We humans either love it or hate it, but can dogs eat Marmite? If your pooch has had a lick of this sticky spread, they’ve probably been a big lover and left you wondering why they find this yeasty “treat” so irresistible.
Read on to find out if we should really share this sticky spread with our furry friends, or if it’s one of those human foods that’s best kept out of paw’s reach.
Ironically, the answer is a bit Marmite. Yes, dogs can technically eat Marmite because it doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients, however, that doesn’t mean it’s the most dog-friendly or healthy snack for your pooch.
Many dogs are still barking mad for Marmite, and provided your pooch is happy and healthy a little lick probably won’t do them any harm. However, this spread is packed full of calories and salt which aren’t healthy for your dog to eat in excess.
Your pooch can probably have a small splodge of Marmite and be perfectly fine, but you do need to make sure you only feed it to them occasionally in very small amounts.
Marmite isn’t safe for all dogs to eat though, and it’s always best to check with your vet if it’s suitable for your individual dog. If your pooch has any problems with their heart, liver, or kidneys, they shouldn’t eat Marmite. This is because the high levels of salt (or sodium) in the foodstuff can increase their blood pressure and lead to increased body fluids and water retention, which can make their conditions worse.
Marmite gravy is a popular vegetarian replacement for meat gravy to top your Sunday roast. Plus, many people stir a spoonful of the spread into their gravy anyway to add some extra flavour.
Can dogs eat marmite gravy? It depends on the ingredients used to make the gravy, and the amount of Marmite that’s in there. Gravy powder also contains a lot of salt, so this combined with Marmite can make a staggeringly salty sauce that isn’t good for dogs to eat. Many gravy recipes also use onions or onion powder, which are toxic to dogs.
If you want to make a Marmite “gravy” that your dog can eat, simply stir about a quarter of a teaspoonful of Marmite into some boiling water until it dissolves. Once this “gravy” cools down, you can give your dog a splash in their Pure to help rehydrate it, or use it to make dog-friendly ice lollies. Just remember to only give your dog a few spoonfuls of this Marmite gravy because it is still very salty.
Twiglets, like Marmite, are one of those snacks we humans either love or hate. Some dogs seem to really enjoy these salty snacks though, probably because of their obvious crunch and savoury flavour. Twiglets don’t contain any toxic ingredients, so your pooch will probably be alright if they snuffle one or two off the floor.
But these twiggy treats are still high in carbohydrates and salt and aren’t very nutritious. So don’t start planning on swapping your dog treats for Twiglets. Even if a healthy dog can eat one or two without an issue it shouldn’t be their go-to snack. And they certainly shouldn’t snuffle a whole packet!
Any Aussies reading will probably testify that Vegemite is better than Marmite, but to a dog they’re both equally tasty. Although they taste similar, these two yeast-extract spreads do use a few different ingredients and have varying nutrition qualities. For instance, Marmite has more calories and carbs, but it also contains more protein and vitamin B12.
The problem is that although Vegemite has a bit less salt in it than Marmite, it is still too salty for your dog to be eating regularly. Again, a tiny splodge of Vegemite shouldn’t harm an otherwise healthy adult dog, but it isn’t a nutritious snack and can be dangerous in large amounts, the same as Marmite.
Marmite isn’t particularly “good” for dogs to eat. Although it is rich in a few vitamins and minerals, the high amount of salt and calories offsets the goodness found in this spread.
Marmite is somewhat good for us humans because it contains yeast and B vitamins. These include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, and some folic acid. However, there are many foods out there that are also rich in these vitamins but without the stacks of salt, making them better choices for Fido.
If you want to make sure your pooch is eating plenty of B vitamins, you’re better off feeding them some whole meat, fish, liver, eggs, or leafy green vegetables. Even some fruits and vegetables like watermelon are rich in these vitamins and far more healthy and dog-friendly as a snack.
When fed in very small amounts as an occasional treat, Marmite isn’t a huge problem for your pooch. However, it’s one treat that must be strictly limited or potentially avoided entirely.
Just 1g of Marmite contains 0.108g of salt, which is equivalent to a medium dog’s recommended daily allowance. Even the reduced salt variety of spread has 0.49g of salt per serving, or 0.06g of salt per gram.
You have to remember that your pup’s dog food will also have some sodium in it, so the salt in a serving of Marmite isn’t going to be the only salt that they eat in a day.
A healthy adult dog can deal with some additional salt on the odd occasion, but regularly eating more than their recommended daily allowance can have a serious impact on their health. If your dog eats too much salt, they might become dehydrated. In some cases overindulging in salty foods can lead to sodium poisoning, which often causes vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. The more serious cases of sodium poisoning can also cause seizures or coma, and can even prove fatal.
Regularly eating too much salt is not great for your pooch either because it can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure will impact your dog’s energy levels and lead to heart problems. If their blood pressure cannot be returned to normal levels, your pup will need to be medicated for the rest of their life which makes prevention really important. Too much salt also imbalances their body fluids, leading to fluid retention outside the cells.
To put it simply, Marmite just has too much salt for your pooch to safely eat in large amounts or as a regular treat. It’s best kept as a special treat, if you’re going to feed them any at all. A little splodge should be perfectly fine, just make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh drinking water. However, a dog that regularly eats Marmite or other salty foods can become very sick.
Marmite is one of those tasty treats that will need to be strictly moderated if you feed it to your dog because of the high levels of salt. You should never feed your dog more than about half a teaspoon at the very most, and even that will be too much for a small or toy-sized dog like a Jack Russell Terrier.
An easy way to moderate the amount of Marmite your dog eats is to use your finger to get a small splodge, then smear this inside a Kong or on a licki mat for them to enjoy.
You could also dilute it with water to make it last longer or to flavour a frozen treat, but you should still stick to a small serving of Marmite even if you’re mixing it with water.
Yes, dogs can eat Marmite but it doesn’t mean it’s good for them or paw-fectly safe. Dogs can enjoy a little bit of Marmite as a special treat, but they can’t eat a lot of the sticky spread because it has a lot of salt which can cause illness.
Your pooch shouldn’t eat Marmite regularly either, so make sure to keep it as a special treat and vary your pup’s treats with lots of healthy and dog-friendly fruits and vegetables like apple, carrot, or pepper to make sure they still get to enjoy a tasty snack that’s perfectly safe. To ensure they're getting everything they need in their diet, you'll want to pair their tasty treats with a complete and balanced meal like Pure. Pure is natural, wholesome and packed full of nutrients, without cutting back on taste. Much better than Marmite!
Written by: Dr Andrew Miller MRCVS
Andy graduated from Bristol University in 2010 and sees nutrition as a foundation for our pet's wellbeing and takes a common-sense approach. We are what we eat, and it shouldn't be any different for our pets.