Christmas truly is the most beautiful time of the year. But it wouldn’t be what it is without all of the delicious food. And one of them definitely is gingerbread. Either it’s gingerbread cookies or a gingerbread house, they just taste like Christmas. While we are all hyped up on the Holiday spirit, we might feel tempted to share our favorite Christmas snack with our canines. But is that safe? Can dogs eat gingerbread?
Can dogs eat gingerbread?
The shortest possible answer to this question would be — No, dogs cannot eat gingerbread. You might be a bit confused by this answer as gingerbread is not likely to be toxic for dogs, and ginger itself can even be healthy in small amounts. However, there is one major problem when it comes to this delicious Holiday food.
Gingerbread more often than not contains nutmeg. Which if you didn’t know can be dangerous for dogs in large quantities. That’s because nutmeg contains a toxin called myristicin that doesn’t agree with dogs’ stomachs.
Additionally to that, there are also other issues when it comes to gingerbread.
First of all, the two main ingredients of this treat are sugar and fat. Both of them don’t add any nutritional value to your dog’s daily diet. Additionally, they could even lead to some complications. The most obvious definitely being weight gain. While some healthy weight itself won’t be a too big problem for your dog, obesity could be. The cases of obesity in dogs are at an all time high, and obesity is linked to many other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
When it comes to large amounts of fat in food, the most well known side effect in dogs is pancreatitis. This is a serious medical condition that in the worst cases could even end up deadly.
And lastly, gingerbread also contains different spices that give it the iconic and unique taste. While humans have no problem with these spices at all, they could be problematic for dogs and cause a number of issues including an upset stomach.
Nutmeg for dogs — What’s the issue?
In case you didn’t know — nutmeg is highly toxic for dogs. It could even lead to poisoning if the amounts were large enough.
Nutmeg is toxic due to a compound called myristicin. When consumed in large quantities, myristicin is toxic to both pets and also people.
A pet would need to ingest a significant amount of nutmeg to experience toxicity. Nutmeg is a hallucinogenic, so consuming a large amount of it can be a frightening experience for your canine.
What are the symptoms of nutmeg poisoning?
If you are suspecting that your dog is suffering from nutmeg poisoning, there are certain symptoms to watch out for. These include:
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
Conclusion: Can dogs eat gingerbread
While gingerbread may be the perfect Holiday snack for us humans, dogs should avoid it at all costs. First of all, gingerbread contains a lot of additional spices that give it the unique taste. All of these could potentially be very dangerous for dogs. The fat and sugar found in gingerbread isn’t too appealing as well. But the main problem definitely is that gingerbread often contains nutmeg. Nutmeg is a hallucinogenic and could cause serious harm to your dog.
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