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Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Wafers? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on May 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat_vanilla wafers

Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Wafers? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ


Dr. Lorna Whittemore  Photo


Dr. Lorna Whittemore

BVMS, MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Vanilla wafers are not toxic to dogs, although they certainly aren’t the healthiest. Therefore, they aren’t a good option as a treat or snack. If your dog accidentally eats a vanilla wafer, there isn’t much to be concerned about, though. In many cases, your dog will be perfectly fine, even if they eat quite a few. You do need to check the ingredients list, however, as wafers containing xylitol (a sweetener) are toxic to dogs.

These sweets aren’t likely what your dog is used to eating. Therefore, your canine may get an upset stomach from consuming vanilla wafers. This may result in vomiting, lethargy, or diarrhea. It will be very similar to when you eat something that doesn’t agree with you. However, these signs usually subside within a few hours.

Most of the time, there is no reason to rush to the vet if your dog ate a vanilla wafer or two. However, dogs with underlying conditions may need to seek veterinary advice at the very least. For instance, dogs with diabetes may be extra sensitive to the sugar found in these cookies. When in doubt, we recommend calling your vet.

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Why Are Vanilla Wafers Bad for Dogs?

Vanilla wafers are fairly high in sugar, which isn’t good for dogs (or humans). Dogs are much smaller than people in most cases. Therefore, their daily sugar intake should be kept much lower.

A dog’s commercial diet is typically complete, so you don’t have to add anything else to it. The extra sugar in vanilla wafers is just that—extra.  Extra sugar can lead to several potential diseases if consumed over a long period of time. For instance, obesity can occur if your dog consumes too much sugar over many years (or even months, in some cases), as well as all the health issues linked with that.

One vanilla wafer isn’t going to cause any problems. However, if your dog regularly consumes sugary snacks and treats, diseases can develop. Too much sugar is never a good thing.

Furthermore, vanilla wafers don’t contain many benefits. They’re a tasty snack, but they don’t contain many nutrients. You want your dog to consume foods with nutrients, and vanilla wafers don’t fall into that category.

Crispy Waffles with Vanilla Cream
Image By: HandmadePictures, Shutterstock

Is Vanilla Toxic to Dogs?

Vanilla extract is toxic to dogs because it contains lots of alcohol. In fact, vanilla extract is made almost exclusively with alcohol, including both homemade and store-bought flavorings. Alcohol is toxic to dogs in high concentrations (just like people). The difference is that dogs are much smaller, which makes them more sensitive.

For this reason, smaller dogs are commonly more sensitive due to their smaller body weight. Even a part of a bottle can cause serious issues for smaller dogs. Therefore, we highly recommend keeping your vanilla put up where your dog cannot get to it.

However, the vanilla in vanilla wafers isn’t toxic. There is much too little in the vanilla wafer to cause problems for the dog. Instead, your dog would need to consume pure vanilla extract.

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Can Dogs Eat Sugar-Free Wafers?

Sugar-free foods also regularly contain xylitol. Xylitol is toxic to dogs.

This artificial sweetener isn’t a problem for humans. However, dogs react to it differently. It leads to a very high spike in blood sugar levels, which then leads to the dog releasing insulin. However, because there isn’t actually any sugar for the cells to consume, the insulin leads to the dog’s blood sugar dropping rapidly.

Eating only a small amount of xylitol can lead to your dog becoming hypoglycemic. This condition often leads to weakness, lethargy, loss of coordination, and even seizures. In serious situations, it can even lead to death.

Therefore, sugar-free foods should be avoided as potentially toxic. If your dog does eat something sugar-free, check the ingredient list quickly. If xylitol is included, you need to take your pet to the vet right away. This is a serious situation, as hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, coma, and death fairly quickly. It cannot wait until morning, so you may need to visit an emergency vet during the night time.

What Happens if My Dog Eats Vanilla Wafers?

If your dog eats a vanilla wafer, your dog probably won’t experience many issues. Some dogs may experience stomach upset. One or two wafers aren’t likely to cause many issues. You should expect the signs to subside in only a few hours.

However, some dogs with underlying conditions may experience worse side effects. Dogs that are sensitive to sugar may experience serious problems, so you may need to seek vet care for dogs with underlying issues.


Vanilla wafers aren’t particularly suitable for dogs. While they aren’t blatantly toxic (unless they contain xylitol), they don’t contain many nutrients and are high in sugar. Therefore, we recommend avoiding them. They don’t make healthy snacks. Contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

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