My human said it’s my birthday soon, and that means there’s only one thing on my mind— Cake!
I watch my human blow out the candles on her cake every single year, but she never gives me a piece! Not even one bite. She even cups her hand while eating it to ensure that I don’t prowl the floor for crumbs later. *whimpers*
But, why can’t I have some?— Well, I saw my best friend Max at the park yesterday, and he said that some cake can be bad for our tummies. And he would know, he’s a border collie. This is why my human gives me a special type of cake that is safe for dogs, she’s the best!
So, if you’re ever thinking about giving cake to your doggo, there are a few things you need to know.
There’s a bunch of different types of cakes out there that can affect us in different ways. Let’s explore together and get to the bottom of whether I can eat cake on my birthday or not.
Can dogs eat cake?
The short answer is maybe. It all depends on what ingredients are in the cake, as certain ones can be bad for us dogs.
For example, you should never ever give us chocolate cake as it is toxic to us and can make us very unwell. While ordinary sponge cake won’t really harm us, we’d prefer something that has been made specifically for dogs, just in case.
There’s nothing toxic in ordinary sponge cake, vanilla cake, or carrot cake- but they’re packed full of unhealthy things such as sugar, which isn’t great for us.
Max says that sugar provides zero nutritional benefits to dogs, but it can contribute to weight gain and diabetes. I’ve also heard rumors that too much sugar can make us more hyperactive, cause vomiting and induce diarrhea- No thanks!
While a small bite or two probably won’t do us any harm, we’d rather celebrate by chomping down on something healthier and safe for dogs.
Additionally, some ingredients baked into cakes or used to decorate cakes may be toxic to us canines, such as macadamia nuts and chocolate. We’d much rather you didn’t take the risk.
What happens if dogs eat cake?
1. Too much cake will harm our health
As cake is often loaded with heaps of sugar, eating it regularly can really affect a dog’s teeth.
My human said that even though she brushes my teeth daily, much to my dismay, eating too much cake can result in bad breath, bacterial infections, rotting teeth, and cavities.
Yuck! These nasty infections can enter our bloodstream and potentially damage the heart, brain, lungs, liver, and kidneys.
Sometimes it can make us go to doggy heaven, so please don’t give us too much, no matter how much we beg (which we will).
2. Certain added ingredients and toppings can be toxic
As I mentioned before, humans like to add lots of fancy toppings to their cakes, and some of these can hurt us.
Here are some ingredients to look out for in a cake before feeding it to your dog:
- Macadamia nuts
- Vanilla extract
3. The high sugar content can make us fat
Because of the heaps of sugar that go into making a cake, too much can make us put on weight.
While this can make us more sleepy and unhappy, it can also result in obesity which leads to a whole host of other potential health issues.
Some of these include arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.
4. Sugar-free cake will still make us ill!
As lots of the issues I mentioned involve sugar, some humans make the mistake of thinking that it’s safe to feed their dogs a piece of sugar-free cake.
However, this may even be worse! The sweetener that humans often use to replace sugar, Xylitol, is extremely toxic to dogs.
Even just a small amount of it can stimulate an insulin release. This can cause hypoglycemia (a rapid drop in blood sugar) which is accompanied by symptoms such as lack of coordination, weakness, coma, seizures, and in worst cases, doggy heaven.
Can dogs eat cake icing?
Icing, or frosting, is a key ingredient in human cakes. This is one of the reasons why it can be so bad for us.
Once again, cake frosting contains lots of sugar. This cake frosting is usually found on top of a cake that- you guessed it, contains shedfuls of sugar.
Frosting also usually has dairy in it, which isn’t great for us dogs. This is because we have a hard time breaking down the enzymes in dairy products and eating milk, cream, and butter can lead to violent vomiting and diarrhea. That doesn’t sound like a fun birthday!
What kind of cake is safe for dogs?
Fortunately, there are plenty of great recipes for doggy cakes and alternative birthday treats.
My human lets me eat dog-friendly birthday cake on my birthday, she buys these online and they taste great! Max’s human makes him his own dog-friendly cakes using bananas and unsweetened natural peanut butter— it’s delicious!
Speaking from experience, if you leave a cake out on the countertop, we will eat it. So always keep them far away from our reach and preferably in a sealed container.
If you’re planning on making some cake at home, dog-friendly or not, never leave it too cool somewhere we can reach. Our noses are great for sniffing out tasty snacks, but hot food can burn our mouths.
Healthy and happy dogs don’t need cake in their diet, and choosing not to feed it to us is best for our health.
Instead, do what my human does— opt for healthy and dog-friendly options when you want to reward your canine or celebrate a special occasion.