As a lover of cinnamon, there is nothing as decadent, naughty or just plain unhealthy to me as cinnamon rolls.
When I am out shopping and I pass a stand that sells them, it is a real effort to just keep on walking.
I get caught up in those delicious smells almost as if the rolls are crying out “eat me!”
And, I’m not alone in this it seems.
In 2020 Cinnamon rolls were by far America’s most favourite breakfast pastry.
Nearly 68 million people love cinnamon rolls the most.
But, my melodrama aside, are cinnamon rolls a food that any dog owner in their right mind should consider feeding to their dog?
Let’s find out shall we?
Can dogs have cinnamon rolls?
It would be harder to find a snack that combines fat and sugar in such high amounts as cinnamon rolls do.
But I still think that you can share the odd bite or two of these rolls with your dog under two conditions.
Firstly, don’t make it a regular habit.
And secondly just because a basic cinnamon roll is safe for your dog to eat doesn’t mean that all the toppings, are.
But I explain a bit more about that later.
An unhealthy treat for your dog they might be- but poisonous they are not.
So, just share with care.
What are the ingredients in cinnamon rolls?
There are six main ingredients in the popular cinnamon roll that I’m looking at.
And they are:
Enriched wheat flour
Palm and soybean oil
A cinnamon roll without any cinnamon in it?!
There is cinnamon in this recipe but it comes way down on the list of ingredients because it makes up less than 2% of the total ingredients.
I will quickly discuss each one and how it might affect our dogs.
Enriched wheat flour
Don’t be scared by the phrase enriched.
This just means that flour used in the recipe has vitamins added.
Mostly with B vitamins and Iron.
Flour is a bit of a nothing short of ingredient really.
It won’t harm your dog and the vitamins and iron and be viewed as a bit of a boost.
One of the most important functions of them is to support your dog’s metabolism-how efficiently food is converted into energy.
Iron helps keep red blood cells healthy which in turn transport oxygen around a dog’s body.
Fundamental stuff wouldn’t you agree?
In the next section I want to talk about the two types of sugar that are on the list.
I’m skipping a discussion on water because I think that I would just be stating the obvious.
Sugar and dextrose
In the recipe that I’m referring to, sugar or dextrose makes up about 25% of each cinnamon roll.
Although this is a heck of a lot of sugar, it isn’t poisonous to your dog.
Well, if your dog eats their way through several cinnamon rolls, they might be in danger of sugar poisoning.
But I’m basing my assumptions on them having a bite or two.
But whilst it isn’t poisonous, it is very unhealthy particularly if snacking on cinnamon rolls is almost a daily ritual.
Excessive sugar will add pounds to your dog’s waistline and may harm their teeth by speeding up tooth decay.
Palm and soybean oil
These types of oil aren’t toxic to your dog but oil can’t be considered part of a healthy dog diet.
The flour in this recipe comes from wheat as does the starch.
Starch is commonly added to many different foods because it helps with the shape and consistency of a product.
And again it isn’t poisonous but neither can it be considered healthy.
I think we have covered all of the bases as far as a basic cinnamon is concerned but part of what makes these rolls so addictive are the varied toppings that can be put on them.
So in the next section I will look at how dog friendly the most popular toppings are…
Are cinnamon roll toppings dog friendly?
It won’t surprise you that the variety of toppings on the nation’s favourite pastry are huge..
In my selection below, I have chosen four of the most common toppings.
Frosting and glazes
Glazes and frostings are made with ingredients such as sugar, butter, vanilla and milk or cream
Some are even made using cream cheese instead of vanilla.
None of these ingredients are toxic to dogs but can you see how the sugar count just skyrockets? And with it the calorie count?
And I need to clarify what I said about none of the ingredients being toxic.
If you are using a glazing that contains vanilla essence, it contains a lot of alcohol which is poisonous to dogs.
But for the tiny amount that is used in the recipe itself, it won’t harm your dog.
Nuts aren’t toxic to dogs but they are full of fat-which once again doesn’t help the calorie count.
But at least they don’t contain any sugar, right?!
If your dog is very unlucky or too excited, nuts are good that dogs can sometimes come on or get stuck in their teeth.
And that is always a fun task retrieving something or if your dog’s mouth, isn’t it?
My next topping which you might stumble across will bring a savoury taste to the bun.
The classic sweet and salty combo as the cinnamon butts up against the salt from the bacon.
As well as this contrast being highly popular with dog owners, research has shown that your dog will be able to taste the difference too.
Bacon isn’t toxic to dogs but it is high in fat and salt.
We have talked about so many sweet and stodgy ingredients, is anyone feeling sick yet?!
One more topping to go…
A lot of these ingredients have been borderline.
If I took a less tolerant approach, as soon as an unhealthy ingredient raises its ugly head, I would have said “don’t feed this to your dog”.
But I think that is unrealistic.
We love our dogs and many of us share our food with them and we know that some of the food we share is unhealthy and a bit naughty.
Chocolate is a totally different kettle of fish.
It is a known poison to dogs so if this topping is your guilty little secret make sure that you don’t share it with your dog.
All chocolate is poisonous to dogs and dark chocolate is far more dangerous than milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate seems to be the most popular type of chocolate topping on cinnamon rolls and so that means it is even more important to not cross this line.
Can dogs eat cinnamon?
There are no two ways about it, eating cinnamon is a train wreck as far as healthy eating guidelines go.
And there is an irony in how little cinnamon is in cinnamon buns, but dogs can eat cinnamon in small amounts.
Cinnamon has been used for its health benefits for thousands of years.
It is known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties and it is thought to help regulate blood pressure.
If you are a fan of natural remedies then you might consider using it to support your dog’s health.
Cinnamon is a spice, and like all spices, if too much is eaten or accidentally breathed in, life for a few minutes afterwards will be uncomfortable.
If your dog eats too much cinnamon then their mouth will be on fire, if they accidentally breath some in their eyes will start to water.
Cinnamon is often used to complement other spices on baking and in the next section I want to look at one of these spices and explain how they are so dangerous to dogs
Can dogs eat nutmeg?
The simple answer here is “no”.
Dogs can’t eat nutmeg because it contains a chemical which might make them seriously ill.
Nutmeg contains the chemical myristicin, which is an hallucinogenic.
Although dogs would need to have eaten a whole seed of nutmeg in order to begin to hallucinate, you can only imagine how scary this would be.
As well as the crap which would be happening inside their head, physical systems include an increased heart rate.
Dog friendly cinnamon rolls
If you have the time and the passion, why not make your dog some cinnamon rolls.
There is no greater way to demonstrate your love for your dog!
And they are far healthier than shop bought ones.
If this has piqued your interest, you might want to watch this video.
It only uses 5 ingredients- wholewheat flour, baking powder, a little salt, some oil, eggs and water.
Did I say five ingredients? I meant six…
¹ Photo by LAUREN GRAY on Unsplash