Fortune cookies are a popular dessert that often comes with Chinese food. They are crispy, and sweet and contain a slip of paper with a witty or wise message inside. But can dogs eat fortune cookies? Are they safe or harmful for your furry friend?
In this article, we will answer these questions and more. We will also give you tips on making dog-friendly fortune cookies at home. Let’s get started!
What are Fortune Cookies Made of?
Fortune cookies are typically made of four main ingredients: flour, sugar, oil, and water. They may also contain other ingredients such as vanilla extract, almond extract, sesame seed oil, or peanut oil.
The flour used in fortune cookies is usually rice flour, which is gluten-free and safe for dogs with wheat allergies. However, some brands may use wheat flour or a mix of different flours, so always check the label before giving any to your dog.
The sugar used in fortune cookies is usually white granulated sugar, which is not toxic for dogs but can cause weight gain, dental problems, and diabetes if consumed in large amounts. Some brands may also use artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, which is very dangerous for dogs and can cause low blood sugar, liver failure, and even death.
The oil used in fortune cookies is usually vegetable oil, which is high in fat and calories and can cause obesity, pancreatitis, and diarrhea if given too much to your dog. Some brands may also use peanut oil or sesame seed oil, which can cause allergic reactions in some dogs.
Are Fortune Cookies Safe for Dogs?
Bringing us to the important question of the day… Can dogs eat fortune cookies? While they aren’t toxic to dogs, fortune cookies aren’t healthy, either. They are high in calories, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates, which can cause various health problems for your dog if eaten too often or in large quantities.
Some of the potential risks of giving fortune cookies to your dog include:
- Weight gain: Fortune cookies are very calorie-dense and can easily make your dog gain weight if given too frequently or in large amounts. Obesity can lead to many health issues for your dog, such as joint problems, heart disease, diabetes, and reduced lifespan.
- Dental problems: Fortune cookies are sticky and sugary and can stick to your dog’s teeth and cause plaque, tartar, and tooth decay. This can lead to bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss, and infections.
- Diabetes: Fortune cookies are high in sugar and can spike your dog’s blood sugar levels, which can cause diabetes or worsen existing diabetes. Diabetes can cause many complications for your dog, such as increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, cataracts, kidney failure, and nerve damage.
- Pancreatitis: Fortune cookies are high in fat and can trigger pancreatitis in some dogs, especially those with a history of the condition or a sensitive stomach. Pancreatitis is a serious inflammation of the pancreas that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, dehydration, and shock.
- Allergic reactions: Fortune cookies may contain ingredients that some dogs are allergic to, such as wheat, peanuts, sesame seeds, or artificial sweeteners. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe and can cause symptoms such as itching, hives, swelling, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, or anaphylaxis.
- Choking hazard: Fortune cookies are hard and brittle and can break into sharp pieces, posing a choking hazard for your dog. They can also get stuck in your dog’s throat or mouth and cause injury or infection.
- Paper ingestion: Fortune cookies contain a slip of paper inside with a message on it. While the paper itself is not harmful to your dog, it can cause digestive issues if swallowed. It can also contain ink or other chemicals that may be toxic for your dog.
Ultimately, your dog can probably eat a fortune cookie, but I still don’t recommend it. The risks outweigh the complete lack of benefits. There is no nutritional value and the choking hazard alone would make me steer clear. Heck, I’ve just about choked on hard/stale fortune cookies myself.
How Many Fortune Cookies Can Dogs Eat?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as your dog’s size, weight, age, health condition, and dietary needs. However, as a general rule of thumb, fortune cookies should be given to your dog only as an occasional treat and in very small amounts.
According to Carlotta Cooper, a dog nutrition expert and author of several canine health and nutrition books, one fortune cookie contains about 25 calories. This means that if you have a 10-pound dog, one fortune cookie would make up about 5% of their daily calorie intake, which is quite a lot for a treat.
Therefore, Cooper recommends giving your dog no more than one fortune cookie per week, and only if they are otherwise healthy and have a balanced diet. She also advises breaking the cookie into small pieces and removing the paper inside before giving it to your dog.
If you have a larger dog, you can give them a bit more, but still, be careful not to overdo it. Remember that fortune cookies are not nutritious and can cause health problems for your dog if given too much or too often.
What are the Health Benefits of Fortune Cookies for Dogs?
Fortune cookies do not have any health benefits for dogs. They are essentially nothing more than empty calories that don’t provide your dog with any essential nutrients or vitamins. They may also contain ingredients that are harmful or allergenic for your dog.
However, fortune cookies may have some psychological benefits for your dog. They may provide some mental stimulation, entertainment, and fun for your dog, especially if they enjoy the crunch and the flavor of the cookies. They may also strengthen the bond between you and your dog as you share a special treat and a moment of joy together. But you could make your own dog-safe fortune cookies to provide a better experience for you and your pupper!
Check out our homemade fortune cookie recipe for dogs if you want to give it a shot! What could go wrong?
Fortune cookies are not toxic for dogs, but they are not healthy either. They are high in calories, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates, which can cause various health problems for your dog if eaten too often or in large quantities. They may also contain ingredients that are harmful or allergenic for your dog.
Our best practice tip is just to avoid giving fortune cookies to your dog in general. Or make your own at home that you can ensure are safe, and let’s just forgo the accidental vet trip!