My favorite late-night snack is undoubtedly Veggie straws. They are colorful, tasty, and crunchy like Fortune Cookies. My Labrador always runs over when she hears me crunching away at the Veggie straws. One time I almost gave in when I saw those puppy eyes of hers, but caught myself wondering if Veggie straws are safe for dogs to eat.
Can dogs eat Veggie straws? No, dogs should not eat Veggie straws. These deep-fried snacks are loaded with salt and processed ingredients and provide no nutritional value to dogs. While they are targeted to a more health-conscious consumer base, they aren’t any healthier than potato chips or any other kind of junk food.
What are Veggie straws?
Veggie straws are deep-fried snacks made from processed potato. They’re available in plain, spicy, cheesy, and sweet flavors.
What are Veggie straws made of?
Veggie straws are made with potato flour, potato starch, corn starch, oil, spinach powder, tomato paste, artificial colors, and lots of salt and seasoning.
While the exact process is an industry secret, Veggie straws are likely made by mashing potatoes into a fine powder and mixing it with starches and food color.
This doughy mixture is pressed through an extruder that forms thin hollow tubes, or straws. These straws are cut, deep-fried, and seasoned with the required flavor before being sent for packaging.
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Is Veggie straws bad for dogs?
While Veggie straws aren’t lethal, their ingredients are bad for dogs’ health. Some Veggie straws are seasoned with condiments that—while safe for humans—can be toxic to our canine companions. To understand how each ingredient affects dogs, let’s go through them one by one.
Processed potato flour & starch
Potatoes, traditionally considered safe for dogs, have recently been discovered as a leading cause behind canine heart diseases. One such disease is called Dilated Cardiomyopathy, which causes heart enlargement and can be fatal for dogs.
While a single Veggie straw is unlikely to lead to such a situation, dogs that excessively eat potato-based foods are at a much higher risk of the disease.
Aside from that, eating lots of starchy foods can lead to:
- Dental issues.
- Slow metabolism.
- Digestion issues.
- Kidney problems.
Corn starch is neither toxic nor unhealthy for dogs. But that doesn’t make it beneficial either. Corn starch is pure carbs with zero fiber.
Veggie straws are deep-fried in high-temperature hydrogenated oil, which significantly raises their fat content. Dogs aren’t supposed to eat fried foods — aside from occasional snacking. Eating fried and oily snacks regularly can lead to the following:
- Gastrointestinal issues.
- Cardiac disorders.
Fun Fact: Much like Veggie straws, Tater Tots are also deep-fried in hydrogenated oil, which is a bad type of oil for dogs.
Another ingredient used generously in veggie straws is salt. Just like humans, excessive salt can lead to many diseases in dogs. Unlike humans, however, the salt level considered dangerous for dogs is much lower. A 33-pound dog shouldn’t consume any more than 100mg sodium per day.
Considering that a single serving of veggie straws contains a whopping 220mg sodium, you can see how sinisterly salty this snack is.
Ingesting too much sodium can cause the following:
- Salt/Sodium poisoning.
- Muscle spasm.
- Kidney diseases.
- Cardiac disorders.
Spinach and its derivatives are mostly considered safe for dogs, except dogs with kidney problems. Too much spinach can be harmful, as it contains a high amount of oxalic acid. However, the amount used in Veggie straws isn’t a cause for concern.
In its pure form, tomato is considered a dog-friendly ingredient. Tomato paste, on the other hand, is a more controversial item. Depending on how it is prepared, tomato paste may contain sugar, salt, and preservatives that may not benefit your furry friend.
Onion and garlic
Onion and garlic both contain a chemical called N-propyl disulfide. This scary-sounding substance breaks down red blood cells in canines, leading to a condition called Hemolytic Anemia. Any food that contains onions or garlic in any form must never reach a dog’s gut. Eating onions or garlic may cause the following:
When shouldn’t you feed Veggie straws to your dog?
It’s difficult to ignore those puppy-dog eyes when you’re indulging in your favorite snack. However, considering how harmful those snacks can be for your furry buddy, you need to show some tough love.
Due to the high salt content, Veggie straws are unfit for medium and small-sized dogs. The high salt can easily exceed an average dog’s sodium quota and can give them sodium poisoning.
While plain Veggie straws are bad for the dog’s health, spicy and ranch Veggie straws are even worse. Due to them being seasoned with onion and garlic, these Veggie straws can induce toxicity if eaten in excess.
Dogs suffering from old age, obesity, or any heart, liver, or kidney problems, should never eat fatty and salty snacks. For such dogs, natural dog food is the way to go.
Do Veggie straws provide any nutritional benefit for your dog?
No, Veggie straws do not provide any nutritional benefit for your pooch. While the nutritional information on Veggie straws’ packet does list calcium, iron, potassium, and dietary fiber, their quantity is too small to be of any good.
The nutrition label is dominated by fats, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates in generous proportions that outweigh any benefits for dogs.
What if my dog accidentally eats a lot of Veggie straws?
Your dog may appear fine after chomping down on your leftover Veggie straws. However, you need to monitor their condition for any signs of abnormality.
Cut them off of any unnatural diet and only give them safe, dog-oriented food. If your pooch throws up a couple of times or has loose stools, keep them hydrated and watch out for more severe symptoms.
Symptoms to watch for
The severity of symptoms depends on how many Veggie straws your canine buddy munched on. If your pooch ate lots of Veggie straws, you could also expect them to suffer from sodium overdose.
If the snack was spicy or ranch-flavored, they might have consumed onion and garlic powder. In this case, the dog would need immediate veterinary attention.
Common symptoms for dogs after eating unfavorable food are:
- Runny stools.
In addition, a dog may also display signs of sodium poisoning, like:
- Excessive urination.
- Muscle spasm.
If the Veggie straws snack had onion and garlic powder, you might also observe the following:
- Breathing problems.
- Decreased appetite.
Fun Fact: When dogs eat a lot of Tamales, they may also have an upset stomach. There’s also a potential for salt poisoning and garlic or onion toxicity.
Treatments if your dog has Veggie straws poisoning
Once your furry friends start showing signs of sodium poisoning or garlic and onion toxicity, they need immediate medical care. It’s best to take the wrapper of the snack your dog ate with you. This will make things easy for the medical staff.
The vet may administer an emetic to force your dog to throw up. Electrolytes and IV fluids may be given to take care of dehydration. Any haste can lead to a heart attack or brain swelling, which is why the treatments must be administered by a veterinary professional.
Canine-friendly and safe alternatives to Veggie straws
If you want to give your canine friends snacks as a treat, there are plenty of healthy options to go for. The following items make great snack alternatives. Not only do they lack any side effects of junk foods, but they’re also packed with essential nutrients.
- Dried kelp. Low in calories and rich in antioxidants, dried kelp makes a wholesome, light snack for dogs.
- Bananas. They are potassium and vitamin-rich snacks. You can also sun-dry the banana slices to give them a chip-like texture.
- Apples are high in natural sugars and carbohydrates, which makes them an excellent sweet snack for your four-legged friends. Make sure to remove the seeds as they contain cyanide.
- Pumpkin. Due to their high fiber content, pumpkins help keep the dog’s digestion and immunity in tip-top shape.
- Baby carrots are crunchy and sweet sources of essential vitamins. They’re also easier to eat than regular carrots.
- Peppers are delicious anti-inflammatory and vitamin-rich snacks for dogs. The seeds may irritate your furry pal, so make sure to remove them.
- Corn: corns provide protein, carbs, and antioxidants. When feeding it to your dog, make sure they’re un-seasoned and without the cob.
- Popcorn: unsalted, butter-free popcorns can also make delicious and healthy snacks for dogs. They’re also high in fiber, making them excellent for the dog’s tummy.
Your dogs will love these oven-baked crunchy treats that are made with fresh pumpkin and a variety of fruit flavors. Produced in the USA, this crunchy dog treat is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and high in fiber.
This healthy protein treat contains no filler ingredients and is made with koji. Your dogs will receive omega fatty acids, prebiotic fiber, and protein.
How do I make Veggie straws for my dog at home?
Dogs don’t crave snacks, nor do they need them. However, if you like sharing your food with your furry friend, you can make healthy, risk-free snacks at home using naturally grown vegetables.
Baked Veggie chips made without potatoes are healthy, nutritious, and low-fat snacks for you and your furry family member.
Pick up some dog-friendly root vegetables from your local market—turnip, carrots, beetroot, zucchini, and sweet potato are all safe and wholesome options.
Slice them into chips, spread them out on a baking pan atop some parchment paper, pop them in the oven, bake both sides until they’re crisp, et voila! Tasty, nutritious, healthy snacks for you to enjoy with your pup. You can add seasoning to your chips; just keep your dog’s chips plain and simple.
So, can dogs eat Veggie straws?
Based on the information above, dogs should not eat Veggie straws. They are still junk food with no nutritional value and contain ingredients that can be toxic to dogs. Dogs don’t get snack cravings and there is no reason for you to share this unhealthy meal with your canine buddy.
No, dogs should not eat Garden Veggie straws. The snack provides zero nutrition and is just a way to get excessive sodium, fats, and a host of artificial flavors in your dog’s belly.
Some flavors also have onion and garlic powder, the two ingredients that are toxic for dogs.
No, dogs should not eat Great Value Veggie straws. Great Value veggie straws aren’t any different from Garden veggie straws. They’re packed with unhealthy calories and offer no nutritional value. The high sodium content and the seasoning is also toxic to most dogs.
No, dogs should not eat Great Value Veggie straws sea salt. If you must, your pooch can have this in tiny quantities.
Although this flavor of Veggie straws has no known toxic ingredient, it is still packed with sodium, carbs, and oil.
No, dogs should not eat Veggie chips. While there are vegetables safe for dogs, the Veggie chips are still full of fats, carbs, sodium, and possibly toxic seasoning. Carefully check the ingredients before sharing a Veggie chip with your pup.
Yes, ranch Veggie straws are bad for dogs because they contain two ingredients that dogs should never consume: onion and garlic powder. Eating more than a few ranch Veggie straws can make the dog sick.
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I’m a pet lover who has years of pet sitting and grooming experience. I thought it would be a great idea to share my experience with all pet owners so they can also keep their canine companions healthy, happy, and clean!