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My Dog Just Ate an Oreo Cookie! What Should I Do?

Did your dog just grab a bag of Oreo cookies and run? Dogs can eat all sorts of human foods they aren't supposed to. Veterinarian Jo Woodnutt weighs in on your next steps.

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Last Updated: December 1, 2020 | 7 min read

Dog Looking For Oreo Cookies on Table

This article was written by a veterinarian, but it should not substitute as contact with a trained professional. If your dog ate Oreo cookies, we recommend you contact your veterinarian immediately.

Did your dog just eat Oreo cookies from your pantry or table? Dogs are often caught eating things that they shouldn’t and food intended for human consumption is one of the most commonly reported stolen items. Some owners may unintentionally be putting their pets at risk by feeding them human food items. Oreo cookies are just one of those things. While they may not be as dangerous as grapes, or onions, they can still pose a direct threat to the health of your canine companion.

Many owners may wonder why dogs are attracted to eating things they shouldn’t. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and can often sniff out a tasty treat from afar. Others may come across human food through chewing packages or containers. Oreos smell great, and their high sugar content means dogs are likely to be attracted to them.

It is important to ensure that food not intended for your dog is placed away in a secure location. This means ensuring that fridges and trash cans are secure and tamper-proof to protect scavenging dogs. But on the off chance your pup gets into the Oreo container, what should you do? Read on to find out.

Are Oreos Bad For Dogs?

Oreo Cookies on Picnic Table
Oreos contain chocolate and are not good for canine consumption.

Oreos are unlikely to cause harm if eaten in small quantities. In larger quantities, yes, they are bad for dogs. Definitely don’t feed them to your dog for a snack. Feed your canine companion healthy treats, like Papaya, or other fruits and veggies to mix things up. Keep reading to find out more about why you shouldn’t feed your dog Oreos, what impact eating them may have. We’ve also outlined advice on what to do if you find that your pup has eaten some Oreos.

Can Dogs Eat Oreo Cookies?

You should not feed Oreos to dogs purposely. They consist of two chocolate cookies, sandwiched and held together by a white creamy center. They are commonly sold as a biscuit but may also be found in cakes, ice creams and candy. The food giant MacDonalds even make an Oreo McFlurry! Oreos in all forms shouldn’t be given to dogs.

Chocolate is toxic to dogs and therefore Oreos should not be fed, even though they only contain a small amount. They also contain a lot of sugar and fat and offer no nutritional value. Feeding your pup Oreos may make them sick, and they will also be more likely to suffer from obesity and diabetes.

Chocolate contains two toxic compounds, theobromine, and caffeine. The toxic effect that these cookies may have on dogs will depend on the number consumed. This correlates to the amount of chocolate eaten, and the size of your dog. A small dog that has eaten a lot of Oreos (and thus chocolate) could reach a toxic dose much quicker than a large dog.

Do Oreos Contain Real Chocolate?

Stacked Oreos on Table
Oreos do contain chocolate, which is why they can be toxic if too many are consumed.

Oreos do have real chocolate in them, albeit in small quantities. It is unlikely that your dog will suffer chocolate toxicity by eating a small quantity. However, it is not advisable to feed anything potentially toxic to them in case your pup is more sensitive than the average dog.

What if My Dog Ate Golden Oreos?

Golden Oreos are the ‘chocolate free’, vanilla-flavored version of the original Oreo. Even though it may not contain chocolate, it is best not to feed these human treats to your best friend as they’re very high in sugar. If you want to spoil your pooch a little while keeping them safe, feed them healthy dog-specific snacks instead, or even a slice of sweet potato!

My Dog Ate Oreos: What Can Happen?

Black Dog at Vet Offices
If your dog has signs of chocolate toxicity, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Most of the time there are no ill effects. If your furry friend eats a single Oreo, then he or she is likely to be absolutely fine. A single Oreo contains such a low amount of chocolate that it is unlikely that they will develop the signs of chocolate toxicity.

If large amounts are ingested, chocolate toxicity is a risk. If your dog eats a large quantity of Oreos, especially if they are a small breed, then chocolate toxicity may develop. The symptoms of chocolate toxicity are as follows:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness
  • Panting
  • Restlessness
  • High heart rate
  • Seizures

Upset Stomach

The negative effects on your dog from eating Oreo cookies are more likely to be related to the ingestion of sugars and fats than chocolate. Oreos may cause gastrointestinal symptoms in your pet, especially if ingested in high quantities. An upset tummy may develop after eating Oreo cookies, but it is often short-lasting and they improve on their own after a couple of days. However, some dogs will need drugs and fluids if severely affected, so contact your veterinarian if your pup is unwell.

Pancreatitis

Some pets may develop a painful abdominal condition called pancreatitis. The pancreas is an organ that is located near the stomach. The pancreas is sensitive to fat and can become inflamed if there are high levels of fat in the diet. When the pancreas is inflamed it becomes very painful. The symptoms of pancreatitis are as follows:

  • Tiredness
  • Prayer stance’ or ‘downwards facing dog’
  • Off food
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Tummy pain

What Should I Do Next?

Very Sick Dog on Couch
If your dog consumed Oreos, here’s what you’ll want to do next.

If your dog swiped some Oreo cookies from the counter or got into a bag of them in the pantry, there are some immediate steps you’ll want to take. As always, we recommend not using online advice in the event of an emergency. You should always contact your own veterinarian as they know your pup first hand. Immediately after consumption of any possible toxic item, these are the three steps you’ll want to take.

Step 1: Prevent Them From Eating More

The more your dog eats the more likely it is that he or she will be unwell. Do not let them eat any more Oreos and clear up the mess they may have made. If it is easier, remove Fido from the area while you tidy up.

Step 2: Do Not Induce Vomiting

This can often do more harm than good. Trying to make your pet sick may cause them to inhale their own vomit. Inhalation of vomit may lead to a severe and sometimes life-threatening lung infection called aspiration pneumonia. In many cases, it is not necessary to induce vomiting.

Step 3: Contact Your Veterinarian

Whenever your dog eats something that may be toxic to them it is best to contact your veterinarian who will be able to advise you on what to do next. Even if you think it’s fine, you should call them- if nothing else, so the appropriate notes can be made on your dog’s records. Be sure to have the following information to hand which will let your vet make the best decision regarding your pet’s treatment.

Doggy Details: Your dog’s age, sex, breed, and rough weight. Be sure to also inform your veterinarian of any medical conditions your pet may have or any medications that they are taking.

Toxic Product Details: the product eaten, rough amount eaten (check package weight) and list of ingredients. Most relevant information will be available on the product packaging so be sure to keep hold of this to pass onto your vet.

Changes in Behavior: Let your vet know any symptoms that your pet may be displaying. Your vet will want to know whether your pet is eating, drinking, acting normally and whether they may have any coughing, sneezing, vomiting or diarrhea.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have some questions? Understandably, it’s extremely concerning when your pup eats something they shouldn’t. We haven’t answered every question you may have, so we’ve added a few more common questions we get about what may happen when your dog eats Oreos.

Will Oreo cookies kill my dog?

If your pup ate a a single Oreo, they are highly unlikely to die. However, since Oreos contain chocolate and sugar and fat in high levels, they may cause your pet to be sick if eaten.

Will my dog be ok after eating them?

If your dog eats a single or small quantity of Oreos, then it is quite likely that there will be no effect on your pet at all. Sometimes your pet may have ingested a dose that causes them to suffer an upset tummy. In most circumstances, this upset tummy is short-lived and your pet remains bright and still eating and drinking. If your pet is not eating and drinking or appears unwell, contact your veterinarian for advice as it may be necessary to provide symptomatic treatment to your pet.

What if my dog develops pancreatitis?

If your pet develops pancreatitis, they are likely to be extremely poorly and you must contact your veterinarian as treatment will be necessary. Pancreatitis is treatable however it can be a serious condition and in rare cases may lead to death if not treated. Dogs suffering from pancreatitis will need urgent veterinary care which may include pain relief, anti-sickness medications and intravenous fluids. Your veterinarian will assess your pet’s needs and discuss this with you.

What if my dog develops chocolate toxicity?

Chocolate toxicity is an emergency situation in dogs. If your dog has eaten Oreos and is displaying symptoms of chocolate toxicity, then contact your veterinarian immediately. If chocolate toxicity is treated promptly it is a very treatable condition. However, if large quantities have been ingested and there has been a delay in treatment this may result in a life-threatening situation.

Final Thoughts

Dogs are often eating things they shouldn’t. Oreos are not a suitable snack for your dog as it contains chocolate, a toxic ingredient to dogs, as well as a high fat and sugar content which may lead to obesity and diabetes in your pet. Dogs who eat a single Oreo are often unaffected however pets that have eaten large quantities of Oreos may suffer from chocolate toxicity or an upset tummy as a result.

High levels of fat within the diet have been linked to a painful and serious condition, known as pancreatitis, in dogs. Although a single Oreo is unlikely to cause harm if eaten, you shouldn’t purposefully feed them to your pup.

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