Can Dogs Eat Hot Cross Buns? · The Wildest

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Can Dogs Eat Hot Cross Buns?

Sometimes ‘sharing is caring’ isn’t the best advice

by Orla Pentelow
15 March 2024
Daschund dog sat on a chair looking up at owner eating hot cross buns
Pekic / iStock

As Easter approaches, supermarket shelves across the UK are filling with the comforting and familiar sight of freshly baked hot cross buns. Whilst these spiced seasonal treats may be a favourite indulgence for us year after year, you might be tempted to share in the indulgence with your canine companion, but the question remains: can dogs eat hot cross buns?

Hot cross buns, with their fluffy texture, hints of cinnamon, and, crucially, raisins, pose a potentially hazardous health risk to our four-legged friends. Whilst ‘sharing is caring’ is usually a generous adage to live by, when it comes to dogs and these seasonal sweet treats, there really shouldn’t be any crossover (sorry, not sorry). Find out why you shouldn’t be feeding your pup hot cross buns this Easter. 

Nutritional facts: hot cross buns for dogs

One of the primary concerns when it comes to dogs consuming hot cross buns is the inclusion of raisins in the majority of recipes. Raisins, along with their less-wrinkly counterpart, grapes, are well-documented as toxic to dogs. These seemingly ‘healthy’ fruits for humans can lead to severe health issues when ingested by our canine friends.

The toxic component within grapes and raisins that poses a danger to dogs is still not entirely understood by experts. However, what is clear is that even small quantities can have devastating effects on a dog’s health. Symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity can manifest within mere hours of ingestion and may include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and decreased appetite.

In severe cases, ingestion of grapes or raisins by dogs can lead to acute kidney failure, which can be life-threatening if not promptly treated by a veterinarian. Given the potential dangers associated with raisin (as well as current, sultana and grape) consumption, it’s crucial to keep hot cross buns and any other foods containing raisins well out of reach of our furry family members.

Are hot cross buns good for dogs?

Raisins are a common ingredient in hot cross buns and are extremely toxic to dogs, posing a serious risk to our canine friends. While raisins may seem harmless to us, they can be extremely toxic to dogs. Even in small amounts, raisins and grapes can lead to severe kidney damage and even kidney failure in dogs, leading to dehydration, reduced urine production and even death if left untreated.

Given the potential dangers associated with raisin consumption, it’s crucial to keep hot cross buns, as well as any other foods containing raisins or grapes, well out of reach of your canine companions. Even a small nibble could have serious consequences for your furry friend, so you should always get them to the vet as soon as possible, even if it doesn’t look like any symptoms have started yet. 

Can dogs eat other buns?

Hot cross buns might present a clear risk to dogs due to their raisin content, what about other types of bun or bread products? Generally, plain bread itself is not harmful to dogs in moderation but other baked goods, including various sweet treats, may contain ingredients that are harmful or even toxic to dogs.

For example, certain artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, commonly used in baked goods as a sugar substitute, can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Xylitol consumption can lead to a rapid release of insulin in dogs, causing a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia). In severe cases, xylitol toxicity can result in liver failure and even death.

Are hot cross buns completely safe for dogs?

No, not at all. Given the dangers of raisin toxicity in dogs and the potential for severe health consequences, it’s crucial for pet owners to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding hot cross buns or any other foods containing raisins to their canine companions.

Additionally, the high fat content in many baked goods (even those without raisins) can pose a risk of pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas in dogs. Symptoms of pancreatitis may include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and lethargy.

When it comes to sharing baked goods with your canine companion, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding them any foods that contain ingredients known to be harmful to dogs. Instead, opt for dog-safe treats specifically formulated for canine consumption.

The bottom line: can dogs eat human foods?

While dogs can eat many foods intended for human consumption, raisins in hot cross buns are a good example of why it is always important to double-check ingredients labels; many human foods can be safe for dogs in small amounts, but grapes and raisins are definitely not one of them.

Your dog should be receiving all the nutrients they need from a complete and balanced diet but dog-friendly snacks can be offered as a bonus – treats (including human foods) should make up less than 10 percent of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

What are some human foods that are safe for dogs?

What are other human foods that are dangerous for dogs?

  • Chocolate and coffee are toxic to dogs and should always be avoided, too.

  • Onions and garlic can cause toxicity in dogs, symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhoea. 

  • While some cheeses are OK in small amounts, you shouldn’t share too much dairy with your dog.


Orla Pentelow

Orla Pentelow is a freelance journalist and copywriter based in London. When not at her desk she’s out and about with her rescue dog, Luna, who works primarily as chief distractor.

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