Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread Cookies? 

By Coty Perry

If you’re wondering if dogs can eat gingerbread cookies, the answer is no. Ginger itself is not harmful for dogs and it’s actually healthy when consumed in small quantities. 

The problem is that gingerbread usually contains nutmeg which is dangerous for dogs to eat. In addition to potentially dangerous ingredients, gingerbread cookies have a lot of sugar and fat so they’re simply not a good choice for our pups. 

In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at why dogs can’t have gingerbread and what you could give your pup as an alternative around the holidays. 

Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread Cookies? 

Gingerbread usually contains nutmeg which contains a harmful toxic known as myristicin. This ingredient causes an upset stomach, dry mouth, and abdominal pain. 

It’s important to understand that this only occurs if your dog consumes a high quantity of gingerbread but you’ll still want to pay attention to the symptoms. We want to always give our dogs the best quality food possible and avoid feeding them too many sweets. 

Dangerous Ingredients in Gingerbread 

The process of making gingerbread cookies involves including a lot of ingredients that aren’t the best for dogs. Let’s take a look at some of the other ingredients you may not want your dog to have. 


While butter isn’t toxic, it’s not necessarily good for dogs because it can cause them to have an upset stomach. 


We want to avoid giving our dogs sugar at all costs. Excess sugar leads to weight gain and even causes canine diabetes

Vanilla Extract 

This ingredient usually contains alcohol and when consumed at high quantities can lead to toxicity in dogs and cats. 


Cinnamon is actually just as bad for dogs as nutmeg and can lead to heart arrhythmias and low blood sugar. Do not allow your dog to have anything with cinnamon in it. 

Potential Side Effects 

If your dog ate gingerbread cookies that you were prepping or left out on the counter, don’t panic. Unless they consumed a large number of cookies, they’ll likely be fine. 

We would recommend paying attention for these side effects: 

  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Disorientation and confusion

If you notice or believe that your dog has any of these characteristics, you’ll want to get them to a veterinary emergency center.

Alternatives to Gingerbread 

If you want to make a healthy and safe cookie for your dog to eat this holiday season, you’re in luck. Here are a few great recipes you can whip up:

Final Thoughts 

Can dogs eat gingerbread cookies? No, but they can certainly have cookies made specifically for them with ingredients that are safe. If you’re putting together a batch of delicious gingerbread cookies for the family, just be sure you keep all harmful ingredients away from your curious canine! 

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Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.