Baby puffs are great finger food for babies and young toddlers.
They create little mess, they are a “melt in the mouth” and not a “stuck in the throat” type of food which are low in calories and fortified with lots of important minerals.
But, as easy as it is to sing their praises as far as babies go, how suitable are they to feed our dogs?
Which is what I’m going to find out in today’s article.
Can dogs have Baby Puffs?
You will be pleased to know that baby puffs are a safe food to feed to your dog as long as you buy the right brand
In this article, I looked at three brands of baby puffs.
Two of the brands used ingredients that are perfectly safe for your dog to eat but one brand included an ingredient which is a known poison to dogs.
And I will talk about this brand in the next section.
Can dogs eat Parent’s Choice baby puffs?
Nobody is more surprised by this section than me.
There I was, shaping up to explain about how the most used ingredients used to make baby puffs weren’t necessarily the most healthy but neither would they kill your dog.
When I came across a main ingredient used by one manufacturer which is toxic to dogs.
And so I need to give you the heads up about this first.
Parent’s Choice is a Walmart brand that makes hundreds of different baby products.
They sell two flavours of baby puffs or little hearts and they are a strawberry and apple snack and a banana snack.
The one dodgy ingredient is grape juice concentrate.
Red or white grapes in any form are highly toxic to dogs (fresh grapes, sultanas and raisins.)
Vets aren’t sure what it is about grape products that poison dogs but they do know that it can cause kidney failure.
There is no clear guidance on how many grapes it takes to kill a big dog or a small dog or why some dogs can eat grapes and not be harmed.
Grape juice concentrate is the fifth most used ingredient in Parent Choice baby puffs and so you could argue that the actual amount of grape in the product is minimal.
But I have to be very cautious when doling out advice on the Internet.
If you want to feed your dog baby puffs, avoid those made by Parent Choice.
But just because one brand uses a toxic ingredient does that mean that all baby puff products are out of bounds?
What are the ingredients in Baby Puffs?
The answer to that question is an emphatic “no.”
Two other popular brands of baby puffs only use ingredients that are 100% safe for your dog to eat.
And those beans are Gerber and Plum Organics.
Although the main ingredients used are slightly different between the two brands, below you will find a list of six ingredients that appear in the two products.
Whole wheat flour
Brown Rice flour
This is the main ingredient used in both products.
It is made from grinding up the grains of rice.
The great thing about rice flour is that it is non allergic.
It doesn’t cause any allergic reactions unlike wheat.
And since dogs can have wheat allergies this is great news for them as it is for babies.
Whole wheat flour
I would love to know the precise balance between rice flour and wheat flour that is used in these recipes.
But that is unlikely as they will be closely guarded company secrets!
Well, at least the wheat flour isn’t the main ingredient!
Watch out if your dog is gluten intolerant although that will depend on how sensitive their condition is.
Starch is added into a lot of foods to provide texture and shape.
This is another ingredient to watch out for if your dog is sensitive to wheat but for all other dogs it is harmless.
Can sugar is used because it is less processed and therefore healthier than table sugar or sucrose.
But don’t be too fooled by this, sugar is unhealthy and dogs don’t need it in their diet.
Our third type of flour.
And it is quite appropriate for a product that is as light and fluffy as a cloud to have three types of light and fluffy flour in it!
Oat, like rice, is non allergenic which is great for all dogs.
Brown Rice flour
Flour number 4 is also non allergic.
Since I have run out of things to say about flour, I will move on and talk about whether dogs can eat fortified foods.
Can dogs eat foods that have been fortified?
Fortified foods are foods that have had vitamins and minerals added to them.
These nutrients aren’t added in order to improve the flavour or texture of the food but to make sure that the person eating them is eating essential nutrients.
Lots of baby and children’s foods are fortified, as are products such as milk and bread.
Most complete dog foods (dry and wet) are also fortified in order to make sure that dogs have everything that they need from their food.
The vitamins and minerals that have been added into the puffs from these two brands are almost identical.
They include vitamin E, vitamin B1 and vitamin B6.
Oh and also iron.
The addition of these vitamins into the food will not harm your dog.
Having established that baby puffs made by two of the biggest companies don’t contain any ingredients that should worry your dog, it is time to shift our focus slightly and look at the nutrition they provide.
What is the nutrition in Baby Puffs?
To make it easier to understand I have created a table below.
This is the nutrition in a 7g serving, which is the equivalent of half a cup.
Half a cup? 7g? Surely air weighs more than that?
|Inc. Sugar||1 g|
|Vitamins||E, B1, B6, B9, B12|
These tiny pockets of air are overwhelmingly carbohydrate.
They contain such a huge amount of carbohydrate and nothing else that a cynic might say that they don’t really contain any nutrition.
Apart from the vitamins that they have been fortified with.
It leads me to wonder if you are better off feeding your dogs packing peanuts.
That is a joke by the way.
How many baby puffs should I feed my dog?
To my way of thinking, baby puffs are fed to dogs in two main contexts.
And in either of these situations I don’t think that your dog will ever be eating enough baby puffs to worry about.
One is deliberate, whilst the other is accidental.
Firstly, the deliberate use of baby puffs with dogs.
This is when they are used as a training treat.
They fit the bill in many different ways.
They come in a jar, they aren’t messy to touch, they aren’t too fattening and they are a perfect training treat size.
The people who use baby puffs in this way are parents with babies who buy baby puffs for their child before thinking, “hang on a minute, these might be useful to use with my dog!”
The second way that a dog might eat baby puffs is when they are sitting close by to a toddler who is eating them.
In my experience a few baby puffs will always end up on the floor and it won’t take long for a savvy dog to work out where to sit!