Can Dogs Eat Cake? Here Are The Risks !

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can dogs eat cake

The answer is no. Even if it’s not formally toxic for the dog the ingredients are not friendly to their overall well-being.  Cakes that are specifically made for canines are a safe choice for an occasional or celebratory time, and even then, keep the portions small.

With all the different flavors, icings, and toppings, there is a lot to consider! 

So, Can Dogs Eat Cake Safely? 

Cake may seem like a harmless treat for your dog to try, and most cake flavors are not toxic by definition. However, even a plain vanilla cake with no icing could cause adverse effects. In general, cake contains a lot of sugar and dairy, which are two things that should be avoided for your pet. 

NO (plain)NO (icing)NO (nuts/toppings)

This goes for any flavor of cake with any variety of frostings and toppings. Any way it’s prepared, it’s not going to be justified as a wise choice. 

What Does Too Much Dairy Lead To?

Effects of excessive dairy:

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastritis
  • Pancreatitis

And allergies are not an uncommon reaction to dairy as well! Allergies usually present themselves on a dog’s coat and ears such as rashes, scabs, and/or patches of hair loss. 

What Does Too Much Sugar Lead To? 

Believe it not, pets can get diabetes too. They can develop it at any stage of life and relatively quickly in some circumstances too.

Diabetes comes with a plethora of issues and mandatory life-long care. It is not something you want for yourself or your pet! The sugar is simply not worth it. 

As well as diabetes, an excess of sugar can lead to obesity. Obesity usually correlates with other issues such as heart, back, and joint problems that can all seriously hinder your dog’s quality of life. 

Finally, overconsumption of sugar can have a severe impact on their dental health. They can cause extremely bad breath, also known as halitosis, infected gums, cavities and even rotting teeth that might have to be extracted.[1

Dental health is often overlooked but it is vital to a pet’s overall health. Gum disease is five times more likely to occur in a dog than in a human [​​2].

This is due to the fact that dogs have more alkaline mouths than us, which promotes plaque formation. They also rarely have their teeth brushed or cleaned. The more plaque, the greater risk of infection.

Gums are very susceptible to infection. Since dogs use their nose and mouth to navigate their way through the world, they can inhale some pretty dirty bacterias. 

The tricky thing about gum infections is how easy it is for that infection to spread to the rest of the body. They seep through the gum line and can deeply diminish the immune system. It also has direct links to heart, brain, lung, kidney, and liver problems. 

In a perfect world, we would brush our dog’s teeth twice a day, just like we do. I know this is not realistic, as even I, a former vet tech, do not uphold that standard with my own dog. 

However, I do have a toothbrush and toothpaste for him. If you want to take the plunge and try to brush your dog’s teeth every once in a while, they make dog-friendly toothpaste.

Please do not use human toothpaste! It can be toxic for them with all the different flavors. I personally have a peanut butter flavored tube for my dog.   

What Cake Is Safe?

Technically… none. There really aren’t any health benefits to feeding your dog cake.

What About Sugar-Free Cake? 

It is crucial to point out that cakes made for humans that are “sugar-free” are not safe for dogs either. A common sweetener for sugar is xylitol, which is directly poisonous to dogs. 

Xylitol is also popularly known to be found in chewing gum, as well as breath mints, hard candies, and pudding, amongst several other types of foods and medicines.

Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even a minimal amount can cause maximum damage, such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure, seizures, and in worst cases, death [3]. 

What Ingredients are NOT Safe? 

We might be able to assume that the majority of people know not to feed their pets chocolate cake of any kind, but there are several other common ingredients that we need to look out for as well. 

Toppings that are toxic: Raisins
Almonds/Nuts in general  Powdered sugar 
Peppermints/hard candies Cheesecake or cheese filling
Cherries Whipped Cream  

These toppings, if ingested, can be damaging to your dog in a range of ways. The most common symptoms to look out for from these would be: 

VomitingSkin rash 
Bright red gums Trouble Breathing 
DiarrheaLoss of appetite 
Gingivitis Pancreatitis 

If they ate a large amount of a plain or frosted cake, the symptoms you would observe would likely be lethargy and indigestion as opposed to toxic toppings that can call for immediate medical attention.

How Much Is Too Much? 

Given the fact that animals are medically dosed based on their weight, their tolerance levels are individually computed. 

As a pet parent, you’ll have to use your best judgement. If your dog manages to grab a fallen piece on the floor, it more than likely won’t be a big deal.

However, if they consume a whole slice, I would advise calling your local vet for consultation. 

Are There Cakes Made Just For Dogs? 

Yes! There are all kinds of desserts and pastries made specifically for canines. They even make dog-friendly cake mixes you could bake yourself at home! 

Cakes that are pre-made are typically sugar and dairy-free and relatively small in size with minimal icing. I personally go to my local pet store and get my dog one every year for his birthday.

Even then, I will only give him half of it. It feels great to treat our pets every now and then, but we have to take their tolerance levels into consideration- we must show moderation! 

The Bottom Line 

Some cakes are directly toxic to dogs while others are not, however, none of them are truly safe for them to ingest. 

There are tons of dog-friendly cake recipes online if you feel inspired to bake and want to be sure of what ingredients are going to be put in. 

There are dozens of other alternative snacks that will taste delicious and benefit your dog’s overall well-being besides cake!  

Photo of author
Rachel Wood

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