Cookies are a sweet dessert that boosts your mood at any time. Because of this, you might want to share some with your furry friend. This raises the question, can dogs eat cookies? Are cookies safe for dogs?
There are two answers to these questions. Dogs can eat cookies, but in some cases, they should not. The type of cookie they eat and what it is made of determines whether they can eat it. For example, cookies containing ingredients such as chocolate chips or raisins are harmful to dogs.
You, therefore, need to ensure that the cookies they eat are safe for them. Feeding your dog cookies containing too much sugar or the above ingredients puts their health at risk.
Health Benefits of Cookies
The ingredients used determines if there are health benefits in the cookies your dog eats. Healthy and dog-friendly ingredients can have some benefits for dogs. Some cookies are an excellent source of carbohydrates and proteins that aid in the growth and development of young pups.
They may also contain calcium, fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin D. This mostly applies to doggie cookies, but you can also find these benefits in regular cookies.
The good thing with doggie cookies is that they contain less fat than other cookies as they are made with less oil or butter. These are the safest option for dogs with health conditions such as diabetes. Feeding cookies in moderation also protects healthy dogs from developing such conditions.
Another surprising benefit of feeding your dog cookies is controlling their itchiness. Dogs are prone to getting fleas, especially those with sensitive skin and those allergic to certain food items. Give your dog a few cookies after an allergy attack from foods such as wheat, gluten proteins, or beef. Be aware that a lot of sugar can lead to skin irritation for such dogs because of their sensitive skin, so control their intake.
Other than the potential health benefits, you can reward your dog with a cookie for good behavior. They are a delicious treat and a great way to show your pup some love.
Risks Associated with Cookies
Although dogs love cookies, they are generally riskier than their regular food. They don’t offer the same nutritional value; some don’t even have any. No matter how many cookies your dog eats, they cannot make up for the lack of nutrients they would otherwise get from other foods.
Some of the potential risks of cookies to dogs include:
Dogs might lack control and eat a whole cookie at a go. The danger is that the cookie can get lodged in their throats, causing them to gag on the piece. Break the cookie into smaller, bite-sized pieces to avoid this.
Keep your dog away from raw cookie dough. As sweet as it is, the dough contains raw eggs, which can cause food poisoning. The dough can also be hazardous to your pet as it causes life-threatening stomach distention.
It can be hard to keep track of the number of cookies your dog eats, especially if the cookies are small in size. Large cookies are no better as they contain a sugar overload, making your dog hyper.
Dogs love sugary or sweet foods and will want more cookies if you offer them. This can easily lead to overeating, leading to the development of health conditions, such as diabetes. Eating too many cookies can also lead to tooth decay resulting from sugar buildup.
Always look at the ingredients list before buying your pet treats. Some cookies use additional ingredients that can make your dog ill. Other ingredients might not make them sick but can still have adverse effects in the long run. Ensure the cookies you get for your dog only include safe ingredients.
The best cookies are oatmeal or wheat flour cookies; stay away from the chocolate chip or frosted sugar cookies. Instead, feed your dog a fruit dipped in more natural ingredients like yogurt if they crave that sweet taste.
Cookies to Avoid Feeding Dogs
Keep your dog away from cookies that:
- Contain chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine that is poisonous to dogs.
- Have xylitol on their ingredients. This is a sugar substitute popular in baked goods. Xylitol ingestion by dogs can lead to liver failure, seizures, and hypoglycemia. The amount of xylitol in two sticks of chewing gum is enough to send your pet into a coma or cause death.
- Contain a lot of sugar. Overeating sugar can make your pup sick. It also comes with other health risks like diabetes and weight gain.
- Are made with currants, berries, raisins, or other fruits that are toxic to dogs.
How Many Cookies Should You Feed Your Dog?
The lesser the cookies, the better. There are many health risks associated with cookies that far outnumber the benefits. Control your dog’s cookie intake to at least once or twice a week, or even skip some weeks.
This caution is necessary even when feeding them healthy cookies, such as peanut butter or omega paw cookies. These still contain more fat and sugar than regular dog food, putting your furry friend at risk.
How to Serve Cookies to Dogs
To prevent choking hazards or overeating, feed your pup:
- Broken cookies or cookies mixed with other foods. You can also break the cookies and bake them in flour or canned dog food to create a makeshift cookie dough safe for dogs
- Whole, fresh, and soft cookies
- Cookies with mashed or cut-up vegetables, such as squash, carrots, and zucchini. These provide a fiber boost in the snack while retaining some flavor.
- Cookie crumbs. Spread these on their favorite foods, such as kibble and wet dog food. You can use this to encourage picky eaters.
While you may desire to have your dog enjoy cookies, you have to be very careful about the cookies they eat. Stay away from those made with harmful or toxic ingredients and stick to safer ones. Be moderate in feeding them to safeguard their health.