After watching my friend, Claire, losing her dog to something that could have been prevented, I vowed to help inform every pet owner. I wanted to teach. I wanted to be pulled into the richness of having a healthy pet. But, the question would be, how safe are vanilla wafers for your dog?
Vanilla wafers are a popular snack added to banana pudding to add crispiness. Its unique taste and sweetness make it a perfect snack, taken at any time of the day. While this delicacy is suitable for human consumption, vanilla wafers are not the safest option for your dog. Yet, various intricacies are involved. Here are a few insights into this diet.
What Are Vanilla Wafers, And What Are Their Ingredients?
Vanilla wafers are homemade snacks made of wheat flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. They are often used in fruit puddings, particularly bananas.
However, the ingredients in commercial vanilla wafers will often vary with the brand and type, meaning you’ll need to check the ingredient list for certainty. Manufacturers have embraced synthetic vanillin, palm oil, canola oil, artificial flavors, and corn syrup to add flavor.
Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Wafers?
Dogs can eat vanilla wafers in moderation. Often, one or two pieces of this snack will hardly affect your pet’s health. However, increased consumption exposes your pet to multiple toxins that could significantly endanger it. The following are a few reasons against excessive consumption of vanilla wafers among dogs.
Processed Sugars And Artificial Sweeteners
Processed sugars and artificial sweeteners are toxic and unhealthy for your dog. Unfortunately, these sugars are among the primary ingredients of vanilla wafers, whether homemade or commercial.
Sugars cause stomach upsets in dogs, triggering gastrointestinal irritation, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea. An increased amount of these sugars will likely compound the effects. Your dog could also suffer tooth decay and gum disease. The sugars in vanilla wafers produce acids that corrode the tooth enamel and inflame the gums. In addition, harmful bacteria thrive in sugary conditions.
Sugar can significantly alter the dog’s metabolic health. Substantial metabolic changes in your pet trigger obesity, weight gain, high blood sugar, diabetes, and heart conditions. Additionally, these sugars will cause systematic inflammation and pancreatitis.
Corn syrup is among the artificial sweeteners used in vanilla wafers. While it is an excellent choice for dogs with hypoglycemia, it increases the risk of obesity and metabolic issues.
Vanilla wafers contain hydrogenated oils, including butter. These oils are toxic and can increase inflammation and calcification among dogs. This calcification hardens the arterial walls of your dog, resulting in various cardiovascular complications.
Hydrogenated oils will also increase the risk of colorectal cancer in dogs. They alter the composition or profile of the blood, contributing to cancerous growth. A significant increase in fatty acids within the blood will result in chronic heart and general health complications.
Vanilla wafers are packed with a significant amount of calories, which can be unhealthy for your dog. These snacks have 441 calories per 100-gram serving. However, dogs require approximately 28 calories per pound, translating to around 800 calories per day for a 30-pound dog. For this reason, vanilla wafers are suitable only for active and large dogs.
Excess calories contribute to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. Increased weight puts additional pressure on the joints, resulting in joint pain and inflammation. In addition, your pet becomes more susceptible to heart disease.
Sodium-ion poisoning suffices if the amount in the vanilla wafers exceeds the recommended quota. It causes dehydration in dogs. The symptoms shown will often vary with the amount of salt consumed.
Its clinical symptoms include excessive thirst, lethargy, disorientation, loss of appetite, and vomiting. In extreme cases, your dog could sustain seizures or die, meaning instant medical help will be essential.
Alternatives To Vanilla Wafers
You can consider different snacks as an alternative to vanilla wafers, including doggie biscuits, carrots, pumpkins, frozen yogurt, and hard cheese. Consulting a vet before feeding your dog these snacks will be invaluable.
Vanilla wafers are excellent snacks for human consumption. Yet, when consumed in excess, they cause multiple health complications in dogs, including obesity and diabetes. If you suspect your dog has taken this snack, mostly in excess, consult a vet immediately.