Weeks from now, the bells will be ringing, and everyone waits for the breeze that comes with the smell of Christmas. Well, it sounds too that the scent of gingerbread gets mixed with the cold winter air!
Gingerbread completes the season of joy and warmth. But does it meet the nutrients that your dog needs every day?
You may have your hypothetical guess. With that being said, we came across this article to give you awareness for your dog’s health by answering, “Can dogs eat gingerbread?”
What is Gingerbread?
Gingerbread is a typical Christmas treat that you might serve this holiday season with hot chocolate or peppermint tea. Generally, it is a cookie that can be made two ways: either with molasses or without. Both gingerbreads are commonly spiced, but they have their differences in taste and texture.
The bread version of this treatment does not use any leavening agents such as yeast or baking soda, which means it has a dense crumb, unlike the softness of a traditional cake.
Ginger contains high amounts of fiber, which means that it aids digestion and keeps your pet’s bowels in optimal condition. Gingerbread also contains gingerol, a substance that gives the treat its distinctive flavor, but it has anti-inflammatory properties and relieves gastrointestinal problems such as gas or diarrhea.
Food family of Gingerbread
Gingerbread falls into the food family of baked goods, usually made with flour, sugar, and fat. Most baked goods contain a large number of carbohydrates and sugar. However, gingerbread is low in both carbohydrates and added sugars (molasses).
To further expand, baked goods have high levels of calories, fat, and moisture. In addition to the calorie content, gingerbread is high in fiber, making it harder to digest.
Finally, gingerbread has a low amount of protein and sodium — both are essential nutrients that dogs need. So, it brings us to the question: is gingerbread safe for your dogs?
Can dogs eat Gingerbread?
Gingerbread is a big no-no for your dogs.
The antioxidants in gingerbread are suitable for your dog’s immune system. However, it is better to give gingerbreads sparingly and not regularly as a treat might be too rich for them or contain ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction, such as nutmeg, ground ginger, and molasses.
Gingerbread contains a lot of calories and sugar, which might be bad for your dog’s teeth. And let us not forget about the high carbohydrate levels that can lead to weight gain in dogs.
Best Ways to Feed your Dogs with Gingerbread
Have you thought about creative ways to feed your dogs with gingerbread? Then we got best practices for you:
Carefully choose the right ingredients
You can use molasses instead of regular sugar and add some ginger to the mix. This way, your dogs will be able to enjoy the taste of gingerbread without consuming too many calories or carbohydrates.
You could also limit consuming a small piece (e.g., half a cookie) rather than a real treat.
Use gingerbread for a training treat
Use gingerbread as a training treat for your dogs — they will do anything to get their paws on this sweet snack! Bake the gingerbread in small portions so you can give them a smaller piece at once.
Do not let your dog chew off large chunks of gingerbread because the dog might get injured if there are any sharp edges.
Create a table diet for your dog
Adding gingerbread to your pet’s daily diet is a great way to boost their immune system. You can even get creative and add some other healthy ingredients like bananas or honey that will make the treat healthier for them! Make sure.
However, you give it in moderation — remember that too much of a good thing might not be so good for your dog.
Reasons Why Dogs can Eat Gingerbread
Gingerbread contains antioxidants and is rich in nutrients that are beneficial for your dog.
In addition, the treat might also aid digestion or relieve gastrointestinal problems such as gas or diarrhea — which makes it an excellent occasional snack to give them.
Gingerbread contains gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory properties and relieves pain from arthritis too.
Best for the immune system
This treat should be used for a quick boost of energy or as an occasional snack because it is not suitable for your dog’s health in large doses. In addition, gingerbread has high calories and sugar levels, leading to weight gain if given regularly.
If you want to add the baked goods to your dog’s diet, make sure you give them in moderation.
The gingerbread has anti-inflammatory properties, which might aid your dog’s immune system. In addition, the antioxidants will help them have a strong defense against diseases and infections — so make sure you get this as part of their daily diet in small amounts! Ginger also contains phenolic compounds that lower inflammation levels.
Possible Concerns When Eating a Gingerbread
Obesity is the number one concern for feeding your dog gingerbread, as this treat is high in calories and sugar. Also, keep in mind that dogs are not as good at regulating their food intake as humans, which means they eat more than necessary.
Therefore, it is best to give gingerbread in moderation or only when training your dog!
Ginger itself and its by-products (e.g., ground ginger) are known to cause allergies in dogs. Therefore, it is best to avoid feeding your dog gingerbread and not take the risk of having an allergic reaction, even if you think they are unlikely to have one! Nutmeg Allergies are also possible when it comes to eating gingerbread.
Nutmeg can potentially be toxic for dogs, so make sure you avoid feeding your dog treats with nutmeg or other ingredients that contain it!
Sodium and Protein Deficiencies
Dogs need sodium and protein to maintain their health. Gingerbread does not have enough of these nutrients, which means the treat is not suitable for regular consumption by dogs. Remember — gingerbread should only be given as a treat.
So, it is best to feed dogs gingerbread sparingly and not let them consume it regularly for the sake of their health!
Signs your dog is sick from eating Gingerbread
If your dog overeats gingerbread at once, it might experience gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea or gas. Also, keep in mind that dogs are not as good at regulating their food intake as humans, which means if you give them a big piece of gingerbread, it will be difficult for them to digest it!
Weakness and Lethargy
Gingerbread may be difficult for your dog to digest, which can make them feel weak or tired. In addition, if they are vomiting too much from eating the treat, they might start feeling lethargic due to not having enough energy.
Remember — gingerbread should only be given as a treat.
Gingerbread can cause skin irritation and itchiness in dogs, especially if they have an allergy to ginger or nutmeg. In addition, the high sugar levels might be too much for their bodies to handle, which could lead them to feel itchy!
Dark Stools are another sign that your dog might be experiencing some gastrointestinal issues or that they are sick from eating gingerbread. If their stools turn dark brown, it is a sign there could be blood in them.
What to do if your dog is sick from eating Gingerbread?
First things first, you have to be calm and collected to make the best decisions for your dog. As alarming as it may be, it is essential to know what you can do in this situation.
If they have a low-grade fever, monitor them to see if their condition worsens. If it does not get any worse within 24 hours of eating gingerbread, then there is no need to worry about giving them anything else in addition or taking them to the vet.
But if severe symptoms persist, take your dog to the vet immediately.
Avoid these similar foods from this family.
Dogs have to avoid eating chocolate as much as possible since it contains caffeine and theobromine, making them very sick. In addition, chocolate cookies contain high levels of fat, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Also, keep in mind that chocolate and other forms of caffeine can cause cardiac arrest!
Fatty Foods and Sugary Treats
Dogs should avoid eating fatty foods or sugary treats like gingerbread, as both are high in calories. In addition, dogs tend to eat more than necessary which means they might overeat if given too much of a treat.
If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, keep them hydrated by administering small amounts of water at regular intervals.
Cakes and icings
Cake and icings may be attractive from a dog’s point of view, but feeding these can cause harm more than anything. Many cakes and icings are high in fat, which can cause vomiting or diarrhea if eaten by dogs.
Hence, these foods are best avoided if you want to keep your dog healthy.
A dog’s happiness is absolute. Yet, the food that your dog eats has to be moderated. For example, gingerbread is a cake or cookie that humans have enjoyed for centuries, but can dogs eat gingerbread? The answer is a no-no.
To recap, gingerbread contains many calories and sugar, which might be bad for your dog’s teeth. And let us not forget about the high carbohydrate levels that can lead to weight gain in dogs.
However, you can still serve the best of your dogs by carefully choosing ingredients included in baking gingerbread and creating a table diet for your dogs.
When often overlooked, gingerbread causes gastrointestinal problems, skin irritations, and weakness in dogs. The key takeaway here is to keep a close eye on your dog when they are eating gingerbread so that you can monitor their health condition.
Written by: Alejandro Corona Jr.