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Can Dogs Eat Shortbread? Risks and Alternatives (Answered 2023)

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Can Dogs Eat Shortbread CookiesSurprising as it sounds, almost half of the calories in shortbread cookies come from carbohydrates—a shocking statistic that may have you wondering if this treat is safe for your pup. If your canine companion has been eyeing up those delicious treats on the counter, here’s what you need to know about canines and shortbread: Can Dogs Eat Shortbread Cookies? The answer isn’t so simple.

While there are some risks involved with feeding dogs shortbread cookies, there are also alternatives that will satisfy their sweet tooth without endangering their health.

Key Takeaways

  • Shortbread cookies can be safe for healthy dogs in moderation.
  • Dogs can have sensitivities or allergies to the wheat in shortbread.
  • Ingredients to avoid in shortbread for dogs include chocolate, raisins, nuts, and xylitol.
  • Homemade dog treats made with wholesome ingredients are a healthier alternative to store-bought shortbread cookies.

Shortbread Nutrition

Shortbread Nutrition
You’re probably aware that shortbread isn’t the healthiest snack due to its high sugar and butter content. Shortbread dates back centuries with its simple recipe of butter, flour, and sugar. While traditional shortbread contains minimal ingredients, modern recipes incorporate spices, nuts, chocolate, and more.

Exotic additions like ginger or macadamia nuts could upset your dog’s stomach, while xylitol in sugar-free versions is toxic.

Limit ingredients to basic butter, flour, and sugar. Check labels on store-bought shortbread to avoid hidden dangers.

While an occasional plain shortbread cookie won’t harm most dogs, the richness can cause digestive upset. Consider lower-fat carob cookies or homemade treats for a healthier dog cookie alternative.

Is Shortbread Safe for Dogs?

Is Shortbread Safe for Dogs
You’re probably wondering if it’s okay to give your dog a tasty shortbread cookie. Let’s dive into the potential risks and benefits of sharing this classic baked good with your furry friend.

Shortbread cookies are delicious treats that many dog owners are tempted to share with their pets. However, there are a few things to consider before handing your pup a shortbread treat.

The main ingredient in shortbread is flour, which typically comes from wheat. Some dogs have sensitivities or allergies to wheat, so this is something to be aware of. Shortbread also contains butter or shortening, sugar, and occasionally extras like chocolate chips or nuts.

Too much fat and sugar can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs, especially if they aren’t used to these rich ingredients.

In moderation, plain shortbread made with just flour, butter, and sugar is generally safe for healthy dogs to eat as an occasional treat. A small bite of shortbread shouldn’t cause any issues. It’s best to avoid shortbread with chocolate, raisins, nuts, or other add-ins that may be toxic to dogs.

And as with any human foods, shortbread should only make up a tiny portion of your dog’s overall diet.

The bottom line is that plain shortbread in very small amounts is okay for most dogs on special occasions. But it shouldn’t be a regular part of their diet. Consider your individual dog’s health status and look out for any signs of stomach upset after treating your pup.

When in doubt, check with your veterinarian about whether shortbread is suitable for your furry friend.

Ingredients to Avoid

There are ingredients like chocolate and raisins you’ll want to avoid in shortbread cookies given to dogs. For instance, Jordan’s dog became ill after eating shortbread containing chocolate chips.

  1. Chocolate
  2. Raisins
  3. Macadamia nuts
  4. Xylitol

Some safe substitutes are carob chips, pumpkin puree, banana, and peanut butter. When baking shortbread for your pup, diligently check labels and recipes to ensure no toxic ingredients for dogs make their way in.

Alternative treats like dehydrated sweet potato keep your dog’s health and safety a top priority.

Potential Risks and Health Concerns

When making homemade treats, pet owners should focus on wholesome ingredients like carrots, apples, pumpkin, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, bananas, and oats.

Some easy recipes to try include:

  • Pumpkin oat dog biscuits – Just mix pumpkin puree, oats, and eggs. Bake into crunchy biscuits.
  • Frozen yogurt pops – Blend Greek yogurt and bananas. Pour into molds and freeze for a cool summer treat.
  • Peanut butter banana bites – Mash banana with peanut butter and roll into bite-sized balls.
  • Apple carrot muffins – Grate apples and carrots into muffin batter made with whole wheat flour and eggs.
  • Sweet potato chews – Slice sweet potato into strips and dehydrate into chewy chips.

Follow proper food safety and preparation when making any homemade dog treats. Consult your vet if your dog has special dietary needs or restrictions. But overall, these nutritious recipes can provide tasty alternatives to store-bought cookies.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Shortbread Cookies

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Shortbread Cookies
First, closely monitor your dog for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy after eating shortbread. If any concerning signs develop, do not hesitate to contact your vet, as these cookies could potentially cause stomach upset or more serious issues depending on the ingredients.

Shortbread often contains butter, sugar, and flour which can lead to gastrointestinal upset in dogs when consumed in large amounts. Keep an eye out for vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or unusual lethargy. If you notice any of these signs within 24 hours of your dog eating shortbread, give your vet a call right away.

Describe how much shortbread you think was eaten and the ingredients if known. Your vet may recommend bringing your dog in to be examined and may prescribe medication to help settle the stomach. In more severe cases, hospitalization on IV fluids may be needed if your dog becomes dehydrated from persistent vomiting or diarrhea after eating shortbread.

Usually dogs recover well with prompt veterinary care, but any ingestion of human foods should be taken seriously as there can be risks of toxicity.

Monitoring for Symptoms

Monitor your dog for potential symptoms after eating shortbread cookies. Watch for signs of digestive upset like vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain in the hours following ingestion. Lethargy or hypoglycemia may also present if a large quantity was consumed. If serious symptoms develop, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Though most dogs tolerate a few cookies, continued observation ensures your pet’s well-being after unwise cookie consumption.

When to Seek Veterinary Assistance

Let’s be clear. If diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy persist for more than a day after your dog ate shortbread cookies, do not hesitate to call the vet. Inform them of everything so they can determine if your pup needs to come in. Symptoms like seizures or collapse indicate emergency intervention – head straight to the nearest pet ER immediately.

Although most pups recover from a cookie binge, remain alert for subtle signs of ongoing digestive issues or xylitol poisoning.

How Many Shortbread Cookies Can You Give Your Dog?

How Many Shortbread Cookies Can You Give Your Dog
When serving shortbread cookies to your dog, portion control and moderation are key. Begin by giving your dog just one or two small pieces of plain shortbread, then wait and observe for any signs of an upset stomach before offering additional cookies.

Portion Control and Moderation

Since dogs struggle with moderation, stick to just one or two shortbread cookies as an occasional treat:

  1. Limit cookies to 1-2 per week
  2. Break cookies into smaller pieces
  3. Substitute with healthy alternatives
  4. Watch for weight gain or digestive issues
  5. Never leave a full plate unattended

Portion control and moderation are key when sharing any human foods with canines. Consult your vet for serving size recommendations based on your dog’s dietary needs and health conditions.

Factors to Consider (Size, Weight, Health)

You’d be wise to factor in your dog’s size and health before deciding how many shortbread treats to allow.

A dog’s size and weight determine how many cookie calories they can handle. Monitor your pup’s reaction after their first cookie. Small or elderly pups should get just a taste. Active large breeds can handle more.

Dog Size Max Shortbread Cookies
Small 1
Medium 2
Large 3

Consider age, health issues, and dietary needs as well. Customize cookie portions for your dog’s unique condition.

Alternatives to Sharing Shortbread Cookies

Alternatives to Sharing Shortbread Cookies
To provide your furry friend with a tasty treat that is also good for them, bake homemade dog cookies or treats using dog-safe ingredients. There are many easy recipes available online or in dog treat cookbooks that allow you to control exactly what goes into the treats.

Look for recipes that use dog-approved flavors like peanut butter, pumpkin, bananas, sweet potatoes, or applesauce as the main ingredients. Then you can also add in dog-safe add-ins like oats, eggs, yogurt, or shredded carrots.

Baked goods made for human consumption often contain ingredients like chocolate, raisins, nutmeg, onions, garlic, and xylitol that can be toxic for dogs, so avoiding store-bought cookies is a wise idea.

But your dog will be just as happy with homemade goodies that provide a sweet, crunchy snack they’ll love that you can feel confident is healthy for them to enjoy.

Dog-Friendly Treat Options

Offer homemade carob cookies or bacon treats for tail wags. Substitute human cookies with pup-friendly delights like peanut butter biscuits baked specially for your furry friend. Explore canine chef recipes for dog treats filled with love. Whip up homemade goodies like pumpkin peanut butter dog cookies.

Let your pet savor special snacks made just for them. Surprise your pup with yummy dog biscuits for their dessert.

Let’s make cute bone-shaped cookies to pamper your pup’s sweet tooth safely. Bake treats with 3 cups whole wheat or oat flour, 1 cup shredded carrots, 2 eggs, and 1 cup no-sugar-added applesauce. Knead the dough, chill it, roll it out, cut with bone cutters, and bake at 350F for 25 minutes.

For peanut butter cookies, omit the carrots and add 1 cup natural peanut butter. Substitute bananas or pumpkin puree for binding and moisture. Customize with your pup’s favorite human-safe fruits and veggies.


It’s understandable to want to share a sweet treat with your furry friend, but it’s important to be aware of the risks. Shortbread cookies are not a healthy option for dogs due to their sugar and butter content, and some contain toxic ingredients like xylitol, chocolate, and macadamia nuts.

Eating one or two shortbread cookies won’t harm most dogs, but it’s best not to offer them regularly.

If your dog has eaten a large number of shortbread cookies, it’s important to monitor for symptoms and seek veterinary attention if necessary. Consider healthier alternatives like animal crackers, butter cookies, or homemade dog cookies for your pup.

While it’s tempting to indulge your pup with a sweet treat, knowing the risks and opting for safer options can help keep your pup safe and healthy.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.