Can Dogs Eat Donuts? Will Donuts Hurt Dogs?

When it comes to dogs, donuts may be more like oil and water.

Technically, a dog can eat donuts. You may not need to dial your vet after your pooch takes a bite off the donut.

However, this doesn’t mean this snack is healthy for them. 

Like humans, dogs like the scent of good things. So, Frankie may be eager to have a taste of that piece of donut you bought while getting back from work.

It is hard to refuse an enthusiastic and cute doggy, and isn’t sharing a sign of care? 

Before you do that, you should understand what nutritional value a donut contains and whether it will be of any advantage to dogs.

A little bite may not hurt, but it will whet his appetite for more, leading him to grab any full donut lying around.

Can dogs eat donuts? Will your dog be in danger if that happens? What should you do?

These aren’t questions with short replies. Thus, let’s look into the donuts and their benefits (or downsides) to dogs.

What You Should Know About Donuts

A donut is a form of leavened dough that keeps rising in popularity.

Many see it as an everyday snack, and it is common to see a lad strut by with a piece of donut in hand, or an office worker helping herself to some donut and coffee before the day’s job begins.

Hollywood has contributed to the fame of these snacks, and many movies portray donuts as the favorite of cops. 

The main ingredients of donuts are flour, sugar, milk, salt, egg, and yeast. The nutritional value of a 100g donuts is shown below:

  • Calories: 452
  • Fat: 25g
  • Cholesterol: 19mg
  • Sodium: 326mg
  • Potassium: 201mg
  • Carbohydrates: 51g
  • Protein: 4.9g
  • Caffeine: 2mg

From the list, it is clear that donut is a good source of carbohydrates and fat, but a poor source of protein.

It also has calories which do lead to weight gain. This is why a donut is reserved as a snack, not the main meal.

What does the nutritional value mean for dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Donuts?

Plain and Chocolate Donuts with Toppings

A dog’s main meal should be rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. Donuts fail woefully at this.

The high level of carbohydrates is more than a dog needs, and your pooch definitely shouldn’t take in the number of calories that donuts contain. 

This high level of calories is a ticket to many health issues in a dog.

Too many donuts can affect a dog’s heart, make him pile on pounds, and bring about other medical conditions like diabetes, joint pain, and organ difficulties.

Too many carbohydrates can also affect a dog. Besides the added pounds, carbs can also make a dog prone to diabetes and cancer.

Dogs and other members of the dog family (like wolves) are made to eat meat. Any food with high carbohydrates should be avoided.

What’s more, donuts come with toppings for better taste. These toppings are sugary and sometimes filled with artificial sweeteners that may be toxic for dogs.

The only benefit donuts have to dogs is the taste. As a treat, donuts can brighten up a dog’s day, as all tasty foods do. It should be kept to a minimum, though.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Plantains? (Chips, Fried or Boiled)

Can Donuts Hurt Dogs?

Like we earlier mentioned, donuts are tasteful and even addictive. To make it better, toppings and sweeteners are often added.

Donuts with toppings sell faster than plain ones, for obvious reasons.

However, these added ingredients maybe the things that would turn a ‘junk but safe’ donut into something toxic to dogs.

One topping your dog should avoid at all costs is chocolate. If you’re a veteran pet parent, this may not come as a surprise to you.

If this is news to you, know that chocolate is harmful to dogs, to the point of being poisonous.

The theobromine in chocolates is toxic to canines, and too much of it is an emergency.

Artificial sweeteners range from unhealthy to toxic. All sweeteners are not suitable for dogs and should be kept away from them.

A toxic sweetener is xylitol, which affects the insulin of a dog’s body. As a result, a dog who consumes xylitol will end up with a low blood sugar level.

Another harmful nutrient in donuts is caffeine. Caffeine wreaks havoc in a dog within half an hour to an hour after it was consumed.

Caffeine will make your dog vomit, get hyperactive and restless, pant excessively, and even suffer from seizures.

Donuts are also harmful to dogs with medical conditions. This includes diabetes, pancreatitis, allergies, lactose intolerance, and any form of digestive problems.

To these dogs, even a bite of donuts may have consequences. 

What Happens When a Dog Eats a Donut?

After eating a donut, your dog would either get back to his normal activities without a hitch or display unusual symptoms after some hours.

This depends a lot on the amount consumed, the ingredients in the eaten donut, and the health and size of your dog. A large breed dog may not react the same way as a toy lapdog.

If your dog eats a little plain donut, he should be fine. It would only be a problem if the said dog is diabetic or allergic to any ingredient used in the donut. 

If your dog eats a lot of donuts, he may be in for a painful ride. Too many donuts can cause a stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.

These symptoms usually don’t last and can be taken care of at home.

Contact your vet for advice while you do this, and take your dog to the veterinarian if the symptoms persist.

Dogs who eat donuts with chocolate face the extra risk of chocolate poisoning. Your dog may be lucky if he is large and eats only a little chocolate, but this is not often the case.

Chocolate poisoning kicks in between 4 to 24 hours and shows symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, unusual movements, restlessness, and even seizures.

Do nothing other than take your dog for treatment if he displays these symptoms. 

If the donut contains xylitol, your dog is in more danger. Symptoms of xylitol include vomiting, weakness, lethargy, and fainting spells. These symptoms show up after at least 30 minutes.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Jelly? Is Jelly Bad For Dogs?

My Dog Ate a Donut, What Do I Do?

Dog laying on the floor

If you stumble on your dog helping himself to some donut, take the remaining away from him.

He may protest, but it is the best move. This would help lessen potential damages. 

After that, know what kind of donuts your dog ate

Donuts with sugar may do nothing more than cause a stomach ache, but make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol or some other toxic fillers. If they do, treat the case as an emergency.

Also, take note of the time your doggy friend ate the donut. Potential symptoms may appear after some minutes. 

If your pooch eats chocolate frosting, figure out the quantity eaten and the time it was eaten. The type of chocolate may be important as well.

When your dog eats too many donuts or those with chocolates and xylitol, it is best to take him to the vet.

How Can a Veterinarian Help My Dog? 

Your veterinarian’s move will depend on the exact problem your dog has.

A dog who ate a large number of plain donuts will not encounter the same problems as one who ate donuts with chocolates.

Treatments depend on many factors, but here are some procedures up expect:

  • Overfeeding: When your dog eats a large number of donuts, he may recover after one or two days.

    The veterinarian may work towards stopping the immediate symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and give him an IV drip to gain back his strength.
  • Harmful ingredient: While eating donuts, your dog may have taken in a lot of harmful ingredients.

    In this case, your vet may give the ailing dog an injection to make him vomit the harmful ingredient. This works best when the problem was discovered in time. 
  • Chocolate intake: If your dog is diagnosed with chocolate poisoning, your vet will take more time treating him. The vet may suggest a blood test to ascertain the level of damage the chocolate has done.

    They may remain in the hospital for some time to get treated. The best way a dog can survive theobromine intake is to have it removed from his body. If the problem is detected late or is too severe, you may lose your canine buddy. 
  • Xylitol: Like chocolates, we’ve established that xylitol is harmful to dogs. Here, your dog may equally undergo a blood test to detect any organ damages.

    The xylitol has to be removed from your dog, and the vet will monitor his sugar level. Xylitol can also be fatal. 

Will My Dog be Okay After Eating Donuts?

It may be scary to consider losing your dog to a delicious snack like donuts, but it isn’t always the case.

A small bite of a donut may not harm your dog, especially when it is without fillers or toppings.

Early treatments will help a dog survive the consumption of harmful ingredients. Also, keep donuts away from the reach of your pooch.

Related Questions

Can donuts kill dogs?

Donuts offer little nutrition to a dog, and shouldn’t be fed to him regularly. However, eating donuts isn’t fatal to a dog.

Only donuts with harmful ingredients like xylitol and chocolate can affect a dog to the point of being fatal. 

Can dogs eat Dunkin donuts?

Dunkin donuts are a delicious treat for humans but are not recommended for dogs. When you’re at Dunkin with your pet dog, you can request a dog treat to avoid your dog feeling bad while you eat. 

Can dogs eat Krispy Kreme donuts?

Krispy Kreme’s donuts should not be fed to a dog, no matter how much you enjoy it. These donuts have a high amount of sugar and chocolate and were not made for the canine belly. 

Can dogs eat donut holes?

Both donuts and donut holes are not nutritious to dogs. Nonetheless, your dog can eat a donut hole if it is void of harmful ingredients.

Can dogs eat jam donuts?

Donuts and jam are not usually dangerous to dogs unless the jam contains xylitol or your dog has an ailment that requires a strict diet.

Can dogs eat chocolate donuts?

The theobromine in chocolates is deadly to dogs, so do not take it lightly if your dog eats a chocolate donut. Have him checked out by a vet before the condition worsens.

The Bottom Line

Americans and donuts are as close as 5 and 6. No doubt, donuts are one of our top preferred snacks.

This theory is backed by research, as studies have shown that over 200 million Americans ate donuts in 2020, and that may not reduce anytime soon. 

To properly answer the main question of this article, dogs can eat donuts.

However, this doesn’t mean a dog should. Both humans and dogs should see donuts as an occasional treat, not an everyday meal.

To be safe, only feed your dog plain donuts. Anyone with toppings and fillers should not be anywhere close to a dog.



Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

Related Articles

Deprecated: Function get_page_by_title is deprecated since version 6.2.0! Use WP_Query instead. in /home/puplore/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 6078