can dogs eat biscuits?

Can dogs have biscuits?

Yes, dogs can eat biscuits, depending on what the biscuits contain. 

Dogs will probably enjoy eating most biscuits, regardless of the ingredients they contain! However, some biscuits may contain harmful or toxic ingredients that will affect their health.

Biscuits that are specifically manufactured for dogs often contain beneficial ingredients that are good for their health. While those that are intended for human consumption don’t offer any nutritional value to dogs.

Let’s take a look at the different types of biscuits that dogs can eat, as well as biscuits that are not recommended for canine consumption.

Table of Contents

What are biscuits?

Across the globe, there are different types of biscuits with variations of content, consistency, and name.

For example, biscuits in the United Kingdom are known as cookies in America. Biscuits in America are similar to scones in the United Kingdom. It can all be quite confusing!

For the purpose of this article, let’s cover all grounds and assess the different types of biscuits that are available.

can dogs have biscuits

Biscuits (or cookies)

Biscuits or cookies, are popular across the world and are most commonly sweet, but there are also savory options.

Any biscuit that contains chocolate or raisins should definitely not be fed to dogs.

Oreos are an example of a biscuit that should not be ingested by dogs on account of the additional ingredients they contain that can be harmful.

can dogs eat biscuits

Biscuits (or scones)

Biscuits (or scones) are a sweetened, cake-like confection made from flour, sugar, and milk. These can be prepared as a sweet or savory snack.

Savory varieties may be made using cheese and herbs such as parsley or cilantro.

Sweeter varieties can contain a number of different ingredients to flavor them such as dried fruits, chocolate chips, honey, or cinnamon.

can dogs have biscuits

Biscuits (dog biscuits)

Dog biscuits are available in a variety of different flavors. They are usually dry in texture and are widely available from grocery stores and pet stores.

Keep in mind that some dog biscuits are healthier for our pets than others. Some dog biscuits may resemble ‘human biscuits’, whereas others can come in the form of dried fish skins or meat jerky.

What makes a good dog biscuit?

There are many fantastic dog biscuits across the market that have a variety of benefits for our dogs. 

They contain essential vitamins and minerals and can help to keep our dog’s teeth clean. The crunchy texture of dog biscuits helps to reduce plaque and tartar build-up.

The ‘best’ dog treats can be sourced by examining a variety of different aspects:

  • the ingredients
  • palatability 
  • cost
  • potential benefits
  • purpose of use

Dog biscuit ingredients

Where possible, ingredients should be derived from natural sources and contain little amounts of preservatives. Natural ingredients are much better for our dog’s health and the less preservatives that they consume the better.

Healthier dog treats should contain:

 

Meat gives the biscuit plenty of protein that our dogs will benefit from. Healthy meat proteins include turkey, pork, chicken liver, and duck. Check the meat content of treats, some meaty dog treats contain 100% meat.

Many dog foods, including dog biscuits, will contain a certain amount of grains. Grains and cereals not only help to bulk out dog food, but they do contain some benefits for our dogs, including healthy fats and fiber.

 

Whilst some fruits and vegetables can be toxic to dogs, plenty of other fruits and vegetables contain beneficial vitamins and essential minerals.

Healthy examples of fruits and vegetables found within dog biscuits include butternut squash, papaya, blueberries, beets, and sweet potato.

There are also a number of dog-friendly herbs and spices that can be included and offer additional nutritional goodness.

 

Dog biscuit palatability 

Dog biscuits should be palatable for our dogs, otherwise quite frankly, what’s the point? If our dogs are unwilling to eat a biscuit, perhaps that is a sign that the quality of the biscuit actually isn’t that great. 

Natural ingredients, such as fish, often make biscuits more appealing to our pooches.

The purpose of dog biscuits

Which type of dog biscuit you buy will depend on why you are buying them.

 

To provide your dog with a boredom breaker, look for larger, more durable treats that will take them a while to demolish. Whimzee’s are a great example of a biscuit that keeps your dog entertained as the biscuits can take longer to devour.

If you’re after a biscuit for your dog in order to treat them, look for treats that are small in size and highly palatable. This allows your dog to get a quick and tasty reward for their good behavior.

Dog biscuits to help with dental hygiene should be harder in texture to help with the removal of plaque and tartar.

Plaque and tartar can collect on the teeth due to poor dental hygiene and contains potentially harmful bacteria.

If you want to give your dog biscuits to provide them with a healthy snack, then look for biscuits that are high in natural ingredients and low in preservatives.

Ingredients such as Vitamins A, D and K benefit our dogs, as well as treats containing omega-3s and essential fatty acids

What are the benefits of dog biscuits?

If given correctly, dog biscuits can have a beneficial impact on our dogs’ health. Keep in mind that your dog’s usual diet may need to change to allow for the extra calories of the dog biscuits. 

If you give your dog treats on top of their usual diet, the extra calories can lead to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and dental disease.

 

Treats can be an extremely beneficial tool when it comes to dog training. Training should be given through positive reinforcement and rewarding your dog when they behave in the way that you want them to.

When teaching dogs new tricks or desired behaviors, keep sessions short and sweet and offer biscuits as a reward. There are specific dog biscuits available that you can use for training.

Treats can be an extremely beneficial tool when it comes to dog training. Training should be given through positive reinforcement and rewarding your dog when they behave in the way that you want them to.

When teaching dogs new tricks or desired behaviors, keep sessions short and sweet and offer biscuits as a reward. There are specific dog biscuits available that you can use for training.

Some dog treats can actually improve our dog’s health if they contain high levels of natural ingredients.

Health-boosting ingredients include:

Fish: Fish has a variety of benefits for our canine companions. It is packed full of omega-3’s, healthy fats, and natural anti-inflammatory properties. Fish can help with ailments such as arthritis.

Fruit: Dog biscuits that contain fruits such as banana, mango, and blueberries can have plenty of benefits for our dogs.

Many fruits contain high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our dog’s cells from damage. Damaged cells have the potential to become cancerous, or for organs to function incorrectly.

Real meat: Dog biscuits that contain real meats are likely to contain high levels of protein. Protein helps our dog’s bodies to build muscle as well as provide plenty of energy.

Fiber: Fiber helps our dogs maintain adequate gut health. Fiber aids in digestion as well as promoting healthy bacteria within a dog’s intestines. However, do be mindful that too much fiber can cause gastrointestinal upset, such as constipation and diarrhea.

 

There’s no doubt about it, dogs love their owners. But, what do they love just as much as their owners? Food!

Giving your dog regular dog treats could make your dog love you even more (if that’s even possible!). A dog that receives regular treats from their owners will always associate their owners with a positive reward.

 

Can dogs eat biscuits that are intended for humans?

No, dog’s should not eat human biscuits. If a plain, oat biscuit is eaten by your dog, it is unlikely that any side effects will occur. 

However, there are a number of different ingredients that are toxic to dogs and veterinary advice should be sought immediately if these are ingested.

Some toxic ingredients found in sweet and savory biscuits include:

  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Limes
  • Macadamias
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans

Consumption of some of these ingredients can be potentially fatal and/or can cause severe health problems in dogs such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Ataxia (loss of coordination)
  • Hypersalivation (increased salivation)
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Organ failure
If your dog has eaten any of these ingredients, it is important that you seek veterinary advice immediately. 

Can dogs eat biscuits that are homemade?

Yes, you certainly can make dog biscuits yourself! There are plenty of recipes available online which usually include standard ingredients such as water and flour, followed by ingredients such as dog-friendly peanut butter, pumpkin or potato!

Be sure to only use recipes found by reliable and trusted sources. By making your own dog biscuits you can be sure that there are no toxic ingredients or preservatives present.

If you decide to follow an online recipe, it may be worth double-checking that ingredients are not toxic. 

If the recipe calls for peanut butter, ensure that the peanut butter you are using does not include an ingredient called xylitol. This is highly toxic to dogs and can be fatal if consumed.

Can dogs have biscuits? Final thoughts

We have established that there are a variety of different biscuits and the definition of a biscuit can differ depending on where you are in the world. 

As a general rule, dogs should not eat any other form of biscuit other than those that have been made specifically for dogs to consume.

However, if they eat a plain biscuit intended for humans that contains no toxic ingredients then it is unlikely to cause any harm. Just try not to make it a regular thing! 

As much as the puppy dog eyes can make you feel guilty for not sharing, they are much better off with something that is intended for them.

If your dog does eat one of your biscuits, it is extremely important that you check the ingredients to ensure that they do not contain any toxic ingredients. If toxic ingredients are present, speak with your veterinary practice for advice as soon as possible.

Feeding your dog nutritious biscuits can be a great way to supplement their diet and make sure they are getting everything they need to maintain health, keep a healthy and shiny coat, act as a boredom breaker, clean their teeth, and improve the relationship between dog and owner.

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