Are Pancakes Safe For Dogs To Eat, Actually?

Written by Amber LaRock
Published: August 4, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/Viorel Kurnosov
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Pancakes are a staple breakfast food for many families. The aroma of fresh pancakes filling a home is irresistible, especially for the canine friends in our life. A plate of fresh flapjacks will have your dog running to your side for a chance at a bite, but are pancakes safe for dogs to eat?

Here are some safety guidelines that you should follow when offering your dog this tasty treat. Let’s dive into the details of pancakes for dogs below!

Can Dogs Eat Pancakes?

Most pancakes are made up of eggs, milk, flour, and pancake batter, none of which is toxic for our canine friends. That means that most dogs can safely eat a bite or two of a plain pancake without any toppings. Though there is no nutritional value in this special treat, it should not cause any harm when offered in a small serving.

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It is important to keep in mind that some dogs do have dairy and egg sensitivity, though. If you know that your dog struggles with these ingredients in any other form, you shouldn’t offer them in pancake form either. It’s also important to keep a close eye on your dog the first time you offer them a bite of your pancakes, as if they have any GI upset, you will want to refrain from doing so again.

How Many Pancakes Can Dogs Eat?

If you are offering your dog some of your pancake breakfast, it should never be more than a small bite or two. Pancakes are filled with sugar and carbs that are not ideal for dogs to eat in large servings, as this can lead to an upset stomach and uncomfortable bloating.

You also want to make sure that your dog is not getting full off of the pancakes you gave them, as this may lead to them shying away from their standard diet. Pancakes offer no nutritional value to dogs, so we never want them to turn their nose up to what’s actually good for them. A high quality dog food is where your pup will receive the beneficial nutrients that help them thrive, so you should make sure that their breakfast only consists of dog food.

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Can Dogs Eat Pancakes Every Day?

A bite or two of a plain pancake is fine once a week at most, but it should never become a part of your dog’s standard daily diet. Even a small serving of pancakes daily can increase the risk of weight gain and obesity in dogs, as their bodies are not meant to process such a high amount of sugar and carbs. Canine obesity is known to contribute to the development of many chronic medical conditions, each of which we want to prevent to the best of our ability.

It’s also important to keep in mind that dogs have a 10% rule when it comes to their daily treat intake. This means that the calories from treats they get each day should not exceed more than 10% of their daily caloric intake, and pancakes certainly might cross this boundary. If anything, it just fills up their daily treat allotment, meaning they can’t benefit from snacks that actually offer nutritional value.

Pancake Toppings That Are Not Safe For Dogs

Plain pancakes may be safe for dogs in small amounts, but many of the common pancake toppings are not. Part of what makes pancakes so delicious is the sweet toppings that we smother them in, but each of these ingredients can lead to significant gastrointestinal upset for dogs.

To make sure you are aware of what ingredients you should always keep away from your pup, let’s list some of the common pancake toppings that are not safe for dogs below.

  • Butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Chocolate chips
  • Whipped cream
  • Nutella
  • Fruit compote, as it is high in sugar
  • Caramel
  • Jam

If you use any other pancake toppings that are high in sugar or fat, it’s best to keep them away from your dog.

Pancake Toppings That Are Safe For Dogs

Now that you know which pancake toppings you shouldn’t give to your dog, let’s list a few delicious toppings that are dog-safe for an early morning snack. Keep in mind that not only are these food items okay for your pup to eat with a bite of pancake, but they can also be offered to your dog on their own.

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Peanut butter, as long as it does not contain xylitol
  • Apple slices
  • Mango

Each of the toppings listed above are safe for our canine friends to eat, but they will still need to be offered in small servings. To learn more about which fruits are safe for dogs to eat, check out our detailed guide here.

Can Pancakes Make My Dog Sick?

Too much of a good thing can make anyone sick, especially our dogs. Eating too many pancakes can lead to a seriously upset stomach in dogs, with many pups experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and even anorexia. Not only will the high sugar and carbs content in pancakes upset their digestive tract, but many dogs do not know when to stop eating. Because of this, some dogs will get dangerously full to the point of severe abdominal pain.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Too Many Pancakes?

If your dog has accidently consumed too many pancakes, there are a few ways to handle the situation. First, if you think they only ate a few too many bites without any dangerous toppings, it is typically safe to just monitor your dog at home for the next 12-24 hours. If they do not develop any GI upset, they are typically just fine. If they do begin to feel ill, we suggest having them seen by a vet.

If your dog ate a significant amount of pancakes, they may soon struggle with painful bloating and additional GI complications. Due to how uncomfortable this bloating can be, we suggest at least giving your vet a call to see how they would like to proceed. In many cases, they will suggest coming in to induce vomiting to relive the pressure in your dog’s stomach.

And last, if your dog ate any toppings that can be potentially harmful, especially chocolate, we always suggest giving your vet a call. They will ask you how much your dog weighs and how much of the topping they consumed, and they will offer you guidance based on the risks associated.

Final Thoughts

A small bite of a plain pancake is fine for dogs from time to time, but it should never become a part of their morning routine. Pancakes are high in both sugar and carbs, so there are much better alternatives when it comes to sweet treats for dogs.

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About the Author

My name is Amber, and I am a Licensed Vet Tech with a degree in Veterinary Technology. My love for animals and their pet parents drove me to work remotely in this field, aiming to provide pet education and guidance whenever it's needed. There’s nothing I love more than helping you feel empowered about your dog or cat’s care!