My Dog Ate Oreos and Seems Fine – What Should I Do?

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Key Takeaways:

  • If your dog eats Oreos, you should report the incident to your veterinarian.
  • Oreos contain chocolate, which is toxic to dogs.
  • One Oreo is usually not fatal, but it can make your dog sick.
  • Oreos are also high in fat and can trigger pancreatitis in dogs.

Face it. For most of us, Oreos are really yummy!  But what if your dog tries a sample when you’re snacking on a plate of these delicious cookies and step out of the room for a moment? Should you be concerned?

If Fido isn’t a miniature-breed dog and only gets one bite or a single cookie, it’s probably not life-threatening. The ingredients can still upset your pup’s stomach and make him sick for a spell.

However, the wafer parts of the sandwich contain chocolate, which is toxic to dogs. If your pup munches on Oreos, you should contact your veterinarian. The doctor will provide recommendations depending on the number of cookies Fido ate and whether he also ingested any packaging. 

How Many Oreos Are Toxic to Dogs?

The number of Oreos that are toxic to your dog will depend on his weight and health. Pups that have an illness or other vulnerability can be more susceptible to poisonous substances. 

Chocolate contains two methylxanthines: theobromine and caffeine, that are poisonous to dogs. If your dog consumes just 9 mg/lb body weight, he can experience mild to moderate symptoms of toxicity. 

Fortunately, although Oreos contain chocolate, it’s in small quantities. So, one cookie will usually not be deadly. However, the cookies are also high in fat and sugars that can upset your furbaby’s stomach and cause symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. 

And if they eat enough Oreos, dogs can suffer pancreatitis from the fat overload. For most dogs, just 2 or 3 cookies can spell trouble.

Any time your four-footed friend eats Oreo cookies, you should report the incident to your vet.

One of the ingredients in Oreos is chocolate which contains substances that are toxic for dogs. Fortunately, the dose of chocolate in one cookie is small enough that it shouldn’t be deadly. But between chocolate and other potentially dangerous ingredients, even 2-3 of the sandwiches could be dangerous for your dog.

What Should I Do if My Dog Ate Oreos?

If you discover your dog eating Oreos, don’t panic. The first thing you should do is remove any remaining cookies from his reach and assess the situation. Determine how many of the sandwich treat your pooch ingested and whether he swallowed any packaging.

Check your dog’s mouth for evidence and observe his behavior. Then, call your veterinarian and report your findings and observations. Depending on your pup’s weight and overall health, the doctor may advise you to watch your furbaby for signs of illness or bring him in for an examination and treatment. 

If your dog ate Oreos, don’t panic but take away any leftover cookies. Evaluate how much your pup ingested and observe his behavior then call your vet. The doctor will advise you based on your report, your dog’s weight, and his current level of health. 

When Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

If your pooch gulped down a whole plate or package of Oreos, you should head to the vet to be safe. Large quantities of these cookies can trigger toxic effects or cause pancreatitis. However, if your pup only ate one or maybe 2 Oreos, your vet may advise you to watch him for any signs of trouble.

If you notice signs of toxicity listed below, take your dog to the vet immediately.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Panting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures

Likewise, if you notice the following signs of pancreatitis, head to the emergency clinic.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Prayer position posture – (hindquarters in the air; head and chest on the ground with front legs extended out)
  • Difficulty breathing

Take your dog to the vet if he eats a bunch of Oreos because he may have ingested toxic doses. When dogs eat one or two cookies, you may be able to observe your pooch for signs of illness. If you notice symptoms of toxicity or pancreatitis, take your dog to the vet immediately. 

What My Dog Ate a Lot of Oreos But Seems Fine?

When dogs eat more than 2 or three Oreos, the cookies can cause serious issues. However, the symptoms don’t always surface within minutes of ingestion  Food that enters the stomach may not pass into the intestines for 2-6 hours, and it may take another 10-12 hours for complete digestion and absorption of the dangerous substances. 

Even after your dog’s system digests the cookies, it may take time for symptoms of illness to emerge. Signs of pancreatitis may not appear for 12 or more hours. So, you may not observe evidence of Oreo cookie toxicity or illness for 12-24 hours or longer.

The bottom line is that you should call your veterinarian if your dog eats a bunch of Oreos. Even if he seems fine, he could become very ill in the next several hours.

If your dog eats a bunch of Oreos call your vet  You may not notice symptoms of illness or toxicity within the first minutes after ingestion. In some cases, it can take 12-24 hours or longer before your dog’s body digests the cookies and absorbs the harmful substances.

What Happens to Dogs That Eat Oreos?

When dogs eat Oreos, the effects will primarily depend on the number of cookies and your dog’s weight. Usually, your pooch will experience digestive upset including vomiting and diarrhea. If the symptoms are severe, he can become dehydrated and may require IV fluids. 

Consuming several Oreos can cause your dog’s pancreas to become inflamed because of the elevated fat content. The pancreatic gland malfunctions causing digestive enzymes to attack the pancreas. Pancreatitis is deadly if left untreated.

Dogs that eat Oreos usually experience digestive upset. However, if they ingest lots of cookies, the fat can trigger an inflammatory response in the pancreas. As a result, digestive enzymes attack the gland, which is life-threatening.

Why Are Oreos Harmful to Dogs?

Chocolate contains methylxanthines chocolate and theobromine. The chemical compounds act as diuretics, vasodilators, and heart stimulants. Dogs can’t metabolize these substances, so they can have potent effects. In large enough doses, the results can be deadly.

Oreos are also full of fats including palm oil or canola oil and lecithin. These products can act as laxatives and overwhelm the pancreas. The gland works extra hard to digest lipids triggering an inflammatory response. As a result, the digestive enzymes that should break down fats and sugars attack the pancreas. 

Not only do Oreos contain ingredients that can be harmful to dogs, but they’re also high in calories and devoid of nutritional value. If dogs routinely eat the cookies, they will gain weight and may develop diseases like diabetes.

Chocolate has harmful substances dogs can’t digest and that act as diuretics, heart stimulants, and vasodilators. Oreos are also high in fat which can trigger pancreatitis. Finally, the cookies can cause your dog to gain weight and potentially develop diabetes.

How Will My Vet Treat My Dog If He Eats Oreos?

If you bring your dog to the vet after he eats Oreos, the doctor will begin with a physical exam and may run bloodwork and a urinalysis. Treatment will depend on his findings.

If your pup recently ingested the Oreos, the doctor will work to neutralize the toxins by inducing vomiting or giving your pooch activated charcoal. If needed, he will also give IV fluids to combat dehydration and support the excretion of theobromine.

In the case of pancreatitis, your vet will probably put your dog on a fast for a few days. He will also provide supportive care. Treatment may include anti-inflammatory drugs, IV fluids, and pain medications. The regimen usually includes hospitalization with observation for 2-4 days. Provided your dog recovers, the doctor will gradually reintroduce food.

The treatment your dog receives will depend on the vet’s findings. If ingestion was recent, the doctor will try to neutralize the toxins and will provide supportive care. Treatment for pancreatitis involves fasting, supportive care, and observation.

How long is the recovery?

There’s no antidote for the toxins found in chocolate, so the substances have to work through your dog’s system. Caffeine exits the body quickly, but it can take 1-4 days for your pooch to recover from the toxic effects of theobromine. 

With pancreatitis, the recovery period and prognosis depend on the severity of the symptoms  and how early your dog receives treatment.  Pups with mild symptoms and early, aggressive treatment usually have a favorable prognosis. Recovery may take a month or longer. However, if dogs have severe symptoms such as depression and lethargy, they will have a guarded prognosis and may not recover.

The Final Woof

Oreos contain chocolate, which is toxic to dogs. The poisonous substances in chocolate act as vasodilators, heart stimulants, and diuretics. Because dogs can’t metabolize these chemicals, it doesn’t take much to cause serious effects. Fortunately, the cookies contain small doses of chocolate. They do, however, have other ingredients that can make your pup sick.

One Oreo may give your dog an upset stomach, but it probably won’t be fatal. Several cookies can be toxic. Oreos are also high in fat and can cause pancreatic inflammation. Both conditions can be fatal if left untreated. For chocolate toxicity, your veterinarian may induce vomiting in your dog or give him activated charcoal. He will also provide supportive care. Dogs with pancreatitis will also receive supportive care. The prognosis depends on early diagnosis and treatment.

Photo of author
Dr. Libby Guise earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1994. After working in private practice in Wisconsin for two years, she joined the USDA as a Veterinary Medical Officer. In 2011, Libby came home to focus on raising and teaching her adoptive daughter. She lives in Wisconsin with her daughter, husband, and two furbabies: Charis, a lab-mix rescue pup, and Chesed, a Springer Spaniel.

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