Biscuits are omnipresent. They are eaten on 6 billion occasions a year. Over two billion cookies are annually sold in the United States alone. People love them, and so do the dogs! But can dogs eat biscuits? Are they safe? How should you feed your dog biscuits?
Let us answer your queries!
Can Dogs Eat Biscuits?
A brief answer is yes, dogs can eat biscuits. But this does not mean that you can let your dog have a pack of biscuits, as there are many caveats attached to dogs eating biscuits. You should only serve your dog biscuits in moderate amounts while keeping the ones with harmful and toxic ingredients away.
We will explain this statement in detail in the rest of the blog below. Continue reading to learn all about dogs and biscuits.
Biscuits Nutrition Facts
What nutrition value a biscuit holds depends entirely upon its type and brand. However, a commercially baked plain or butter-based biscuit generally has the following nutrients.
|Total Lipid Fat||5.78 grams|
|Total Fatty Acids||5.46 grams|
Why Dogs Love to Eat Biscuits?
Dogs like to eat biscuits because of several reasons. Firstly, biscuits are easily digestible: they are made up of the ingredients that are friendly to the digestive system, such as milk, flour, and eggs. Secondly, the crunchiness, texture, and distinct flavor of biscuits play an important role in making them irresistible to dogs.
Thirdly, and lastly, biscuits make a great treat. Dogs love being offered treats, especially as a reward, and due to the first two reasons, biscuits—dog biscuits—make a special place among all dog treats.
How to Feed Your Dog Biscuits?
You should feed your dog biscuits the same way you feed him any other treat. However, you can sprinkle different nutritional supplements on it that are full of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Just dust it on the biscuits, and they will turn into a nutritious treat for your dog.
You should also keep the following recommendations in mind while feeding your furry friend any biscuit for the sake of his health.
If your dog is a small dog breed or a medium-sized dog below 50 lbs. in weight, do not feed him more than one biscuit per day. However, you can feed him two biscuits a day if he weighs more than that or is grouped with large dog breeds. A general rule is that biscuits should not be more than 10% of the daily treats—daily treats and not food.
Furthermore, the biscuits should be served only in moderate amounts as they do not have much inherent nutritional value to offer. Our dogs can easily develop a thing for crunchy biscuits.
A special diet is an important factor to consider. If your dog has any particular diet, you should consult a vet before feeding him biscuits. For instance, if your dog is following a weight-loss diet plan, do not feed him biscuits as their ingredients can do more harm than good.
Never feed your dog too many biscuits in the beginning. Always feed gradually and wait for some time for any symptom of bad health or allergy to appear. If you observe any sign of sickness, you should stop feeding biscuits to your dog and consult a vet as soon as possible. Many dogs have wheat allergies, and some have a stomach sensitive to grains, so carefully monitor your dog while feeding him biscuits.
Best Biscuits for Dogs
Most of the biscuits available in the markets are safe to consume for dogs; however, here is a list of the best ones based on the nutrition besides being tasty to your doggo:
Dog biscuits are the safest bikkies for your dog to enjoy. Furthermore, they are made while considering dogs’ savory and nutritional requirements. That is why, unlike the biscuits made for human beings, dog biscuits do not contain any sweeteners and artificial flavors that are not good for the overall well-being of dogs.
Dog treat biscuits will keep your dog’s dental health intact. They are delicious, and your dog will love them! Before going to bed, when you are brushing your teeth, you should brush your dog’s teeth as well, of course with vet-approved dog toothpaste.
Chicken biscuits are abundant in protein. Along with the taste, they also provide a dose of energy, build muscle mass, and are a great source of omega 6 fatty acids and amino acids. All these chicken ingredients have a role in maintaining the health of your pooch.
For instance, omega 6 fatty acids can keep dogs’ coats shiny and healthy. Given the abundance of nutritional benefits of chicken, you can also feed your dog cooked chicken but not raw.
Dogs love salmon. They are also a great source of essential nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids and potassium. As a matter of fact, salmon is the primary ingredient in high-quality dog foods. Why not feed your dog biscuits with such great taste and nutrition value?
Homemade biscuits can be a great treat for your dog as they are customized by you according to your dog’s liking and health requirements. You can add different ingredients to them for further modification – such as fig, frozen apple, jicama, avocados, turkey, pumpkin, and carrot, etc.
Ingredients to Avoid in Biscuits
While buying biscuits for your dog, just read the label of nutrition content and avoid purchasing the ones having any of the following components:
Xylitol is used as a replacement for sugar in biscuits. However, it is extremely toxic for dogs, and ingestion of even a small amount of it could be lead to deterioration of your dog’s health. In extreme cases, it can cause death. Other complications associated with it are hypoglycemia, seizure, and liver failure. The first symptom of xylitol poisoning in dogs is usually vomiting, followed by a sudden drop in blood sugar.
Salty biscuits should be avoided for dogs as they can lead to various health issues, such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In extreme cases, it can lead to high blood pressure, which can induce a heart attack.
Raisin biscuits are not suitable for dogs as they can cause toxicity; in fact, any amount of raisins above 0.04oz per pound weight of your dog is toxic for him. In extreme cases, they can cause kidney failure or death.
Chocolate is toxic for dogs because of the presence of theobromine and caffeine. Though chocolate is not fatal, it can cause significant health issues such as diarrhea. Theobromine and caffeine do not manifest their problems instantly; instead, they build up in the body and gradually show up the signs of chocolate toxicity.
Artificial Color and Flavor
Though artificial color and flavor are completely okay for your dogs to eat, they are not healthy for dogs. Moreover, artificial flavors can make biscuits tempting for dogs, and thus a dog may end up eating them up in excess if given a chance.
Only feed your dog biscuits that are made of whole grains like oats, barley, and brown rice. Cheap grains are mostly composed of fillers and can ward off the hunger in your pooch without providing any useful nutrition value.
The Alternatives of Biscuits for Dogs
If you do not want to feed your dog biscuits, here is a list of alternate items:
- Rice Cakes: Rice cakes are a mixture of rice flour and water. Though they are okay for your dog to eat, you should feed them only in a moderate amount to avoid any health complications.
- Popcorn: Plain and air-popped popcorns are crunchy and safe to eat for dogs. However, popcorns having butter toppings and other seasonings should be avoided.
- Bread: It is safe for your pooch to eat bread. Just like biscuits, they have nutrition benefits for dogs as well; nonetheless, bread can be harmful if eaten in excess amounts because of carbs and sugar. Moreover, bread loaves containing raisins and nuts should be avoided.
- Granola Bars: Granola bars are safe for your dog to eat. They, in fact, contain the necessary carbs and energy to keep your dog going. However, the excess amount of it should be avoided.
- Fruits and Veggies: There are many fruits and vegetables that are safe and healthy for dogs to eat. So if you are looking for some healthy treats for your dog, you can try plums, nectarines, Brussel sprouts, edamame, olives, and watermelon, etc.
The Benefits of Dogs Eating Biscuits
The benefits incurred by dogs eating biscuits depend entirely on the ingredients, which vary with the biscuit type and brand. Nonetheless, here is a list of common benefits for dogs generally associated with eating biscuits:
Healthy Brain and Cognitive System
If the biscuits your dog eats have eggs in them, they will contain omega 3 fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits for dogs. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), a component of these acids, is known for brain development and improving cognitive functions in dogs. It has positive effects on other systems as well, such as circulatory and renal.
Muscles and Bones Development
Protein-rich biscuits are beneficial for supporting the proper muscle development in dogs. Moreover, if the biscuits have added mineral components such as calcium, the benefit of healthy and proper bones structure will also be incurred. Healthy muscles and bones are vital for exercise, training, and avoiding growth complications.
Relief From Arthritis
Dog biscuits usually contain glucosamine which is good for joints. It can improve the mechanical functioning of your dog’s joints and slow down the progression of arthritis if he suffers from it. Since arthritis can be painful, gaining relief by eating tasty biscuits is a good idea.
Balance in Diet
Biscuits are usually balanced in the diet as they contain almost all healthy components such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fatty acids. All of them have a profound role in managing the overall health of dogs; hence, if your dog misses on any of these nutrients due to a poor diet, feeding him biscuits is a good idea.
Good For Training and Exercise
Biscuits are a good source of calories. Thus, feeding your dog biscuits after a tiring workout session can act as an instant source of energy. Moreover, since canines have a high penchant for treats, offering your dog a biscuit after good training is a great reward and can make him work even harder the next time.
The Side Effects of Dogs Eating Biscuits
Though there are several benefits associated with dogs eating biscuits as they are generally healthy and have no specific risks, there are a few potential downsides that you should be aware of.
Biscuits are among the favorite treats of dogs. There are, hence, high chances that your pooch will end up eating a lot of them—filling his tummy with biscuits alone and compromising on the more nutritious regular diets, such as meat and dog food.
Yes, biscuits have nutrition in them, but the amount does not suffice the daily requirement of dogs, especially if they are large dogs. As far as teacup dogs are concerned, eating a half or one full biscuit would fill their stomach, leaving no space for their staple food.
Biscuits, especially cookies, are generally high in calories, sugar, and fat. Overfeeding on these dietary components can be harmful to dogs and can lead to obesity and overweight. Besides obesity, it can also cause several health problems. However, if your dog has biscuits only in moderate amounts, he can keep such problems at bay.
What to Do if Your Dog Get Sick After Eating Biscuits?
In general, your dog should not get sick after eating biscuits unless he has consumed a lot of them or some with harmful elements like xylitol. Moreover, the possibility of allergic reactions also exists. Therefore, if you witness any sign of allergy or sickness in your dog, stop feeding him biscuits at once, and contact a vet straight away.
The common signs of allergic reactions in dogs include:
- Itchy or red skin
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Excessive sneezing
Final Verdict: Can Dogs Eat Biscuits?
While dogs can safely eat biscuits, they should not eat them in excess as most biscuits have very little nutritional value to offer to dogs. However, some varieties of biscuits for dogs have to offer several nutritional benefits, but still, you should feed only in moderate amounts—never make biscuits an integral part of your dog’s routine diet. You should also be wary of the long and short-term hazards of dog eating biscuits before feeding your dog any.