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Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Safe Recipes

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Dogster Team

Freshly baked carrot cupcakes on a plate

Can Dogs Eat Carrot Cake? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Safe Recipes

VET APPROVED

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

BVM BVS MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

We are all well aware that some human food can be harmful to dogs.  Some foods just don’t have any health benefits for our dogs whereas others are highly toxic to them.  Carrot cake and many other sweet treats are no exception. Dogs shouldn’t eat carrot cake, but if they stole a bite or two, it isn’t going to hurt them provided that it doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients.

If you were planning to give your dog some carrot cake as a special treat for their birthday, we do not recommend it.  However, we have added some dog friendly options you can make instead, in the comfort of your own kitchen. So, even though you can’t share human recipes with your pup, you can make them something just as tasty!

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Dog Shouldn’t Eat Carrot Cake

As a general rule, unless you’re eating a plain piece of meat with no additives or a steamed piece of a safe vegetable, dogs shouldn’t have people food. Our bodily systems are quite different from that of our canine friends, even though we are both omnivorous.

Dog foods are explicitly designed to match nutritional profiles that have been formulated to keep our pups happy and healthy. Extras are a special treat, but you should always give any additional items sparingly.

If you have whipped up some delicious carrot cake, you might look over to your dog salivating and pining for a piece. Even though it might seem harmless to throw them a chunk, it’s best to avoid it if you can. Not only is people food like carrot cake really not healthy for dogs, but it also teaches them bad habits. It could encourage food snatching off of plates, jumping up to counters, and swiping food off of tables, and they could get hold of foods that are much worse for them than carrot cake.

Poor manners can lead to a lot of other problems, so it’s best to avoid giving them carrot cake and other sweet, people-food desserts.

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What’s So Bad About Carrot Cake?

Carrot cake doesn’t necessarily contain toxic ingredients, but it can in some cases. Some pet owners aren’t properly informed about the potential dangers for dogs of certain food items that we’re allowed to eat every day.

If your carrot cake contains basic ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder, and carrots, it won’t kill your dog to try it. However, when you start getting into more indulgent carrot cakes, they can contain lots of rich and sometimes toxic ingredients.

Here are some baking ingredients that can negatively impact your dog:

1. High Sugar Content

sugar_jmexclusives_Pixabay
Image Credit: jmexclusives, Pixabay

High sugar is never something you want in your dog’s diet. Not only does it contribute to issues like weight gain, it also affects other systems in your dog’s body, such as the gastrointestinal system.

Desserts with high volumes of sugar might not be toxic to dogs, but they can definitely cause diarrhea and stomach upset.  So while this isn’t an imminent or life-threatening ingredient, high amounts of sugar should be avoided.


2. Raisins

You might not even think about raisins potentially being toxic for dogs, but they really are! Grapes are one of the fruits that are known for being terrible for our canine friends, causing toxicity, especially when consumed in large quantities.

Raisins are a common ingredient in many baked goods, and they must never be given to your dog.  Even one raisin could cause kidney damage and failure to your dog.  We don’t really know the mechanism by which raisins and grapes are so damaging to dogs, but they undoubtedly are.


3. Nuts

Pecan nuts
Image Credit: gresei, Shutterstock

Nuts can be very toxic to several animals. For dogs, however, they aren’t a huge area of concern. However, nuts like macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs. Luckily, that’s not a common ingredient found in carrot cake.

However, some nuts can cause mild gastrointestinal upset in dogs, even if they aren’t inherently toxic to dogs. Thankfully, every recipe is different, and not all carrot cake recipes contain nuts.


4. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is unfortunately a spice that isn’t safe for our canine companions. Even though nutmeg smells fantastic and spruces up all sorts of recipes, you have to keep it away from your little pup. Nutmeg is a very common ingredient in carrot cake, alongside others like ginger and cinnamon.

However, nutmeg is the only one of those three that seems to be problematic for our pups. It contains a substance called myristicin, which can cause stomach upset,  disorientation and seizures.


5. Chocolate

Chocolate is another no-no ingredient, but it is also not commonly found in traditional carrot cakes. However, we wanted to ensure that you knew that because of certain components in chocolate, it is an absolute no-go for your pup.

Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine, which can be highly toxic for dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more intense the effects.

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Carrot Cake Recipes for Dogs

Now that we’ve gone on and on about human carrot cake for dogs, it’s time to get to the sweet part! Here are a couple of top-notch recipes you can whip up for your dog so they can enjoy some yummy cake, too.

Carrot Cake for Dogs Featured Pin

Kathleen’s Cravings Dog Carrot Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 cup cakes

Ingredients
 

  • Whole wheat flour
  • Baking powder
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Carrots
  • Water
  • Applesauce
  • Coconut oil
  • Egg

Frosting

  • Plain yogurt
  • Peanut butter

Instructions
 

  • This particular recipe really is the whole shebang. Your pup will enjoy the wonderful flavors of these various ingredients. Keep in mind that this might not be the best recipe if you have a particularly sensitive pooch or one that is intolerant to lactose.
  • Pay very close attention to the ingredients so you can pinpoint anything that might be triggering if your dog has a lot of known sensitivities or food allergies.

2. The Bake Dept Carrot Peanut Butter Cake

The Bake Dept Carrot Peanut Butter Cake

Ingredients
  • Egg
  • Peanut butter
  • Canola oil
  • Honey
  • Carrot, shredded
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Baking soda

This carrot cake recipe has a handful of ingredients, all of which are perfectly safe for most dogs. However, if you have a gluten intolerant dog, it does contain whole wheat flour. You’re welcome to substitute it with a gluten-free flour.

Ultimately, your dog will love the combination of the peanut butter and carrot, combining into one yummy snack. Plus, they get some serious nutrition here, including a protein boost.


3. Gone to the Snow Dogs Homemade Carrot Cake

Gone to the Snow Dogs Homemade Carrot Cake

 

Ingredients
  • Peanut butter
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut oil
  • Egg
  • Vanilla seeds (not vanilla extract as this contains alcohol which is toxic to dogs)
  • Shredded carrots
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Whipped cream

This recipe gives a little extra pizzazz. With whipped cream and maple syrup, it is a high fat recipe, so absolutely go sparingly. Remember a little goes a long way, so you can minimize the calorie intake. You can avoid these highly calorific ingredients altogether, to produce a healthier version.

However, if it’s your dog’s birthday or another special occasion, what better way to give them a sweet treat they can delight in on this special day?

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Conclusion

Now you understand a little bit more about why our canine companions cannot enjoy human carrot cake in the same way that we can. However, they can have dog-friendly options that are just as yummy and even healthy in some cases. Did you find any interesting recipes you’d like to try with your pooch?


Featured Image Credit: Wiktory, Shutterstock

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