Can Dogs Eat Cookies? Are They Safe?

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can dogs eat cookies

Can dogs eat cookies? In short, yes, dogs can eat cookies but it all boils down to what’s in the cookies.

One thing most of us have in common is that we love indulging in a warm glass of milk accompanied by a crispy batch of cookies.

Read on to find out how your pup can safely eat cookies. 

So, Can Dogs Eat Cookies Safely?

Over the years, countless dog owners have reportedly observed several health complications in their dogs after they ate cookies.

Not to discredit those claims, I’d like to point out that it’s not the actual cookies that are harmful, but the additional and often optional ingredients found in them. 

A traditional cookie typically has wheat flour, sugar, milk, and butter as its base ingredients.

However, there are hundreds of other optional ingredients that can be included, i.e. chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, and peanut butter

To determine if dogs can safely eat cookies, we will need to figure out if any of the base ingredients are toxic. 

Wheat Flour 

wheat flour

Dogs react to wheat flour in the same way that humans do. Wheat is only harmful if they have a pre-existing wheat allergy. 

Milk

milk

Milk may be problematic because the vast majority of dogs are lactose intolerant. On the other hand, milk is actually a substitute item, as most people prefer to bake cookies with water. 

Sugar

sugar

Dogs can only tolerate sugar to a certain extent. An excess in sugar triggers a long trail of health issues like Diabetes. 

Eggs 

eggs

Eggs are perfectly safe for dogs, in addition, they provide several essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, and fatty acids.

What’s more, mixing them with other ingredients doesn’t make them harmful. 

4 Health Risks of Eating Cookies 

When it comes to baking cookies that you plan to share with your pup, the golden rule is to keep it simple because dogs are allergic to hundreds of popular foods.

Nevertheless, the health risks associated with eating cookies stretch beyond the ingredients.

Cookies can also be harmful to your pet in the following ways:

High Blood Sugar 

Sugar has always been linked with a wide array of health issues in humans, it’s also the case for dogs. It’s not entirely taboo to throw in some sugar in your pooch’s diet, but moderation is key.

For instance, one regular plain cookie contains about 7.7g of sugar[1].

According to research, dogs need to consume less than 15g of sugar a day to avoid high blood sugar and the complications linked to it, such as diabetes and in extreme cases, the gradual loss of sight. 

Choking Hazard 

Let’s face it, we’re not all professional bakers and this much is evident in the way our pastries turn out.

That said, there are days where your cookies might be a little crunchier than usual.

While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it may be a choking hazard to your four-legged friend if it doesn’t chew on the cookie thoroughly before swallowing. 

Also, if you’re health-conscious, you’ll most likely opt for whole wheat flour, which is absolutely great.

However, whole wheat has a coarse texture with seeds that may obstruct your pup’s throat.

Not Sufficiently Nutritious

Even though cookies are regarded as snacks, they still need to be nutritious. A popular misconception about snacks is that they can be packed with empty calories. 

Snacks are actually meant to supplement a dog’s diet with nutrients that are absent in its main meals. 

Dental Disease 

Dental disease is a widespread disease among dogs, with over 80% suffering from it[2].

While it’s caused by several things like chewing on hard items, in most cases, sugar is the contributing factor. 

4 Cookie Ingredients That Can be Toxic to Your Dog 

Baking cookies is a fun activity and even more fun is switching up ingredients to get tastier cookies.

The problem with that is that it creates more potential risks for your dog. You may want to steer clear from the following ingredients:

Milk 

Milk isn’t entirely taboo but it can trigger complications in the long haul.

What’s more, a large number of dogs are lactose intolerant from birth and an equally large number develop intolerant over the years.

With that being said you can include milk in your dog’s cookies but you’ll always be walking on eggshells, which is why you’re better off avoiding it altogether.

Chocolate 

Pups love chocolate but unfortunately for them, the feeling is one-sided. Chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs because of an element called Theobromine. [3]

A dog’s internal system doesn’t metabolise Theobromine as well as a human’s.

Basically, when dogs eat chocolate, their bodies don’t break down the element, which leads to poisoning. 

Peanut Butter 

Peanut butter cookies are the next best thing next to chocolate chip cookies, but just like their chocolate counterpart, peanut butter tends to be toxic to dogs. 

Researchers haven’t been able to pinpoint what it is about peanut butter or peanuts in general that causes discomfort.

Nevertheless, many cases of internal inflammation, heart disease, and obesity have been linked to ingesting peanut butter. 

Raisins 

Raisins are by far the most toxic and dangerous ingredient for dogs.

The side effects following ingestion aren’t as moderate as fever or stomach upset, instead, they’re life-threatening.

To give you an idea, the side effects include sudden kidney failure and Anuria, a condition where the body loses its ability to produce Urine.[4]

Experts have speculated that an element called Mycotoxin might be the reason why raisins, grapes, and currants are so harmful.[5]

Symptoms to Watch Out for 

Opting for a plain cookie recipe is really the only way to safely feed your pup cookies.

Even then, it’s likely that your dog may still experience some type of side effect or discomfort.

Here are symptoms you need to be on the lookout for:

Vomiting 

Purging can be caused by several things, but often it’s due to ingesting foreign objects or toxic foods.

Vomiting is a sign that your dog’s body recognizes something potentially dangerous and it is trying to rid itself of it to prevent or minimize damage. 

If your pooch starts vomiting, don’t panic, instead, wait for the vomiting to stop then give your dog a bit of water to rehydrate.

Contact your vet if the purging goes on for longer than 24 hours. 

Panting (Rapid Breathing) 

Dogs tend to breathe rapidly when they’re stressed, especially if they’re stressing over some type of discomfort.

Panting is very natural to dogs, they pant out of excitement, exercising, and even from heat.

That said, it can be difficult to determine if it’s caused by ingesting cookies. Resultantly, you’ll need to pay a close look. 

Diarrhoea

With dogs, diarrhoea boils down to several factors including food intolerances and allergies.

It typically occurs anywhere between hours to several days after eating toxic foods. 

Fever 

Fever is a pretty accurate indicator that your pet is intolerant to cookies. The mechanism of fever in a dog’s body is identical to that of humans.

Dogs will get fever when their internal systems try to fight off infections, diseases, or inflammation triggered by harmful cookie ingredients. 

Health Benefits Of Eating Cookies

Here’s the bad news, your pup won’t directly benefit from indulging in cookies, in fact, vets may even warn against giving your pooch cookies.

BUT, there are ways to customize them in a way that is suitable and safe for dog ingestion. 

How to Serve Cookies to Your Dog 

You need to keep three things in mind when serving cookies to your dog; practice moderation, be mindful of ingredients, and watch out for symptoms. 

Practising Moderation 

To put it simply, don’t go ham with giving your four-legged friend cookies.

Instead, strive to be meticulous about it. Ideally, your pet shouldn’t consume these treats more than twice a week. 

Be Mindful of Ingredients 

The idea isn’t to exclude cookies from your pet’s diet, because beyond all the negative press, they’re actually great snacks for dogs. 

When baking dog-friendly cookies less is more.

If you want your hound to fully enjoy the crunchy treat, you’ll need to keep the ingredients simple and plain. 

Watch Out for Symptoms 

Introducing a new item to your dog’s diet is no easy task, but it’s manageable.

The key is to always be on the lookout for any signs of a possible intolerance or allergic reaction. 

Primary indicators of an allergic reaction are itchy skin and sometimes hair loss. Food poisoning, on the other hand, will trigger vomiting, fever, and diarrhoea. 

What Kind of Cookies can Dogs Eat? 

Most dog owners are unaware of this, but there are numerous dog-friendly cookie variations to opt for. 

Chicken Cookies 

chicken cookies

Yes, you read that right, chicken cookies! They’re actually one of the tastiest dog snacks because hounds don’t have a sweet tooth, they prefer savoury treats.

Why is this a good idea? Because not only are you supplementing their diets with essential nutrients, but you’re actually giving them something specifically designed for their taste buds. 

Banana Cookies

banana cookies

Banana cookies are the next best thing on the list because they’re safe, dogs love them and they provide lots of health benefits.

Ginger Cookies

ginger cookies

Provided that you moderate the quantity, ginger cookies can be beneficial not just because of their tasty nature but also because ginger is known to improve the following: 

  • Bloating 
  • Motion sickness 
  • Gastrointestinal issues 
  • Vomiting
  • Blood circulation 

The Bottom Line

If you want to go the extra mile, you can bake dog-friendly alternatives like chicken cookies and ginger cookies. 

To sum up, cookies are great snacks for dogs, provided that they don’t include any harmful ingredients like chocolate, raisins, and milk.

If you want to learn more about milk and dogs’ diet, read the in-depth article we wrote here.

Photo of author
Author
Larissa Musangu
I'm a seasoned dog lover and companion. I've noticed that there are numerous misconceptions regarding dog nutrition, which is why I've taken it upon myself to share actionable, accurate and research-backed advice on best-practices for feeding our four-legged friends.

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