While some cookies are safe for dogs, others can be harmful. It all comes down to the ingredients used in the baked goods, the number of cookies your dog ingested, and the size of your dog.
Dogs are curious by nature, and often this characteristic can lead to trouble. If you have found your dog with his paw in the cookie jar, you might be wondering if it’s ok for a dog to eat cookies. Keep reading to learn how to keep your dog safe when sharing a sweet treat like cookies.
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The size of your dog and the amount that they ate can be a factor when deciding if they are in danger after consuming cookies.
If you have a smaller breed dog, like a Yorkie, it may take a smaller amount to reach a toxic level. If you have a large breed dog, it will probably require your dog to eat more before it becomes a crisis. However, this fact does not hold for every situation.
If you are unsure how many cookies your dog ate, contact your vet or an emergency clinic. It’s always better to use extra caution when dealing with our beloved pets.
Ingredients to avoid
There is a long list of foods that can be dangerous when eaten by dogs, including many that are common ingredients in cookies and other baked goods. Here is a list of ingredients that can lead to problems for your pet.
The ingredient in chocolate that poses a threat to your dog is called theobromine. This compound can cause serious heart and nervous system dysfunction. Humans can metabolize theobromine quickly, but your dog cannot. The levels in their blood can build to a dangerous level and very quickly lead to toxicity. It can even lead to death in high enough concentrations.
If you believe your dog has eaten chocolate, contact your veterinarian to ask what your next steps should be.
Raisins are another popular cookie ingredient that you should avoid. If your pet consumes raisins, it can lead to kidney damage. This ingredient can even result in sudden kidney failure in some dogs. Although the exact reason for this is still unclear, scientists think it may be from some dogs’ inability to metabolize certain compounds present in grapes.
Not all dogs are equally affected. But considering the high risk of an adverse reaction, cookies or foods containing raisins should be avoided.
3. Macadamia Nuts
Like raisins, the reason that macadamia nuts have a toxic effect on dogs is still unknown. However, even a tiny amount of this ingredient can be deadly for your pet. Symptoms can include weakness, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors. Macadamia nuts are also high in fat, which could lead to pancreatitis.
If you believe your dog has eaten anything containing macadamia nuts, contact an emergency vet clinic as soon as possible.
While not as immediately dangerous as other common cookie ingredients, pet owners should avoid almonds if sharing a treat with their dog. Ingesting almonds can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. And again, because of the high-fat content, eating too many almonds can cause pancreatitis. They also pose a choking risk due to their shape.
In small amounts, nutmeg is unlikely to be toxic to your dog. So, one stolen cookie is probably not something you need to worry about too much. But if your dog wolfed down the whole plate of cookies while you were looking the other way, this could be a reason for concern. Nutmeg contains a compound known as Myristicin, which is toxic to dogs in large quantities.
6. Apricots and Cherries
Experts agree that many fruits and vegetables can be beneficial for your dog. However, pitted fruits like apricots and cherries are dangerous for your pet because they can contain cyanide. While the edible part of the fruit is generally safe, there is a risk of cyanide poisoning when exposing your pet to foods that may contain apricots or cherries.
Sugar in large amounts is not healthy for anyone, and this includes pets. While it may not pose the same risk as chocolate or raisins, excess sugar in your pet’s diet can lead to cavities, obesity, and diabetes. Therefore, it’s healthier to limit the amount of sugar your dog eats.
Other foods to avoid
The foods listed here are not the only ones that can be dangerous for your dog. Even certain foods that are considered relatively safe for your pet can cause stomach upset or gastrointestinal issues when eaten in large amounts. Especially avoid anything that contains the artificial sweetener xylitol. Also, just like humans, some dogs may have sensitivities to certain foods.
What to do after?
If you suspect your dog has eaten cookies that include any of these ingredients, you should call your veterinarian for guidance. They may tell you to observe your pet over the next few hours to watch for adverse reactions. Or they may recommend that you rush your pet to the emergency clinic for immediate care and treatment.
Safe ingredients for dogs
If you want to share a sweet treat with your pup, choose cookies that feature ingredients like peanut butter, pumpkin, and oatmeal. Peanut butter is a rich source of protein and healthy fats and can give your pup a boost of energy. Pumpkin is a natural probiotic and can be beneficial for aiding in digestive issues. And always remember to feed treats in moderation, even healthy ones.
Bake you own!
A quick internet search will reward you with a long list of recipes you can use to bake dog-friendly cookies at home. There are many ingredient options you can use. You will end up with a delicious, healthy cookie sure to leave your dog’s tail wagging for more. Here is a list of ingredients you can try:
- Whole wheat or coconut flour
- Coconut oil
- Peanut Butter
- Pumpkin (pure canned, not pie filling)
- Melted bacon grease
- Beef bouillon cubes (opt for sodium-free)
- Jarred baby food (the options here are endless)
- Mint or parsley – for the added benefit of freshening your doggie’s breath!
If you’re wondering if your dog can have a cookie, avoid options that include any of the ingredients listed here that are known to cause serious problems. Choose sweets made from dog-safe ingredients. You can even bake your very own healthy dog cookies at home.
If your dog ingested cookies that may contain dangerous ingredients, contact animal poison control or your veterinarian for advice on what to do next.
Now that you know which cookies are safe and which are not, you and your dog can enjoy the occasional treat together with confidence! Bon Appetit!