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Can Dogs Eat Pop Tarts? What You Should Know!

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Strawberry pop tart

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

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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Anyone who has spent time with a dog knows that canines will eat just about anything that they can get their paws on, whether it’s a piece of boring toast or an exciting slice of cake. Some dogs will even eat cat poop that they find outside! The problem is that not everything that we humans eat is safe for dogs to consume. For example, chocolate is fine for us but it’s toxic to dogs.

So, we should always keep an eye on the human foods that we’re enjoying, to make sure our dogs can’t get a hold of them. We should also ask questions like, can dogs eat things like Pop-Tarts? If you love eating Pop-Tarts, you might notice that your canine wants to nibble down on the sweetness too. But should you let them? The short answer is no, but this doesn’t mean that Pop-Tarts are necessarily poisonous to them. Keep reading to learn more.

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Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Pop-Tarts

Pop-Tarts are full of sugar and white flour. Some versions contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like chocolate. Eating a bite or two of a Pop-Tart isn’t likely to have any long-term effects on your dog’s health, but eating an entire Pop-Tart could be dangerous.

A chocolate Pop-Tart could contain enough cocoa to cause problems in small dogs. Some Pop-Tarts are also sweetened with xylitol, which the FDA warns is toxic to dogs because it stimulates the release of large amounts of insulin from the pancreas. This could quickly cause hypoglycemia and if not treated, result in death.

Even fruit-flavored Pop-Tarts that don’t contain toxic ingredients are not suitable for canine consumption. They contain far too much sugar, salt, and fat to be a healthful addition to any dog’s diet. Regularly giving your dog a piece of a Pop-Tart as a treat can lead to problems like obesity and diabetes. At the very least, Pop-Tarts replace healthful nutrition with something that doesn’t contribute to their good health.

pop tarts
Image Credit: WikimediaImages, Pixabay

What to Do If Your Dog Eats a Pop-Tart

If your dog eats some or all of a Pop-Tart that doesn’t have any ingredients that are toxic to them, they should be okay. Make sure plenty of fresh, clean water is available to them, and keep an eye out for signs of distress, such as lethargy, vomiting, and general discomfort. If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian for guidance.

If a chocolate Pop-Tart or one that contains xylitol is consumed, even in small amounts, it is important to seek advice from your veterinarian or an emergency care center right away. It’s possible that no problems will arise, but it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. If the toxic ingredients do affect your dog, you’ll want to be with a vet so treatment can commence immediately.

veterinarian holding a dog
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

Sweet Treats That Dogs Can Eat

While Pop-Tarts are not ideal treats for your dog, many other sweet human foods are suitable for offering as occasional snacks or treats. For instance, many fruits offer nutrition and sweetness that dogs can enjoy, such as bananas, oranges, and strawberries. You can also create sweet treats just for your dog. Consider one or more of the following ideas:

  • Blend 1 tablespoon of (xylitol free) peanut butter and 1/2 a banana, then freeze it for an afternoon treat during the hot summer months.
  • Create applesauce by peeling and cutting up an apple and then blending it with a bit of water.
  • Use a hand mixer to blend a hunk of watermelon to create a tasty slushy.
  • Mash sweet potatoes and water together as a meal accompaniment on a special occasion.

dog being fed apple
Image Credit: Agnes Kantaruk, Shutterstock

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Pop-Tarts should be reserved for our occasional consumption and kept away from dogs whenever possible. It’s not usually a big problem if a dog does get hold of a piece of a Pop-Tart, but we shouldn’t knowingly offer it to our pups and should opt for something healthier for them instead.

Featured Image Credit: Isabella and Zsa Fischer, Unsplash

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Authored by

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens. She is an artist at heart and loves...Read more

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