Dog Cookies Guide: How To Find Healthy Snacks For Your Dog

Dog cookies are one of the most popular and practical snacks for dogs. Surely you have them in your pocket more often when you are out with your dog. The dog cookies can be used as a reward or to attract the dog during walks.

Unfortunately, not all cookies are healthy for your dog. Some contain questionable ingredients such as sugar. Also, not every dog tolerates cereals. Learn here what you should look for when buying dog cookies, how to find a good product for your dog and how you can make dog cookies yourself, without cereals, sugar and preservatives.

The Most Important Facts In A Nutshell

Dog cookies are treats for dogs, that come in different shapes and flavors. In addition to meat and animal by-products, many products contain grains and other ingredients, some of which are unhealthy.

You can use the cookies in many situations, for example as a reward during dog training, as a snack for in between or to attract your dog. But you should never overdo it.

Cookies are available in stores either ready-baked or as a baking mix. You can also make dog cookies yourself, even without cereals.

What Are Dog Cookies For?

On the one hand, dog cookies were invented to spoil our beloved four-legged friends in between meals. When we ourselves sit on the sofa and nibble something, our dog often looks at us sadly from big eyes. Since snacks for humans like chips and sweets contain too much salt, spices and other ingredients that are unhealthy for the dog, dog cookies are a very good alternative. Dog cookies are considered a so-called supplementary food. They are not there to feed the dog, but only a supplement.

However, dog cookies also fulfill educational effects. For example, they are already used in puppy training to reward the dog when he has learned something or behaves correctly. The dog gets so a positive feedback, rewards strengthen the learning effect.

You can also use the cookies for dogs in dog training for adult dogs. If the dog particularly likes them, they are also suitable for attracting him during walks.

Dog cookies also serve as a distraction at the vet. Some products are a bit firmer and contain teeth-cleaning ingredients. So there are many good reasons to buy dog cookies! The only question is: what is important? Which ingredients are desirable and which are not?

Are Dog Cookies Healthy?

Dog cookies that you can buy in stores are expressly supplementary food. Too much of it is not good for your dog. This is partly because the cookies contain a lot of calories. If you feed too much of them, your dog could gain weight. Some products also contain a relatively high amount of fat, and in larger quantities, fat can cause digestive problems. Grains, which are included in many finished products, can also cause gastrointestinal upset in sensitive dogs.

As is so often the case, it’s the quantity that makes the difference here. In small quantities, dog snacks are fine, but they should definitely not be used as a substitute for real meals of good dog food.

There is another aspect you should think about: It’s healthiest for dogs not to snack in between meals. Their metabolism is designed to receive only one meal a day. Therefore, you should not give treats too often, but use them only for special moments, for example, as a reward.

The question of whether dog cookies are healthy or unhealthy cannot be answered in a general way. There are products with good ingredients and those that are problematic. In addition, not all ingredients are tolerated equally well by all dogs. Too much is always unhealthy, no matter how good the quality of the product.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Dog Cookies At A Glance


  • Well suited as a reward during dog training or for attraction.
  • The dry products are practical, they can be easily carried in the jacket pocket.
  • Long shelf life (applies only to purchased).
  • Depending on the product dental care properties.


  • May contain questionable ingredients such as sugar, softeners and artificial flavors.
  • Are usually high in calories and can promote obesity.

What Ingredients Are In Dog Cookies?

How good the quality of the snack is depends on the ingredients. The specialized trade offers many different products, which differ in composition, flavor and suitability for certain dog breeds. Below you will find an overview of the most important ingredients and what you should look for when buying ready-made cookies.

Tip: In the ingredients list, the ingredients are listed according to frequency. What is at the front of the list is therefore the most common. Further down the list are ingredients that are only present in smaller quantities.

Meat And Offal

Dogs are carnivores, so meat and offal are natural components of their diet. Good dog cookies usually contain meat and offal or fish. Different types of meat can be included such as beef, poultry or game. The higher the meat content, the better. Offal such as liver is particularly rich in vitamins and minerals.

Animal By-Products

The word animal by -products raises questions for many users in the ingredients list. Animal by-products are leftovers from meat production such as organs or skin. The dog would also eat them in the wild. While animal byproducts are a less expensive ingredient, they are not inferior. They contain proteins, minerals and vitamins.


Grains are often present, especially in inexpensive dog cookies or in dry foods. Grains are basically a problematic ingredient in dog food. Some dogs have no problem with grains in small amounts, but others do not tolerate them well.

For one thing, grains contain carbohydrates. In the dog’s natural diet, carbohydrates play only a minor role. Too much of it can lead to obesity and metabolic disease in dogs.
In addition, many dogs cannot tolerate gluten-containing grains such as wheat or rye. Gluten-free grain alternatives such as rice or millet, on the other hand, are tolerated somewhat better by most dogs.

Some grain, especially the whole grain variety, is tolerable for dogs and can have a positive effect on their digestion. However, the overall grain content in the diet should be very low and therefore you should prefer dog snacks with little grain.

Conclusion: You can recognize good dog treats by the fact that the grain content is low. If your dog reacts to gluten, you should avoid products with gluten-containing grains.


Vegetables in small quantities are good for dogs. It provides fiber, thus aids digestion and enriches the food with vitamins. So vegetables are positive as an ingredient, as long as the cookies do not consist mainly of them.
Problematic ingredients: sugar, preservatives, flavors and softeners.

Unfortunately, some products in specialty stores also contain unhealthy ingredients such as sugar or preservatives. Even wet food can contain sugar. Sugar often serves to improve the taste, but is basically harmful for the dog. When choosing dog food, you should therefore always make sure that it contains as little sugar as possible, or preferably none at all.

Preservatives ensure shelf life, in small quantities you can be okay, but better are feeds without preservatives. Flavoring substances should make the product more attractive to the dog. These substances can cause the dog to overeat and his taste buds to become insensitive to a natural taste. You should therefore avoid them.

Soft dog cookies sometimes contain softeners so that small dogs with sensitive teeth can eat them. Nevertheless, you should avoid products with softeners, as they can definitely have an impact on your four-legged friend’s health if eaten regularly.

When buying ready-made dog cookies, dog cakes and dog food, make sure that they contain only high-quality ingredients. The products should not contain sugar, preservatives and softeners. A high proportion of meat and animal by-products is advantageous. Vegetables are also good as an ingredient. Grains should only be included in small amounts. Since many dogs do not tolerate gluten, gluten-free alternatives such as rice are generally better.

Dog Cookies: FAQ

How Do I Find Dog Cookies That My Dog Likes?

When buying dog biscuits, it is of course the taste that counts, because every dog has its own taste preferences. Here it helps only to try different products. For example, the cookies are available in game, beef, poultry or tuna. You can first orientate yourself to the taste preferences of your four-legged friend when it comes to dog food.

Suitability For Different Dog Breeds

The cookies are available in different sizes for different dog breeds. Also pay attention to the manufacturer recommendations. Some products are made exclusively for larger dogs with strong teeth. Small dogs need smaller, slightly softer cookies.

Can I Make Dog Cookies Myself Without Cereals?

You can make dog cookies yourself, even without cereals. However, you should pay attention to the ingredients, because not all recipes that you can find online are recommended. For example, many contain fruit, cheese or wheat flour. Fruit is very high in sugar and cheese contains a lot of salt. Gluten-containing flour can be a burden on your dog’s digestion.
Recipes based on meat, fish or liver, on the other hand, are good.

The following ingredients may be included in homemade dog cookies

  • Meat.
  • Fish.
  • Liver.
  • Eggs.
  • Vegetables (exceptions see below).
  • Gluten-free flour such as rice flour or millet flour.
  • Fine oatmeal (in small quantities).
  • Walnuts.

These ingredients are of concern, they should only be used in small amounts or after consulting with your veterinarian:

  • Cereals containing gluten, such as wheat, spelt or roe.
  • Fruit (exceptions see below).
  • Dairy products like curd cheese.
  • Peanuts.

What Should Not Be In Dog Cookies?

The following ingredients are harmful for your dog

  • Avocado.
  • Eggplant.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Spices and salt.
  • Highly salty foods such as sausage or cheese.
  • Garlic and onions.
  • Grapes and raisins.
  • Chocolate and cocoa powder.
  • Sugar.

Which Flour For Dog Cookies?

It is best to use only gluten-free flour made from grain alternatives such as rice flour, corn flour or millet flour. If a dog can tolerate regular grains, you can also use wheat flour, rye flour or spelt flour, but make sure it’s whole grain.

How Long Do Homemade Dog Cookies Last?

How long the homemade cookies will keep depends on the ingredients and the recipe. If they are very dry, they can be stored in a tin can for 8-12 weeks. But be careful with cookies that contain meat or fish, it is better to store them in the refrigerator and feed them in a shorter time.

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