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A lot of dog owners question whether or not sugar cookies are safe for dogs to eat.
So we reached out to our local veterinarian to get some help answering, “can dogs eat sugar cookies?”
According to experts in dog nutrition, sugar cookies should not be fed to dogs. This is because they contain large amounts of sugar, butter, and flour, which can harm dogs. Although a small amount is unlikely to cause problems, sugar cookies are packed full of sugar which is highly unhealthy for dogs to eat.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- Why you should avoid feeding your dog sugar cookies
- The dangers associated with dogs eating sugar cookies
- What to do if your dog eats a bunch of sugar cookies
- What dog cookies are okay to eat and which ones aren’t
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
Can Dogs Eat Sugar Cookies?
Most sugar cookies are made with large amounts of sugar, butter, and flour- which can harm dogs if they consume too much.
Although a small amount is unlikely to cause harm, we recommend avoiding giving your dog sugar cookies altogether since they are packed full of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
Dogs can not metabolize large quantities of sugar as humans can, so it’s important to be mindful of giving your dog sugar cookies.
Sugar can cause a whole host of problems for dogs, including weight gain, diabetes, and liver disease, to name a few.
In addition, many sugar cookie recipes include other dangerous ingredients for dogs. These include chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts, and xylitol (a sugar substitute that can be toxic to dogs).
Lastly, when you give your dog just 1 sugar cookie, they know what it tastes like. So, anytime you go to make cookies, guess who will be waiting around to get a taste?
In fact, they might even try jumping up on the table to get some. This poses a greater risk to their health because if they were ever to get a plate full of cookies, it could be very dangerous.
When dogs do not know what they taste like, they may be less motivated to try and eat them. Of course, dogs love food in general, so this is not always the case, but it’s something worth considering.
In general, it’s always best to avoid giving your dog any human food that is high in sugar and fats.
What About Sugar Cookie Icing?
The icing on sugar cookies can also be harmful to dogs. Most icings also contain large amounts of sugar and can potentially cause the same health problems as the cookie itself.
If your dog somehow manages to eat a sugar cookie with icing, it’s important to monitor them closely for any signs of illness.
So long as they didn’t eat a ton of them, they should be okay.
Refer to the section below on “what to do if your dog eats a bunch of sugar cookies” for guidance if your dog ate a bunch of sugar cookies with icing.
Related Reading: Can Dogs Eat Cool Whip? Is It Safe For Dogs? (We Asked A Vet)
Dangers Of Dogs Eating Sugar Cookies
I’ve briefly mentioned some of the dangers of dogs eating sugar cookies but I want to go into a little more detail about some of the risks associated with dogs eating sugar cookies.
Here are the main concerns you should be aware of:
Hyperglycemia is when blood sugar levels rise to abnormal levels. Dogs that eat too many sugary foods can develop hyperglycemia.
Symptoms of hyperglycemia in dogs include increased thirst, urination, and appetite. In addition, If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to serious health problems like diabetic ketoacidosis, liver disease, and even death.
Potential Toxic Ingredients
Typical sugar cookie recipes can contain ingredients dogs should not be eating.
If your dog gets into some cookies, always check the ingredients to ensure there are no toxic substances.
Here are some common ingredients found in sugar cookies that are dangerous for dogs to consume:
Nutmeg is a common ingredient found in sugar cookies. However, it can be toxic to dogs if consumed in large amounts and can cause seizures, tremors, and in severe cases, death.
Macadamia nuts can be found in some sugar cookie recipes. Unfortunately, these are extremely dangerous for dogs and can cause paralysis, weakness, and in severe cases, death.
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, a poisonous substance for dogs. Excessive amounts cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, restlessness, excessive urination, rapid heart rate, muscle spasm, and sometimes seizures.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in some sugar cookies. It can be very dangerous for dogs as it can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar levels, seizures, and hypoglycemia.
Raisins can be found in some sugar cookie recipes. However, they can cause renal failure in dogs if consumed in large quantities.
If your dog ate many cookies containing any of these ingredients, make sure to contact your vet as soon as possible.
High In Fat
Sugar cookies are high in calories and fat.
This can cause weight gain and obesity in dogs if they consume too much.
In severe cases, dogs who overeat fatty food in one sitting can end up with pancreatitis.
High In Sugar
We all know that too much sugar is not healthy for us humans to eat. But, unfortunately, for dogs, this is also true.
Sugar can cause a long list of problems for dogs, here are a few of them:
Upset Stomach – Sugar cookies can cause an upset stomach in dogs. This is mainly from the sugar. Sugar is difficult for a dog to digest properly and can cause diarrhea or vomiting.
Tooth Decay – The sugar in sugar cookies can lead to tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acid. This can lead to cavities and gum disease.
Diarrhea – Diarrhea is another common symptom when a dog eats sugar cookies.
Weight Gain – Another problem with the high sugar content is it can lead to weight gain and obesity in dogs.
Diabetes – The high sugar content in cookies can also lead to diabetes in dogs. Diabetes is a serious health condition that requires lifelong treatment.
Heart Disease – Dogs that eat too many sugar cookies can also get heart disease. Heart disease is a severe health condition that can be fatal.
Inflammation – Excess sugar can lead to inflammation throughout a dog’s body. This can lead to many problems such as arthritis, dermatitis, and pancreatitis, to name a few.
That’s 7 potential health concerns a dog could face if they overeat sugar.
Even though 1-2 cookies every so often will probably not cause any of these issues, is it worth the risk?
In my opinion, it’s not.
Related Reading: Can Dogs Eat Sugar Cane? Everything You Need To Know
A dog that gets into too many sugar cookies is at risk of overeating.
Overeating is when a dog consumes more calories than they need. This can lead to severe issues like pancreatitis and bloat.
If you have a small dog, the biggest risk is pancreatitis, whereas if you have a large dog, bloat is the biggest concern.
Pancreatitis and Bloat are severe conditions that could be fatal if not treated immediately by a veterinarian.
The symptoms of overeating are:
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
Other Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind Of Cookies Can Dogs Eat?
While sugar cookies are the main focus of this article, you might be wondering what other kinds of cookies dogs can eat.
The answer is: it depends.
Many cookies contain ingredients that can be dangerous for dogs, like chocolate, raisins, and nuts.
Plus, most cookies contain lots of sugar. So what kind of cookies can dogs eat?
Dogs can eat cookies that are specifically made with them in mind.
These cookies usually don’t contain any harmful ingredients and have limited sugar.
You can find these dog cookies at most pet stores or online. You can even make some homemade cookies for your dogs. Just leave out the sugar, chocolate, and other harmful ingredients.
Are Cookies Toxic To Dogs?
It depends on the ingredients in the cookie. Cookies are generally not toxic to dogs. However, cookies can contain ingredients that can be harmful to dogs, like chocolate, raisins, and nuts.
Plus, most cookies contain lots of sugar which aren’t suitable for dogs either. So while cookies aren’t technically toxic to dogs, they can still be harmful if they eat too many or the wrong kind.
What Do I Do If My Dog Ate A Cookie?
First, don’t panic. If your dog ate sugar cookies 99 out of 100 times, your dog would be fine.
The most likely result of dogs eating cookies is indigestion and gastrointestinal distress. The symptoms of this are:
- Decreased appetite
Suppose your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, lasting more than 24-48 hours. In that case, it’s time to contact your veterinarian. Otherwise, these symptoms should pass after the cookies have passed through your dog’s digestive system.
Contact your vet if you are concerned with the number of cookies your dog ate.
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