If you’ve ever enjoyed Chinese takeout, you’re probably familiar with the fortune cookie. These cookies are a bit of fun, with their unique crunch and paper fortunes. However, if you’ve noticed your dog showing interest in your fortune cookie, you might wonder if it’s safe for them to eat.
While most fortune cookies are generally safe for dogs to eat, it’s not recommended due to the ingredients that are typically used in them. In this article, we’ll break down the ingredients typically found in fortune cookies and explain why they aren’t ideal for your canine companion.
A Brief History of Fortune Cookies
Fortune cookies are not a traditional Chinese dessert, despite their association with Chinese cuisine. The exact origins of fortune cookies are unknown, but they are believed to have originated in California, making them an American contribution to the culinary world. They became increasingly popular after World War II when Americans began to enjoy dessert after their meals. The fortunes inside the cookies were the biggest draw, starting as Biblical and Confucius quotes and eventually branching out into jokes, lottery numbers, and silly advice.
Why Are Fortune Cookies Not Recommended for Dogs?
While there isn’t anything inherently harmful in fortune cookies, most of the ingredients that go into them are not meant for dog consumption.
The average fortune cookie contains about 13 grams of sugar, which is high for a single cookie. While sugar isn’t toxic to dogs, consuming it in large amounts can lead to obesity, increasing the risk of diabetes. The immediate effects of consuming too much sugar can include an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
Manufactured dog foods often contain flour, making it a reasonably safe ingredient for dogs. However, if your dog has a gluten allergy, they may be intolerant to flour. Signs of a gluten allergy may include diarrhea, gas, mucous in the stools, flaky or dry skin, rashes, and bumps.
Authentic vanilla extract contains 35% alcohol, making it dangerous in large quantities for dogs. However, the amount of vanilla extract found in a fortune cookie is too small to be a problem for your pet. If your dog eats a large quantity of fortune cookies, they may experience sugar and ingredient-related symptoms before alcohol poisoning.
Sesame seed oil is the most common oil used in fortune cookies, which is healthy for dogs in moderation. However, consuming too much oil can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, as well as obesity. But, the amount of oil in a fortune cookie is not enough to cause any major concerns for dogs.
Fortune cookies may also contain other ingredients like butter, canola oil, egg whites, and salt. While these ingredients aren’t extremely harmful, large amounts can lead to various health problems. Additionally, the paper for the fortune is technically harmless but could present a choking hazard. Finally, some fortune cookies may contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. It is essential to read the ingredients if you plan to share human food with your canine companion.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate a Fortune Cookie or Any Other Human Food?
If your dog has eaten one or two fortune cookies, it is unlikely that they will experience any significant negative effects, provided they do not have food allergies to the ingredients. However, if your dog has eaten a large amount of fortune cookies or any other human food, contact your veterinarian immediately.
In conclusion, it’s best to play it safe and avoid giving fortune cookies or any other human food to your dog as much as possible. Instead, try giving your furry friend safe and healthy treats specifically made for dogs. Crunchy peanut butter-flavored treats are always a hit, while fruits like blueberries, bananas, watermelon, apples, cantaloupe, mangoes, and pears (minus the seeds) are also healthy options. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian before offering any new food to your dog. Remember also to read the labels carefully because, as we’ve seen with fortune cookies, some seemingly harmless foods may contain potentially dangerous ingredients.