Can Dogs Have Ginger Snaps? Surprising Effects To Know

During the holiday season, there is no better thing to eat than holiday snacks like ginger snaps. Sometimes we want to share our holiday spirit and snacks with our dogs. But can dogs have ginger snaps?

You should avoid feeding ginger snaps to your dog. Even if these tasty snacks will not cause any problems in small amounts, they should still be avoided. Otherwise, diabetes and xylitol toxicity are only a few of the possible health problems caused by these lovely snacks.

Do Ginger Snaps Contain Ginger?

Yes, ginger snaps are made with ginger as one of their essential ingredients. Usually, ground ginger is used to make the mix for these cookies. But there are a few other essential ingredients that give the amazing taste of these delicious snacks.

What Other Ingredients Do They Contain?

Using ginger snap biscuits for dogs will also expose them to a few other ingredients that can be harmful to a dog’s health.

Ginger snaps contain a lot of sugar which gives them a delicious sweet taste. But dogs can not process sugar as well and it can be responsible for a lot of health issues. Mainly, high sugar content is responsible for causing diabetes and obesity in dogs.

Some store-bought ginger snaps use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. A common artificial sweetener is xylitol which is very bad for dogs. It is responsible for causing xylitol toxicity. Flour is another common ingredient in ginger snaps and it can cause problems for dogs with gluten sensitivity.

Ginger snaps also contain shortening or lard, which aren’t inherently toxic to dogs. However, in large amounts, they can cause digestive system issues like vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Are Ginger Snaps Safe For Dogs?

Even though in small amounts these tasty snacks cause no problems to dogs, they should not eat ginger snaps. These snacks are made with ingredients like sugar, flour, and preservatives,  which can be detrimental to a dog’s health. Luckily, ginger snaps contain much less sugar compared to other commercial biscuits, but they still are unhealthy.

These snacks can be safely fed to dogs in really small amounts on rare occasions. Unfortunately, your dog may not listen to you and eat more than the needed amount. 

These snacks should not be given to older dogs that have a slower metabolism. They should also be fed to larger energetic dog breeds that can use the larger amounts of calories without becoming overweight.  That said, the fact that these snacks are made with ginger does bring some benefits for dogs.

Benefits Of Ginger Snaps For Dogs

Giving ginger snap dog treats to dogs can bring a few benefits. Ginger is great for digestion as it decreases stomach pain and other gastrointestinal symptoms. It also contains a lot of healthy antioxidants that can improve a dog’s immune system and has even shown some positive results in preventing some forms of canine cancer. “Ginger has been found to be effective against various GI cancers such as gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancer, and cholangiocarcinoma.”, says a study by Dr. Sahdeo Prasad et al.

Ginger has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. These can help dogs suffering from arthritis or other painful diseases. It can even be used topically as a salve for osteoarthritis.

This amazing ingredient also has natural anticlotting capabilities which help maintain a healthy blood pressure and heart. Using ginger for dogs can also help in treating heartworms.

Unfortunately, even if ginger brings all these benefits to dogs, it is used in very small amounts in ginger snaps. This means that they won’t bring much of the benefits for dogs.

Do Ginger Snaps Help Dogs With Nausea?

Yes, ginger snaps can help dogs that feel nauseous, especially dogs that have car sickness. A small amount of this delicious treat given before going on a car ride can prevent symptoms like vomiting, nausea, fatigue, and more. Ginger also brings other benefits for dogs.

Dangers Of Ginger Snaps For Dogs

Even besides the known benefits, ginger snap suitability for dogs is not sustainable as these little snacks can cause some problems for dogs.

Weight Gain And Diabetes

Ginger snaps contain a lot of sugar and fats that give them a delicious taste. Sugar can spike the blood sugar level in dogs causing the development of diabetes. It is also a very caloric ingredient and combined with the caloric fats it will impair proper weight management. Obese dogs sound congested when sleeping due to respiratory problems and this will lead to them developing heart disease. 

Stomach Upset

The flour used in making ginger snaps contains gluten and can cause problems for dogs with gluten sensitivity. These problems cause symptoms like stomachache, diarrhea, and flatulence among others.

The high amounts of fats in ginger snaps can also lead to dogs developing pancreatitis. Regarding the symptoms of this condition, Dr. Tammy Hunter says:

The most common clinical signs include nausea, vomiting, fever, lethargy, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. During an attack, dogs may take a ‘praying position’, with their rear end up in the air and their front legs and head lowered onto the floor. If the attack is severe, acute shock, severe depression, and even death may occur.

Making Dog-Friendly Ginger Snaps At Home

There are ways to make this delicious treat at home while avoiding all the unwanted side effects it can pose for dogs. The main challenge is to substitute harmful ingredients with healthier ones. 

Therefore, you can try using honey as an alternative to refined sugar and olive oil instead of shortening or lard. You can try this recipe we found for homemade ginger snaps that are dog-friendly:

  • 4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup of freshly shredded ginger 
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 cup of molasses
  •  1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup of water

Combine all of these ingredients by stirring in a large-sized bowl. Once you have the dough ready, knead it until it becomes stiff, and then roll it on a floured surface. Then cut it up into cookies using a cookie cutter and bake them in the warmed-up oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Then allow them to cool down and store these homemade treats in your fridge.

Introducing Ginger Snaps To Your Dog’s Diet

If your dog wants to eat human food, and you want to introduce dog-safe ginger snap options, you need to start with small amounts. Once you feed them to your dog, observe for any adverse effects. Some dogs experience allergy symptoms due to ginger and can not have it in their diets. If your dog seems fine after eating a little bit of these snacks, consider giving it again another time.

Can Dogs Eat Ginger?

Because it brings a lot of benefits, dogs can eat ginger in other ways besides in the form of these tasty snacks. “Ginger is given by mouth in the form of a powder, tablet, liquid tincture, capsule, or as the fresh root. It may be given with or without food”, says Dr. Rania Gollakner. Fresh ginger should be peeled and minced thoroughly. Then it can be added on top of the other dog food as an addition.

So Can Dogs Have Ginger Snaps?

Ginger snaps are delicious little cookies that are a mark of the Christmas holiday period. But Christmas is about sharing and we want to give some of our tasty snacks to our dogs. Unfortunately, dogs can not eat a lot of these delicious snacks as they can experience some health conditions.

These snacks contain a lot of sugar that can predispose dogs to developing obesity and diabetes. They may also contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol that are toxic to dogs. Besides sugar, ginger snaps also contain lard or shortening which can cause a lot of digestive health issues.

But snacking on ginger is also very beneficial for dogs. It aids dog digestion, helps the immune system, and shows anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be beneficial for car sickness as it prevents nausea. So giving ginger to dogs is beneficial, just not in the form of a caloric sugary snack.


How much ginger can dogs eat?

Dogs should have around one-sixteenth of a teaspoon per pound of body weight in one serving of ginger. To be safe, no more than ¼ of a teaspoon should be given to small dogs and ¾ to large dogs.

What happens if a dog eats too much ginger?

If dogs eat too much ginger, they will experience stomach problems. This includes symptoms like heartburn and upset stomach followed by diarrhea. Giving pumpkin to your dog will soothe its diarrhea problems.

What kind of cookies can dogs eat?

Dogs can not have ginger snaps and most other cookies that we humans eat due to the high amounts of sugar and artificial ingredients. However, they can eat plain cookies, oatmeal cookies, and peanut butter cookies in small amounts.

Can I give my dog ginger everyday?

You can give small amounts of ginger to your dog every day as an addition to its balanced diet. You can also give it in moderation on occasions when you want to use its nausea-alleviating properties to prevent car sickness.

More dog nutrition resources

Here are a few other resources talking about giving certain foods to dogs and the effect they have on their health.

You can find a lot more information on the types of food you can feed your dog on our site Dogisa!

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