Can Dogs Eat Donuts? Here’s Why They Probably Shouldn’t

can dogs eat donuts?

Every dog owner has had those moments when you’re peacefully enjoying your snacks, then your dog emerges from nowhere and comes begging for the food.

In some cases, we often shrug them off and ask them to wait for their own meals instead. But the pitiful faces that dogs make when begging for human foods usually has us granting their requests, even if it’s only a morsel.

However, before you give your dog any human food, you must research widely to uncover the position of professional vets on the matter.

Take a case of donuts, and you may be wondering, can dogs have donuts?

The answer to that question is a resounding NO. Dogs should not have donuts, and there’s a plethora of reasons why. Most notably, donuts do not contain any ingredients that your dog could benefit from. Worse yet, most of the ingredients in donuts, such as chocolate, salt, sugar, and wheat, are all deemed potentially dangerous for dogs.

Read on as we explore the topic further.

Are Donuts Bad For Dogs? A Review of The Ingredients

One of the frequently asked questions among most pet parents is, can I give my dog donuts?

We’ve already mentioned that donuts aren’t recommended for dogs. In this section, we shall highlight some of the common ingredients used in donuts, as we explore the risks of feeding donuts to your pooch.

But first things first, what are donuts and why can’t dogs eat donuts?

Typically, donuts come in two types – the ring-type donuts and filled donuts. Whichever the form, most donuts are traditionally made by frying sweet dough.

The dough is usually a mixture of leavenings, sugar, milk, as well as oil, eggs, and flavorings. Now, the mere mention of these ingredients is reason enough for you to keep donuts away from your canine friend.

Of course, there are donuts that some people consider healthier, especially those that are made plain without adding too much sweeteners.

But still, can dogs eat plain donuts?

No, they can’t. Plain donuts still contain a significant amount of sugars, salt, and transfats, all of which are deemed potentially toxic for dogs. Plain donuts may be a healthier choice for you, but not for your dog.

Bulldog eating donuts

The following is a detailed list of the common donut ingredients and how each of them might impact the health of your canine friend;

1. Flour

Flour may not be immediately harmful for dogs. But considering that dogs are carnivores, your dog will not benefit at all from eating flour-based meals.

In fact, a dog’s digestive tract considers flour as a “wild food”, and eating donuts could cause your canine friend to develop gastrointestinal complications such as vomiting and diarrhea. The yeast used in donut dough doesn’t make it better either.

2. Sugar

Now, sugar is the first real donut ingredient that’s considered very harmful for dogs. Sugar is high in calories, the kind that your canine friend might not be able to handle.

What makes sugar even more dangerous for dogs is that the calories it contains are not bodybuilding or energizing. Instead, they are those that build up in your dog’s system, overpowering its health over time.

It’s also important to remember that the bodies of dogs aren’t as efficient in handling sugars and fats as ours are. As such, dogs are better off with fewer calories.

Other dangers associated with excess sugar content in dogs include weight gain, tooth decay and toothache, diabetes, heart disease, and sugar cravings.

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3. Chocolate

Chocolate is yet another food that frequently ranks among the most toxic human foods for dogs.

In donuts, chocolate is used as a sweetener. The active compound in chocolate which accounts for its sweetness, known as xylitol, is the very one that presents the highest toxicity for your pooch.

A common side effect of xylitol includes hypoglycemia, which is a condition where your dog’s blood sugar levels drop to abnormally low levels. Hypoglycemia results from excess sugar content in the blood, forcing the cells to no longer process the sugars.

Another compound in chocolate that makes it harmful for dogs is the caffeine-like substance known as theobromine.

Overall, the side effects of your dog eating too much chocolate include;

  • GI symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea;
  • Seizures;
  • Lethargy; and
  • Paralysis.

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4. Eggs

On their own, eggs are perfectly alright for your dog, provided that they’re served cooked and not raw. However, we cannot say the same about the eggs used in donuts.

5. Oils/Fats

You probably already know that excess consumption of oils and fats may make your dog overweight. But as you shall find, there are even graver concerns to worry about.

funny dog with donut

Besides weight-related issues, excess fats in the bloodstream combine with salts and sugars, creating plaque in your dog’s blood vessels.

These plaques block the dog’s arteries, making its heart work overtime to pump blood to various parts of the body. If not treated, heart failure could set in in a matter of weeks.

Fats also cause pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas. Symptoms of pancreatitis include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, seizure, and lethargy.

6. Salt

Excess salt in a dog’s diet causes a condition known as sodium ion poisoning. The immediate symptoms of this condition are increased thirst sensation and frequent urination.

Most dog owners usually attribute their dog’s frequent drinking to the dog’s metabolism or changes in the weather.

However, it’s imprudent to rule out the possibility of an underlying condition, especially if you discover that your dog has helped itself to a lot of donuts.

Other symptoms of sodium ion poisoning to watch out for include;

  • Nausea;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Seizures and body tremors;
  • Depression;
  • Seclusion; and
  • Lethargy.

If you don’t seek urgent treatment for your dog, sodium ion poisoning could lead to multiple organ failure and ultimately, death.

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7. Milk

Dogs love milk, as it’s the one food they’ve known for the longest time. However, milk contains lactose, a substance that most dogs are intolerant to.

Lactose intolerance usually manifests in vomiting and diarrhea, usually right after eating a donut.

8. Butter

The butter used in donuts carry the combined toxicity of fats and milk. So, it’s also discouraged for dogs.

Apart from the above ingredients, donuts also contain flavorings and artificial sweeteners, all of which are deemed poisonous for dogs.

Also, there are risks of allergies, seeing as a donut is considered a wild food for dogs. The effects of donut allergies in dogs depends on the ingredients that the dog’s stomach disagrees with the most.

But overall, allergies manifest themselves as;

  • GI symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and abdominal pains;
  • Skin itchiness, dryness, and rash;
  • Inflammation;
  • Runny nose and/or eyes;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Dehydration;
  • Hair loss; and
  • Irritability.
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Lastly, your dog might also choke on donuts. Remember that unlike us, our canine friends don’t take their time to chew food.

They may attempt to swallow the donut whole, leading to choking. The fact that donuts appear deceptively small only complicates the situation.

So, in the face of all the risks of feeding donuts to dogs, you shouldn’t be found asking yourself, are donuts good for dogs?

However, some dog owners may be adamant about feeding donuts to their canine friends. In such cases, you must only offer your pooch dog-friendly donuts.

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Comparing Readymade and Homemade Donuts

Since donuts are generally discouraged for dogs, it goes without saying that readymade donuts are a no-no for them.

Readymade donuts usually come with over 50 ingredients, most of which are the very ones that experts discourage for dogs.

Some of those ingredients include;

  • Vegetable shortening;
  • Yeast;
  • Soy flour;
  • Nonfat milk;
  • Amilase;
  • Salt; and
  • Whey.

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If you bought a donut from the store and are contemplating offering it to your pooch, carefully examine the list of ingredients used.

However, it’s all an act in futility, as you’ll hardly find any ingredient in readymade donuts that your canine friend will benefit from.

A safer alternative to readymade donuts is homemade donuts. That’s mostly because homemade donuts only contain between 8 and 10 ingredients.

Also, when preparing donuts at home, it’s easier to experiment with numerous dog-friendly homemade donut recipes out there.

By and large, the secret to making safe and healthy donuts at home is to avoid using any harmful ingredient, including yeast, excess salt, sugars, chocolate, etc. Also, you should avoid frying the donut, as that will mean using too much fats.

In the place of sugars and artificial sweeteners, you might consider using natural sweeteners, such as honey, carrots, and applesauce.

The only drawback to homemade donuts is that they aren’t as tasty as their store-bought counterparts. But when it comes to the health of your pooch, taste is something you shouldn’t mind sacrificing.

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Now that you’ve chosen to prepare your donuts at home, there are some pertinent questions that you’ll need to answer while choosing the right ingredients to use. We’ll attempt to address some of these questions.

Can dogs eat peanut butter donuts?

Yes, peanut butter is a safer and healthier alternative to the transfats and artificial sweeteners that regular donuts contain. That makes peanut butter donuts excellent for your dog.

Can dogs eat apple and carrot donuts?

Carrots rank among the best human foods that dogs can eat. They’re loaded with vitamins A and C, as well as iron and calcium.

On the other hand, apples pack dietary fiber, iron, and Vitamin C. So, your dog can comfortably eat carrot and apple donuts.

Can dogs eat banana donuts?

Banana is rich in potassium, and is known to boost energy levels and lower blood pressure. Banana also soothes your dog’s stomach.

Besides, it acts as a natural sweetener. All of these traits make bananas, and by extension, banana donuts, safe for your dog.

Can dogs eat blueberry donuts?

Blueberries are famous for their high content of vitamin C and antioxidants. They’re also low in fat and high in manganese, zinc, and iron, which makes them just the right treat for dogs.

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Can dogs eat cinnamon donuts?

Cinnamon isn’t toxic for dogs either. Plus, it comes with a load of dietary and health benefits that make it all the more okay for dogs to eat.

Can dogs have Krispy Kreme donuts?

A simple answer is yes if the ingredients are safe, and no if the ingredients are deemed harmful.

Can dogs eat jam donuts?

Unfortunately, jam donuts aren’t ideal for dogs due to their high sugar levels. So, you might want to keep jam donuts away from your adorable pooch.

Can dogs eat glazed donuts?

Glazed donuts may be smaller than regular donuts. But they still pack the numerous ingredients that full-size donuts have. So, avoid offering glazed donuts to your dog.

Can dogs eat powdered donuts?

Powdered donuts usually appear soft and tempting. But if these donuts contain the common donut ingredients, then you shouldn’t offer them to your furry, little friend.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, a donut is only as good or as bad as the ingredients used in its preparation.

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How Many Donuts Can A Dog Eat Daily?

Dog owners who are adamant about offering donuts to their dogs may be wondering, can dogs eat one donut or should I increase the portions?

Without meaning to belabor the point, your dog is better off without a donut. But if you feel the compulsion to share this tasty human treat with your canine friend, then closely watch the amounts of donuts that you offer to your dog.

Typically, a dog shouldn’t’ eat more than one donut per day. The quantity might even be lower, depending on a few factors.

For instance, the smaller or younger the dog is, the less donut it should eat. Pregnant dogs, as well as older and sickly dogs, should eat the least amount of donuts. That’s because they have the most vulnerable bodies due to their suppressed immunities.

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What happens when a dog eats a donut?

It’s not unusual to find a dog owner wondering to themselves, my dog ate powdered donuts, what will happen?

Well, as we mentioned before, the side effects of dogs eating donuts vary in number and intensity. The most severe effects will result from the ingredient that the dog is most averse to. However, gastrointestinal complications will almost always occur.

It’s worse if you’re dealing with donut-stealing dogs that will always sneak behind your back and help themselves to your donuts.

If your pooch has developed a craving for donuts, you need to practice safe measures when offering this snack to the dog.

The conventional wisdom is to find a good alternative to donuts, such as Threepaws Gourmet Organic Vegan Dog Treats.

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Will Eating A Donut Kill My Dog?

Not immediately. But depending on the toxicity of the ingredients used and the number of donuts your dog has eaten, death could come slowly.

If you can, avoid giving your dog any donuts. Remember, the pet food market teems with hundreds of safer and healthier alternatives that you can try out.

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Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic Golden Retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

Recent Content does not intend to provide veterinary advice. While we provide information resourced and canine education, the content here is not a substitute for veterinary guidance.

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