As dog owners, having our pet buddies jump at us - whilst staring with those alluring, charming eyes - in a bid to share yummy human food with us is a commonplace.
While the temptation to toss a few at your dog can be difficult to fight, understand that carrot cake isn't very healthful for a dog to eat, almost just as much it wouldn't do us much good as humans.
So, can dogs eat carrot cake? The answer is "Yes", but there is a catch.
Read on below:
As stated earlier, dogs can eat carrot cake because its primary concentration, carrot, is beneficial to them.
Considering this, giving your dog one or two bite-ful once in a while isn't a bad idea; it is when you give them without moderation, or they find some and eat themselves that an issue might arise.
Also, while most of the other ingredients used to prepare a carrot cake might not cause many problems, the milk and sugar in it might be dangerous for your dog, especially if the cake contains a great amount of these two.
When reacting to too much sugar and milk in his body, a dog might vomit at intervals. He may also develop diarrhea up to the point of dehydration.
It is mostly triggered by the consumption of a high amount of sugar and fat that a dog's digestive tract isn't accustomed to.
Although Pancreatitis is pretty much treatable, it isn't something you want to risk, especially if it isn't detected early enough. Not only will it bring your dog a great degree of pain, it will also mean you get to deal with avoidable expenses.
Given this, I often recommend that my readers scrap the idea of giving carrot cake to their dogs, especially if a dog is living with underlying health conditions.
Otherwise, if giving your dog carrot cake is inevitable, ensure you give him in moderation and with caution.
What Can Dogs Benefit From Eating Carrot Cake?
As a matter of fact, carrot cake can be healthful for your dog—technically. For the sake of transparency and understanding, we'll be looking at the benefits of raw carrots to a dog.
This is because, unless the cake is home-made, one cannot ascertain the amount of carrot compared to other ingredients in the cake.
So, how is carrot beneficial to dogs?
Vets often recommend that dog owners brush their pet's teeth regularly, but giving your dog carrots to eat once in a while can subtly do the job and ultimately improve his health.
However, dogs who are soft chewers might find it difficult to eat carrots. Hence, it is recommended the carrots are chopped into edible pieces or boiled a little bit in order to soften them.
What Happens If My Dog Eats Carrot Cake?
A lot of things can go wrong if a dog eats carrot cake without moderation, some of which might bring a dog pain and, in some cases, even lead to death.
So, if you've been - due to uninformedness- giving your dog carrot cake without caution, or if he serendipitously found a large amount and ate himself, the following are what do expect:
Weight Gain & Obesity
Certainly, one of the things that make carrot cake so sweet and yummy in the mouth is the presence of sugar, which, in turn, brings about diabetes and makes a dog begin gaining weight, just as it can make humans too.
When a dog gains excessive weight, he is exposed to a lot of health risks, some of which are heart disease and arthritis.
Often times, I find people boycotting regular carrot cakes and opting for ones that are supposedly sugar-free and low in calories - as printed on their labeling.
The truth is that such products are more dangerous to a dog because they use artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol.
Although Xylitol might not pose much of a problem for humans in the long run, the opposite is the case with dogs who, when given continually, might develop health complications.
Decline in Dental Health
Not only can dogs gain excessive weight from eating carrot cake, their oral health can also be affected.
This mostly happens when a dog continually eats cake and bits get stuck between his teeth and gums.
Unfortunately, this can develop into very painful dental conditions such as Cavities and Gingivitis. Even worse, his tooth may decay, thereby housing different bacterial infections.
When this isn't detected early enough, the bacteria may find their way to a dog's bloodstream, thus affecting as many organs as they can, with the most susceptible being the kidneys and the liver.
Negative Reaction Caused by Cake Ingredients
While ingredients such as carrots, pumpkin, and a few others in a carrot cake are safe for dog consumption, some other ingredients might bring your dog problem.
However, different dogs react differently, so, it's difficult to tell if the ingredients are bad for all dogs.
So, what carrot cake ingredients are potentially bad for a dog's consumption?
You should look out for the following:
- Vanilla Extract
- Macadamia Nuts
What do the above ingredients do?
They can cause stomach upset and Pancreatitis in a dog. If a dog's stomach gets upset and if vomiting follows upon taking a few bites of carrot cake, it's an indication that it's bad for him and you should avoid future treats to any cake at all.
After the vomiting, give his stomach a break and don't give him his own diet for at least 8 hours, even though his bowels might be empty from the vomiting. However, a dog in that state is dehydrated, so giving him clean water at intervals is important.
On the other hand, as stated earlier in this article, Pancreatitis is more dangerous; hence, a dog might need to be taken to a vet so that he can be tested and given medications that will mitigate the pain and quicken his recovery.
How do you know if a dog has Pancreatitis?
It's simple: while laying him, press the area under his cage with mild pressure, and he will whine with pain if his pancreas is inflamed.
Again, as I've stressed time and time again, note that a dog can only develop these issues if he is giving an excessively high amount of carrot cake.
Also, the ingredients used alongside carrots are also a determining factor. Try avoiding carrot cakes that include chocolate, Macadamia Nuts, grapes, etc.
How to Know if a Product is Harmful to Your Dog
If you're buying labeled, factory-made carrot cake from a grocery store, it is recommended that you check the packaging and read the ingredients. If it does contain the ingredients listed in this article, you may want to look into another product.
On the other hand, if you're buying a local, home-made carrot cake from a pastry chef down the street, you might want to ask what the secondary ingredients are to ascertain if it is ideal for your dog to eat.
This is very much needed if you can't avoid giving your dog one or two bites of carrot cake once in a while.
Healthy Carrot Cakes Recipe: The Alternatives
With the plethora of health benefits raw carrots come with, wouldn't it make sense if you start introducing it into your dog's diet?
Certainly, carrots can do much more than improving your dog's health; your dog will also get his teeth cleansed of bacteria lurking between his teeth and gums.
All in all, while carrot cake isn't entirely bad for a dog to eat, it is, however, much better to give him raw carrots instead.
Alternatively, if you make your cakes yourself, you can start changing the ingredients and their amount so as to enable your dog to eat bits safely.
Otherwise, you can bake him a dog-friendly cake that is almost as delicious.
What are the recommended ingredients for a dog-friendly cake?
I often recommend the following:
How to Make the Cake
Now you know the answer to your question - Can dogs eat carrot cake? However, knowing how potentially dangerous continually giving your dog such treat is shouldn't be a question anymore.
However, giving your dog a couple bite-ful between very long intervals shouldn't be a problem, provided the included ingredients are safe. Otherwise, you can simply give him just carrots or make him a dog-friendly cake using the directions given above.