dogs tend to enjoy it. It also can give them a much needed extra protein boost to support their muscles. The Omega 6 fats can also help to support and sustain a healthy skin and coat.
Just make sure that you source out leaner cuts, and that is it unseasoned and there are not sharp bones before you feed it to them.
Eggs can be a good breakfast treat for your dog. Scrambled eggs are an excellent and tasty source of digestible protein.
Eggs also contain essential minerals and vitamins.
Just be sure not to feed raw egg whites to your dog as they carry a risk of salmonella.
Salmon is rich in Omega-3, which benefits dogs and humans alike. The crispy skin is incredibly rich in this acid.
Unseeded apple slices are a healthy and natural treat for dogs, and they are good for canine teeth, and they also freshen breath.
Pumpkin is a tasty superfood and very appropriate for the Autumn season!
It’s full of fiber, and it will keep your dog feeling fuller for longer.
It also has lots of health benefits for your companion. Pumpkin and squashes alike are full of vitamins that support healthy skin and coats; it also eases upset tummies.
When you carve your pumpkin, allow your dog to clean up the “mess” – they will love the taste of pumpkin so long as its fresh.
Pumpkin seeds are also safe to eat; you can also feed organic canned pumpkin if you wish.
If you are concerned about overfeeding your dog, toys are a good way of spoiling your companion without panicking about salt, sugar, and fat.
Toys will give your doggy plenty of mental stimulation, it will keep them happy with something to do other than just eating.
Dogs love their food, there is no denying that!
It’s only natural to look to treat and reward them with some of our leftovers or things we typically enjoy.
That being said, it is always important that you check if a particular food item is healthy or even safe for your dog to consume.
Occasional treats like certain meats, fruit, and vegetables are all good options; but in the case of marmite; it is not the best treat you can offer your dog.
While a very small spoonful should not do any harm, it’s enough to disrupt their hydration levels and result in excessive thirst for the rest of the day.
In much larger quantities, or when fed too often – it can be much more problematic.
So, if you have offered marmite before or noticed that your dog does enjoy the taste, its not something you should be looking to feed.
In fact, if you can, its best not to introduce this sort of food altogether.
There are much healthier options; both designed for dogs, and that you will naturally have around your home.
Just never forget to reward your dog with treats other than food!
You can spoil your dog with a toy that will provide hours of fun and lots of stimulation.
You can also play with them; which is one of the most rewarding experiences for both your dog and you alike.
Perhaps they will enjoy a trip to the beach or a visit to the local park.
Ultimately, there are numerous ways to reward your dog; but marmite should not really be one of them.
It is not advised to feed your dog marmite, so it is best not to put marmite in a Kong toy. Better treats to stuff into a Kong include baby food, applesauce, bananas, blueberries, oatmeal, and cottage cheese.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.