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Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread? Is Gingerbread Safe for Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread

The spirit of the Holidays may make us extra generous not just with our human family and friends, but more so with our pooch.

However, before you give in to your dog’s begging eyes as you eat your favorite holiday treats, make sure that it’s safe for him to eat.

And being a popular sugary treat this holiday season, we know you can’t help but wonder, “Can dogs eat gingerbread?”

Can Your Dog Eat Gingerbread?

Can dogs eat ginger biscuits? Unfortunately, the short answer is “No.” But, don’t be sad, there are a lot of healthier and safer dog treats that your furry friend can enjoy all year round.

Perhaps, you can also bake your pet dog gingerbread that doesn’t contain spices and ingredients that are potentially dangerous for him.

While ginger is not harmful to dogs, and the ingestion of small amounts of gingerbread won’t cause serious health issues to your pup, it’s best to just simply avoid it.

By doing so, you may prevent your dog from regularly craving gingerbread cookie, and eventually endure the long-term health complications of this unhealthy treat.

Is Gingerbread Safe for Dogs?

No, gingerbread is not safe for dogs. Again, if your dog ate a little bit of gingerbread, he should just be fine. However, it’s not something that you should be giving your canine best friend regularly, or even as a treat or reward.

The primary concern with gingerbread is that it contains nutmeg, which can be harmful to dogs when consumed in large quantities.

And this can be attributed to nutmeg’s myristicin content, which is not compatible with a dog’s stomach. More so, this psychoactive toxin also causes hallucinations and delusions, which can be traumatic for your pets.

Not only that, but gingerbread is also high in sugar and fats, which are both harmful when consumed regularly and in large amounts.

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The presence of myristicin, as well as the high sugar content in gingerbread, can also give your dog an upset stomach for a few days at the very least.

Moreover, too much fat and sugar in your dog’s diet can also lead to pancreatitis over time, which can be fatal. And of course, should we even start with the unhealthy and life-threatening complications of too much sugar and fat to your dog’s health and wellness?

What else could possibly go wrong? Aside from digestive issues, gingerbread can also affect your dog’s metabolism. And you can blame this treat’s high sugar content for this side effect as increased secretion of insulin is common with excessive sugar consumption.

Excessive secretion of insulin inside your dog’s body can lead to muscle degeneration, obesity, and sluggishness. It also triggers the secretion of other hormones in the body thereby causing hormonal imbalance, which can eventually take a toll on your pet’s health.

Moreover, some gingerbread recipes also contain xylitol, a popular sugar substitute, which happens to be toxic for dogs and cats.

This artificial sweetener is even more toxic than chocolates, and dogs don’t have to consume a large quantity of foods that contain xylitol for them to experience its harmful side effects.

Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread? Is Gingerbread Safe for Dogs? 1

What Are Some Ingredients to Avoid?

While ginger isn’t harmful to dogs, a lot of the ingredients used in making gingerbread are. Take a look at the following ingredients that should be avoided at all costs:

Nutmeg

As mentioned earlier, one of the essential components in making this tasty seasonal treat is nutmeg. And sad to say, this spice is toxic to your canine companion.

Dogs may have to eat a large quantity of nutmeg to experience nutmeg toxicity and other more serious complications. However, dogs may also feel ill even if they only ate a small amount of nutmeg. Again, one of the problems with this ingredient is its myristicin content, which causes neurologic side effects in dogs.

Symptoms of myristicin exposure that you should watch out for include dry mouth, heart palpitations, nausea, hallucinations, and delusions. Take your dog to the vet immediately if you notice any of these.

Cinnamon

Some, if not all gingerbread recipes also contain cinnamon. This popular ingredient in several desserts and foods for humans also causes the same side effect as nutmeg, as well as black pepper.

Star Anise

When consumed in large amounts, star anise can be poisonous for dogs. And it is also known to make dogs hyperactive, which can cause them to act undesirably, and put them at risk for injuries. Sad to say, star anise is also used in some gingerbread recipes.

Hence, it is important to know the ingredients before giving some to your pup. However, sometimes we just don’t have access to the bakers who made these goodies, especially if they were only given by our friends who bought them somewhere else.

Sugar and Fats

Sugary and fatty foods are not your dog’s best friends. These unhealthy ingredients won’t only cause digestive issues in dogs, but also more serious long-term complications, such as heart disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, and a lot more.

Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread? Is Gingerbread Safe for Dogs? 2

Do Gingerbread Cookies and Biscuits Offer Health Benefits to Your Dog?

You might be hoping for a positive answer, but unfortunately, gingerbread doesn’t offer health benefits to your dog. If you are aiming to share the health benefits of ginger with your dog, then, there are different options that you can try.

You can mince raw ginger and mix it into his dog food along with other tasty toppings. However, you should only add about one to two pinches of minced raw ginger and only do it occasionally. You should also know that not all dogs can tolerate ginger, or ginger doesn’t have the same effects for all canines.

Ginger can have a blood-thinning effect, which makes it dangerous for dogs with blood disorders. Hence, if your pup has an underlying medical condition, it’s best to seek veterinary advice first. You should also avoid giving ginger to pregnant and lactating canines.

Or even if your dog is perfectly healthy, you may also want to consult your vet for veterinary guidance before you add ginger into his diet.

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What If Your Dog Has Accidentally Eaten a Gingerbread?

If you noticed that your dog ate a piece or two of gingerbread biscuits sitting on your table, don’t panic – your dog will most likely experience an upset stomach for a few days and he should just be fine.

If you suspect that your pup ate more than two biscuits, then, it’s best to take him to your veterinarian so he can assess him properly and provide veterinary advice and interventions as needed.

Symptoms of Nutmeg Poisoning and Xylitol Toxicity

With the different ingredients that can potentially cause serious side effects to your dog, you should pay special attention to the symptoms of nutmeg and xylitol poisoning, which include the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dry mouth
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations

If you notice any of these symptoms or any other abnormal changes in your dog’s behavior after eating gingerbread, you should take him to the vet immediately.

Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread? Is Gingerbread Safe for Dogs? 3

Final Thoughts: Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread?

Gingerbread is a tasty festive treat for us, humans, and it should be kept that way. Don’t feel bad for not sharing your gingerbread biscuits with your dog.

If your pup can speak, he will definitely thank you for saving him from the inconvenience and even fatal complications caused by eating large amounts of gingerbread.

And if you insist on giving your dog gingerbread, you may want to bake him his very own gingerbread using a dog-friendly recipe, see recipes below.

Or better yet, simply buy your furry buddy his favorite dog treats so he can munch on them as you enjoy your cookies and other sweet treats with your family and friends.

Bonus Recipes

Christmas Dog Treats

Christmas Dog Treats

Renee (Spoiled Hounds)
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 12 cookies
Calories 130 kcal

Ingredients
  

Dog Treats

  • 2 cups Uncooked Oatmeal
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon ground
  • 1 tsp Ginger ground

Icing

  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Beet Powder for red or Spirulina Powder for green

Instructions
 

Dog Treats

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a blender, pulse oatmeal until it becomes has flour consistency.
  • Place the oatmeal flour, whole wheat flour, egg, coconut oil, water, cinnamon, and ginger in a mixing bowl.
  • Use a mixer to combine all the ingredients until well blended. You may need to use your hands to get everything well combined.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about ¼ to ½-inch thickness, according to your preference.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut out the dog treats and place them on a non-stick baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Place the baked treats on a wire rack to cool completely.

Icing

  • Place the icing ingredients in a bowl.
  • Stir or whisk until well blended.
  • Use a piping bag and tip to decorate the treats with the icing.

Notes

Do not use nutmeg in these treats because it is toxic to dogs.
You can substitute the tapioca starch with cornstarch, rice flour, or potato flour.
Instead of using red beet powder or spirulina powder to color the icing, you may use:
  • Strawberries or cherry juice for red
  • Spinach or parsley for green
  • Natural food coloring (make sure it is safe for dogs)
You may have to play around with the consistency based on which option you choose to use for coloring the icing.
Gingerbread Dog Treats

Homemade Gingerbread Dog Treats

Felissa Elfenbein
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 38 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp Ginger ground
  • 2 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • Carob chips optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Whisk together flour, ginger, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  • Melt coconut oil in micrwave-30 seconds should do it.
  • Mix melted oil, water, and honey into flour mixture until well combined.
  • Place dough in refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.
  • Roll dough out onto floured surface to ½” thick.
  • Cut out using any shape cookie cutter-I think this combination of little Gingerbread men and bones is fun.
  • Place on baking sheet that has been coated in nonstick spray or lined with parchment, bake for 16-18 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool completely, leave as is or melt ¼ cup of carob chips and ½ tsp. of coconut oil in a microwave safe dish for 20 seconds at time, stirring every time until completely melted.
  • Transfer melted carob to a plastic sandwich bag, snip off a small piece of the corner, use like a pastry bag- Squeeze gently and apply to cookie.
  • Allow carob to harden and place cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for 2 months.
Gingerbread People Recipe

Gingerbread People Recipe

Rocky Kanaka

Ingredients
  

  • 1 3/4 cup Oat Flour
  • 1 cup Rice Flour 
  • 1/2 cup Potato Starch
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp Applesauce
  • 3/4 cup Water room temp
  • 1/4 cup Honey 
  • 2 1/2 cup Molasses
  • 1/4 cup Canola Oil

Instructions
 

  • Set your oven at 325 degrees.
  • Combine all dry ingredients and set aside (Oat Flour, Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Ginger, and Cinnamon).
  • Whisk together the wet ingredients until well incorporated (Applesauce, Water, Honey, Egg and Oil).
  • Fold the wet into the dry with a spatula until the ingredients begin the come together.
  • Then we encourage you to finish finish folding with your hands until the desired consistency is achieved! It should be soft to the touch but not sticky or wet.

Assembly

  • Using a rolling pin (or if you don’t have one, think something similar in shape like a wine bottle), roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. If the dough is sticking to the rolling pin, placing a sheet of seran wrap over the dough to roll it out will help.
  • Now cut using the desired cookie cutter shape. We use a gingerbread person in two sizes, one for larger pups and one for smaller dogs.  
  • Using a bench scraper, lift the gingerbread off the table and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. No need to spray the sheet. You don't need to leave much space in between the cookies, because they won't expand very much. So feel free to fill your pan with gingerbread closely placed together.
  • Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through to make sure they are baked evenly.
  • Let the gingerbread cookies cool.  
  • Decoration
  • Now here’s where you can make these dog gingerbread cookies your own. You can decorate them however you and your pup would like!
  • Some options: peanut butter spread, carob icing, melted yogurt chips or even just plain.

Can dogs eat gingerbread snaps?

Gingersnaps are an excellent occasional treat for your dog. In fact, if you give your dog one of these crunchy treats before a road trip, they might not get as car sick. Just don't give your dog a lot of gingersnap cookies at one time or often.

How toxic is nutmeg to dogs?

Nutmeg is toxic for dogs, and dogs should never eat it. Nutmeg poisoning can cause disorientation, high heart rate, seizures, and hallucinations in dogs. The amount of nutmeg in a baked treat is not likely to be toxic for a dog but should still be kept out of reach.

Are ginger nut biscuits OK for dogs?

Your dog probably shouldn't eat a ginger biscuit, but it shouldn't cause any immediate harm if they happen to snaffle one. The ingredients and nutritional value vary between brands, but generally, a ginger biscuit doesn't contain anything toxic to dogs. So if your pooch pilfers a ginger nut, they should be okay.

Why do dogs like ginger biscuits?

Ginger has been known to help to settle a dog's stomach. A small amount can be added to baby food or pumpkin puree and given to a dog with an upset stomach. Can I give my dog a ginger biscuit? A ginger biscuit is okay for an occasional treat and to help with an upset stomach or prevent car sickness.

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