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Fortune cookies are often associated with Asian-American cuisines but they are now popular everywhere around the world. People prepare these cookies to send special messages to their loved ones. And if you have eaten in a Chinese restaurant, you’ve probably received them at the end of your meal. In most cases, you’ll crack these cookies open, read your fortune, eat them, pay your bill (in case of a restaurant), and go on your merry way. But can we share these crunchy, mildly sweet cookies with our dogs? Well, let’s find out but before then…
What Are Fortune Cookies?
A fortune cookie is a crisp, crescent-shaped cookie, usually made from flour, vanilla, sugar, and sesame seed oil with a paper inside imprinted with some message or a “fortune” (which is usually a proverb, a lucky, some advice, or a new Chinese word). Traditionally, the fortunes were mainly Confucian phrases and advice about life. Nowadays, anything can be imprinted—from quotes, lucky numbers to general advice about life. Some companies even allow customers to write their own fortunes!
Can Dogs Eat Fortune Cookies?
Technically, dogs can eat these cookies without any problem but it is not good for their health. The ingredients that are used when making these cookies can cause severe health problems for your dog. Before we discuss some of the negative impacts these ingredients may pose to your dog, let’s first understand what’s used in making fortune cookies.
Fortune Cookie Ingredients
As hinted above, the basic ingredients used to make fortune cookies are flour, vanilla, sugar, eggs, and water. Other ingredients may also be added depending on the recipe, including almond extract, salt, melted butter, and instant tea powder. Some commercial manufacturers may also add turmeric extracts, baking soda, peanut oil, baking powder, anti-caking agents, and stabilizing agents.
Potential Health Issues
Here is a quick overview of why you shouldn’t feed a lot of fortune cookies to your pooch:
While we eat sugar all the time, our dogs’ bodies cannot process sugar well. So, allowing your dog to eat a lot of foods with high sugar content (like fortune cookies) can cause stomach inflammations, which can further lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Excess sugar also puts your dog at risk of obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic conditions. And from there, things only get worse for your canine companion. For instance, joint problems, heart problems, shortness of breath, fatigue, and loss of appetite are some of the issues that can result from obesity.
2. Unnecessary Calories
Each fortune calorie is estimated to contain about 107 calories. However, your dog only requires between 24 and 30 calories per pound of his weight a day to maintain a healthy weight. If your dog weighs 30lbs, for instance, he only needs about 700-800 calories a day. So, by feeding your dog a lot of fortune cookies, you can imagine the amount of unnecessary calories that you are exposing him too. Like in humans, excess calories may cause weight gain and cardiovascular diseases.
Prepackaged foods like fortune cookies may also contain gluten. While your dog may not suffer from celiac disease (unless he is a Red Settler), gluten can cause a wide range of health issues in dogs, including gastro-intestinal upsets, ear infections, and itchy skin. So, if your dog is gluten-intolerant, fortune cookies may not be the best treat to give him.
4. Hydrogenated Oils
Commercially-prepared fortune cookies may also contain partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats (usually added to boost their shelf-life) as well as artificial preservatives, which may cause health problems like cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, and even cancer.
What Should I Do If My Dog Accidentally Eats A Lot Of Fortune Cookies?
Fortune cookies are not recommended for your dog but they aren’t inherently toxic either. Dogs simply don’t need the processed sugar, simple carbs, and the fats hiding in these cookies. That said, you shouldn’t be worried if your dog accidentally chows down a lot of fortune cookies in one sitting.
Instead, give him a lot of water and just serve him meals as you normally do. However, you should keep close eyes for signs of allergic reactions or serious stomach upsets. He may experience mild stomach pains, constipation, or runny stools. Closely monitor these symptoms as well to ensure that they aren’t getting worse. Most importantly, to play safe, consider reaching out to your vet to report the incident.
Healthy Alternative to Fortune Cookies
Of course, nobody wants his fur baby to feel left out while the rest of his family is enjoying these crispy treats. You’ll probably fail to look the other way when your Fido starts begging, anyway.
One way to ensure that you don’t feel guilty to share human snacks with your pooch is to have dog biscuits or his favorite treats on the ready! But if your pooch is too smart for that and you know your way around the kitchen, you might as well prepare homemade fortune cookies.
Making your own fortune cookies is not only fun but also very healthy for your Fido as you’ll be in full control of the ingredients. Even better, making your own fortune cookies allows you to control your fortune!
Here is a good video on how to make fortune cookies:
As you can see from the above video, the most important tools you need to make these fortune cookies are:
- Muffin Tin: To hold the shape of your fortune cookies as they are cooling down.
- Silicon Mat: To prevent your cookies from sticking on the baking sheets.
- Metal Turner: To help you loosen your cookies from the silicon mat.
To make your fortune cookies healthy for your dog, you can sweeten them with coconut sugar or other sweeteners that are safe for dogs. And to make the cookies grain-free, consider using a combination of tapioca starch and almond flour.
Finally, don’t overbake or underbake your cookies. If you overbake the cookies, you won’t be able to shape them as they set fast. And if you underbake the cookies, they will be a bit soft and may break as you fold them. What’s more, if you want to decorate your fortune cookies, only do so after they have cooled down and hardened otherwise they might turn soggy from soaking up the decoration materials.
The Bottom line
While dogs can eat fortune cookies, they are not healthy for them. These cookies are loaded with ingredients that are not recommended for dogs. Unless you prepare some at home with quality ingredients, human treats like fortune cookies should be off your Fido’s menu. As aforementioned, instead of giving your dog these sugar-laden cookies, get him doggy biscuits or his favorite treats.
Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.