While plain French toast is generally okay for dogs in moderation, syrup and other sugary toppings can be harmful. Too much French toast may also lead to digestive upset and weight gain.
Nutrition Facts of French Toast
French toast is made by soaking bread in a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sometimes sugar. The bread absorbs the liquid and when cooked, develops a custard-like texture and flavor.
The main ingredients of standard French toast are:
- Bread – Provides carbohydrates and some protein, vitamins, and minerals. White bread has more carbs and less nutrition compared to whole grain.
- Eggs – Excellent source of protein and nutrition like vitamin A, folate, iron, and choline. Promotes skin, coat, bone, and muscle health in dogs.
- Milk – Contains protein, calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients. Lactose may cause digestive upset in some dogs.
- Sugar – No nutritional value but makes French toast taste sweeter. Too much sugar is unhealthy for dogs.
A serving of plain French toast (no toppings) contains about:
- 172 calories
- 21g carbohydrates
- 10g protein
- 7g fat
It’s moderately high in carbohydrates and calories compared to regular dog food. Excessive consumption could lead to weight gain in dogs.
Potential Risks of French Toast for Dogs
While plain French toast is relatively safe, there are some potential downsides to be aware of:
- Weight gain – Too much French toast could lead to unhealthy weight gain due to its high calorie, carb, and fat content.
- Blood sugar spikes – Large amounts may negatively impact your dog’s blood sugar levels.
- Digestive upset – Dogs may get diarrhea or vomiting if they eat too much French toast, especially if made with milk.
- Toxic ingredients – Onions, raisins, chocolate or xylitol found in some recipes can be extremely toxic to dogs.
- Nutritional dilution – Replacing too much kibble with French toast could dilute the nutritional completeness of your dog’s diet.
- Pancreatitis – High fat foods like French toast may trigger pancreatitis in susceptible dogs.
So while the occasional small serving of plain French toast is fine, too much or too often can be problematic.
Is Syrup Safe for Dogs to Eat on French Toast?
Adding sugary syrup takes French toast from an occasional treat to an unhealthy, risky snack for dogs.
Both traditional maple syrup and corn syrup should be avoided on your dog’s French toast, as they contain large amounts of sugar and no nutritional value.
Potential risks of dogs eating French toast with syrup include:
- Obesity – High sugar adds empty calories and fat leading to weight gain.
- Diabetes – Excess sugar stresses the pancreas which can trigger diabetes in dogs.
- Dental disease – Sugary syrup contributes to plaque buildup and tooth decay.
- Digestive upset – Too much sugar and fat may cause vomiting or diarrhea.
- Hyperactivity – Sugar highs can make some dogs hyper and difficult to control.
Xylitol artificial sweetener is extremely toxic to dogs and life-threatening, even in small amounts. Always verify syrups do not contain xylitol before using.
For dog health, it’s best to avoid syrup and use lower-sugar fruit or yogurt toppings instead.
How Much French Toast Can Dogs Eat?
Since French toast is high in carbohydrates and fat, moderation is key. The amount that’s safe depends on your dog’s size:
- Small dogs – 1-2 small bites of plain French toast max.
- Medium dogs – Up to 1/4 slice of plain French toast.
- Large dogs – No more than 1/2 slice of plain French toast.
Even small amounts should only be given occasionally, not daily or weekly. Too much too often risks obesity and other health issues.
It’s also best to share French toast with your dog earlier in the day rather than evening. The fat and sugar content can disrupt their sleep.
Healthier French Toast Topping Alternatives
While sugary syrups are off the menu, you can still make your dog’s French toast enticing. Some healthier topping ideas include:
- Sliced banana – Bananas are safe for dogs and provide potassium.
- Blueberries or raspberries – Low glycemic index fruits.
- Sliced strawberries – Sweet treat dogs love.
- Peanut or almond butter – Go for low-sugar natural brands.
- Plain yogurt – Provides probiotics.
- Pumpkin puree – Helps digestion.
- Applesauce – High fiber.
- Baby spinach – Boosts nutrition.
- Shredded chicken – Lean protein source.
Getting creative with nutritious toppings makes French toast fun for dogs without excess sugar.
6 Tips for Giving Your Dog French Toast
If you want to share some of your French toast breakfast with your dog, follow these tips:
- Use dog-safe ingredients and avoid toxic add-ins.
- Give your dog just a few small bite-sized pieces, not a whole slice.
- Serve earlier in the day – not at night before bedtime.
- Avoid syrups and use lower-sugar fruit toppings instead.
- Introduce slowly to check for food intolerances.
- Only offer occasionally as a special treat, not regularly.
While French toast can be enjoyed safely with dogs in moderation, too much too often can negatively impact their health and waistline. Keep amounts small and infrequent.
Is it bad to give dogs French toast every day?
Yes, French toast should only be an occasional treat for dogs, not something given daily. The high carbohydrates, fat, and sugar are unhealthy long-term and could lead to obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, and other problems.
Can dogs eat French toast sticks?
It’s best to avoid giving dogs pre-made frozen French toast sticks, as they likely contain sugar, preservatives, and other additives. Homemade French toast made safely with dog nutrition in mind is a better choice.
What if my dog eats chocolate chip French toast?
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can be life-threatening. Immediately contact your vet or pet poison control if your dog eats chocolate chip French toast or anything with chocolate. They’ll advise you based on the amount ingested.
Can I put peanut butter on my dog’s French toast?
Yes, provided it’s a low-sugar, all-natural peanut butter. Peanut butter makes a good topping choice for dogs as it’s high in protein. But avoid peanut butter with xylitol or other harmful additives.
What happens if a dog eats too much French toast?
Consuming too much French toast may result in vomiting, diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, and pancreatitis. Obesity can also develop over time. Limit portions to avoid overfeeding.
While French toast can be enjoyed occasionally by dogs, certain precautions should be taken.
Avoid syrups and sugar toppings which are unhealthy for dogs. Keep amounts small – no more than a few bites for little dogs or up to 1/2 slice for big dogs.
For the safest and healthiest French toast, use whole grain bread, dog-safe milk, and fresh fruit as toppings.
While not toxic, French toast provides little nutritional value. It should only be fed sometimes as a special treat, not regularly. Focus on providing your dog a balanced diet through high-quality commercial dog food or homemade meals.