It is no surprise when our dogs decide to sneak themselves a little something to eat.
Even so, we should watch what our dogs can reach just in case they decide to chomp down on something that is not good for them.
In some cases, food that is not good for your dogs may end with a stomachache and more trips outside to use the bathroom.
In other cases, human food can be poisonous to dogs and should be kept away from them at all costs.
So, what about oatmeal cookies? Are they safe for dogs to eat, or do they fall on the dangerous end of the spectrum?
Some possible ingredients that could be in an oatmeal cookie include all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, oats, and a variety of optional add-ins.
The most popular things to add to an oatmeal cookie are chocolate chips or raisins, but I'll get to that later.
Today, I am going to break down this recipe by the ingredients themselves to talk about what is safe for your dog to have and what you should avoid.
Once we have gone over the different ingredients, we will talk about whether oatmeal cookies are safe for your dog to eat.
This is the very first ingredient in an average oatmeal cookie recipe.
All-purpose flour is one of the most popular flours to use in cookies because, as stated in the name, it is all-purpose.
But can dogs eat it? They actually can. Flour is not unsafe for dogs.
It is not necessarily good for them either. While it will not harm your dog, this type of flour does not have any benefits.
Baking Soda & Baking Powder
Baking soda and baking powder can be harmful to your dog, depending on the quantity.
Some dogs will be fine if they only have a small amount of either ingredient, but it's not worth the risk that they could end up getting sick.
Dogs do need a small amount of salt in their diets to stay healthy, but too much salt can cause serious problems.
While the small amount in a cookie would not do much harm, it is hard to tell unless you can calculate exactly how much salt is contained in your dog’s diet.
Surprisingly, unlike nutmeg, your dog can have cinnamon.
Cinnamon is included in the recipes of quite a few dog treats.
It can be beneficial to your dog even, so long as the recipe does not contain a large amount of cinnamon.
Like many of these ingredients, butter is not very good for your dog in large quantities.
Some dogs are lactose-intolerant, and butter can make them feel ill.
Nevertheless, the amount that is in a cookie would be unlikely to harm your dog in any manner.
Sugar & Brown Sugar
Like salt, dogs do need a little bit of sugar in their diets.
Even so, the amount of sugar that is included in just one cookie is way too much for your dog.
Too much sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, and other health issues you would not want your dog to have.
Brown sugar is not any better for your dog either, so it is best to just avoid sugar altogether.
Eggs are pretty good for dogs. Raw eggs, however, are not good for your dog at all as it might give them salmonella.
However, cooked eggs can be beneficial to your dog in more ways than one.
The eggs in a cookie might lose their benefits when paired with the other ingredients, but they would not be harmful to your dog.
Due to the high alcohol content in most bottles of vanilla extract, it is not very safe for your dog.
Alcohol can be fatal to dogs. So, unless you’re using an alcohol-free vanilla extract, this is not something your dog should be having.
If the oats are cooked, oats can be extremely beneficial to your dog.
If additional oats do not increase the fiber content in your dog's diet, it is not bad for your dog to have occasionally.
Popular add-ins to oatmeal cookies are chocolate and raisins.
Both options are toxic to dogs and should not be given to your dog under any circumstances.
These were a lot of ingredients to go over. So, it leads to the question: are oatmeal cookies safe for dogs?
If they do not have chocolate chips or raisins, it is not that bad if your dog found one on the floor or stole a cookie from the counter.
Even with dangerous ingredients like vanilla extract and sugar, one cookie really would not be able to harm your dog very much.
With this kept in mind, you still should not give an oatmeal cookie to your dog as a treat.
The high sugar content would be bad for your dog and may give them a stomachache.
If your dog ate an oatmeal cookie when you were not looking, just make sure you are watching them to make sure they are feeling alright afterward.
Signs Your Dog Needs Medical Attention
Now, just because one oatmeal cookie is not necessarily dangerous to all dogs does not mean your dog will not get sick from eating it.
In the small chance that the cookie does negatively affect your dog, here are some signs to look out for that will signal you should immediately call the vet.
Your dog starts to vomit. If your dog starts vomiting at any point in time after eating something they were not supposed to, this can indicate that their bodies are naturally trying to get rid of the toxic substance.
If your dog starts to vomit, you should call the vet. Diarrhea is another sign that your dog just is not feeling well.
If your dog has loose stool, you should call the vet.
If your dog is having stomach issues that you cannot see, they may stop eating and drinking.
If you notice your dog is not doing either of these things, and they do not start eating or drinking again within forty-eight hours, you should get into contact with your veterinarian.
Can You Make Your Own Dog Treats?
Absolutely! Many dog owners make homemade dog treats for their pups.
After all, your best friend deserves the absolute best.
While you do not want to be giving your dog oatmeal cookies that were made for humans, you can make a variety of treats that are healthy for your dog.
You can even include oats in the recipe if you want to, so long as they are cooked.
You can buy a specific flour that dogs can have, and just make sure to avoid the large amounts of sugar that can be found in a regular cookie.
Many recipes for dog treats include bananas.
They are healthy, delicious, and they are chock full of vitamins and other nutrients that your dog will love.
As we already mentioned, eggs, if they are cooked, can be given to dogs too!
You can also give your dog treats that include peanut butter! Just make sure the peanut butter does not include Xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs.
Do not worry though, if you read the label and make sure it is safe, your dog will be just fine.
Of course, if your dog has any allergies or special dietary needs, you will want to talk to your vet about what they can and cannot eat before you make them a treat.
Benefits of Homemade Treats
Homemade dog treats are a wonderful option to give your dog because you know exactly what is in them.
You do not have to worry about whether the brand you got the treat from is reliable because you made it yourself!
If you did the research and know what your dog can and cannot have, this is an option that will be better for your dog.
You can make sure your dog is getting tons of nutritional value from their new treats as well!
Not to mention, if you are on a tight budget, homemade dog treats are much cheaper for you in the long run.