Humans love cookies as a fun and delicious treat, but can dogs have cookies as well? Cookies come in all flavors and sizes such as chocolate chip, peanut butter, double chocolate, oatmeal raisin, and more. As delicious as they sound to both you and your pup, cookies can be quite dangerous to dogs. Read more below to learn why dogs shouldn’t have cookies and what could happen if your dog ate a cookie. 

Why Can’t Dogs Have Cookies? 

Cookies can have a lot of sugar in them, which can cause stomach upset in dogs. It is essential to know that giving your dog a sugar-free cookie does not put them in the clear. Sugar-free cookies commonly contain xylitol, a sugar alternative that is poisonous to dogs. When dogs ingest xylitol, it rapidly absorbs into the bloodstream, which stimulates the pancreas to release insulin. Due to this, dogs experience hypoglycemia, a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels. 

Chocolate in cookies is just as dangerous for dogs. All types of chocolate contain theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic ingredients to dogs. Dogs metabolize theobromine much slower than humans, which allows it to build up in their system. Different types of chocolate contain different theobromine concentrations. Baker’s and dark chocolates have the highest concentration levels of theobromine. It is best to give dogs treats and cookies that are made exclusively for dogs. Always consult your veterinarian first if your dog can have a certain treat before giving it to them. 

Clinical Signs of Chocolate and Xylitol Poisoning 

Most cookies contain chocolate, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms of chocolate poisoning. Toxic effects of theobromine are possible when consumed in significant doses from any type of chocolate products. A dog’s size can impact how fast theobromine is metabolized. Common chocolate poisoning symptoms include: 

  • Tremors in the muscles and limbs
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Agitation/restlessness
  • Increased heart rate

If your dog ate a sugar-free cookie it is important to watch out for signs of xylitol poisoning. Low doses can cause hypoglycemia and high doses can result in seizures and liver failure. Common xylitol poisoning symptoms include: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Inability to walk/stand or lack of coordination 
  • Lethargy or weakness 
  • Body tremors 
  • Seizures 


If you believe your dog is suffering from poisoning after eating a cookie, call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian to receive prompt medical help. You should take your dog to the vet clinic or animal hospital so a vet can assess your dog and properly treat them. Your vet will likely induce vomiting if your dog is exhibiting signs of poisoning. Your dog may be given medications if they are experiencing seizures or tremors. If you have any further questions or concerns, call Pet Poison Helpline® and the experts can help ease your mind and keep your pup safe.