Whether you’re indulging at the Cheesecake Factory and taking home leftovers or you decide to make a cheesecake from scratch, you may find yourself wondering – can dogs eat cheesecake safely?
While cheesecake is okay in moderation, it shouldn’t be consumed regularly for dogs, or people, for that matter. Cheesecake contains high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, and fat, which make it a calorie laden dessert. Here’s everything you need to know about feeding your dog cheesecake.
What is Cheesecake?
Simply defined, cheesecake is a relatively sweet dessert composed of several different layers. Usually, cheesecake is made out of cream, cream cheese, butter, egg, vanilla, sugar, sour cream, and graham crackers. There is plenty of debate amongst people about whether or not cheesecake is actually cake. However, it is an incredibly popular dessert with loyal lovers. Cheesecake comes in a variety of flavors including but not limited to chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin, lemon, and other fruits, spices, and nuts.
History of Cheesecake
According to Cheesecake.com, cheesecake has a long running history as one of the most popular and coveted desserts of all time. While it’s not known exactly when cheesecake was first invented, historians expect it was around as early as 230 A.D. in Greece when writer Athenaeus wrote what’s believed to be the first cheesecake recipe. For as long as we’ve loved dogs as humans companions, there has been cheesecake!
Today, cheesecake takes plenty of forms and variations around the world and in America. From New York style cheesecake to the Japanese combination of cornstarch and egg whites, cheesecake is a beloved dessert by many – including dogs!
How to Safely Feed Your Dog Cheesecake
Dogs can safely eat cheesecake in moderation as long as it contains simple ingredients. If you’re going to feed your dog cheesecake, make sure it mostly contains ingredients like butter, cream, cream cheese, egg, minimal sugar, sour cream, and graham crackers.
In fact, dogs can safely eat cheesecake that’s specially made for them! If you’re cooking dessert for your loved ones and want your dog to be able to join in on the fun, making them their own special cheesecake can help them feel included and loved. After all, dogs, much like humans, see food as love! When done correctly, cheesecake can actually be a wonderful treat for your dog.
To make your dog a delicious and special cheesecake, here are ingredients they can safely consume:
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Graham crackers
- Whipped cream
- Fresh fruits (berries, apples, bananas, etc.)
- Peanut butter
- Sweet potato
Types of Cheesecake Your Dog Needs to Avoid
While there are plenty of safe ways for your dog to consume cheesecake, there are plenty of types of cheesecake that should be avoided at all costs to keep your dog safe.
Under no circumstances should your dog consume the following types of cheesecake.
- Chocolate cheesecake. Chocolate is highly, highly toxic to dogs. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is easy to digest for humans but not for dogs. Dogs are not able to properly metabolize chocolate like we can. Generally, as a rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to your dog. Chocolate poisoning in dogs can look like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, panting, frequent urination, and a rapid heart rate.
- Lemon cheesecake. While lemon isn’t toxic to dogs, it can cause gastrointestinal upset. Citrus fruits are toxic to dogs, specifically lemon, as ASPCA reports. The psoralen compounds and essential oils in lemon can spell disaster for your dog. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and dermatitis. This goes for all citrus fruits, not just lemons.
- Cheesecake sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol is a common artificial sweetener that exploded in popularity as people ran away from consuming sugar in droves. If there’s one substance you should never, ever let your dog consume, it’s xylitol. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, while xylitol doesn’t stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas in humans, with dogs, it’s quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and floods the body with a potent amount of insulin. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, this quick release of insulin leads to a notable drop in blood sugar. This drastic drop in blood sugar can cause your dog to vomit, seize, tremor, go comatose, and even die. Xylitol is also known to cause kidney failure in dogs. Avoid feeding your dog xylitol at all costs.
- Coffee cheesecake. Similar to chocolate, dogs can’t properly metabolize coffee – specifically caffeine. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, caffeine raises blood pressure and can cause cardiac irregularities. It can also cause tremors, seizures, vomiting, and diarrhea. Large amounts of caffeine can be potentially fatal.
When giving your dog cheesecake, avoiding certain ingredients can help prevent unnecessary trips to the vet or potential health issues. Keeping your dog happy and healthy is of the utmost priority, especially when you want to give them a treat!
Other Desserts That Are Safe For Your Dog
Cheesecake isn’t the only dessert that’s safe for your dog! When feeding your dog dessert, it’s important to know what’s healthy for them and what isn’t. Here are some perfectly safe desserts for your dog, alongside cheesecake:
- Oatmeal cookies
- Peanut butter based desserts
- Sweet potatoes with whipped cream
- Yogurt with berries
- Pumpkin based desserts
- Fruit popsicles
- Banana pudding
- Carrot based desserts
- Berries and cream
- Apple based desserts
- Zucchini bread
With all the delicious options you can feed your dog safely, they won’t be missing out on chocolate or xylitol.
Desserts That Are Toxic For Your Dog
While there are plenty of dessert options for your dog to eat safely, there are some that should never be consumed. Here are some potentially toxic and even dangerous desserts your dog should stay away from:Ice cream (simple vanilla is fine in moderation)
- Anything with raisins or grapes
- Anything with chocolate
- Anything with caffeine
- Anything with xylitol
- Anything with nuts
- Citrus fruit based desserts
- Nutmeg, cinnamon, and other desserts with spices
In Summary – Can Dogs Eat Cheesecake?
All in all, your dog can eat cheesecake safely from time to time. While sugar isn’t great for your dog (or us), your dog will get a kick out of this delicious dessert on occasion when consumed in moderation.