Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread? Get Your Facts Cleared Now!

can dogs eat gingerbread

There’s nothing sweeter, spicier, and scented quite like the gingerbread. Especially if you are in the Christmas baking mood, this goodie is an all-timer! While you gorge on them, your pet poodle sitting by your foot gives you the ‘typical – I want it too’ look! Before you melt and give in to its demands, how about finding out – can dogs eat gingerbread? The answer, unfortunately, is no! Packed with fat and sugar, this could harm your dog’s digestive system and could even lead to an emergency. 

Are you surprised? After all, dogs can eat ginger once in a while. So why not a piece of gingerbread? This post has all your answers. Scroll through – 

Can dogs eat gingerbread? 

can dogs eat gingerbread
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Absolutely no! Though people who are not completely aware might claim that how their pets love it, most of such ‘people foods’ are not for dogs. Gingerbread contains nutmeg and xylitol that are extremely harmful to your dogs, even causing food poisoning. There have been multiple cases of dogs getting allergic reactions after consuming gingerbread. 

Added to that, gingerbread has a very high sugar and fat content, which can cause pancreatitis in dogs. The added colour and preservatives also do no good to the dogs and add to the troubles. So, on the whole, there’s not a chance that dogs can consume this baked treat. 

What can happen if your dog eats gingerbread?

food poisoning in dogs
Image Credit: iStock Photos

If your dog has eaten gingerbread, there are a couple of symptoms that can occur – 

  • The spices used in making gingerbread are harmful to the dog. Their body cannot absorb the same, and they will get sick (excessive drooling and vomiting). 
  • Xylitol (birch sugar) present in this baked item is a sweetener that untowardly increases blood sugar levels. This is not suitable for your dog and can cause multiple health issues apart from weight gain and diabetes
  • Nutmeg poisoning is another medical issue that your dog can face. Nutmeg has myristicin, which is extremely toxic for dogs. It can lead to seizures, enhanced heart rate and tremors – even leading to death! 
  • There are certain gingerbread recipes that contain cinnamon and star anise. Both these constituents are extremely toxic for the dogs and could lead to multiple health issues. Also, in the long run, it could lead to obesity, respiratory, cardiac, dental and joint issues. 
  • Apart from the ingredients mentioned above, gingerbread also contains – flour, baking soda, butter, raisins, cloves, allspice, salt, vanilla extract, and meringue powder (in certain recipes). Though none of these components are toxic, however, in the long run, they are extremely harmful to your dog and can result in critical health issues. 
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So for those who wish to clarify whether or not can dogs eat gingerbread, the answer is a straight no! However, what if mistakenly your dog has eaten it? The next section will give you details of dealing with it. 

What to do if your dog mistakenly eats it? 

plain rice and chicken for dogs
Image Credit: Volhard Dog Nutrition

In case you realize that your dog has mistakenly eaten a gingerbread, here are the steps you must follow – 

  • Keep a check on your dog for 24 hours. In most cases, what happens is that they suffer from an upset stomach, and you need to visit a vet. 
  • Also, during that 24-hour timeline, feed your dog – a bland diet. Plain-cooked rice with chicken broth/unseasoned chicken will be of great help. 

If you notice any side effects like a seizure, dry mouth, disorientation, hypothermia, vomiting, tremors, or increased heart rate before 24 hours, that could imply nutmeg/xylitol poisoning. Connect with your vet right away. 

What are the alternative dog treats for them? 

carrots for dogs
Image Credit: Raised Right

As much as you know that the response to can dogs eat gingerbread will remain a firm no, you might want to give it a taste of holiday goodies. Keeping gingerbreads aside, there are several dog treats available for your pups. You can customize and make some at home, or you can opt for store-bought dog treats as well. Apart from that, cooked sweet potatoes, carrots, and apples are a great source of nutrition for them. 

Recipe for a dog treat 

For that little ‘hooman’ of yours who might not be able to enjoy a gingerbread slice, here is a goodie recipe to check out – 

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Measurements: As per US standards 

  • Whole wheat flour (2 cups)
  • Peanut butter (1/2 cup) – opt for the one that does not contain xylitol 
  • Unsweetened applesauce and water (1/4 cup each)  

How to make it? 

Step 1 – Combine the ingredients into a dough. 

Step 2 – Preheat the oven to 350 – degrees F.

Step 3 – You have to roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter to create shapes. 

Step 4 – Line the baking tray with parchment paper. 

Step 5 – Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes (until they are golden brown) 

Serve them cold. 


As has been mentioned in this article, certain dogs may have a bite or two of gingerbread, and nothing happens. Well, the fact is – the tolerance level is different for different types of dogs. So, while some may show prominent reactions, others do not. However, taking everything into account, if you ask if can dogs eat gingerbread safely without side effects, then the answer is no. Therefore, you must be very careful about the same. 

If you want to take a look at some other health facts, then keep a watch on this website. 

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