We love to share our food with your canine companions. Sometimes, this is a good thing. However, other times it can be bad for your pooch to share your meal. Before you give your dog what you are eating, it’s important to know if it’s safe and healthy for them to eat.
Your baking cookies. You step away from the dough for a moment. When you come back, your dog is helping themselves to your cookie dough. Will they be ok, or should you be worried?
To an extent, this depends on what type of cookie dough your dog is eating. Generally, cookie dough isn’t healthy for dogs. However, most types aren’t particularly harmful or toxic either.
Certain ingredients that are sometimes found in cookie dough, including chocolate, raisins, or nuts can be highly toxic to your dog.
Sugar and Carbs
The biggest problem with your dog eating cookie dough, assuming it doesn’t have any ingredients that are toxic to dogs, is sugar and carbohydrates.
Dogs have evolved to eat a diet high in protein and fat. Cookies do contain fat, but little to no protein. One chocolate chip cookie contains 20 grams of carbs and 10 grams of sugar. This is very problematic to your dog, without even considering the chocolate chips.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Chocolate chip cookie dough is dangerous for dogs. Humans love chocolate because it contains theobromine. This is what makes us feel happy when we consume it. However, it has a different effect on dogs.
Theobromine is highly toxic to dogs, along with caffeine. Different types of chocolate contain varying levels of theobromine. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder have the highest theobromine content. Milk chocolate has less, but it can still be dangerous for your dog.
The good news is that chocolate chip cookies contain a relatively low amount of theobromine. 20 mg of theobromine per kilogram of body weight can cause symptoms of chocolate poisoning. At 60 mg of theobromine per kilogram of body weight, chocolate can be fatal.
One medium chocolate chip cookie contains 20 mg of theobromine and 2 mg of caffeine. This means it would take a lot of cookies to make your dog sick from chocolate poisoning.
Raisin Cookie Dough
Raisin cookies are a popular human treat. These include oatmeal raisin cookies, and stuffed raisin cookies. Raisins and grapes are toxic to dogs. Cookies or cookie dough containing raisins are also toxic. Unlike chocolate, it’s not clear why raisins are toxic. There are a few theories, however.
One theory is that there’s a mytotoxin, which is a toxin that occurs from fungus or mold, present in the grapes. Others theorize that there’s a silicate, which is similar to aspirin, that makes dogs sick. Lastly, some experts believe that the tartaric acid in the fruit is what makes it toxic for dogs.
Some dogs appear to have a higher sensitivity to raisins than others. Some dogs, regardless of size, can eat a few grapes or raisins without issue. However, other dogs can become very ill after snacking on them.
Cookie Dough With Nuts
Some nuts are also toxic to dogs. These are sometimes found in cookies, so it’s important to ensure you don’t feed your dog cookies with these nuts in them.
Macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are all toxic to your pooch.
Macadamia, pecans, and almonds, pistachios, and walnuts. Most of these nuts contain aflotoxins. Dogs are unable to digest these proteins, so they become toxic to dogs.
In addition to aflotoxins, pecans contain juglone, which is also toxic. Walnuts do not contain aflotoxins. Instead, they contain mycotoxins.
Sugar and Carbs
The high sugar and carbohydrates in cookie dough can cause serious stomach upset for your pooch. They may experience vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, gas, and abdominal pain. If you’ve ever eaten way too many sweet treats, you may have experienced this yourself!
The bigger concern is pancreatitis. When a dog consumes high amounts of sugar, especially if it’s combined with high levels of fat, they are at a risk of pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis causes the pancreas to become inflamed. The digestive enzymes it releases are supposed to activate in the intestines. Pancreatitis causes them to switch on immediately. This causes damage to the pancreas and other nearby organs.
The symptoms of pancreatitis include nausea, vomiting, fever, lethargy, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. They may also experience abdominal pain. This can cause them to lean forward in a praying position.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Again, it’s unlikely your dog will consume enough cookie dough to get chocolate poisoning. However, uncooked cookie dough has a smaller size than cooked cookies, so it’s easier for them to consume more dough than they would baked cookies.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Muscle stiffness
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
Signs of severe chocolate poisoning include seizures, heart failure, weakness, coma, and death.
Raisin Cookie Dough
The first sign of poisoning from raisins if vomiting. This will typically begin within 24 hours after eating them. Within the next 12-24 hours, lack of appetite, lethargy, and diarrhea can occur.
Unfortunately, severe symptoms don’t appear until the damage is done. The raisins cause the dog’s kidneys to fail. This occurs within 24-48 hours after eating raisins.
The symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Ammonia smelling breath
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
Without treatment, the dog will become unable to pee. Blood pressure will increase, and coma and death can occur.
Cookies With Nuts
Cookies with nuts can make your dog very sick, if they contain nuts that are toxic to dogs. Symptoms of nut poisoning include vomiting, muscle weakness, tremors, fever, and seizures. It’s possible for the toxin to be fatal.
Not all nuts are unsafe for your dog. Some, like peanuts, are safe in small amounts. If your pooch sneaks a bite of peanut butter cookie, they will probably be fine. However, if they steal your white chocolate macadamia nut cookie dough, you have a serious situation.
In most cases, you’ll simply need to watch your pooch and treat any symptoms that arise due to stomach upset. However, if they’ve consumed a cookie with toxic ingredients, they will need veterinary treatment.
Assess the Situation
The first thing you should do is assess the situation. Remove any remaining cookie dough from your dog’s reach. Note what type of cookie dough it was, and how much they ate.
If the dough is store bought, check the ingredients list. This may be helpful if you need to visit the vet. If it’s homemade, make a list of all the ingredients used and approximate amounts.
Stomach Upset Due to High Sugar Content
Despite dogs’ tendency to act as a canine garbage disposal, they do have sensitive stomachs. The high sugar content of cookies can upset the balance of natural bacteria in the gut, causing stomach upset.
You can treat minor stomach upset with over the counter medications. The antacid famotide is often recommended.
You can give your dog .5 mg per each pound of body weight. A 10 pound dog would take 5 mg, or half a 10 mg pill. You can repeat the dose in 12 hours.
Pepto Bismal can also relieve your pooch’s tummy troubles. Give 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. Do not exceed 4 teaspoons for dogs over 40 pounds. You can repeat the dosage in 6-8 hours.
In addition to these medications, you may need to give your dog a bland diet temporarily. You can feed them rice and boiled chicken. This is easy for them to digest, and allows their system to recover.
Use a 2 to 1 ratio. If you feed them 1 cup of food, you’ll feed them 2/3 a cup rice and 1/3 cup chicken.
When to See the Vet for Stomach Upset
Most cases of stomach upset can be treated at home. However, if your dog has severe vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain, it’s best to consult your vet. If they have bloody diarrhea or fever, they need veterinary treatment. These can be signs of pancreatitis, which needs to be treated by a vet.
If your dog ate a cookie with toxic ingredients, it’s best to seek treatment. Toxic cookie ingredients include raisins, nuts, and chocolate chips. You’ll need to know what your dog ate, and how much. If you aren’t sure if you should bring your pooch in, you can call your vet or pet poison control at (855) 764-7661. They can let you know if the situation is serious.
Pet poison control has a large database of potential toxins, and equations to determine the level of severity. They can also work with your vet to design a treatment plan, if necessary.
If you can’t make it to the vet, you can induce vomiting. This will remove about 50% of the stomach contents. To do so, you’ll need 3% hydrogen peroxide, which can be found in the first aid aisle of any store.
Give your dog 1 teaspoon for every 5 pounds of body weight. Do not exceed 3 tablespoons for larger dogs. They should begin vomiting within 15-20 minutes. If vomiting hasn’t occurred after 45 minutes, you can re-administer the dose once.
The vomiting can last up to 45 minutes, so you’ll need to be prepared for the clean up.This method is only effective if it’s been less than 2 hours since they ate the toxic substance. It’s still wise to seek veterinary care, or at least speak with your vet when you can to be sure your dog is ok.
There are some situations where inducing vomiting isn’t recommended. If they are very lethargic, having breathing difficulty, or are already vomiting, do not induce vomiting.