The fortune cookie may have its origins in Asian American cuisine, but it has since gained worldwide renown.
It is common practice for people to bake these cookies with meaningful messages inside to share with friends and family. And if you’ve ever eaten at a Chinese restaurant, you’ve probably gotten one of these when the meal was over.
You’ll probably open one, read your fortune, eat it, pay your bill (if you’re at a restaurant), and then be on your way. But are these crunchy, subtly sweet cookies dog-safe? Let’s find out, but before we do that…
Can Dogs Eat Fortune Cookies?
Although technically safe for canines to consume, these cookies are unhealthy for canine consumption.
The cookies may taste good, but they’re bad for your dog’s health due to the ingredients used in their preparation.
Let’s break down what goes into making fortune cookies before discussing the potential dangers they pose to your dog.
What Are Fortune Cookies?
Cookies in the shape of a crescent moon are known as “fortune cookies,” and they are traditionally made with flour, vanilla, sugar, and sesame seed oil, along with a piece of paper bearing a message or “fortune” (typically a proverb, a lucky saying, some advice, or a new Chinese word) printed on it. The fortunes have traditionally been composed largely of Confucian sayings and life maxims.
These days, you can get just about anything etched into your skin, be it a motto, a lucky number, or some wise words of wisdom. Some businesses even give clients the power to shape their own destinies.
Despite the widespread belief that they originated in China, Fortune Cookies are wholly American.
Historically, Japanese settlers in California are credited with popularizing the tradition of using fortunes written on cookies. Fortune cookies are marketed in China as if they were an American snack.
The basic ingredients for making a Fortune cookie are water, flour, sugar, sesame seed oil, and eggs, with the addition of flavoring (typically vanilla) and fats (butter or oil).
The basic components will always be the same, even if the manufacturers decide to add their own personal touches.
In addition, they contain a fortune-telling paper that can be read from the inside.
How is it made?
Baked batter containing all the ingredients is what is used to make fortune cookies. They are malleable immediately after being removed from the oven.
Once the cookies have been folded into a crescent shape, the paper fortune can be placed in the center. The cookies harden as they cool, preserving their distinctive form and protecting the fortune inside.
Fortune Cookie Ingredients
Flour, vanilla extract, sugar, eggs, and water are the staples of a fortune cookie’s kitchen.
Depending on the recipe, other ingredients such as almond extract, salt, melted butter, and instant tea powder may be added.
Some industrial producers may also include such additives as anti-caking agents, stabilizers, peanut oil, baking soda, and baking powder.
Potential Health Issues
The main reasons why you shouldn’t give your dog a lot of fortune cookies are as follows:
1. Sugar (Harmful in large quantities)
Sugar may not be directly toxic, but excessive consumption can lead to health problems like obesity and diabetes in dogs. Your dog’s stomach will have a hard time processing the sugar in fortune cookies.
The effects of sugar on dogs are both immediate and long-term. Excessive sugar consumption has a number of short-term negative effects, including:
- Lack of hunger.
- Ulceration of the stomach.
Sugary food is bad for dogs in the long run for many reasons.
- Bad teeth.
- Imbalance of hormones.
Hint: Sugary drinks, such as Sprite, should be avoided because they can lead to a variety of unwanted effects and health problems in dogs, including diabetes and obesity.
2. Vanilla Extract (Safe in very small quantities)
Having 35% alcohol content, vanilla extract is a crucial component of Fortune cookies. Although alcoholic beverages are harmful to dogs, the amount of vanilla extract found in Fortune cookies is extremely low and poses no danger to canines.
Alcohol poisoning can occur if a dog eats too many vanilla Fortune cookies. The danger increases with the size of the dog. Consumption of alcohol can cause:
- Inability to take a deep breath.
3. Salt (Safe in small quantities)
Fortune cookies may contain a small amount of salt because it is used in their production by some manufacturers; however, this amount is usually not very high. You need not worry that your dog will die from eating too much salt if they consume a few Fortune cookies. There could be an issue, though, if they’ve already eaten through multiple boxes.
Sodium poisoning can occur in dogs if they consume too much salt. This could lead to:
- Spasm in the muscle.
4. Paper (Safe in small quantities)
Yes, let’s be honest here. Dogs may attempt to eat the tiny piece of paper hidden inside of the Fortune cookies.
Thankfully, the dog probably won’t mind the paper parchment. There wouldn’t be a problem unless the dog ate a lot of paper. A dog’s digestive system will be fine after passing the paper strip.
5. Flour (Mostly safe)
Gluten is the only ingredient in flour that could be harmful. To the contrary, flour is safe for dogs to eat unless they have a gluten sensitivity. Indeed, flour is a common ingredient in commercial dog foods.
In contrast, dogs with gluten sensitivities should never indulge in a Fortune cookie.
- Disturbance in the digestive system.
- Sensitized epidermis.
- This is an ear infection.
- Coeliac disease.
6. Eggs (Safe)
Dogs need not worry about the safety of the eggs found in Fortune cookies because they are fully cooked. The dog won’t get sick from eating too many eggs, but it might get sick from eating too many Fortune cookies. However, not all of the components are so benevolent.
Hint: Dogs can safely eat eggs, but only plain eggs without any seasonings or additives. Egg salad, for instance, is poisonous to canines because of the salt, onions, and mustard that it typically contains.
7. Possible additive: Xylitol (Toxic)
Artificial sweeteners are used in place of sugar in some brands of sugar-free Fortune cookies. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that can be fatal to dogs. Possible symptoms of Xylitol poisoning include:
- Miscommunication and failure to work together.
The following are some of the serious side effects of Xylitol:
- Rapid decrease in blood sugar
- Failing liver
To avoid accidentally poisoning your dog, avoid purchasing any products that contain the ingredient Xylitol.
8. Possible additive: Instant tea powder (Toxic)
Instant tea powder is an optional ingredient in some versions of the classic Fortune cookie. Caffeine, which is found in tea, coffee, and other beverages, is fatal to dogs.
Decaffeinated teas like chamomile and peppermint are the only kind of tea that can be given to dogs. Extreme Fortune cookie consumption may lead to:
- An increased rate of heartbeat.
Make sure that the Fortune cookie you buy doesn’t have any tea in the list of ingredients.
Gluten can also be present in packaged foods like fortune cookies. If your dog isn’t a Red Settler, he probably doesn’t have celiac disease, but eating gluten can still make him sick.
So, fortune cookies might not be the best treat if your dog is gluten-intolerant.
10. Hydrogenated Oils
Besides the artificial preservatives and partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats (added to commercially prepared fortune cookies to increase their shelf life) that have been linked to health issues like cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and even cancer, there is also the risk of eating commercially prepared fortune cookies.
If your dog is getting on in years and isn’t in the best of health, it’s probably best to avoid giving it Fortune cookies. The additional calories in Fortune cookies wouldn’t be burned off quickly enough by a senior dog’s slow metabolism. Likewise, their digestive system may suffer from the stress of trying to process foreign foods.
Sugary treats, such as those found in Fortune cookies, should be avoided when feeding an overweight dog. A dog’s health could be seriously compromised by the empty calories in a Fortune cookie, so it’s important to keep a close eye on what they eat.
Dogs with wheat and dairy sensitivities should avoid Fortune cookies because of the flour and butter in them.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting. Do not give a Fortune cookie to your dog if he or she has an allergy to any of the ingredients listed.
Fats and simple sugars abound in fortune cookies. Nothing else about them is particularly healthy. Further, the majority of the carbohydrates in Fortune cookies come from sugars. It’s not necessary to feed your dog sugar when there are other, healthier options for carbohydrate intake.
You should probably avoid giving them any Fortune cookies. On occasion, however, it is acceptable to share a couple of them with your dog. All you have to do is look at the label to make sure there aren’t any of the potentially dangerous ingredients we mentioned.
To avoid this becoming a habit is essential. It’s fine to snack occasionally, but it shouldn’t become a habit.
What Should I Do If My Dog Accidentally Eats A Lot Of Fortune Cookies?
Your dog should not eat fortune cookies, but they are not toxic. Simply put, dogs do not require the hidden fats and processed sugars that are found in these cookies.
However, you need not worry if your dog eats a whole bunch of fortune cookies all at once.
Just continue feeding him and providing him with water as usual. Nonetheless, keep a sharp eye out for symptoms of severe allergic reactions or stomach upset. He could have occasional diarrhea, constipation, or stomach pain.
These signs should be tracked closely as well to rule out any worsening. If you want to be extra cautious, you should probably contact your vet and let them know what happened.
Symptoms to watch for
Even though eating too many Fortune Cookies isn’t going to kill your dog, he may still feel ill afterward. Here are some signs that should raise an alarm.
- Abnormal gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are common when a dog ingests something that makes its stomach upset.
- Pain in the stomach and swelling from eating too much sugar.
- If the cookies had Xylitol or too much vanilla extract, you might feel disoriented and clumsy.
- Xylitol and caffeine (from tea powder) can cause seizures and muscle spasms.
- If a dog is gluten-sensitive, he or she may experience symptoms like itching, skin irritation, and even an ear infection.
If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, you should keep a close eye on him. Unwanted substances will be eliminated from the dog’s digestive system on its own.
If your dog has diarrhea, it’s important to keep him hydrated. Don’t forget to give your vet regular updates on your pet’s health.
Do not delay in getting in touch with a vet if the situation worsens. The veterinarian will often recommend self-care measures. They would also let you know when to take your dog to the vet.
Even though fatal consequences are extremely unlikely, the dog should be monitored until it returns to normal.
Healthy Alternative to Fortune Cookies
Obviously, no one wants his pet to feel left out while he and his loved ones indulge in these crunchy snacks. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to ignore Fido’s pleading eyes forever.
To avoid feeling guilty about feeding your dog human food, keep a supply of dog biscuits or his favorite treats handy.
But if you know your way around the kitchen and your dog is too smart for that, you might as well make him some homemade fortune cookies.
Making your own fortune cookies gives you complete control over the ingredients, making them a much healthier option for Fido. Better yet, deciding your own fate by baking your own fortune cookies.
The above video shows the most crucial ingredients and equipment required to make these fortune cookies:
- Fortune cookies will keep their form in a muffin tin while they cool.
- Use a silicone mat to keep your baked goods from sticking to the pans.
- The metal turner will help pry the cookies off the silicon mat.
For a dog-friendly version of fortune cookies, try using coconut sugar or another dog-friendly sweetener. In addition, you can make the cookies grain-free by substituting tapioca starch and almond flour.
Last but not least, keep an eye on the oven. The cookies set quickly, so if you overbake them, you won’t be able to shape them. Furthermore, if the cookies are underbaked, they will be too soft to fold without cracking.
In addition, fortune cookies should be decorated only after they have cooled and hardened; otherwise, the cookies will become soggy from absorbing the decoration materials.
The Bottom line
Even though dogs can consume fortune cookies, they are not good for their health. These cookies contain numerous ingredients that should be avoided by canines.
You shouldn’t feed Fido human treats like fortune cookies unless you make them yourself using high-quality ingredients.
To reiterate, doggy biscuits or your dog’s preferred treats are preferable to these sugary cookies.