Can Dogs Have Vanilla Extract? Facts You Should Know

When I wrote about how dogs can have vanilla extract for the first time in my book, The Pet Lover’s Cookbook, I had no idea what kind of response I would receive from readers.

We’ve all been there before. You’re walking your dog, and he’s sniffing the ground and then suddenly stops dead and looks at you as if you’ve just farted. Then, you realize he’s discovered something. “I have no idea what it is, but I think it’s probably very valuable.” You say to yourself, “My god! It smells great!” You walk over to him and ask, “What is it?” He goes straight into action, sticks his snout up the hole, and takes a big sniff. You realize that he just smelled the sweet aroma of vanilla extract. You reach into the hole and grab the vanilla extract out of the air.

Did you know that even though vanilla extract is one of the most expensive ingredients out there, there’s actually a relatively simple way to grow it yourself at home?

Can Dogs Have Vanilla Extract

Can Dogs Eat Vanilla?

The safety of vanilla for dogs relies on the manner in which it is consumed. Although pods and pure vanilla are absolutely safe, they provide little benefit and are prohibitively costly for anything other than accidental feeding.

Extracts, on the other hand, are extracted using a high concentration of alcohol. Because the alcohol remains, you should never serve vanilla extract to children due to the significant danger of alcohol poisoning. Vanilla-containing foods should be considered on their own merits and total content, however manufactured sweets are the most common source of this component. These are rich in sugar or, even worse, include an artificial sweetener like xylitol, which can be fatal to your dog.

Is it Safe to Feed Your Dog Vanilla?

So, if your dog snatches a vanilla pod and eats it, it’s unlikely to cause any severe issues, except than potentially an upset stomach.

If they counter surf and drink a bottle of vanilla extract, though, things may get a lot more complicated.

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Because of the high alcohol level, vanilla extract and flavoring are poisonous to dogs, and even half a bottle might pose a major health danger, especially to smaller dogs.

While cakes and other meals containing vanilla essence are unlikely to create a problem (typically just a few drops are used in baking), feeding your dog cakes and other sweet desserts is not recommended.

Obesity, diabetes, and oral health may be harmed as a result of the high sugar content. Baked products frequently have a lot of rich components, such as dairy, which can cause stomach trouble. Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, which is very harmful to dogs even in little amounts, are frequently used. Furthermore, cakes frequently include chocolate and raisins, both of which are poisonous.

Is Vanilla/Vanilla Extract Safe For Dogs?

It is commonly known that dogs are unable to consume chocolate. What about vanilla, though? I’ve stated before how much I like making treats for my dogs at home. While we make the majority of our meals from scratch, I do periodically search the internet for new recipes to try. Vanilla essence is used in a number of treat recipes that I’ve come across. When creating dog treats at home, it’s critical to double-check that all of the ingredients are safe. Is it okay for dogs to eat vanilla extract?

Can Dogs Have Vanilla Extract

Yes and no are the answers. It all depends on the type of vanilla extract you have on hand. Regular vanilla extract is toxic to dogs. Most vanilla extract brands you may buy at the grocery store, whether real or counterfeit vanilla, include alcohol. Vanilla extract is usually at least 35 percent alcohol, depending on the brand.

I’ve spoken with dog owners that use vanilla extract in their dog treats and report that their pets are unaffected. You may argue that your dog isn’t getting enough alcohol to make him sick if the amount of extract you use in a dish is really minimal. But why take the chance? Especially now that alcohol-free vanilla is available.

In place of alcohol, most alcohol-free vanilla extracts I’ve encountered employ a substance called glycerin. Vegetable glycerin is a safe component for dogs, and it’s a popular element in commercial dog diets. Alcohol-free vanilla extracts are available at health food stores and online.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Vanilla Extract or Flavoring?

If your dog ingests vanilla extract by mistake, you should take the poison out of reach and attempt to figure out what they ate, how much they ate, and when they ate it. The sooner the dogs are treated for poisoning, and the more information you can give your veterinarian, the better.

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Even if you think your dog just ate a tiny quantity and there are no symptoms, it’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian for reassurance or to double-check.

In conclusion, while not all kinds of vanilla are poisonous to dogs, it is recommended to avoid feeding it to them.

Vanilla Health Benefits For Dogs

Vanilla has a lot of antioxidants, but it’s used in such little amounts in recipes that it’s not actually beneficial to people or dogs. While it is safe to offer to your dog, there is no physical advantage to giving it straight from the pod or as an extract derived from vegetable glycerin.

Vanilla Extract Is Not Recommended for Dogs

Vanilla extract, however, is another substance that might be detrimental to your dog. Vanilla extract is poisonous to dogs since it contains roughly 35 percent alcohol. As we all know, alcohol is extremely toxic to dogs.

Herbs are frequently infused with alcohol to aid in the extraction of flavor. Unfortunately, this makes herbal preparations harmful for our canine companions.

Imitation vanilla extract isn’t any better; it has the same amount of alcohol as real vanilla extract.

Most health food stores, however, sell alcohol-free vanilla extract. Because glycerin, not alcohol, is used as the major liquid component, the alcohol-free vanilla extract is safe for dogs. In commercial dog food, glycerin is a frequent component. Many commercial dog diets and treats use it for texture and taste.

Vegetable glycerin, on the other hand, is safe for dogs. Dogs should avoid glycerin obtained from biofuel manufacturing.

What to do if your dog drank vanilla extract?

Can Dogs Have Vanilla Extract

If you believe your dog has consumed vanilla extracts, attempt to induce vomiting in him. You can make your dog puke at home using a variety of techniques. The most frequent method, however, is to use a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution. You’ll need one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide for every 10 pounds of weight if you opt to use it.

In 10 to 15 minutes, your dog will most likely vomit. A second dosage may be necessary in certain circumstances to induce vomiting. This procedure should never be overdone, as too much hydrogen peroxide can cause ulcers in dogs. Similarly, larger doses of hydrogen peroxide should not be consumed and can be harmful.

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Even if you’re causing the vomiting at home, you should see your veterinarian. Make careful to relocate your dog after you’ve given him hydrogen peroxide. This will aid the chemical’s mixing with the contents of the stomach.

Allow your dog to relax for about 10 minutes after he or she has finished vomiting before giving him or her any food. You should try to get a sample of the vomit as well. This will assist the veterinarian in determining whether or not your dog need additional treatment.


Can Dogs Have Vanilla Extract? Absolutely! In fact, I would recommend it, especially for your canine companion. Why? Because if your dog can eat vanilla extract, chances are you can give it a treat as well! How do you know if your dog likes vanilla extract? You can check with your veterinarian to see if your dog has any adverse reactions to the product. However, there are many ways to get your dog to love vanilla extract. First, try sprinkling a little on their food. You can also sprinkle it in their water and offer it as a treat. Another way to get your dog to love vanilla extract is to mix it with dog food or kibble. It’s the best thing for your furry friend. Try making your own treats or pet foods at home using your own ingredients.



Princy Hoang
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