Any dog owner knows how difficult it can be to say no to a pup begging for treats. Those puppy dog eyes are hard to resist!
But some snacks that we enjoy can harm our furry friends. It’s important to know which foods are not safe to share with our dogs, so that we don’t make them sick by giving them something they shouldn’t have.
So can dogs eat donuts? Donuts are delicious treats for humans, but they should not be fed to dogs.
Raw donut dough, fatty frying oil, and chocolate toppings are all potential hazards associated with donuts; read on to find out why.
The Dangers of Raw Dough
Raw donut dough contains yeast, which makes the dough rise so donuts are light and fluffy. Raw dough containing yeast can be very harmful to dogs however, for two main reasons.
When a dog eats yeasted dough, the warm environment of the dog’s stomach encourages the dough to rise rapidly. This causes stomach distension which can damage the stomach, and, if severe, can also affect a dog’s breathing.
Additionally, yeast fermentation in the stomach produces ethanol, an alcohol that is absorbed into the bloodstream and causes dogs to become intoxicated.
Any raw donut dough should be kept in a safe location away from curious pups while it rises!
The Dangers of Fatty Foods
Donuts are cooked by frying them in oil, which is high in fat. If a dog eats a donut that has been fried in oil, the high fat content can lead to gastrointestinal upset in the form of vomiting and diarrhea.
In addition, eating fatty foods can cause dogs to develop pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas.
This is a serious condition that causes decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
In severe cases, pancreatitis can be fatal, so resist those puppy dog eyes and don’t share your donut!
The Dangers of Chocolate
Chocolate donuts or donuts with chocolate toppings are particularly dangerous as chocolate is toxic to dogs.
All types of chocolate, including white, milk, dark, baking chocolate, and cocoa powder, can cause illness in dogs, but the darker, bitterer chocolates are the most harmful.
Chocolate contains two toxins, caffeine and theobromine, which cause initial vomiting and diarrhea that may progress to restlessness, frequent urination, abnormal heartbeat, muscle tremors, seizures, and death, depending on the amount and type of chocolate consumed.
In the case of dogs, it’s best to keep that chocolaty goodness to yourself!
What Other Foods Should I Not Feed My Dog?
In addition to donuts and other foods that are high in fat or contain chocolate, numerous things that we commonly eat can be dangerous to dogs for different reasons.
Foods that you should NEVER feed your dog include grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, corn cobs, macadamia nuts, bones, sugar-free products containing xylitol, coffee or other caffeinated drinks, and alcohol.
What Human Foods are Safe to Feed Dogs?
Household snacks that are safe for dogs (in moderation) include apples, blueberries, carrots, green beans, broccoli, deboned fish, boiled unseasoned chicken breast, and peanut butter (but NOT the sugar-free kind).
When in doubt, stick to feeding dog food only. Though this may seem boring, we know that dog foods are safe for dogs to eat, and they are specially formulated to contain all of the nutrients your pet needs to lead a healthy life.
How Can I prevent My Dog From Getting Food it Can’t Have?
It is a good idea to train your dog from an early age not to beg for food or hang around too close in areas where people are eating.
Teaching the dog to stay in a certain spot during meal times, like on a specified blanket, dog bed, or crate, will help to establish healthy boundaries.
Use of barriers like a baby gate may also be useful to keep dogs out of eating areas. This prevents dogs from getting any dropped food that they shouldn’t have.
Additionally, to occupy your dog during meal times, you may offer them their own toy, meal, or snack in a separate area.
Puzzle bowls or toys that slow eating, or snacks like frozen peanut butter in a Kong toy can help to keep dogs busy for long periods of time.
What Should I Do if My Dog Eats Something it Shouldn’t Have?
If your dog eats something potentially dangerous, you should contact your veterinarian or a pet poison control service immediately, or bring your dog straight to an emergency veterinarian.
There are two poison control services for dogs: the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435), both of which require payment.
For ingestion of any hazardous food or toxin, the sooner the situation is addressed and the dog is treated, the better.