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Can Dogs Eat Churros? Vet-Approved Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Dogs Eat Churros

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Almost no one can resist the sweet taste of a churro, with its crispy edges and fluffy center. If your dog’s desperate eyes catch yours just as you dip your churro into its chocolate sauce, guilt may overcome you, and you may want to share the moment with your friend. If your dog accidentally eats a small piece of churro, there shouldn’t be much concern, but anything larger might necessitate a trip to the vet. In this article, we’ll discuss the health concerns of your dog eating churros and what you should do if your dog eats them.

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What are Churros Made Of?

Churros are a type of fried pastry dough coated with sugar or cinnamon sugar, similar to a cinnamon donut. The dough is usually made from egg, butter, flour, salt, baking powder, and water. Churros are usually enjoyed just as they are but can also include chocolate, cream, or another type of filling. They are also sometimes enjoyed with a warm chocolate dipping sauce.

Are Churros Healthy?

Churros are tasty, and most people love them, but like most things that taste sugary, doughy, and delicious, they aren’t the healthiest of treats. They are typically fried in oil, which gives them up to 200 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving. As you might have guessed, they also contain a lot of sugar, even without the dipping sauce. A single churro can have up to 7 grams of sugar!

The digestive system of a dog differs from that of a human, and while each dog’s response to a substance may vary depending on their age, size, and amount consumed, dogs should avoid sweet and fatty treats because they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even more serious conditions like pancreatitis.

If churros are not healthy for us, they are certainly not healthy for our dogs.

freshly deep fried churros on a stainless steel strainer
Photo Credit: Bartosz Bartkowiak, Pexels

Can Dogs Eat Churros?

Determining whether your dog can eat churros will depend on the ingredients included and how much your dog has eaten. Churros are not toxic to dogs, but that doesn’t mean they are safe to eat.

They are high in fat and calories, which can lead to weight gain if your dog eats them regularly. They are also high in sugar which can be an issue for dogs with diabetes. Some churro recipes use nutmeg, which is considered toxic to dogs, so it’s important to know exactly which ingredients are included in the recipe.

One of the most concerning ingredients is sugar. Sugar is bad for dogs, and although it is not considered toxic, large amounts over a long period of time can be unhealthy and can potentially lead to stomach upset, obesity and then potentially diabetes.

Some Churros include chocolate sauce, either inside or for dipping, and some recipes may choose to replace the sugar with xylitol, both of which are toxic for dogs.

While a bite of your churro will be okay for your dog, we recommend keeping it away from your pet, especially if you are not certain about the ingredients.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Churros?

If only a small amount of churro was consumed by your dog, there is little cause for concern. However, if your dog ate several, you can try soothing its stomach by giving it bland food, such as boiled white rice and chicken, which is simple to digest for 12 to 24 hours. You should monitor your dog for any signs of gastrointestinal upset, and if you notice any signs that your dog is unwell and you are concerned then contact your vet.

If the churros included xylitol, you should contact your vet immediately.

vet examining havanese dog
Photo Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

Tips for a Healthy Diet

Churros should not be a part of your dog’s diet, even if your dog loves them. If it’s the sugar your dog is after, there are a variety of fruits they can enjoy in moderation. Only 10% of your dog’s diet overall should be treats.

Other than the sugar content, another reason churros should be left out of your dog’s diet is because of the fat content. Maintaining a healthy weight for your dog’s size and breed is crucial in keeping your pet healthy. An overweight dog is more likely to experience bone, joint, ligament, and mobility issues, as well as more serious conditions such as heart disease and impaired liver function.

Human foods should be left out of your dog’s diet for more reasons than possible toxicity. If you share too many of your meals with your dog, it is more likely to become a fussy eater and will not want to eat its own food. It can also introduce bad habits that are hard to break, such as begging.

Overall, while it is not terrible if your dog occasionally eats human food, it is best to keep your dog on high-quality, well-balanced dog food to prevent any issues.

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While churros are not toxic for your dog, they aren’t healthy either. If your dog has a small portion, there is not much to be concerned about, but if your dog ate a bunch, you might need to see your vet for possible stomach issues. If the churros include nutmeg, xylitol, or chocolate, your dog should not eat them! Human foods should typically be kept out of your dog’s diet, and snacks and treats high in calories and sugar should be kept to a minimum to avoid diabetes and obesity.

Featured Image Credit: Félix Girault, Unsplash

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