Is Vanilla/Vanilla Extract Safe For Dogs?

The answer to the above question is not cut and dry. There are factors at play that you should understand. It’s important to know that dogs cannot have all the same foods that we enjoy and even if they are considered safe, they may not ultimately be good for them.

Luckily for you, we’ve taken the time to explain this vanilla mystery in detail so that you’ll not only be able to understand the issues that surround vanilla, but you’ll also be able to tell all of your friends and help prevent issues for dogs everywhere.

curious dog

What’s the Big Deal With Vanilla and Dogs?

Dogs have a slower metabolism than humans do and things like marijuana and alcohol can be highly toxic to them because they linger in their system for much longer. Alcohol toxicity and THC toxicity are just two of the things that can kill dogs, even in small doses.

So why is vanilla extract a problem? It’s simple. Vanilla extract is made with alcohol. Dogs love the smell of it and they’ll eat it if they can get to it and it is highly toxic for them. Keep it locked up tightly and do not leave it out when you are baking with it.

Once you’ve prepared baked goods with your extract, it’s safe because the alcohol evaporates during the baking process. So when your dog eats your blueberry muffins or pancakes, you might be upset but don’t panic.

That cooked food will not harm your dog unless it contains something else that is toxic for him or her. Is vanilla ice cream safe for dogs?

If it has real vanilla extract in it, it could be toxic. Vanilla frosting on a cake is toxic if it has extract because it isn’t cooked. Err on the side of caution, always.

What Other Things Are Poisonous for Dogs?

Many things can make your dog sick and several can potentially poison him or her, threatening their life.

Here is a list of things that you should be very careful about having in the house and anywhere near your dog. Ensure that children know these things are not to be given to the dog.

Children and dogs often don’t mix when it comes to eating time. It may be best to put your dog away during meals if you’ve got a child that insists on giving the dog some of their food or snack.

Toddlers are the main perpetrators of the throw-it-to-the-dog syndrome. You should always supervise your children when they have food that may not be safe for the dog or do not keep it in the house.

If you are looking to provide your dog with all the vitamins and minerals it needs, consider multivitamin dog chews or probiotic chews

Affenpinscher Puppies

Foods Life-Threatening to Dogs

Grapes and Raisins

They seem benign. What could a handful of healthy grapes possibly do? A lot. As few as 15 grapes can be enough to kill a small dog.

Some dogs are more impacted by grapes than others are and there is no way to know whether your dog will be the one to die. Unfortunately, grape toxicity isn’t apparent immediately. It can take up to twelve hours for your dog to begin vomiting and acting lethargic.

Their kidneys will begin to shut down. They will suffer increased thirst, urination, and dehydration as they go into renal failure if not treated. IF treated, your dog may still suffer long-term kidney disease and death is possible within 3 to 4 days without any treatment.

Raw Bread Dough and Alcohol

The process by which dough rises is fermentation, which is the same process by which most alcohol is made. This alcohol is very problematic because as we mentioned above, it doesn’t metabolize from their system and can cause alcohol poisoning.

Additionally, as in the case with bread dough, if they eat the dough in raw form it will continue to rise and expand in their stomach.

This can cause pain, a ruptured stomach, gut torsion, and result in a very painful death without medical intervention. Do not allow your dog anywhere near rising bread or alcohol. Nothing fermented is a good idea.


This is a man-made artificial sweetener that has proven highly toxic to dogs. Xylitol is often added to foods that you don’t suspect.

Please, read labels carefully and be aware that xylitol could be present in products from chewing gum to peanut butter. Since dogs adore peanut butter, you could unwittingly cause death to your dog by feeding him Xylitol without reading the label of your peanut butter.

Just one stick of sugar-free chewing gum with Xylitol is enough to kill a small dog.

Onions and Garlic

These include all members of the onion family, such as shallots, scallions, and chives. If your dog eats any of these, they contain compounds that can be highly toxic to dogs.

This food compound that occurs naturally in onions can cause damage to their red blood cells, gastroenteritis, and even anemia.

Shiba Inus, Akitas, Shar Peis, and other Japanese dog breeds seem to have more susceptibility to these issues from the onion family.

Don’t forget that garlic is four times as potent as onions for dogs. Symptoms may not show for several days and the urine can become very dark orange in color.

dog eating food

Other Cautionary Foods

Other things can cause problems if eaten to excess. Some items are not toxic but dangerous. This would include bones. Cooked bones tend to be hard and brittle. Brittle bones break with sharp ends that can puncture the stomach, esophagus, intestines, and become lodged,

Fruits with seeds are dangerous because many of the seeds, such as apple seeds, contain arsenic. Arsenic is known as a highly toxic substance, even to humans. It should be kept away from all pets and even farm animals.

It’s a good idea to look-up information on all foods you’d like to give to your dog to see if it is safe or not. Never give them a random food item without knowing whether it is toxic or not. You could inadvertently kill your best friend or cause him undue physical harm.

Also, beware of chemicals that smell good in the garage. Your dog might taste these. Antifreeze kills many dogs each year because it has a sweet taste to dogs. Keep these things locked away safely.

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