Can Dogs Eat French Toast?

Looks lovely but should you give French toast to your dog? ¹

The funny thing about French toast seems to be that it isn’t French at all.

It dates back to Roman times. 

To the fifth century BC to be precise. 

And that it is described as French toast not because it originated in France or because it is a particularly popular dish in France. 

But because French is a verb that means to slice and French toast uses sliced bread. 

In the same way that French Fries get their name from their shape (they are sliced potato) and not because they originated in France.

Is it just me or do you feel as if you have been lied to all this time?! 

Whoever knew that such humble food could have such a “misleading” history?!

Can dogs eat French toast? 

Believe it or not, your dog has got more to fear from homemade French toast than it has from shop bought French toast. 

Like many ready made food products, French toast is stacked full of wheat and sugar. 

Don’t get me wrong. 

These products aren’t healthy but neither will they kill your dog either. 

Well, not unless it is the only food that they eat for months on end. 

In contrast to this are some homemade French toast recipes. 

Now homemade usually means that the food is going to be healthier and cheaper when compared to ready made, shop bought alternatives. 

The trouble is that some homemade French toast recipes use raisin bread and even a few raisins can leave a dog in urgent need of emergency veterinary care. 

But before I depress you with more information about that, I want to take a look at the ingredients which are used in ready made products. 

Can dogs eat ready made French toast?

So I will employ my usual technique and look at the ingredients in popular ready made brands of French toast as well as popular homemade recipes. 

I will list these ingredients and then look at whether your dog should be eating them. 

To start with, I will look at two ready made products. 

  • Kellogg’s Eggo Thick and Fluffy Classic French Toast. 
  • Great Value (which is a Walmart own brand) French Toast Cinnamon Sticks. 

Although the ingredients do vary between these two products, the main four ingredients used in each one are the same. 

And they are :

Enriched flour

Water

Sugar/ high fructose corn syrup. 

Yeast

And none of these are toxic for your dog… 

Let me just make some quick notes on each ingredient. 

Enriched wheat flour

Enriched wheat flour won’t cause your dog any real difficulty unless they either scoff the whole packet of French bread or if they are wheat intolerant. 

In which case it might result in a little tummy upset or something worse depending on how much of it they ate and how sensitive their allergy is. 

Sugar/ high fructose corn syrup

Whilst one product lists sugar as an ingredient, the other has corn syrup on its list. 

Basically these are two forms of sugar. 

And any form of sugar isn’t really a necessary part of a dog’s diet and can be very bad for their health when too much of it is consumed. 

However,  the amount of sugar used in these two recipes won’t harm your dog- unless they are eating French toast everyday for their breakfast. 

Yeast

Yeast is one of those ingredients around which there is lots of confusion.

You might have heard that yeast is very dangerous for dogs and live yeast or dried active yeast can be in a specific circumstance.

Which is when it is proven within homemade bread and it gets eaten by a dog.

And the reason that it is so dangerous to a dog is because the dough is increasing in size and could continue to do so once inside a dog’s warm stomach.

The end result could be that the dough could become so large that it blocks a dog’s stomach. 

But yeast that is an ingredient within a ready to eat bread isn’t a threat to your dog’s well being. 

After having looked at the main ingredients in French toast that you can buy, in this section I will focus on ingredients in recipes that you can make at home. 

Can dogs eat homemade French toast?

I am using the website Allrecipes.com to refer to. 

This is because it is one of the most popular recipe websites on the Internet. 

And I will start this section by talking about what looks on the surface to be an obvious ingredient. 

Raisin Bread

Of course, most dogs can have a few bits of bread and it won’t trouble them. 

So why am I wasting your precious time by talking about it? 

Because one type of bread that is popular in French bread recipes is raisin bread. 

And raisins or any byproduct of grapes are highly toxic to dogs and shouldn’t be fed to them. 

Even one raisin has the potential to poison small dogs. 

Eggs

Cooked eggs (as they are in French toast) are fine for your dogs to eat. 

High in protein, packed full of B vitamins and with traces of almost every other vitamin out there, eggs are simply great. 

They are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet-which is not a surprise when you think that an egg needs to nurture a chick. 

People are more nervous about feeding dogs raw eggs because of the potential of them containing harmful bacteria. 

But since French toast requires cooked eggs, I won’t harp on about that any more! 

Milk

Just as bread might cause difficulties for dogs with a wheat intolerance, some dogs, with an intolerance of lactose, might struggle with eating any food that contains milk. 

Although since the amount of milk which is used in the recipe is minimal, most dogs should be absolutely fine with the inclusion of milk in the recipe. 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has some well known health benefits. 

And it has been used by humans as a natural remedy for thousands of years. 

These benefits include antibacterial qualities and anti-inflammatory qualities which are great for dogs who have a touch of arthritis. 

But cinnamon can also be an irritant for dogs.

As a spice, if too much is eaten or even inhaled at one time, your dog will suffer from some short lived but unpleasant side effects such as coughing or watering eyes. 

Vanilla extract

This is another common ingredient used in French toast. 

The amounts used are normally tiny-one teaspoon or less and so it will be fine for your dog to have a bite or two of French toast that contains vanilla extract. 

The real danger that vanilla extract poses to dogs comes from its alcohol content, which is about 35%.

Obviously a dog would need to have ingested much more than a teaspoon in order for it to cause any real damage. 

Syrup

My last ingredient that I want to take a look at is syrup. 

A staple of breakfast pancakes and French toast it seems. 

The good news is that syrup isn’t poisonous for your dog but because it is 60% sugar, it is very high in calories. 

This is a common ingredient that you might want to keep to yourself and not share with your dog when you are both sitting at the table eating some French toast. 

Having looked in detail at all the most common  ingredients that appear in shop bought or homemade French toast, in the next section I want to take a slightly wider view. 

Can dogs eat French toast products? 

America’s love of French toast has spurred a whole range of French toast flavoured breakfast products. 

Why restrict yourself to just eating plain French toast, when you can eat French toast flavoured cereals, or coffee or even protein powder with a French toast twist? 

A quick look at the ingredients in French Toast Crunch or Cinnamon Toast Crunch shows that they don’t contain any toxic ingredients for dogs but neither can they claim to be healthy treats either. 

Your dogs shouldn’t touch coffee, regardless of the form or flavour that it comes in. 

Caffeine is highly toxic for dogs and can lead to nasty side effects such as disorientation and diarrhea. 

Protein powders are less of a concern to dogs but as well as being high in protein, which comes as no surprise, they can contain about 50% sugar which results in lots of calories. 

The safest thing to do here is to keep your dog as far away from your gym bag as they are from your coffee machine! 

Photo credits

Photo by Crystal Jo on Unsplash