In this research you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Fruit Cake Or Christmas Cake?“.
In addition to being one of my favourite cakes fruit cake is also one of my favourite foods.
It would be hard to share a piece with anyone let alone my dogs.
When it comes to a vegetarian who enjoys the variety of veg far more than the meat on offer during a Christmas dinner.
My favourite time of the day is when the Christmas cake finally appears on the table.
Putting jokes aside is fruit cake something that should be shared with our dogs?
Let me begin by taking a look at the history of this amazing cake.
What is fruitcake?
The history of fruit cakes dates back almost as far as ancient Rome when barley mash was mixed with seeds nuts and raisins.
Fruit cake is popular in many countries around the world particularly in Europe.
The same basic recipe is interpreted differently in each country.
Interestingly this fruit cake is perhaps less popular in the US since TV host Johny Carson questioned how old some of these cakes are and that there is only one never-ending fruit cake in the world!
Many ingredients make up a basic fruit cake making it incredibly rich and calorie-dense.
Fruit cakes were also known as Christmas cakes due to the fact that they would only be served on special occasions such as Christmas.
Is a Christmas cake dog-friendly? What are the ingredients and how do they interact with your dog?
What are the ingredients in fruit cake?
I’m using the ingredients listed on the wrapping from one of Americas most popular fruit cake makers- Claxton in order to make this as simple as possible.
This famous fruit cake contains sixteen main ingredients.
The ingredients are raisins orange peel flower pineapple cherries almonds pecans walnuts sugar corn syrup water high fructose corn syrup margarine lemon peel and dried eggs.
We will look at each of these ingredients individually in the next section.
The ingredients on food labels are listed in weight order.
Thus raisins are the heaviest ingredient and the most prevalent ingredient in a Christmas cake.
Anyone who has eaten one can attest to its deliciousness.
There is a problem with raisins in that some dogs are highly toxic and could easily die if they consume too many.
You can poison your dog not just with raisins but also with grapes and sultanas.
Now the strange thing is that not all dogs will die from eating a raisin or grape-some dogs will eat a fruit cake and the only consequence will be diarrhea.
Dogs are poisoned occasionally by grapes and raisins and vets do not know why.
Dogs’ kidneys can be damaged by the poison which attacks them.
Veterinarians are not even sure how many grapes a dog will need to eat to be poisoned because there is so much unknown.
However there has been a case of an 18 lb dog who ate four or five grapes and then died.
Its kind of like playing Russian roulette by giving your dog grapes or raisins.
You might want to stop reading now if you know how toxic raisins are to dogs.
If you want to find out how other ingredients in a fruit cake may affect your dog please continue reading.
It will be a relief to know that orange peel is not toxic to your dog after the last ingredient.
In terms of nutrition the orange peel will provide lots of fibre which will help your dogs digestive system. It is also rich in vitamin C (which should not be a surprise).
It is interesting to note that dogs make their own vitamin C so they do not need it.
Even so an extra boost of Vitamin C from time to time would not harm them.
There is no mention of the type of flour used in these cakes.
In any case it does not matter since flour isnot toxic to dogs.
Due to its 70% carbohydrate content it is neither healthy nor nutritious.
This cake however contains enriched flour.
A variety of minerals and vitamins including iron and some B vitamins have been added to the flour.
Your dog will not be harmed by any of these.
Dogs can eat pineapples without getting sick.
Many people believe pineapple can prevent dogs from eating their own poop!
Pineapples contain about 10% sugar and 1.5% fibre.
People often believe that pineapple is very high in fibre but there are many foods that contain more fibre- such as sweet potatoes.
I find it interesting that pineapple contains lots of only one vitamin- vitamin C. The other vitamins should have been higher in pineapple.
There is a misconception that cherries are toxic to dogs but they are not.
It is the cherry pits (seeds) that contain a substance similar to cyanide that gets bad press.
Despite the fact that cherry pits contain cyanide your dog would have to consume a great deal of them to be poisoned.
Cherry juice contains 13% sugar and 2% fibre – I told you pineapple does not have that much fibre!
Cherries do not provide that much in the way of minerals or vitamins.
The most abundant vitamin in cherries is vitamin C but it does not contain that much.
Cherries are a good source of copper and potassium.
As well as supporting your dogs bone health copper will help his metabolism.
In order for your dogs heart to beat steadily potassium plays a key role.
We move from fruit to nuts.
Dog lovers should be aware that this is a highly controversial issue.
While almonds are not toxic to dogs like all nuts they are not a wise choice for your dog for two reasons.
Firstly nuts are very high in fat.
The fat content of almonds is 54%.
The equivalent amount of vanilla ice cream has almost three times the calories!
Foods this high in fat are difficult to digest for dogs.
Second dogs are prone to choking on nuts or the nut may lodge itself in the intestines if they do not choke on it.
Pecans and walnuts
Walnuts and pecans have the same undesirable characteristics as almonds but with an additional layer of danger.
Black mould can sometimes grow on pecans and walnuts and this black mould contains a substance that is highly toxic to dogs – juglone.
In spite of this it is very unlikely that the nuts used in a fruit cake will contain black mould so you can rest easy knowing that these nuts are not toxic for your dog.
Sugar corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup
All of the next set of ingredients are sugar so they have been grouped together.
Although we know what sugar is we may not be familiar with what corn syrup is.
The starch of corn is used to make corn syrup.
Different enzymes are added to the starch to make it.
Corn syrup is essentially just a mix of different types of sugar such as glucose and maltose.
Sugar makes up 77% of corn syrup.
Corn syrup differs from high fructose corn syrup in that the glucose in corn syrup has been converted into fructose.
In terms of nutrition corn syrup is no different from high fructose corn syrup.
Just that the fructose version is significantly cheaper to purchase.
Too much sugar in the diet of a dog will have negative effects but I’d rather not state the obvious.
The link between it and obesity is well known.
Therefore I will end here.
This research will end with a discussion of alcohol.
What are you talking about?
While alcohol hasnot been mentioned before it is an important ingredient in some fruit cake recipes.
Whenever my wife bakes fruitcakes for Christmas she “feeds” the cakes alcohol.
That is you add small amounts of strong alcohol to the cakes after they are made such as rum or brandy.
It is toxic to dogs and the amount of poisoning depends on the size of your dog and how much alcohol they consume.
Fruit cakes from stores typically do not contain alcohol although some do.
Christmas cakes are often laced with alcohol when they are homemade.
If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.