Dogs and Doughnuts | What Pooch Parents Need to Know

Dogs and Doughnuts | What Pooch Parents Need to Know

Everybody loves doughnuts. But can dogs eat doughnuts? The short answer is no. Find out here why doughnuts can be dangerous for dogs.

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If you are like us, you too probably have a hard time turning down two things: puppy dogs eyes and freshly baked doughnuts. But what if you encounter the two together? Is it safe to share these sugar-loaded sweets with your fur friend, especially when they are begging for a bite with their large round eyes? Can dogs eat doughnuts?

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Dogs and doughnuts do not go together. No matter how eager your pooch might be to try one, you must not give a doughnut to your dog. Regardless of their flavor and type, doughnuts are generally not safe for dogs.

So, what makes doughnuts dangerous for dogs? And what if your pet accidentally eats some?

The following article explains why doughnuts are not suitable for dogs and what owners should do if their fur friend treats themselves to a handful.

Why Are Doughnuts Bad for Dogs?

To better understand the answer, think about what doughnuts really are – in their most rudimentary form.

Hunks of cake batter that have been fried in oil and slathered with sugary syrup or some other kind of scrumptious frosting.

So far, that means they primarily consist of eggs, flour, milk, butter, oil, and of course, sugar. You might be wondering, ‘wait…these ingredients aren’t particularly bad for dogs.’ And you are mostly right – except about sugar, perhaps.

Eggs, in fact, are usually considered a nutritious item for healthy dog diets owing to their high protein composition. Milk can sometimes cause tummy troubles for young dogs. But again, it isn’t really harmful to canines. The same goes for flour and oil. As for butter, you shouldn’t directly feed your pooch a spoonful, but even if you did, it is unlikely to cause any problems except diarrhea at most.

So, why exactly are doughnuts bad for dogs?

Well, the hazard stems from the additional ingredients in doughnuts that are commonly added to enhance flavor and visual appeal.

We have highlighted some of these ingredients below.

Doughnut Ingredients That Are Dangerous for Dogs

Be it plain, glazed, frosted, or filled with fruit preserves, the following ingredients make doughnuts dangerous for dogs:

Artificial Sweeteners

The most notable artificial sweetener – xylitol – is potentially lethal for dogs. It’s interesting to note that xylitol is perfectly safe for humans. However, it can be deadly for our fur friends because of the difference in our metabolism rates. A single doughnut or even a small cookie, for that matter, can be fatal for dogs if it contains a high amount of xylitol.

Remember that nearly all types of store-bought doughnuts contain this chemical compound. Even if xylitol is missing from the list of ingredients, it is bound to contain some other type of artificial sweetener. Needless to say, they are all bad for dogs.


Center-filled doughnuts can be extremely harmful to dogs depending on the type of fruit preserve they contain. Doughnuts made from grape-preserve, for instance, can cause poisoning in dogs. Scientists have yet to pinpoint exactly which compound in grapes and raisins triggers this reaction. But either way, you don’t want to feed any food item containing this fruit to your pet dog.


You might know this already. Chocolate is not safe for dogs. In fact, ingesting only a small amount can present a serious threat to your fur friend. This is mostly because chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine.

Dogs cannot metabolize these natural compounds as well as people can. This can result in diarrhea, hyperactivity, muscle tension, and even seizure. Vets recommend keeping all varieties of chocolate and the derivatives thereof away from dogs.


A few rainbow sprinkles might not make your pet sick. But various other types of topping might cause a lot of distress. Nuts, for instance, are one of the leading reasons behind pet ER visits. Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts etc., not only present a choking hazard but can cause kidney problems in dogs as well.

My Dog Ate a Doughnut: What to Do?

First of all, do not panic. Depending on the type of doughnut and how much they ate, there might be nothing to worry about.

For instance, a Great Dane who picked up some crumbs of a plain doughnut does not signal any health concern. However, if your Chihuahua just feasted on a whole chocolate-covered piece, they might have to see the vet.

Similarly, if the missing doughnuts had any potentially toxic ingredients, such as raisins, consider going to the ER without delay. Or you can contact poison control and let them know about the situation.

Generally speaking, you should give your vet a call even if your dog seems perfectly fine after eating a doughnut. They can advise you on the next step as to whether you should bring your pet for a checkup or just wait it out instead.

Usually, it is a good idea to switch your dog to a light diet for the next few days. A bland meal of rice and unseasoned chicken is a good option. It can help calm an upset stomach and is effective in easing stomach ache too.

Dogs and Doughnut Dilemmas: Symptoms to Watch Out For

In the next 24-36 hours following your dog’s mischief, keep an eye out for the following symptoms. If they experience any of these symptoms after eating a doughnut, take them to the vet immediately:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Hyperactivity
  • Excessive drooling
  • Stomach pain
  • Distended abdomen
  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Lack of coordination

Can Dogs Eat Doughnuts?

As you will probably agree after reading all the aforementioned info, doughnuts are not good for dogs.

A small bite will not necessarily be life-threatening for your pooch. But it’s better to keep all varieties away from your dog. Mostly it’s because many doughnuts do contain ingredients that can cause toxicity in dogs.

Occasionally giving your pooch plain homemade doughnuts that are free of artificial sweeteners may not be a big deal. However, we still advise against it. This is because all doughnuts are packed with sugar. And too much sugar can lead dogs towards obesity and pancreatitis.