If you’ve ever had a churro, you know that they are practically impossible to resist. Who could say no to a crispy sugar-coated shell with a fluffy interior? Chances are, even the dog wants a bite. However, for the sake of your dog’s health, say “no” to feeding him a churro.
While an accidental, small bite of a churro isn’t likely to cause many problems for your dog, eating too many churros in too short of a time frame can lead to more serious issues. Keep reading below to learn more about the health concerns of feeding your dog churros.
What Is in a Churro?
Churros are pieces of fried dough, often dipped in a cinnamon and sugar mix. Some churros may be thin and long, while others are short and stout, and some even have a filling inside. However, the most common ingredients in a churro will likely be leavened dough, sugar, and cinnamon.
Churros have a high-fat content, which can be harmful to your dog’s health. This is unlikely to cause many issues in small portions, but in larger amounts, your dog may develop obesity or pancreatitis if he consumes churros often.1 Other health conditions may also occur, so it is best to stay away from the unhealthy, fatty snacks.
Risks Involved with Your Dog Eating a Churro
Beyond the high-fat content, some of the primary ingredients in a churro may be causes for concern. None are inherently toxic, but they may lead to adverse health consequences. These ingredients include dough, sugar, and cinnamon.
Bread or Dough
Bread or cooked dough isn’t toxic to dogs, but it still has the potential to cause complications. However, raw dough can be very dangerous.If your dog snatches dough before it has had the chance to rise, he may experience serious digestive issues if the dough rises in his stomach. Churros are not usually made with yeast or baking soda and these ingredients would be more problematic.
When the dough rises, it releases gasses that can expand your dog’s stomach. If your dog’s stomach expands too far, he may experience bloat.2 Bloat is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach expands so far that it cuts off blood flow from the rest of the body. Without rapid treatment, your dog may experience shock and even death.
If you suspect your dog ate raw dough, seek veterinary help immediately.
We’re sure this doesn’t surprise you, but sugar is not healthy for dogs. Although not toxic, it can still cause serious issues in larger amounts. Excessive amounts of sugar over a prolonged period of time can lead to issues such as diabetes,3 metabolic issues, and digestive issues.
Treats should only make up around 10% of your dog’s diet or less, and these treats should be canine treats rather than human ones. That means you should avoid feeding your dog sugar, including brown guar, powdered sugar, processed sugar, and cane sugar. It simply isn’t good for him.
Artificial sweeteners should also be avoided. In the instance of xylitol,4 ingestion can lead to toxicity. If your dog has eaten anything with xylitol, contact your vet immediately.
While a small amount of cinnamon shouldn’t be dangerous for dogs, it isn’t good for them. Cinnamon powder can lead to coughing or choking, as it can irritate the lungs. If your dog’s lungs become irritated enough, he may have difficulty breathing.
Ingesting cinnamon can lead to redness or irritation inside your dog’s mouth. Large amounts of cinnamon can lead to low blood sugar, vomiting, diarrhea, altered heart rate, and even liver disease. If your dog has consumed a lot of cinnamon, contact your vet right away.
What to Do if Your Dog Ate a Churro
If your dog has eaten only a small piece of churro, you likely don’t have any reason to be alarmed. Keep an eye on him over the next 24 hours to watch out for signs of gastrointestinal distress or other developments.
However, if your dog has eaten a significant number of churros, contact your vet and relay the ingredients to them, and they will let you know if you have any reason for concern or what your next steps are.
Churros are a tasty treat, but not for your dog. They are not inherently toxic, but some recipe variations may include toxic elements. Regardless, human foods should not be fed to dogs since a dog’s nutritional resources should come from canine-specific meals. While it may be tempting to share a yummy snack with your favorite four-legged friend, remember that the possible health consequences are not worth the temporary tail-wagging.
Featured Image Credit: Félix Girault, Unsplash