Can dogs eat carrot cake? Carrot cake made for humans is too sweet and sugary for dogs. Too much can lead to obesity and dental problems.
Plus, some carrot cake recipes use ingredients like raisins and nuts, which are toxic to dogs.
But, there are plenty of dog-safe carrot cake recipes online if you’re keen to share this treat with your pet.
Generally, you should not give your dog carrot cake made for humans. Stick to dog-safe recipes.
Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake?
If your dog eats a small amount of plain carrot cake made for humans, it’s likely they won’t experience any problems. But, eating large amounts of plain carrot cake, or eating it as a regular part of their diet can cause problems for dogs.
Carrot cake is a sugary food, so too much of it can contribute to tooth decay and dental problems, obesity, and other issues. Overweight dogs are also more likely to experience problems like hip and elbow dysplasia.
This high sugar level can also give your dog an upset stomach if he eats a lot of carrot cake in one sitting.
On top of this, carrot cake often has added ingredients. Some popular ones include sugary frosting on the top, raisins and nuts throughout, or nuts on the top as decoration.
Dangers of Added Ingredients
Many of these extra ingredients are fine for us, but toxic for dogs. So, always check ingredient lists before giving your dog any human food, including carrot cake.
In general, it’s a better idea to find a dog carrot cake recipe online and make this for your dog, rather than sharing your own sugary snack.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s used to make carrot cake, and the impact it has on our dogs.
Dogs and Carrot Cake
Carrot cake is a popular sweet treat, made from flour, eggs, sugar, and grated carrots in its most plain form. But, many people add sweet cream cheese frostings, and sometimes other ingredients like nuts and fruits for extra texture.
In terms of nutrition, carrot cake provides carbohydrates, fat, Vitamin A, calcium, and more.
In its most plain form, carrot cake is generally safe for dogs as an occasional small treat. But, it won’t add anything nutritionally that dogs don’t already get from their regular diet.
Many dogs love raw carrots as a tasty, crunchy snack. But, during the cooking process of carrot cake, this vegetable will lose its crunch. So, dogs may not enjoy it quite as much.
If you’re looking to give your dog carrot cake, there are plenty of recipes that are safer than standard human ones.
Is Carrot Cake Safe for Dogs?
Can dogs eat carrot cake in any situation or should it always be avoided?
With no added ingredients, carrot cake is safe for dogs to eat in a small amount. But, too much of it can cause stomach upsets due to high sugar levels.
If your dog swipes some from the table, it’s a good idea to watch them closely for the next day or two to make sure that they will be okay.
They may experience some vomiting and diarrhea if they eat too much, due to the high sugar content. Call the vet if this happens.
The Main Problem
The main immediate problem with carrot cake occurs when your dog eats added ingredients like raisins or nuts.
These are listed as toxic by ASPCA. On top of symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, raisins can also cause kidney failure in dogs and nuts can cause pancreatitis.
If your dog eats carrot cake with any of these ingredients, you should call your vet straight away.
If in doubt, take them straight to the emergency vet. They may want to keep your dog overnight to watch them.
Is Carrot Cake Good for Dogs?
Ignoring those dangerous added ingredients for a moment, let’s take a look at whether or not carrot cake is ever good for dogs.
Carrot cake provides carbohydrates, fats, vitamin A, calcium, small amounts of protein, and other trace nutrients and vitamins. All of these are necessary parts of your dog’s diet.
But, all of these needed nutrients will already be present in your dog’s diet in the correct amount.
Eating too many treats or extra foods on top of their normal food, no matter how nutritious they are, can lead to nutritional imbalances.
Even dog-safe carrot cake should only ever be fed in small amounts, as an occasional treat.
Your dog really doesn’t need any of the nutrients in this snack, as long as they are already getting a balanced diet from their regular food.
Is Carrot Cake Bad for Dogs?
We’ve already looked at extra ingredients that are unsafe for dogs, so we won’t talk about that again here. If you’ve missed that section, scroll up to the heading ‘Is Carrot Cake Safe for Dogs?’.
Here, we’ll focus on the long term impact of eating too much carrot cake on dogs. The main problem with carrot cake is its high sugar level.
Obesity is a growing problem in dogs. Feeding your dog lots of treats like carrot cake can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
As we said earlier, it’s best to choose a dog safe carrot cake recipe if you want to share this treat with your dog. These are much lower in sugar.
Can Dogs Have Carrot Cake with Frosting?
The most common frosting used on carrot cake is a cream cheese option. At first, this sounds perfectly safe for dogs.
But, the recipe for this frosting usually contains a lot of powdered sugar and vanilla. Some people may decorate it with nuts or other toppings.
Vanilla extract in large amounts can be harmful to dogs, as can too much sugar. A lot of frosting in one sitting can cause upset stomachs in dogs.
Plus, extra decorational ingredients like nuts can be outright toxic for dogs.
It’s best to avoid giving your dog carrot cake with frosting that is meant for humans.
Can Dogs Have Carrot Cake with Nuts?
Dogs should never eat carrot cake with nuts in.
Many nuts are toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially lead to pancreatitis.
If carrot cake has nuts in, don’t try to pick them out. It’s too likely that you will miss some and your dog will ingest the ones you didn’t catch.
Just avoid giving this treat to your dog altogether.
Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake with Raisins?
No, dogs should never eat carrot cake that has raisins in.
Like grapes, raisins are toxic to dogs. As well as symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
If your carrot cake has raisins in, keep it well out of your dog’s reach. Store it somewhere that your dog cannot access and never share it with your pet.
What Should I Do if my Dog Eats Carrot Cake?
If your dog sneaks a small amount of plain carrot cake, you shouldn’t need to worry too much.
They may experience some stomach upset due to the high sugar levels. But as long as there are no extra toxic ingredients, and it was a one time thing, there will likely be no harmful side effects.
If your dog has eaten carrot cake with raisins or nuts in, call your vet straight away. If your vet is closed, take them to the emergency vet.
Do this even if they only ate a small amount. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s health.
If you’ve been feeding your dog plain carrot cake regularly and notice a bit of weight gain, remove this treat from your dog’s regular diet. Too many sugary treats like this are bad for their health.
Dog Carrot Cake Recipes
Can dogs eat carrot cake that’s made without any toxic ingredients? Or made with reduced sugar?
Dog-safe carrot cake recipes do exist! Making one of these is the best way to share this treat with your dog. And, it’s pretty fun!
Basically, these recipes remove the sugar and minimise the fats used. Many use alternatives like honey or added ingredients like peanut butter. Just make sure your peanut butter is xylitol free (this is a sweetener that is toxic to dogs).
Here are some dog carrot cake recipes that we love:
- Recipe Tin Eats Dog Cake: This recipe uses a low fat, sugar free carrot cake and potato frosting!
- Brown Eyed Baker Dog Cake: This recipe is great for novice bakers, with simple instructions and a peanut butter frosting!
If you try either of these, let us know how your baking goes in the comments!
Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake?
So, even though it’s best to leave sugary human carrot cake on the shelf, dogs will love the safer, less sweet versions above.
Do you love making carrot cake for your Lab or other dogs? We would love to hear about your experiences, and if you know of any other great recipes!
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References and Resources
- ‘People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets’, ASPCA
- Marshall, W. (et al), ‘A Review of Osteoarthritis and Obesity: Current Understanding of the Relationship and Benefit of Obesity Treatment and Prevention in the Dog’, Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology (2009)
- Eubig, P. (et al), ‘Acute Renal Failure in Dogs After the Ingestion of Grapes or Raisins: A Retrospective Evaluation of 43 Dogs (1992 – 2002)’, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2008)
- Cortinovis, C. & Caloni, F. ‘Household Food Items Toxic to Dogs and Cats’, Frontiers in Veterinary Science (2016)
- Schweighauser, A. (et al), ‘Toxicosis with Grapes or Raisins Causing Acute Kidney Injury and Neurological Signs in Dogs’, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2020)
- German, A. ‘The Growing Problem of Obesity in Dogs and Cats’, The Journal of Nutrition (2006)
- Logan, E. ‘Dietary Influences on Periodontal Health in Dogs and Cats’, Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice (2006)
- Beynen, A. ‘Sugar in Dog Foods’, Creature Companion (2017)
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website