Can Dogs Eat Vanilla? [No Health Benefits + Many Risks]

Vanilla planifolia, or edible vanillin, is indigenous to Mexico. In the tropics, it is extensively farmed, although Madagascar produces most of it.

You may have eaten some vanilla ice cream and wondered to yourself, can dogs eat vanilla? The short answer is it depends on the form of the vanilla. Vanilla from the pod is safe for dogs. However, vanilla extract is not safe for dogs to consume. With that said, some foods that include vanilla extract as an ingredient can be safe for dogs in small quantities.

Let’s dig deeper into how and why vanilla can be dangerous for dogs, in what contexts dogs can eat vanilla, and whether it’s worth giving vanilla to your dog at all.

Can Dogs Eat Vanilla? – Is Vanilla Safe For Dogs?

Foods that are naturally flavored with vanilla pods are completely safe for dogs to eat.

On the other hand, vanilla extract itself is not safe for dogs to consume. This is because vanilla extract contains alcohol, and alcohol is toxic to dogs. Although dogs love the smell of vanilla extract it’s very poisonous to them and should never be fed to them. 

Because the alcohol in vanilla extract evaporates during the baking or cooking process, baked goods and cooked foods containing vanilla extract are safe for dogs to eat. If your dog eats muffins or pancakes, there is usually no cause for alarm. Unless that cooked food includes anything else that is poisonous to dogs, it won’t not hurt your pooch.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Vanilla For Dogs?

In its pure form straight from the pod, vanilla is safe for your dog to eat. This is also true of foods flavored with natural vanilla pods, as well as vanilla extract that’s made with vegetable glycerin and no alcohol.

Outside of the creamy sweet taste, vanilla provides no nutritional value to dogs.

What Are The Risks Of Letting Dogs Eat Vanilla?

If a dog eats a lot of foods that include vanilla extract or drinks it straight from the jar, that dog might become sick and even die.

Alcohol from vanilla might be hazardous to dogs even in low doses. The level of toxicity is determined by the kind and quantity of food eaten as well as the dog’s weight. The effects of alcohol on a dog might be visible within 30 minutes after ingestion. The severity of the issue for a dog might range from minor to life-threatening.

It’s important that you keep vanilla extract far out of the reach of dogs, and avoid feeding them any foods that include it.

Will Vanilla Hurt My Dog?

Vanilla is safe for dogs to consume in its purest form directly from the pod. If food has been naturally flavored with vanilla pods, it won’t hurt your dog at all if they eat it. In the case of vanilla extract prepared from vegetable glycerin and no alcohol, this is also true.

It is vanilla extract or vanilla essence that is toxic for dogs due to its alcohol content. 

If your dog eats baked or cooked foods where vanilla extract is an ingredient, this typically won’t hurt your dog. This is because the alcohol in vanilla extract evaporates during the baking or cooking process.

If your dog eats uncooked or raw foods containing vanilla extract then your dog could become very sick.

Is Vanilla Toxic To Dogs?

Vanilla extract or vanilla essence is very toxic to dogs due to its alcohol content. If your dog eats uncooked or raw foods containing vanilla extract then there’s a chance your dog could experience severe health issues. 

On the other hand, vanilla straight from the pod, is perfectly safe for your dog to eat. So, if your dog eats foods that are flavored with natural vanilla pods, there’s no cause for alarm.

How Toxic Is Vanilla For Dogs?

Vanilla straight from the pod is completely safe for your dog to eat. On the other hand, vanilla extract is highly toxic for dogs due to its alcohol content.

For dogs, vanilla extract may cause illness and even death if it’s eaten in large quantities or if it’s consumed directly from the bottle.

Vanilla extract should be kept out of the reach of dogs and should not be fed to them in any form.

What Does Vanilla Extract Do To Dogs?

The high alcohol concentration in vanilla extract and imitation vanilla is harmful to your dog. A dog’s digestive system can’t process alcohol the way a human’s can. Alcohol poisoning may occur if your dog consumes too much alcohol extract or foods that contain alcohol extract.

However, vanilla extract made from vegetable glycerin, rather than alcohol is completely safe for your dog.

Do Dogs Like The Smell Of Vanilla?

Yes, dogs like the smell of vanilla very much. It’s possible that dogs don’t understand why they do. It’s suggested that some scents may be especially appealing to dogs due to the impact they have on their brains. A study conducted in 2018 found that the scent of vanilla calmed rescue animals. This calming effect was observed in dogs across a range of breeds

Recommended – Dogs love sweet foods, but should you feed them? Read can dogs eat molasses to find out.

Can My Dog Eat Vanilla Ice Cream?

Can My Dog Eat Vanilla Ice Cream

It’s possible that your dog may get very sick if the vanilla ice cream contains actual vanilla extract. This is because vanilla extract is toxic to dogs.

For that reason, it’s important that you check the ingredients label on any vanilla ice cream that your dog may have eaten.

On the other hand, it’s perfectly okay for dogs to consume vanilla ice cream that has been naturally flavored with vanilla pods.

With that said, even if the vanilla ice cream doesn’t contain real vanilla extract, it’s likely that it contains preservative and additives that are unhealthy for your dog, although not necessarily poisonous. 

Recommended – Dogs love sweet fruits as much as us humans, but are dates safe for dogs to consume? Find out by reading can dogs eat dates?

Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Yogurt?

If the vanilla yogurt contains real vanilla extract, then it will be toxic for your dog. This is because the yogurt is not cooked or baked meaning that the alcohol in the vanilla extract is still present in the yogurt.

If you want to feed your dog yogurt then it’s best to feed her organic plain Greek yogurt. This type of yogurt contains no vanilla and is loaded in protein and calcium, both of which are beneficial to the health of dogs. But check the ingredient label to make sure there are no other ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

Recommended – Brussels sprouts can be an acquired taste, but are they safe for dogs? Find out by reading can dogs eat brussels sprouts?

Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Cake?

It is perfectly okay for dogs to consume foods that have been naturally flavored with vanilla pods. To reiterate, the answer to the question, can dogs eat vanilla is yes, they can eat vanilla from the pod.

It’s vanilla extract that is the issue, – it’s toxic to dogs due to its alcohol content. However, if the vanilla cake has been properly baked then it would be safe for dogs to eat, even if real vanilla extract is one of the ingredients. This is because during the baking process, the alcohol in vanilla extract evaporates, thereby making it safe for dogs.

To be on the safe side, check the ingredients label on the cake to make sure there are no other ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

Recommended – Find out why your dog eats crayons and what the risks are by reading are crayons toxic to dogs?

Is Vanilla Oil Safe For Dogs?

Yes, vanilla oil is safe for dogs. Among the few natural essential oils that can be used on dogs, vanilla oil is probably the most widely used.

Dogs respond well to vanilla, also known as Vanilla planifolia, due to its soothing and calming properties. It is considerably more beneficial for dogs that exhibit rage, impatience, or anxiety.

Recommended – Find out why your pet pooch enjoys mango and whether there are any risks to them, by reading can dogs eat mango?

Final Thoughts On Can Dogs Eat Vanilla

After reading this article you should know the answer to the question; can dogs eat vanilla. The answer is not straight forward, it depends on the form of the vanilla.

If the vanilla comes straight from the pod, then it’s completely safe for dogs to consume. This includes foods that are flavored with natural vanilla pods. However, vanilla extract by itself is toxic to dogs and foods containing vanilla extract are likely to harm dogs as well.