Let’s face it, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin donuts are very tempting for everyone, including dogs, but can you allow your dog to eat a donut? The answer is no. The dog’s digestive system isn’t as capable as a human’s. Due to the high metabolic rate in humans, they digest methylxanthines (coco, caffeine) efficiently, whereas a dog cannot.
Stay – put till the end of this article to know why a donut is harmful to a dog and what you should do if your dog eats a donut.
Why is a donut harmful to dogs?
Do not fall for those adorable puppy eyes, as sharing is caring does not apply to chocolate donuts or other chocolate-based food. Chocolate contains theobromine which is not digested by a dog’s digestive system and can be lethal. Donuts play no role in providing any nutrition to a dog.
As a dog does not require as many calories as a human does, eating a lot of fats and sugar can cause acute disorders like pancreatitis, diabetes, and obesity.
Although peanuts are safe for a dog to eat, other nuts like walnuts and macadamia nuts are toxic and lead to upset stomach, shaking, fever and vomiting. If the glucose content in a dog’s body reaches rock bottom, it can lose energy, brain functioning, etc. Xylitol is also a common ingredient found in sugar candy, baked items, toothpaste, and, yes, donuts. Xylitol significantly reduces blood sugar levels below the standard limit as it performs a similar function as insulin.
Donuts are made with ingredients that are unhealthy and toxic for dogs. The uncooked dough is harmful to a dog as it swells in the stomach, which leads to a great deal of discomfort. In addition to that, dough obtained from fermentation leads to the production of alcohol which is another harmful ingredient for a dog.
Excess sugar can cause diabetes, and eggs carry bacteria that can cause suffering and illness in a dog.
AUTHORS NOTE: Some other harmful foods to a dog include grapes, onions, avocado, dairy products, nuts, etc.
How can you prevent your dog from eating a donut?
Dogs try to eat everything they can get their hands on, stuff that Is good for them, bad for them, and even inedible stuff.
Firstly refrain your dog from developing a habit of eating food containing sugar and chocolate as it is addictive. It will help if you keep your garbage bin out of reach from your dog, as rummaging through waste might expose dogs to other toxins.
Avoid leaving food with high sugar contents and spice unattended. Housetrain your dog, so it behaves well even in your absence. Keep the donuts out of reach.
AUTHORS NOTE – If you can’t reach your vet in case of an emergency, you should have helpline numbers of Animal Poison Control Clinic (ASPCA) and a local clinic handy. You can write it on a post-it and stick it to the refrigerator or a pin-up board.
What should you do if your dog eats a chocolate donut?
If your dog has eaten donuts, you will notice symptoms like hyperactivity due to sugar rush, tremors, excessive urination, increased heart rate, etc.
The treatment depends on the amount of theobromine present in the system, and to determine that, you should scan the room for any wrappers to get an idea of the extent of poisoning your dog must be having. The most common questions a vet asks, which help a lot in treating your dog, are when your dog ate a chocolate donut? How many donuts did your dog eat?
Time plays a prominent role when it comes to treating chocolate poisoning. It would be best if you took your dog to the vet immediately after you suspect your dog has eaten a chocolate donut because the less time you take, a less invasive course of treatment is followed.
Drugs are infused through fluids and IV to treat chocolate poisoning. In some cases, antacids and medications stabilize heart rate and provide energy. However, the first and safest course of treatment is to instigate vomiting and flush the poison out of the system. There are times when the theobromine has already progressed. The dog is treated with charcoal which acts as a magnet and clears the system of deadly toxins; it also ceases the absorption of theobromine in the body.
Monitor your dog’s symptoms constantly before taking him to the vet and also a few days after until your dog completely recovers. For a few days after chocolate poisoning, give your dog unseasoned rice and meat.
- Which type of desert is safe for a dog to eat?
- Although you cannot share your favorite desserts containing caffeine and cocoa with your dog, there are some foods you can give your dog to satisfy their sweet cravings. Peanut butter, biscuits, sweet potatoes, and fruit popsicles are the safest dessert options for dogs. Many pet stores have unique desserts made for dogs. Also, fast food chains like Starbucks, Dairy Queen, and Shake Shack offer dog menus and dog treat variations.
- Can a dog completely recover from chocolate poisoning?
- The quicker you treat chocolate poisoning, the faster a dog recovers. On average, a dog completely recovers from chocolate poisoning within 2 days; however, 1% of dogs never recover due to delaying treatment and extremely high theobromine toxicity.
We often go overboard with papering our dogs with whatever they want, but there is a line we should never cross. As dogs don’t understand what’s good for them, our responsibility as caretakers is to make sure they are healthy.
We established so far that addiction to sweets is not healthy for a dog, and gobbling up donuts in excessive amounts can even be fatal. If your dog eats any donuts, you are now prepared to take critical measures.
Let us know if our information was helpful in the comments box below.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.