Can Dogs Eat Oreos?
Who doesn’t love an Oreo? Sweet, crunchy and so very moreish, it can be hard to stop at just one…and while you are having a snack break, it can be tempting to also treat your dog. We all know that chocolate is not good for dogs but with the low level of actual chocolate in an Oreo, surely that one biscuit isn’t going to harm them? Well, don’t be so sure. Oreos are full of ingredients that are not so good for their health. We take a look at all the cookie facts to answer the question: are Oreos bad for dogs?
What is in an Oreo?
The nutritional value of an Oreo – for both human and canine – is pretty much zero as the ingredients are sugar, fat or processed carbs and the recipe is devoid of natural vitamins and minerals. Even the chocolate level is low, with cocoa making up for this shortfall. What Oreos have plenty of is refined sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, palm oil and wheat flour, as well as salt and emulsifiers. Mixed together and you get that sugar and carb hit that makes a pack of Oreos so easy to devour…and your pup pricking up their ears in the hope they also get a bite.
The Health Risks to Your Dog
So, can dogs eat Oreos? With the low level of chocolate in an Oreo, there is not enough real chocolate in a cookie to be really toxic to your pet, but this doesn’t mean they are safe to feed your dog. In fact, with all the other ingredients, we say Oreos should still be on your dog’s ‘off-limits’ list.
Here are the main health and wellbeing reasons:
They are high in sugar and calories: Which is really unhealthy for your dog. Too much sugar in your pet’s diet can lead to weight issues and obesity, especially in older, less active dogs. High sugar levels in their diet can also lead to more serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease and pancreatitis.
They have virtually no nutritional value: With no real vitamins or minerals, your dog is eating empty calories. The high sugar content can also be addictive – as we humans know – and can lead to behavioral issues and problem begging.
They can upset a dog’s digestion: With all the processed and refined ingredients, especially the fats and preservatives, can sit uncomfortably with your pooch’s stomach and cause tummy issues.
They can damage their teeth: Too many sugary treats can play havoc on your dog’s dental hygiene, contributing to cavities and gum disease.
What to do if Your Dog has Overdone the Oreos
While a single Oreo as an accidental snack is not likely to cause your pooch any problems, it is wise to make sure that Oreos and any other sweet, chocolatey treats are simply not part of their diet. However, dogs will be dogs and so if your pup does find their way into the cookie jar, you need to look out for signs that they have had too many Oreos, including an upset tum or an increased thirst. If you find yourself thinking ‘my dog ate Oreos’, then the symptoms to look out for include:
- A tense stomach or abdominal swelling
- Trembling and shaking
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Elevated heart rate
- Seizures or collapse.
Chocolate poisoning is a serious situation and depends on the amount eaten, type of chocolate, and size of your dog. If you suspect poisoning or your dog is lethargic or confused, contact your veterinarian immediately.