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Can Dogs Eat Pirate’s Booty? Vet Approved Health Facts & Risks


Jun 23, 2023


Pirate's Booty
Dr. Athena Gaffud Photo

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Pirate’s Booty—it’s not just buried treasure! For over 30 years, fans have loved to snack on these delicious, golden cheese puffs. They bill themselves as a more natural (and tastier) option on the cheese puff market, without the artificial colors and flavors that other brands have. But if your dog’s always begging for one, is it safe to share? Yes. In moderation, Pirate’s Booty is a safe snack for dogs. Although it’s not exactly doggy health food, most dogs will love having one or two from your package if you decide to let them.


What’s in Pirate’s Booty?

To learn more about why Pirate’s Booty is safe to feed to your dog, we’ll turn to the ingredients list. Pirate’s Booty is made from natural ingredients, including corn, rice, cheddar cheese, and seasonings.

Corn and Rice

The first ingredients in Pirate’s Booty are cornmeal and rice flour. Both corn and rice are common grains in dog food. Although some dog owners prefer to give their dogs a grain-free diet, there’s evidence to show that completely nixing grains from the diet is actually bad for dogs.


Pirate’s Booty is made using canola or sunflower oil. Although too much fat and oil are bad for your dog, it’s okay in small amounts. Pirate’s Booty is baked, not fried, meaning that it’s less fatty than some alternatives.

scooping a bowl of vegetable oil
Image Credit: masa44, Shutterstock

Dairy Products

It’s not surprising that cheese puffs have cheese in them. Specifically, these puffs have cheddar cheese, whey, and buttermilk. Dogs are generally lactose intolerant—this means that their body has a hard time digesting dairy. However, small amounts of dairy products are usually fine. Most dogs can handle the amount of dairy in Pirate’s Booty.

Flavorings and Preservatives

Pirate’s Booty also has salt, citric acid, black pepper, and other natural flavors and preservatives. All of these ingredients are fine in moderation.

divider-pawNutrition Breakdown

Looking at the ingredients list lets us know that Pirate’s Booty is relatively safe—but is it healthy? We won’t lie to you—it’s not particularly healthy. However, Pirate’s Booty might be fine as a treat. One packet only has 70 calories, and you’re unlikely to feed your dog even that much. This means that a treat of Pirate’s Booty won’t make up much of your dog’s diet. But if you’re wondering what the health breakdown is, we can take a look at the nutrition facts.

A 14-gram serving of Pirate’s Booty has 3 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein. Your dog’s normal food should be about 20–40 percent protein and 5–20 percent fat depending on your dog’s age and health. Pirate’s Booty clearly doesn’t make the cut. It also has 95 mg of sodium. Although this isn’t a huge amount of sodium in the grand scheme of things, salty foods aren’t especially healthy for dogs. This nutrition breakdown is why Pirate’s Booty is fine as a treat but shouldn’t be a big part of your dog’s diet.

man buying pet food
Image Credit: LADO, Shutterstock

divider-dog pawHealth Risks of Pirate’s Booty

Are there any health risks associated with Pirate’s Booty? For most dogs, a small amount of Pirate’s Booty should be safe. But there are some risks if your dog overeats, and some particularly sensitive dogs might have their own risks.


The most common allergies in dogs are to meat proteins, but dogs can also have allergies to dairy or to grains, including corn and rice. If your dog has an allergy to one of the ingredients in Pirate’s Booty, you might see reactions such as itchiness, redness, swelling, or a rash.

dog scratching
Image Credit: schubbel, Shutterstock


Most dogs are lactose intolerant, but some might be more sensitive than others. A particularly sensitive dog might be made sick by even a small amount of dairy. Eating large amounts of Pirate’s Booty could also trigger your dog’s intolerance. This might result in diarrhea, vomiting, or an upset stomach.

Sodium Poisoning

Dogs can’t handle salt as well as humans can, and too much salt intake can lead to sodium poisoning. As little as 1,500 mg of salt per pound of body weight can lead to serious illness or even death. Luckily, a small dog would have to eat several bags of Pirate’s Booty to get sick—a 14-gram serving of Pirate’s Booty only has 95 mg of sodium. But, hopefully, you will never leave all the Pirate’s Booty around where your dog can access it!


Last Thoughts

Overall, Pirate’s Booty is a relatively safe treat to feed your dog, but you should be aware of serving size. Pirate’s Booty doesn’t have much nutritional value, though, so it should always be fed in moderation and shouldn’t ever replace healthy, balanced dog food. After all, we all know that your best friend’s health is the real treasure.

Featured Image Credit: (Pirate’s Booty, BrokenSphere, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

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