Since it was created way back in 1902, whether loved or hated, Marmite has been a mainstay in plenty of homes across the world. Perfectly safe for human consumption, you may wonder if your furry canine pal can eat Marmite.
The simple answer is “yes, in small quantities.” Marmite does not contain any harmful or toxic ingredients but it may not be the healthiest food choice for your dog.
Read on to know if dogs can eat this sticky, yeasty spread or not.
What Is Marmite?
Invented in 1902 by Justus von Liebig, a German scientist, Marmite is a popular condiment that you can find in most British homes.
Liebig found that the beer brewers’ yeast extract leftovers could be concentrated and made into a savory spread that could be eaten. Marmite contains yeast extract, salt and extracts of vegetables and spices.
With a very high protein content, Marmite has a chock full of healthy nutrients including B vitamins i.e., niacin, vitamin B12, folic acid and riboflavin and other nutrients including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and selenium.
Is Marmite Safe for Dogs?
As you can see from above, Marmite is packed with plenty of nutrients that make it healthy for humans and these minerals and vitamins are good for your pooch’s health too.
Marmite, however, contains plenty of salt (sodium), which can be harmful to your dog’s health. A dog needs only around 0.25 gm to 1.5 gm of sodium per 100 gm of food for optimal cell functioning.
Whereas just a teaspoon (5 gm) of Marmite contains around 166 mg of sodium, which exceeds the daily intake of sodium of a medium-sized dog. Further, Marmite is high in calories which also makes it unhealthy for your pet.
You must also remember that Marmite is not the only food in your pet’s diet that provides salt. The regular food that your dog eats will also contain some salt, which adds to the daily salt requirement.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Takis?
Is Marmite Dangerous for Dogs?
Now we know that Marmite is not very good for dogs, but is it dangerous for your pet? A little bit of Marmite or occasional licks of the salty spread is fine and will not cause your pet any major harm. But you must be mindful of how much your pet is eating.
If it is consumed in large amounts, then Marmite can be harmful, even dangerous for your dog. This is because the high salt content in the spread is not good for your pet, which makes it unsafe for it to be consumed regularly or in large quantities.
In minor cases, excessive salt can cause excessive thirst. But, consumption of too much salt in one sitting can cause hypernatremia or sodium poisoning, symptoms of which can include vomiting, excessive thirst, diarrhea, excessive urination and lethargy.
And, if not treated, this can lead to tremors, seizures, potential organ failure, coma and even death.
In short, in very small amounts, Marmite is not toxic to your dog. But it is not an ideal food for your pet and so, if you must, you can feed very tiny amounts of Marmite to your pet at a time or simply give them a couple of licks occasionally.
You should not feed your pooch more than ½ a teaspoon of Marmite at the most and even this can be a lot for a toy-sized or small-sized dog such as a Jack Russell Terrier.
An easy way by which you can control the amount of Marmite your pooch eats is to get a little splodge of the Marmite with your finger and smear it on a LickiMat or inside a Kong, which your furry friend can enjoy.
And, if your dog does eat a bit of Marmite, there is no cause to panic. Give your pet plenty of fresh water to drink and keep them well-hydrated. Do not give them any other foods containing salt and monitor them closely for any adverse symptoms.
And, if you notice any of the symptoms of sodium poisoning, then take your pet to the vet immediately.
Also, if your dog suffers from any liver, kidney or heart problem, then Marmite may not be good for them at all because the high sodium level in the Marmite can worsen their existing health condition, increase their blood pressure and cause an increase in body fluids and water retention.
So, it is always a good idea to check with your vet if Marmite is suitable for your dog, especially if they are suffering from any pre-existing health conditions before feeding them the salty spread.
Marmite is packed with nutrients but is not a good option for your pooch and so, it is better to look for other healthier alternatives for your pet.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Doritos?
Healthier Alternatives to Marmite
If you want to ensure that your furry canine is getting plenty of B vitamins, then you can include eggs, fish, whole meat, liver or leafy green veggies in your pooch’s diet.
Opt for healthy snacks such as mashed sweet potatoes, unsalted peanut butter, unsweetened applesauce, plain, unsalted Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and baby food.
You can also mix your pet’s favorite meats, fruits and veggies with the above such as applesauce, shredded pork and green beans, peanut butter with shredded chicken and chopped carrots and mashed sweet potatoes with broccoli and white fish or salmon, etc.
In conclusion, Marmite on toast is not only tasty but healthy too. But that is the case only for humans.
And, if your furry four-legged friend has developed a penchant for this sticky, salty spread, then make sure that he gets just a little lick or a tiny amount as a tasty treat.
This is because the high salt content in Marmite makes it unsafe for your pet to eat it regularly or in large amounts, as it can make them very sick. A little nibble is fine, as long as it is a “once in a while” treat.