When it comes to sharing human food with your pet, the biggest problem is that we don’t eat things with only one ingredient. So, while one ingredient might be healthy and safe, it could be mixed with other ingredients that can cause stomach upset and even death in some cases. That is the problem with oatmeal cookies; although oatmeal is safe for dogs to consume, they should not eat oatmeal cookies.
The added sugar alone in oatmeal cookies makes it something your dog should avoid. However, if they contain chocolate and raisins, they are considered toxic since both ingredients are incredibly dangerous for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Plain Oatmeal Cookies?
There isn’t anything toxic in plain oatmeal cookies, so if your dog snaps up a fallen cookie from the floor, they might get an upset stomach. Problems arise when your dog eats too many oatmeal cookies because they’re high in sugar and carbohydrates. Too much of both in your dog’s diet can lead to your dog putting on weight and becoming obese. Obesity can shorten a dog’s lifespan and puts them at increased risk of conditions such as heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.
Also, be sure to check the packaging of your oatmeal cookies because brands might use the sugar substitute xylitol, which is poisonous to your dog. If xylitol is included, contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog has ingested any.
Oatmeal Cookies With Raisins
Unfortunately, we don’t know how many raisins a dog would need to eat to be considered a toxic dose but raisins can cause kidney failure. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to this fruit. If you witness your dog eating them, we recommend contacting your veterinarian, an animal poisons control service, or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately. The faster you get your dog appropriate treatment the better.
Oatmeal Cookies With Chocolate
Chocolate contains the chemical theobromine, which is also in coffee, and dogs are unable to metabolize it as humans can. While it’s rarely fatal, chocolate is toxic, and the amount your dog would need to eat to be considered toxic depends on the type of chocolate. The more bitter and darker the chocolate is, the more dangerous it is, and the less they would need to eat.
White chocolate is, therefore, rarely a threat because it contains so little theobromine. However, whatever the color of the chocolate, it can still cause your dog to become ill, thanks to the sugar and fat content. For many dogs, ingesting a small amount of chocolate will not cause them any harm. However, signs to be mindful of are:
- Excessive urination
- Increased thirst
- Racing heart
In severe cases of chocolate poisoning, dogs can suffer from muscle tremors and seizures. Contact your vet or Pet Poison Helpline if you believe your dog has ingested chocolate, whether or not you believe it was a toxic or poisonous amount, because it’s always better to let a professional examine your pet.
Is Oatmeal Good for Dogs?
Oatmeal can be healthy for your dog because it’s high in fiber and contains some beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s also a great alternative if your dog is sensitive to other carbohydrates like grains or wheat. You must factor in the extra fiber in your dog’s diet, as too much can cause GI upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Therefore, we suggest feeding your dog oatmeal in moderation.
Make sure it’s cooked since raw oatmeal is difficult for your dog to digest. Also, keep the oatmeal plain, as added butter and salt are harmful. It would be best if you avoided instant oatmeal. While it saves time preparing it, it’s also processed, and you will lose many of the health benefits oats can offer. Before adding anything to your dog’s diet, we suggest running it past your vet first. They can advise if it’s a good idea for your dog and how much would be best to give them if it is.
You should avoid sharing oatmeal cookies with your dog. Even without raisins and chocolate, they aren’t the healthiest snacks because of the fat and sugar that can cause an upset stomach. Long-term, your dog can put on weight, leading to other potential health issues that affect their quality of life and life expectancy. Plain, cooked oatmeal can be healthy for your dog, but you must factor in the extra fiber added to their diet.