We all love to treat our dogs. Sometimes, we want to give them an extra special treat! For people, nothing is more special than a slice of cake. But, what about our dog friends? Can dogs eat cake?
The Simple Answer
Yes! Dogs can eat cake!
In the most general terms possible, dogs are a-okay to eat a little bit of cake. However, it should be noted that it’s not very good for them. Like us, dogs are not supposed to be woofing down on loads of sugars and fats. As such, you should only serve cake on very special occasions and in very tiny quantities. The smaller the dog, the smaller the serving size should be.
Photo Source: @milo_wolfpup
While there are plenty of options for store-bought treats, such as The Dog Bakery’s delicious Carrot Cake treat or one of our specially made birthday cakes, you can always go the extra mile and make your own cake.
This allows you to accommodate your dog’s individual preferences, needs, and allergies. Moreover, when you make your own cake, you know exactly what is going into your dog’s delicious treat! Can dogs eat birthday cakes? Yes!
The Technical Answer
Photo Credit: @kittentoess
While most cake is absolutely safe for dogs to eat, it’s worth knowing some specifics. As with most things, there’s a great deal of nuance when it comes to feeding your dog a bit of cake. Some cakes will be fine unaltered, while others will need to be reworked or scrapped altogether.
For the best results and an experience that is as safe for your dog as it is satisfying, we recommend that you create low-fat and low- or no-sugar cakes.
Ingredients To Avoid Entirely
There are many ingredients that we, as humans, find delicious. Unfortunately, not all of these additives are good for our canine companions. When you’re fixing a cake, there are some things that just shouldn’t be added.
1. Chocolate & Caffeine
It may seem obvious, but you should never feed your dog chocolate. As much as we enjoy chocolate, even a tiny morsel can be deadly to dogs. Both chocolate and caffeine contain a substance called theobromine, which dogs have a hard time digesting. Thus, when a dog ingests too much chocolate, the theobromine builds up in their kidneys. The results range from kidney damage to seizures and death.
2. Grapes & Raisins
Another popular but toxic ingredient in many human cakes is the humble grape. Even in its dried form as a raisin, this little fruit poses a huge risk to your pup. Even a few raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, and whole grapes double as a potential choking risk.
The American Kennel Club notes that the exact reason for this toxicity is unknown. However, ingestion of grapes or raisins is a medical emergency, even in large dogs.
3. Macadamia Nuts
Nuts tend to be a case-by-case situation for dogs. While some nuts are fine, others are absolute no-gos. One of these off-limits morsels is the macadamia nut, which can cause symptoms such as tremors, confusion, and weakness.
The long-term results of macadamia nuts are just as concerning as their initial symptoms. Due to their extremely high-fat content, macadamia nuts may come back to haunt your pooch by causing pancreatitis.
Nutmeg, like xylitol and chocolate, is highly toxic to dogs. This beloved baking spice contains a substance known as Myristicin, which can lead to death. Symptoms of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
A popular sweetener, xylitol is found in a variety of pre-made ingredients. Even tiny amounts of this chemical can be deadly. Be vigilant when picking up baking supplies for your dogs, as xylitol sticks around after baking. Common carriers of xylitol include:
- Artificially sweetened or “sugar-free” versions of products
- Some artificial chocolates
- Some brands of peanut butter
- Some pudding mixes
Notably, because xylitol is not classified as an artificial sweetener, it can be found in foods that are labeled as natural. Be extra careful when picking out any products that are labeled “new” or “reduced fat/sugar”, as these are the most likely to contain xylitol.
Ingredients To Feed In Moderation
Photo Credit: @bassethoundsiblings
In addition to foods that are never safe for dogs, there are also ingredients that may cause problems. These additions to your cake will rarely be fatal, and many of them are non-toxic, but they are known to cause digestive issues. As such, if you want to guarantee that your pup’s cake doesn’t cause a tummy ache, you may want to consider substituting or avoiding these ingredients.
Milk & Dairy Products
While it may seem innocuous, milk and dairy can give your beloved dogs a bellyache! Very, very few dogs will die from ingesting any amount of milk, but a fair number will suffer from indigestion after the fact. Like people, dogs can be lactose intolerant, and studies suggest that many pups are.
If you feed your dog anything with lactose in it, be sure to stick around. You’ll want to watch for signs of an upset stomach, such as diarrhea, nausea, and louder-than-normal tummy rumbles. If these symptoms appear, immediately stop offering dairy-based treats to your pup. There are plenty of safe, lactose-free alternatives.
Flour will be a fine and safe ingredient for most dogs, but, like people, there are some pooches with gluten sensitivities. If this is the case, don’t worry! Your dog can still enjoy a delicious cake! Oats, rice, barley, and gluten-free flours are abundant in grocery stores.
The list of safe ingredients is much longer than the list of what not to add and what to look out for. There are so many delicious, amazing things that you can add to your pup’s next cake! Personalize the treat by picking out things that your pooch loves, even meats! Remember: dogs don’t taste as we do. A pumpkin-and-meat cake may sound nasty to us, but a dog would probably love to take a chunk!
Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake
Can dogs eat carrot cake? Yes! Preferably, you serve a sugar-free variety.
Carrots are a scrumptious treat for all dogs, and they’re also healthy. These vitamin-rich tidbits are safe to serve cooked or raw. To reduce the risk of choking, especially in small dogs, you’ll want to cut the carrots into ribbons or bite-sized pieces. This applies to both raw and cooked carrots.
As with any produce, be sure to thoroughly wash the carrot prior to serving. This will ensure that any unwanted dirt and pesticides get flushed out.
The Dog Bakery also makes a dog friendly carrot cake that's 100% guaranteed to use ingredients that are healthy and that dogs love.
Like carrots, apples are a healthy vitamin-rich snack for your dog. They bake well into cakes, and they provide a natural source of sweetness. Prior to serving an apple, be sure to slice it into easy-to-swallow chunks. For small dogs, this may even mean thoroughly dicing the apple. You’ll also want to discard the seeds and core.
It’s no secret that dogs love peanut butter. Give a pooch a lick and they’ll be hooked! This delicious addition brightens any baked treat. As with any “fun” addition, however, be sure that peanut butter is used sparingly. It is high in fats and oils, and should not be provided as a regular part of your dog’s diet.
Some peanut butter brands contain xylitol. Be sure to check the label prior to purchasing and using any peanut butter. Learn more about the safety of peanut butter and dogs.
Where To Get Doggy Cakes?
Now that we’ve answered the question “can dogs eat cake?” about as thoroughly as we can, where can you get dog-safe cakes?
Aside from making your own, there are plenty of places that sell pre-made dog treats and cakes. Many of these are small family-owned businesses. You might even find some dog-friendly cakes or cookies at your local bakery.
As always, be aware of what you’re feeding your dog. Don’t be afraid to ask vendors about their ingredients. Knowing what’s in a treat helps you have more peace of mind. If anything ever goes wrong, having a list of ingredients may also help you diagnose the problem more quickly.
If, however, you’re in a bit of a rush or aren’t a big fan of baking, The Dog Bakery offers guaranteed dog-friendly cakes! We can personalize your cake to fit the occasion, too. Whether you’re throwing a birthday party for your pooch or just giving them a “thank you for not sleeping on my face again” treat, we’re ready to help. We offer a variety of shapes and sizes, and the majority of our cakes can be quickly and easily shipped to your doorstep.
Can dogs eat a regular cake?
Yes, but it is not advised as most cakes have a lot of sugar. Dogs can NOT eat chocolate cake.
Can dogs eat birthday cakes?
Dogs cat eat birthday cakes if they are made for dogs using dog safe ingredients (see above)
What happens if a dog eats cake batter?
It depends. If it was just a little, probably nothing. If it's a whole bowl then expect throwing up and diarrhea.
Can dogs eat human cake?
Technically yes, but it is not advised as most cakes have a lot of sugar. Dogs can NOT eat chocolate cake. A better option is to make or buy a cake made specifically for dogs.
Can dogs eat strawberry cake?
Yes they can. Likely the cake has a lot of sugar so be sure to only give a little piece as a treat.
Can dogs eat vanilla cake?
Yes they can. Likely the cake has a lot of sugar so be sure to only give a little piece as a treat.
Rocky Kanaka is an entrepreneur, pet rescue advocate and dog dad to a rescue boxer named Flip, a blind Cane Corso called Kobe, and a terrier mix named Zoey. He's also a pet chef and owner of The Dog Bakery, which specializes in dog birthday cakes
and fresh baked dog treats. His three dogs can't get enough of the dog cakes and treats!
Lorna Paxton Ladd is a passionate dog lover and enthusiast of The Dog Bakery. She loves spoiling her 3 rescue dogs with dog cakes
and jerky. A 15 year veteran in the pet industry, her aim is to educate pet parents on the best recipes, products, tips and tricks to optimize the human/canine bond. Her favorite product at The Dog Bakery are the customizable dog birthday cakes.