Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake?

By John Martin - August 4, 2021

Slice of carrot cake

There is no black and white answer to this question. It depends on what your carrot cake is made of, meaning the ingredients and whether or not your dog has any allergies, that might trigger an adverse reaction.

You can find a lot of recipes online that tell you how to make a carrot cake that is good for your dog. You can also ignore all of that and make a cake for the humans but then don’t let your dog anywhere near it.

Let’s see why that is.

Potential Health Benefits

Carrots have a lot of vitamins and fiber that can be good for dogs. They are also low on calories if weight gain is a concern for your pup.

Carrots also have antioxidants which are good for the immune system. In dogs, they also help reduce the risk of cancer.

So, theoretically speaking, carrot cake is not only a good idea but it might even be good for your dog. You might even think about giving carrots to your dog as a health supplement.

But there’s more.

  1. Carrots are healthy sweet which makes them a good choice for a treat for your dog. As mentioned earlier, they are low on calories, so you don’t have to worry about giving too many treats to your dog. Since carrots are low on fiber, they will keep your dog full for a longer period of time and they are also good for the digestive system.
  1. Carrots also contain a good deal of vitamin A which is great for your pup’s eye health. Along with giving a good boost to your puppy’s immune system, the vitamins in carrots are also good for their coat and skin.
  1. Raw carrots are also good for your dog’s teeth because while the dog is chomping on the carrot, it gets rid of tartar build-up or plaque on its teeth. This is one of the easier ways to keep your puppy’s teeth clean.

Potential Problems

Just because it is a healthy food item doesn’t mean your dog gets an all-access pass to all things made of carrot. That includes thinking about carrot cake because there are several other ingredients in it.

So that’s where we start. Carrot cake in theory is not a bad idea for dogs at all.

But since it is a cake and has a lot of sugar it might lead to stomach aches if your dog ends up eating too much of it. You must consider the amount of cake they are eating but you must also think about table scraps so that they don’t consume more than they can handle.

It is also important to keep an eye on them for a couple of days to ensure there is no adverse reaction from the cake. If your dog starts to puke or has diarrhea, it is probably because of the high sugar levels in the cake.

That means it is time to take them to the vet.

Also, remember that carrot cake is often made with ingredients like nuts and raisins. According to the ASPCA, these are toxic and might cause major problems like pancreatitis and kidney failure among dogs.

So, if you give your dog a piece of carrot cake that has either of these ingredients, they will automatically be in trouble. If they accidentally consume table scraps or fish some out of the trash can, you must rush them to the vet immediately.

If you even suspect that they might have consumed a little bit, take them to the emergency room and be prepared to have them kept under observation for the night.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels?

Is Carrot Cake Good or Bad for Dogs?

We’ll get to the part about ingredients in a minute. But before that, let’s look at the prospects of carrot cake ever being good for a dog.

Carrot cake contains vitamin A, calcium, carbs and fats. It also has some protein and other nutrients in small amounts which are all good for dogs in general.

But if you give your dog healthy, nutritional food, they are already getting a balanced diet. So, don’t be under the impression that you are giving them carrot cake for the sake of their health.

Like they say, too much of even the good stuff isn’t a great idea. So, consider the possibility that a lot of carrot cake might lead to an imbalance in their already balanced diet.

Strictly in terms of safety, carrot cake when done well is not a bad idea but it should be given occasionally and in moderation.

Now let’s talk about the impact of carrot cake on their system in the long run. We have already touched upon the problem with the high level of sugar in the cake.

Remember that it can lead to obesity, which is a problem with some breeds of dogs. So, watch out for that with respect to the dog you have.

Sugary treats are also a problem in terms of dental hygiene and can lead to loss of teeth. So, once again, check if your dog’s breed is prone to dental problems and keep that in mind when you are giving them the cake.

And now about the ingredients and the specific problems they can cause irrespective of the breed.

About the Ingredients

  • If the cake has raisins in it, remember that grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure and lead to general stomach problems that can quickly turn fatal for dogs.
  • Then there are walnuts which are not specifically toxic but they do have the capacity to carry fungi like mycotoxins which can lead to neurological problems and seizures.
  • You should also watch out for macadamia nuts because they can lead to paralysis in the hind legs or induce vomiting in dogs even if it is a very small quantity.
  • If you are thinking of adding artificial sweeteners like xylitol for the frosting, that is absolutely poisonous to any breed of dog. They are also known to cause liver failure.
  • You should know already that chocolate has caffeine and theobromines which are poisonous to dogs.
  • Sultanas are another kind of raisins that don’t have as much water but are quite toxic to dogs.

If your carrot cake has any of these ingredients, keep that piece of cake as far away from your dog as possible.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Rambutan?

What about Frosting?

Frosting is a common element on a cake and typically a carrot cake gets a cream cheese frosting. In theory, this is not the worst thing in the world for your dog.

But remember that it has a lot of vanilla and powdered sugar which is not good. At this point, we will assume that you’re not decorating it with nuts.

Vanilla, even when used as a small portion in the form of an extract, has a lot of sugar which can easily cause stomach upset. So, if you are making a carrot cake with frosting and nuts for the humans in the house, it is most definitely not a good idea to let your dog taste it.

What If They Eat It by Mistake?

But, if by mistake, your canine happens to get a whiff of it and finds some on the table or the trash can, you need to take some necessary steps to make sure they don’t get into trouble.

Try to determine the amount of carrot cake and if you have used frosting or nuts on it. If it is a small piece, they might experience stomach upset which means you’re on barf patrol.

If there are no other elements that are toxic to them you might be okay but if there are, take them to the vet as soon as you can. If you can’t go, at least call your vet and find out what you can do.

If you have been giving them carrot cake for a while, you might want to start keeping an eye on their weight to make sure their health isn’t being disturbed. If they are gaining weight faster than they should, it’s time to cut down on the sugary treats.

You can do a risk assessment based on the size of your pup, the amount of cake they had and the list of ingredients. It also helps you determine if you need to rush to the emergency vet.

If your cake has any of the poisonous ingredients, don’t stop till you catch hold of a vet and get their advice on the next set of steps.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Jello?

Wrapping Up

There are lots of ways to look at whether or not a slice of carrot cake is good or not for your dog. You must start by looking at the ingredients and see if any of them are toxic to your dog.

You must also try to figure out if any of the extracts in the store-bought canned and powdered items have ingredients that could potentially endanger your dog’s stomach, kidneys or liver.

Once you make a thorough assessment, you must decide if you want to make a carrot cake that won’t harm your dog as much or make one that you like and keep it completely out of their reach.