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Most of our family recipes will be rekindled with the holidays fast approaching to grace the festivities.

Gingerbread cookies are a staple dessert where we use creativity when cutting out shapes and decorating.

It’s pretty common for us to share our treats with our fidos but are gingerbread cookies safe for them?

Let’s find out.

Are gingerbread cookies bad for dogs?


Gingerbread cookies are bad for dogs because they can cause severe health issues if consumed in large amounts regularly.

While the adverse effects may not be immediate, gingerbread cookies can cause pancreatitis or diabetes as they’re high in fats and oils.

This article will discuss the effects of gingerbread cookies on dogs.

It will also explain what might happen if your dog accidentally eats gingerbread cookies. 

Are Gingerbread Cookies Bad For Dogs

What happens if my dog eats gingerbread cookies?

The aftermath of a dog ingesting gingerbread cookies will highly depend on the ingredients used in the recipe, the amount consumed, your dog’s size, and overall health.

If your dog ate a few crumbs of gingerbread cookies, it probably wouldn’t have worrying side effects, just a mild digestive upset.

However, if your dog helped himself to a whole jar of gingerbread cookies, he may experience:

  • Vomiting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Speeding or slowing heart rate
  • Seizures or loss of consciousness
  • Lethargy

The high fat and sodium levels in gingerbread cookies can lead to dehydration in the short term and obesity or pancreatitis in the long term.

Too much sugar can cause unnecessary weight gain, resulting in diabetes, dental problems, and heart disease.

If your dog experiences any or all of these symptoms, rush him to the vet immediately for proper care.

Bring the product ingredients label with you if you can; it will help your doctor determine how many toxins your dog has ingested.

Is it bad for dogs to eat gingerbread cookies?

While offering your dog a tiny bite of gingerbread cookies is unlikely to cause harm, it’s best to avoid it at all costs.

Gingerbread cookies, like all processed foods, are loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives that may pose a danger to your dog. 

They are also high in sugar and fats, which can be detrimental to your dog’s health, especially in large doses.

If your dog eats gingerbread cookies regularly, it can cause pancreatitis or death if left untreated.

Dogs need to get enough nutrients from a well-balanced diet to stay strong and healthy.

However, you can offer your dog healthier snack options like pitted apples, carrots, or canned salmon.

Why are gingerbread cookies not recommended for dogs?

Gingerbread cookies are a type of baked treat typically flavored with several ingredients that may harm your dog’s health.

These include:

  • Flour – Flour can be the cause of allergies for most dogs, and for that reason, you shouldn’t give gingerbread cookies to your pup. If he’s allergic to wheat, gluten, or grain in the flour, gingerbread cookies might trigger a reaction
  • Butter – Gingerbread cookies contain butter, and when ingested by dogs regularly, they may cause pancreatitis, which may be fatal in some cases. Butter also has a high-calorie content making it a leading cause of weight gain and obesity
  • Salt – The high sodium content in gingerbread cookies can result in salt poisoning, which may cause difficulty urinating. Too much salt can also cause your dog’s blood pressure to shoot, cause dehydration, cardiovascular diseases, and increase the risk of stroke
  • Sugar – The excess sugar content in gingerbread cookies can cause digestive discomfort in dogs, including stomach pain and distress, as well as diarrhea if a lot is consumed
  • Xylitol – Xylitol in gingerbread cookies can be potentially life-threatening as it can cause a rapid and massive insulin release in dogs that may show symptoms like acute weakness, staggering, and vomiting
  • Raw dough – The raw dough used to make gingerbread cookies contains yeast that can be highly toxic to dogs. The yeast rises in your dog’s stomach, which may cause blockage, GI distress, and bloating 
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract has a high alcohol content that’s toxic to your dog, especially in large doses. If your dog consumes too many gingerbread cookies, he will be at risk of alcohol poisoning as dogs can’t break down alcohol in their system
  • Nutmeg – When consumed in large amounts, nutmeg can be poisonous to dogs as it contains the hallucinogenic compound myristicin. Myristicin can cause dry mouth, stomach upset, abdominal pain, or disorientation in dogs
  • Baking soda – Baking soda can be toxic to dogs as it can cause stomach irritation, vomiting, or diarrhea. It can also cause lethargy, depression, seizures, tremors, disorientation, and shortness of breath. If left untreated, it might lead to massive electrolyte imbalances, congestive heart failure, and even death

Potential health risks of gingerbread cookies to dogs

If your dog eats large amounts of gingerbread cookies regularly, he may experience a series of health concerns as they contain harmful ingredients like sugar and fats.

However, these symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the amount consumed, your dog’s age, size, and overall health profile.


Gingerbread cookies contain sugar, molasses, xylitol, vanilla extract, and icing, which are dangerous to your dog’s health.

These ingredients can lead to rapid weight gain, which results in obesity, high blood pressure, or other heart-related issues. 

If your dog has a preexisting condition like diabetes, the excess sugars may spike his blood sugar levels resulting in insulin resistance or death.

Liver failure

Gingerbread cookies may include an artificial sweetener known as xylitol which is highly toxic to your dog even in small amounts.

Xylitol can cause rapid and massive insulin resistance in dogs that may cause dangerously low blood sugar, leading to seizures, acute weakness, liver failure, and even death if not treated properly.

Wheat allergies and gluten

Gingerbread cookies are made from wheat which contains gluten that some dogs may be allergic to.

If your dog is allergic to wheat, gingerbread cookies might trigger a reaction which is why you need to be sure your dog can safely consume them.

Weight gain

Gingerbread cookies contain processed carbs high in sugar, which can lead to excessive weight gain.

If your dog overeats it, he may experience obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and joint pain.

Tooth decay

The excess sugar in gingerbread cookies, including the icing, can wreak havoc on your dog’s teeth and gums.

The sugars may attract bacteria to the teeth causing cavities that may result in periodontal disease.

In conclusion

Allowing your dog sugary treats like gingerbread cookies can lead to serious health complications for your pup.

Fill your pup’s bowl with healthier alternatives such as apples or broccoli that contribute to your dog’s overall health.

Megan Turner

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