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The irresistible smell of fresh baked cookies wafts through the house. Everyone’s mouths are watering – including your dog’s!
Behind your back she sneaks a cookie cooling on the kitchen counter (or the whole plate), leaving you to wonder, “Can my dog eat cookies? Are they toxic?”. Here’s what you need to know.
Can my dog eat cookies?
In the end, it depends. The first question you need to ask is, “What were the cookie ingredients?”
Common human cookie ingredients that are toxic to dogs are nutmeg, chocolate, raisins, and macadamia nuts. If your dog is particularly agile and adept at grabbing food off the counter or a plate, it’s recommended to get a baby gate for the kitchen or keeping cookies in a tin or plastic container with a lockable lid between servings.
If your dog has snatched a sugar cookie or another dessert that is high in sugar, butter, and flour but doesn’t have the above ingredients, it’s probably not toxic, though unhealthy. Refined sugar isn’t the best for your pet, but your dog will likely be all right. If your dog is diabetic, call your vet about the unaccounted sugar-intake.
Symptoms to watch for
Recipes for the cookies we all love and eat are full of ingredients that can make your dog sick. (Classic chocolate chip, anyone?) My dogs tend to be way more resilient than I think when they eat something questionable, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Some symptoms to watch for if your dog has eaten a human cookie:
- Increased body temperature
- Rapid breathing
If any of these symptoms occur within the first 12 hours, call your emergency vet immediately.
Host a Safe Cookie Exchange
The busy holidays and family and friends in and out of different rooms of the house can cause your dogs some anxiety. I recommend feeding them a little before company comes over to curb any precocious food-snatching. I always ask my guests to keep an extra eye on their plates. Our dogs love an opportunity to try any tasty human food left unattended on the coffee table.
I also use potentially-unsafe-sweets as an opportunity to remind adults and teach children about what ingredients are toxic to dogs. Children love sweets and they usually love dogs. It’s natural for them to want to share their desserts or foods with my sweet and eager dogs. That’s when I break out the dog-safe cookies and teach the kids that these treats are for dogs and the desserts are for humans.
If I’m really worried about crumbs of, say, some chocolate cookies getting into the mouths of our dogs, I’ll put our dogs in a separate room while we eat and then sweep before I let them in again.
Bake Cookies Your Dog Can Eat
A good alternative is to bake your pups dog-safe cookies. That way you and your guests can treat them to these throughout the night. I like these “Easy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats” – just make sure to label them! They’re good enough to mistake for a human cookie. (And safe to eat, if a little bland.)
For More Information
We have many different articles on which types of food that may or may not be safe for your dog to indulge in. Browse through our directory page with all the “Can My Dog Eat” articles here.