Gingerbread is a classic. They even featured it in children’s stories. A bite of gingerbread allows you to re-live many beautiful memories. A right mix of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and molasses gingerbread is one great treat. It is hard to resist the tempting taste and smell of gingerbread that teases our senses on a snowy Christmas morning.
There are different variations in preparing a gingerbread, but it always has the basic components that include ginger, cinnamon, molasses, and cloves. It is a timeless pastry, a classic traditional goodie that children of all ages would enjoy. It captivates a lot of imagination and is coupled with delightful stories while sitting in front of the oven.
But can dogs eat gingerbread? You know exactly when something that spells fantastic that comes out of the kitchen. Fido would wag its tail in delight and will jump endlessly to have a taste of that delectable taste of gingerbread treat. Just like you do, we also love to give our dog a piece of treat, but we can only be too careful. Let us both find out.
Can dogs eat gingerbread?
Is ginger safe for dogs? Yes, ginger is safe for dogs when given in small amounts. It has antioxidants that help support your dog from suffering motion sickness, blood circulation, nausea, gastrointestinal issues, and bloating. Its anti-inflammatory properties help dogs relieve arthritis pain.
You can give small quantities of ginger, like 1 teaspoon of raw ginger a day. Do not let him consume more than that because it will make him gassy, nauseous, and suffer heartburn. A few bits of ginger are ideal for making your dog nice-tasting gingerbread cookies. And you can sprinkle little bits of it on his dog food.
But when you combine ginger, cinnamon, molasses, and cloves, it already becomes a new set of a ballgame. Some gingerbread uses other ingredients aside from those I have highlighted that would make gingerbread not an ideal food item for dogs. Although a little munch wouldn’t hurt them, it is not an ideal food item for them.
In most cases, a dog may suffer gastrointestinal upsets during special occasions and holidays because of the overabundance of food. Some foods are okay, not-so okay, not okay, and terrible for them. There are too many, and the overabundance of it is just simply overwhelming.
It is easy to grab a few bits of random pieces and just let your dog enjoy a few treats, and then boom! Later that day, you just found out your dog is already drooling, he is unresponsive, and he is gasping for air and holding onto his dear life. It is sometimes hard to find the right balance and restraint when a dog is near you during special occasions.
What makes gingerbread unsafe?
Like what I have earlier mentioned, a teaspoon of ginger or a small amount of it is a safe and healthy item for a dog. A few chomps and munches of gingerbread may not be fatal to him and may upset his stomach for a couple of days, but it is not a treat for him. You can opt to choose other options that will not cause any harm to your dog.
Most of the gingerbread recipes we found contain nutmeg. Nutmeg is toxic and not safe to ingest by dogs. A large quantity of nutmeg may hurt your dog eventually. Despite that, it is no reason to give it to him deliberately. Nutmeg has a toxin called myristicin. Found in most herbs and spices, and they use it as an insecticide.
Myristicin is also an addictive substance, as it gives a psychoactive and hallucinogenic effect on its user. Any food items that use nutmeg as an ingredient is a big no for your dog. Other recipes use cinnamon with the same effects as nutmeg and few dashes of black pepper, which is another big no for dogs.
Other gingerbread may contain star anise, which can be fatal in large amounts. Star anise can make dogs go into hyper mode. It elevates their energy level to high gear that often leads to injuries and other unfriendly behaviors. There are a lot of things that these herbs and spices do to dogs. We must always be vigilant and exercise due care.
Gingerbread contains sugar and fats, and we all know the ill effects of sugar and fat on dogs. Dog’s system does not break sugar and fat compounds effectively, which would lead to a different illness that would be catastrophic and heart-breaking for them and their owners.
Dogs not breaking fat and sugar effectively would cause obesity. There are many foods that we can share happiness with our dogs, but sadly, gingerbread is not one of them. Sugar is one devastating substance that can wreak havoc on your dog’s health. Diabetes is one health-related problem we should avoid at all costs.
Commercial gingerbreads contain xylitol, a sweetener used for foods with “sugar-free” labels. Xylitol is higher toxicity levels compared to chocolate. A small amount of xylitol is disastrous for your dog’s health, and it will hurt him seriously. They had found xylitol to cause dogs several life-threatening diseases.
Despite those things, are there any health benefits of allowing dogs to ingest a bite of gingerbread?
Vets use a bit of ginger sometimes to relieve dogs of gastric torsion. Ginger is fine for dogs. A bit of it can help your dog relieve some inconveniences. Larger dogs may need a bigger piece compared with a smaller one. What could work with one dog may not work with the other.
Ginger has blood-thinning properties, and it is not advisable for dogs who are experiencing a blood-clotting disorder. For dogs who are to undergo surgery, a dose of ginger bits is not good. Dogs who are experiencing cardiac issues should also avoid ginger, and that includes pregnant and lactating dogs.
“Can dogs eat gingerbread?”, for this one, the answer is no. Gingerbread has nothing that can offer your dog any health-related benefits. And there is no reason for you to give him even a little slice, no matter how hard your dog begs. There are several healthier and safer options that you can feed your dog instead of gingerbread.
What to do with accidental ingestion of gingerbread?
Gingerbread that may contain a few grams of xylitol is not to be fed to them. When you notice your dog is not himself and is getting an upset stomach, you need to be calm and be “in control” of the situation. Please watch out and note if your dog shows:
- Stomach pains
- A feeling of being disoriented
- Increased or elevated level of heart rate
- Dry mouth
- High blood pressure or hypertension
If these symptoms show for days, it is better to take him to your vet and tell him he had ingested a few pieces of gingerbread. Please take the box or package of gingerbread so your vet can check its contents and give accurate assessment and proper medical intervention.
Gingerbread is not fit for dog consumption.