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Can Dogs Eat Cake? Is Cake Safe for Dogs?

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

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We have all seen those adorable videos taken on a dog’s birthday when they are wearing a birthday hat and have a cake in front of them to enjoy. However, we doubt that many people have thought about what is in that cake and whether it is a good thing for a dog to be eating.

Cake is a dessert that is part of many holidays and celebrations. There are many different kinds of cake, including chocolate, vanilla, coffee cake, and sponge cake. Should your dog be enjoying these tasty treats with you?Divider 8

Should Dogs Eat Cake?

The short answer is NO. Your dog should not eat cake. It is very unhealthy for your pup to eat any kind of cake. Some cakes can even be dangerous for your dog to indulge in. For example, any sort of chocolate is toxic for your pup.

Image credit: Pixabay

Even if the cake isn’t chocolate, most of the ingredients are harmful to your dog to ingest and can quickly lead to longer lasting health issues. Crumbs from leftover cake might be okay every once and a while, but serving up a whole slice for your pup is dangerous.Divider 3

Negative Aspects of Feeding Your Dog Birthday Cake

There are quite a few ingredients in a cake that make it unhealthy for your dog to eat. Overall, there is no benefit that cake brings to your dog’s diet. Even if there are fruity additions that might independently be better for your pup, those aren’t enough to negate all the negatives.

Sugar Content

The sugar content alone in the cake should be enough to stop you from serving it to your pup. A dog’s body does not have the capacity to digest and use sugar very well.

In the short term, the amount of sugar in a cake can quickly overload your dog’s digestive system and make them feel sickly and nauseated. They might even show symptoms of intolerance by vomiting or experiencing diarrhea.

In the long term, a cake with high sugar content can have profoundly adverse effects. These will be even more prominent if you consistently give your dog cake or sweet things as their treats. Possible health issues could be unhealthy weight gain to the point of obesity, arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.

By overeating sugar, a dog can also experience negative impacts on their dental health. Even brushing your dog’s teeth every day will not be enough to compensate for sugar-heavy treats like cake.


Most cake is made with flour as the filing base to give it its fluffiness and substance. However, typical flour sources come from wheat, which contains an unhealthy amount of gluten. Most pets, including both dogs and cats, find it difficult to digest gluten. Eating it in such a large portion can have lasting and painful effects on their digestive system.

sad dog on floor
Image credit: Fran__, Pixabay

Potential Toxic Ingredients

Beyond the two primary ingredients of sugar and flour in a cake, there are other additions that can make cake a toxic addition to your pup’s diet.

Chocolate is always toxic to your pup and if eaten in large enough quantities, is enough to kill them. Many people love a good chocolate cake, but they shouldn’t share if they love their dog.

Other ingredients that are commonly added to cake and will put your dog in danger include:
  • Coffee
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Candy

Even if you want to indulge those sad puppy eyes from your dog, know that you are protecting them by not letting them have cake.

“Free From” Is Not a Good Solution

There are now gluten-free and sugar-free ingredients, but even if they have been proven safe for humans, dogs are still at risk.

One of the most common replacements for sugar is xylitol. This is a natural sugar substitute that is low-calorie and favored by many humans trying to eat healthier. However, it is incredibly toxic for your pup and can cause them to experience weakness, coma, and even seizures, leading to death.

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Types of Cake That You Can Make for Your Dog

dog with party hat and birthday cake_Ruth Black_shutterstock
Image credit: Ruth Black, Shutterstock

If you still want to give your dog a cake for their birthday, then consider giving them a cake made especially for pups instead.

You can make your own dog cake if you want to keep track of what your dog is eating. You can also purchase boxes of ready-mix to make that special dog cake.

It is still a good idea to look through the ingredients of what such cake contains, of course, but you will a better chance of finding a healthier substitute that won’t put your dog in danger.Divider 5

Final Thoughts

It is best to avoid giving your dog any kind of cake. If the cake has chocolate, coffee, or a sweetener in it, keep it away from where they might sneak a bite. If you really want your dog to enjoy a treat, buy them a dog cake mix or make your own that only contains ingredients that are good for them.

Featured image credit: varintorn, Pixabay

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