Can Dogs Safely Eat Vanilla Extract?

You are cooking treats for your canine friend, you know that sugar wouldn’t be good for your dog’s teeth, so what can you use for flavoring? Vanilla extract? But can dogs eat vanilla extract?

Vanilla Extract Is Not Recommended for Dogs

Unfortunately vanilla extract is another thing that can be harmful for your dog. The reason why dogs cannot eat vanilla extract is that vanilla extract is around 35 percent alcohol, and, as we know, alcohol is severely toxic to dogs.

Alcohol is often added to herbs because it helps to extract the flavor. Too bad it makes the herbal extracts dangerous for our canine friends.

Imitation vanilla extract is no better, it contains just as much alcohol as the real thing.

You can, though, buy alcohol free vanilla extract from most health food stores. The alcohol free vanilla extract is safe for dogs because it uses glycerin instead of alcohol as the main liquid component. Glycerin is a common ingredient in commercial dog food. It is used for texturing and flavoring in many commercial dog foods and treats.

It is the vegetable glycerin that is okay for dogs, though. Glycerin derived from bio-fuel processing is not safe for dogs.


In summary, regular and imitation vanilla extracts are not safe for dogs because they contain alcohol. Alcohol free vanilla extract with vegetable glycerin would be a safe alternative.


  1. Amanda Carter
    • Happy dog person

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