A cake is a sugary, sweet dessert that people serve as an after-dinner dessert or as part of a holiday and special celebrations, including weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. Although cakes aren’t the most healthy food and have a lot of calories, celebrations wouldn’t be the same without them. The question is, can dogs eat cake?
As much as we love our dogs and love spoiling them with the best dog treats, we want to do what’s good for them. Pet owners aren’t always sure what human foods are safe as a part of a dog’s diet. If you’ve ever been tempted to give your dog just a tiny bit of that birthday cake, you really shouldn’t do it. Cake of any variety contains a lot of different ingredients, many of which are toxic to dogs. Even if there isn’t anything toxic in the recipe, the ingredients including a lot of chemicals, additives, and preservatives in any cake aren’t healthy for dogs.
In a nutshell, the answer is “No.” You have to resist that pleading look and never feed your dog cake. If your furry friend is having a birthday and you want to celebrate or you want your friend to have a special treat for the holidays, there are alternatives—your pet can still have a special birthday treat in the form of a dog cupcake or pupcakes! Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Cake?
A cake is a sweet dessert, usually baked in an oven and most often high in calories. The main ingredients in a cake include:
- Baking soda
- Butter, margarine, or cooking oil
Additional sweet ingredients are often mixed into the cake batter or used to decorate the cake when it comes out of the oven. Types of sweet ingredients used in or on cakes include:
- Fresh or dried fruits
Cake icing contains granulated, brown, or confectioner’s sugar and other ingredients like flavorings or extracts. If you buy pre-made cakes, a lot of additives and preservatives are in the frosting and can’t be fed to dogs.
Some dog owners may think just a tiny bit of cake occasionally won’t harm their pup, and perhaps it wouldn’t. However, offering cake to your dog as a treat isn’t a habit you should get into. Some of the decorative ingredients for cake toppers are toxic to dogs even in very small amounts, including:
- Candy, especially if it contains Xylitol
- Macadamia nuts
When you host a celebration or party where cake is served, it’s best to keep your dog confined in his dog crate. Keeping your dog away from the festivities is necessary when you don’t know what the cake contains.
Is A Small Bite Of Cake OK For Your Dog?
No. Even the tiniest bit of cake decorated with fruit, candy, or nuts isn’t worth the risk. The safest option is to bake homemade dog cookies to offer your pup when humans celebrate with cake. Chocolate cake is even worse than other varieties. Chocolate contains methylxanthine, a substance that’s toxic to dogs in extremely small amounts.
Cake Has No Nutritional Benefits For Dogs
Dogs are carnivores with digestive systems that are much different from those of humans. A small amount of cake for a dog may not cause any immediate danger unless one of the toxic foods is included. However, a cake isn’t a nutritious treat for a dog. The high sugar content can have serious health consequences. A cake could have dangerous and toxic ingredients that are harmful, could cause toxicosis or death. It’s best to offer your pup a healthy alternative.
Potential Side Effects Of Feeding Cake To Your Dog
1. Excess Sugar Content Can Cause Obesity Or Weight Gain
Cakes have a high sugar content which isn’t healthy for your pup. If the dog doesn’t have an immediate adverse reaction to a bit of cake, there will be consequences over time. Your dog can gain too much weight and have obesity issues. Medical problems, including heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes, could be the result.
2. Canine Dental Health Can Be Adversely Affected
Cake can cause tooth decay, bad breath, bacterial infections, cavities, and other dental problems. Some diseases can get into a dog’s bloodstream and cause damage to the internal organs.
3. Many Cake Ingredients And Toppings Are Dangerous For Dogs
What can dogs not eat in cakes? Many of the ingredients used in cake recipes are toxic to dogs, even in the most minuscule amounts. Here are some of the ingredients to check for:
- Candy, either regular or sugar-free, is harmful
- Vanilla or other extracts
Some people use alcohol in came recipes or frosting. Alcohol is dangerous for dogs to consume, even in small amounts. Due to the dangers of many of these ingredients, it’s safer not to offer them to your dog.
4. Sugar-Free Cake Is Not An Alternative
Some dog owners believe it’s OK to give their dog a small piece of sugar-free cake. Even if it doesn’t contain sugar, it’s not healthy. The fact is sugar alternatives can be more dangerous to dogs. Xylitol is one of the most common replacements for sugar in a variety of different foods. Xylitol is a natural substitute for sugar and sugar alcohol.
The sugar substitute is one of the ingredients in many sugar-free and low-calorie foods. While it’s safe for humans, it’s toxic to dogs. Very small amounts of Xylitol can stimulate a release of insulin in dogs and cause a serious and potentially life-threatening side effect known as hypoglycemia, a dangerously rapid drop in blood sugar . Hypoglycemia can cause:
- Lack of coordination
If your dog accidentally consumes cake, the signs to watch for are:
- Appetite loss
- Behavior changes
- Blood in stool
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty passing stool
- Inability to wake up
The cake isn’t healthy and could be dangerous to feed to your dog. Alternative treats, especially for dogs, will keep your pup happy and healthy. There are some safe and healthy treats for your pup.
Dog-Friendly Cake Mixes
If you’re having a celebration and don’t want your pup to be left out of the festivities, search online for “dog-friendly cake.” Retailers that specialize in pet products sell cake mixes created for dogs that only contain healthy ingredients. Canine-friendly cake mixes include “frosting” and can be prepared in a microwave. The cake mixes are for all breeds and can be made as a cake or cupcakes. No corn, wheat, or soy is in dog cake mixes, so you don’t have to worry about dog food allergies. If you prefer to make a cake for your pup there are a lot of dog-friendly cake recipes online. Here are some safe ingredients to use if you plan to bake a dog-friendly cake for your pup:
- Use honey as an alternative to sugar.
- Whole wheat flour is excellent but all-purpose can be used.
- Dogs love peanut butter. Use regularly not low-sugar which contains Xylitol.
- Regular applesauce, not low sugar. Substitutes are mashed pumpkin or banana.
If you use pumpkin in dog-friendly cake recipes, use only plain, canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling that contains sugar and other ingredients. If you use fresh pumpkins, make sure the seeds are removed. You may add pumpkin seeds if they’re cleaned, roasted, and ground up. Pumpkin seeds provide additional nutrients.
1. What kind of cake can a dog eat?
Any variety of cake whether baked at home or purchased from a store isn’t safe for your dog to eat. The high sugar content combined with many ingredients that aren’t safe and potentially toxic to your dog isn’t worth the risk. Commercial cake mixes aren’t an alternative. The ingredients are only meant for human consumption.
2. Can I give my dog a piece of cake?
It’s not worth the risk to give your dog a piece of cake. The safest way to give your dog a tasty, sweet treat is to make a dog-friendly cake or buy a cake mix, especially for dogs.
3. Can dog have a small amount of cake?
Dogs shouldn’t have a small amount of cake. Many of the ingredients in cakes are harmful or even toxic to dogs.