Getting into the holiday spirit? What can you give your pup as a treat so they feel included too? Is it ok to feed gingerbread cookies to your dog?

gingerbread cookies

Can Dogs Eat Gingerbread Cookies?

Ready for the holidays and all that fun holiday baking? So are we! The fun music and delicious smells. Who doesn’t love the holidays?

Just watch out for your furry little scavenger around the kitchen. Your dog will love the smell of those delicious gingerbread cookies. And you’ll be tempted to share them with your sweet pup. But wait… is it safe to let your dog eat gingerbread cookies?

Actually, the answer is typically no. The ginger part is fine, unless they are allergic. And things like cinnamon aren’t toxic, but they can give your dog stomach problems like vomiting and diarrhea. The same goes for all that wonderful sugar. Your pup’s stomach won’t appreciate it.  And the biggest concern is that many gingerbread cookies contain nutmeg, which is definitely toxic to dogs.

ginger root

Can Dogs Eat Ginger?

Ginger itself is a root that has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Herbal Medicine. It’s known for its ability to help with nausea and vomiting, “but it has also been used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, circulatory stimulant, and for cognitive support.”

The VCA Hospitals tell us that there was a study once about ginger curing heartworm disease. But they eventually found out that it does not actually help with that.

They say that “in general, ginger root is considered safe with few side effects. Sensitivity/allergic reactions are possible upon skin contact, and may include skin redness, itchiness, or hives. Other uncommon side effects may include stomach pain, heartburn, diarrhea, and gas.”

So as long as your pup doesn’t show any allergic reactions to taking it, they are completely fine to eat small amounts of ginger for an upset stomach. You can even give them a little bit of ginger one half an hour before a car ride to help with car sickness.

Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?

Thankfully, cinnamon is not toxic to dogs. If your dog did eat just a tiny bit, they should be fine. But it’s also not something you should intentionally feed them. If your dog eats larger amounts of cinnamon, or cinnamon oils, this could “cause skin and digestive irritation and sensitization.”

The Pet Poison Hepline says that ingesting more than 1 teaspoon of cinnamon “can lead to low blood sugar, liver disease, vomiting, diarrhea and changes in heart rate.” And inhaling the powder can irritate your dog's lungs, causing coughing, choking, difficulty breathing, and more.

Can we all agree to just avoid letting our pups eat cinnamon?

gingerbread cookies

Can Dogs Eat Nutmeg?

Sorry, but nutmeg is toxic for dogs. Please avoid giving your dog anything with nutmeg in it. If your dog only ate a tiny bit, they should be ok. But they will probably suffer from diarrhea and vomiting.

But if your dog accidentally ate a larger amount of nutmeg, please contact your veterinarian immediately. "At high doses, you can see disorientation, hallucinations, increased heart rate and blood pressure, dry mouth, abdominal pain, and even seizures," says Stephanie Liff, DVM.

And remember that around the holidays, nutmeg is found in multiple dishes like gingerbread cookies, pumpkin pie, and even sweet potato casseroles. So make sure to keep an eye on your sneaky canine.

Can I Give My Dog Ginger Dog Biscuits?

Believe it or not, there are actually ginger dog biscuits you can buy online, and homemade ginger dog cookie recipes that are made specifically with dogs in mind. So you can safely feed your dog a yummy ginger treat that will soothe their stomach, without containing other problematic ingredients.

Just be sure when you are looking up those fun homemade dog treat recipes online that you double check all of the ingredients first. As we’ve seen here, certain ingredients can be harmful or even toxic for dogs that are completely fine for us. And it’s easy to accidentally forget which is which.

As your dog’s guardian, it’s up to you to protect them from toxic and harmful foods and ingredients. And if you can be your dog’s advocate and watch out for their wellbeing… they will be the healthiest, happiest pup they can be.

For more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips, check out the Off Leash blog at

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