Can Dogs Eat Fortune Cookies?

can dogs eat fortune cookies

Fortune cookies are not toxic to dogs so if your dog has chowed down on a Fortune cookie or two, it’s usually not a cause for alarm. That doesn’t mean Fortune cookies are suitable dog food. Some ingredients in Fortune cookies may not sit well with your dog’s stomach. If the dog devours too many, they may fall sick.

As you can see, dogs can’t always tell what’s good for them. If they see their owner eating something, they’ll want to have it too. However, many foods that are safe for humans like Pepperoni may not be safe for our pups and may affect them differently.

Some seemingly harmless foods like coffee, chocolate, garlic, and mushrooms can even be lethal to dogs!

What are Fortune cookies?

can dogs eat cookies

Fortune cookies are crisp, crescent-shaped confectionaries with a paper fortune stuffed inside their hollow center. Similar to snacks like Reese’s Pieces, they are also sweet. Served as a dessert or snack, Fortune cookies are a staple in Chinese restaurants.

Where do Fortune cookies come from?

While Fortune cookies are commonly associated with China, they’re actually an American creation. The origin of Fortune cookies can be traced back to California, where they were likely popularized by Japanese immigrants. In China, Fortune cookies are marketed as an American treat.

What is Fortune cookies made of?

All Fortune cookies contain water, flour, sugar, sesame seed oil, and eggs, usually accompanied by flavoring (mostly vanilla) and fats (butter or oil). Although manufacturers may add extra ingredients according to their preference, the core elements remain the same.

There is also a strip of paper inside them that supposedly tells you your fortune.

How is it made?

Fortune cookies are made by mixing all the ingredients into a batter and baking it. After coming out of the oven, they are soft and easy to mold. At this point, the paper fortune is inserted in the middle, and the cookies are then folded into a crescent. Once they cool, the cookies harden and retain their signature shape with the fortune tucked inside them.

Are Fortune cookies healthy for dogs?

Fortune cookies may be safe for your dog, but they’re not healthy. Many ingredients used to make these cookies are unfit for canine consumption. For a better understanding, let’s take a look at some common Fortune cookie ingredients and how they can affect dogs.

1. Sugar (Harmful in large quantities)

While sugar may not be outright toxic, feeding dogs too many sugary treats can put them at risk of obesity and diabetes. Fortune cookies are high in sugar and your dog’s stomach will have a hard time digesting them. 

Sugar harms dogs in short and long runs. Short-term side effects of excessive sugar consumption include:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stomach inflammation.

Dogs that regularly eat sugary foods will suffer long-term harms, including:

  • Tooth decay.
  • Obesity.
  • Hormone imbalance.
  • Diabetes.

Hint: It’s best to also avoid giving your canine friends any sugary drinks like Sprite as doing so may cause several side effects and health issues including canine diabetes and weight gain.

2. Vanilla Extract (Safe in very small quantities)

fortune cookie ingredients vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is 35% alcohol and is a fundamental ingredient in Fortune cookies. While alcohol is toxic to dogs, the amount of vanilla extract used in Fortune cookies is far too little to cause our canine friends any harm.

If dogs consume too many vanilla-flavored Fortune cookies, they may be at risk of alcohol poisoning. The smaller the dog, the bigger the risk. Alcohol ingestion can lead to:

  • Indigestion.
  • Disorientation.
  • Dehydration.
  • Nausea.
  • Breathing issues.
  • Coma.
  • Death.

3. Salt (Safe in small quantities)

While some manufacturers make their Fortune cookies with salt, the quantity isn’t too high. So even if your dog eats a few Fortune cookies, they’re not in any danger of salt poisoning. However, if they have devoured a box or two, then you might have a problem.

Too much salt can induce sodium poisoning in dogs. This may cause:

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Seizures.
  • Muscle spasm.
  • Death (in extreme cases).

4. Paper (Safe in small quantities)

Let’s face it. Since the small fortune paper is inside the Fortune cookies, dogs may likely try to consume it as well.

Luckily, the paper parchment most likely won’t bother the dog. For paper to be problematic, the dog would need to consume a lot of it. The strip of paper won’t bother a dog’s digestive system and the dog will pass it out.

5. Flour (Mostly safe)

The only potentially harmful ingredient in flour is gluten. Unless your dog has a gluten allergy, flour is ok for doggy consumption. In fact, many popular dog foods contain flour. 

On the other hand, dogs with a gluten allergy should never eat a Fortune cookie, as this can cause the following:

  • Stomach disorder.
  • Irritated skin.
  • Ear infection.
  • Celiac disease.

6. Eggs (Safe)

Eggs in Fortune cookies are cooked and pose no threat to dogs. If the dog eats too many Fortune cookies, any problems it may experience won’t be from eggs. Other ingredients, however, may not be as kind.

Hint: While plain eggs are safe for dogs to eat, eggs with added ingredients and seasonings are not. For example, Egg salad is not safe for dog consumption as it contains harmful ingredients like salt, onions, and mustard.

7. Possible additive: Xylitol (Toxic)

Some sugar-free Fortune cookie brands use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. One artificial sweetener, called Xylitol, is toxic to dogs. Signs of Xylitol poisoning include:

  • Vomiting.
  • Laziness.
  • Lack of coordination.

Severe effects of Xylitol include the following:

  • Rapid blood sugar drop
  • Seizures
  • Liver failure
  • Death

Always check the ingredients to make sure you don’t buy anything that contains Xylitol as it is very toxic to dogs.

8. Possible additive: Instant tea powder (Toxic)

Some Fortune cookie recipes include instant tea powder for added flavor. Tea, coffee, and all sources of caffeine are toxic to dogs. The only type of tea that is safe for dogs is decaffeinated tea such as Peppermint tea or chamomile tea. Ingesting a large quantity of tea-infused Fortune cookies may cause:

  • Elevated heartbeat.
  • Hypertension.
  • Vomiting.
  • Restlessness.
  • Seizures.
  • Unconsciousness.

Check the ingredients to make sure the Fortune cookie isn’t tea-flavored.

When shouldn’t you feed Fortune cookies to your dog?

Avoid feeding your dog Fortune cookies if they’re old and unhealthy. Elderly dogs aren’t active enough to consume all the extra calories Fortune cookies contain. Trying to digest unusual foods also takes a toll on their digestive system.

Dogs already suffering from obesity should be kept away from all sugary treats, including Fortune cookies. The empty calories in a Fortune cookie would worsen an already overweight dog’s health, and you should strictly supervise their diet.

Flour and butter in Fortune cookies can cause allergic reactions in gluten and lactose-intolerant dogs. Allergic reactions can include vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, and stomach disorders. If your dog is allergic to any ingredient in the Fortune cookie, avoid feeding it to your pup.

Do Fortune cookies provide any nutritional benefit to your dog?

how many carbs in a fortune cookie

Fortune cookies are rich in simple carbohydrates and fats. Other than that, there is nothing really nutritious about them. Moreover, the carbohydrates in Fortune cookies are mainly in the form of sugars. Your dog can get carbohydrates from better sources than sugar.

How many Fortune cookies can I give my dog?

Ideally, you shouldn’t feed them Fortune cookies at all. However, it’s ok to share a couple of them with your dog occasionally. Just check the label for any harmful ingredients we’ve mentioned above.

The key here is not to make it a regular thing. Occasional snacking is fine, but it shouldn’t form a habit.

What if my dog accidentally ate a lot of Fortune cookies?

If your dog eats a whole box of Fortune cookies, there’s still no need to panic. The ingredients inside most Fortune cookies are either safe for consumption or in quantities so small that they hardly pose any threat.

You should also check the ingredients on the box of Fortune cookies your dog feasted on. If they include a toxic ingredient—such as tea powder, Xylitol, or vanilla extract—monitor their condition closely and inform your vet. The same goes if your dog has a gluten allergy.

Feed your dog their usual meals and give them plenty of water. Any harmful or irritating ingredients inside the Fortune cookies will pass with time, and your dog will be fine. Cut them off from human foods for a while.

Symptoms to watch for

While Fortune cookies don’t pose a life-threatening risk, your dog may experience side effects if he has munched on too many of them. Here are some symptoms to keep an eye out for.

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea –  natural reactions to any ingredient that disturbs the dog’s stomach
  • Stomach ache and inflammation – caused by excessive sugar consumption
  • Disorientation and lack of coordination – happens if the cookies contained Xylitol or too much vanilla extract
  • Seizures, muscle spasm – caused by Xylitol and caffeine (from tea powder)
  • Itchiness, skin irritation, ear infection – caused by gluten, but only if the dog is allergic

Treatments if your dog has Fortune cookies poisoning

panda express fortune cookie calories

Observe the dog closely if he is having diarrhea or vomiting. The dog’s digestive system will naturally purge itself from unwelcome ingredients. Diarrhea can dehydrate a dog, so give your pooch plenty of water. Keep your vet updated with the condition of your pet.

If circumstances worsen, call the vet immediately. In many cases, the vet will prescribe the treatment you can perform yourself. They would also tell you when it’s time to take your dog to a medical facility.

While it is rare for the dog to suffer any fatal consequences, you should still keep them under observation until they feel normal.

What are some dog-friendly and healthy alternatives to Fortune cookies?

If your dog has a sweet tooth and silently begs you to share your Fortune cookies with them, there are healthier alternatives you can feed them. Snacks that are sweet yet healthy can satisfy their craving while keeping them safe from harmful side effects.

We give our Labrador the following delicious and savory snacks to satisfy their chewing:

Here are a few more ideas for healthy dog snacks:

  • Peanut butter: unsalted and sugar-free peanut butter can be an excellent snack for dogs. You can also incorporate it in doggy treats or homemade cookies.
  • Bananas: they’re an excellent source of potassium and vitamins. You can also sun-dry banana slices to make them crunchy.
  • Apple: Apples are high in natural sugars and fiber. Slice them up and remove seeds before giving them to your dog.
  • Pumpkin: it is a superb source of fiber and helps keep the dog’s digestive system and immunity in top form.
  • Carrots: Carrots are crunchy and sweet sources of vitamins. Chop them into bite-sized chunks to make them easy to eat.
  • Doggy treats: you can find plenty of yummy treats for your dog from the local store and online. These treats are perfectly safe for canine consumption. Just make sure the ingredients don’t list white sugar in excess. White sugar is unhealthy and can be addictive.
  • Homemade alternatives: Homemade treats are the best because you know what went in them. You can even make healthy, dog-friendly Fortune cookies in your very own kitchen. There are many easy recipes on the internet.

So, can dogs eat Fortune cookies?

It’s best to give a few Fortune cookies to our pups. While Fortune cookies are not toxic, the ingredients to make them can upset your dog’s stomach.

Even if our dogs seem to love our food, their stomachs aren’t meant to digest them. Dogs don’t know which foods are harmful and which are safe. It is up to us to make sure they don’t devour anything unhealthy.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding dietary needs.

Resources:

https://www.history.com/news/fortune-cookies-invented-chinese-japanese

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/16/travel/16iht-fortune.9260526.html

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