Croissants are flaky, buttery, and crescent-shaped viennoiserie pastry made of layered yeast-risen dough. This definition may seem technical and wordy, but the simple truth is that croissants are one of the favorite pastry choices of many bread enthusiasts. Of course, now that it is clear that people love croissants, it is normal to ask ourselves what about dogs (we all secretly want to share human foods with our dogs).
So, can dogs eat croissants? Well, the answer is both yes and no. Simply put, there are many variables. For example, traditional croissants are not directly toxic to dogs and can be consumed in extra small amounts and on rare occasions. But, on the other hand, croissants with certain fillings and enriched with additional dough ingredients like chocolate or raisins are toxic to dogs.
In this article, we will analyze the potentially troublesome and toxic ingredients found in croissants. We will review each ingredient and describe the clinical signs and symptoms it triggers.
ARE CROISSANTS HARMFUL TO DOGS?
As mentioned, whether a croissant piece is harmful or not depends on its ingredients. But, generally speaking, these are the common croissant ingredients that can cause problems in dogs.
The main ingredient in croissants is butter. In fact, in a traditionally prepared croissant, butter accounts for 45-55% of the croissant’s weight. Croissants sold in supermarket bakeries contain 15-25% butter. However, butter is not an easily digestible food for dogs, and because of the high-fat content, it is associated with gastrointestinal upsets and acute pancreatitis episodes.
Some croissant manufacturers use palm oil (it is cheaper and has a longer shelf-life). Comparatively, palm oil contains fewer fats, but they belong to the group of “bad fats” that affect the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Plus, there are suggestions that palm oil has carcinogenic properties.
Sugar is not toxic, but it is fattening. Therefore, overeating sugar will affect the dog’s dental health. Additionally, it can lead to obesity and diabetes. Considering that obesity is a risk factor for various life-threatening diseases, it is best to stay clean and avoid giving sugar to dogs.
Many croissant recipes include artificial sweeteners instead of regular white sugar. Unfortunately, the most common artificial sweetener – xylitol, is highly toxic to dogs and. In addition to the characteristic intoxication signs like drooling and vomiting, xylitol causes seizures and a sudden and extreme drop in blood sugar levels, which in some cases can be lethal.
In its baked form, yeast is not dangerous. However, dry yeast and raw dough are highly toxic. If a dog ingests dry yeast or dough, the yeast will do what it usually does – rise. The rising causes stomach bloat, and then the yeast fermentation causes alcohol poisoning. Both issues are life-threatening emergencies.
Chocolate is the most popular croissant filling and, sadly, one of the most toxic human foods for dogs. Chocolate contains a group of ingredients called methylxanthines (also found in coffee and tea). The most troublesome member of the group is theobromine, which stimulates both the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
The croissant dough or the filling is often enriched with flaked or crunched nuts. Unfortunately, some nuts, for example, macadamia nuts, are incredibly toxic to dogs. Even the non-toxic types, like almonds, are still a no-go for dogs because of several reasons – high-fat content, troublesome digestibility, choking hazard.
Although tasty, raisins are toxic to dogs. Namely, raisins are dangerous for dogs lacking the enzymes for their digestion while safe for dogs that have the necessary enzymes. Considering you cannot know whether your dog is sensitive or not, it is best to prevent raisin intoxication, which sadly triggers kidney failure.
Marzipan is a sweet confection made from sugar, honey, and either almond meal or almond extract. Some croissant manufacturers use marzipan as croissant filing because of the unusual taste. Marzipan is not directly toxic to dogs, but it will trigger gastrointestinal upset if consumed in larger amounts. Not to mention the fattening component, since marzipan is basically sugar.
Brie cheese is another popular filling choice for croissants because of its distinctive taste and creamy texture. However, in addition to the lactose issue (some dogs cannot digest lactose), brie is not dog-friendly because of the high-fat content. In more significant amounts, brie cheese can cause an acute pancreatitis episode.
Onion or garlic
Onion and garlic belong to the same family and have similar toxic effects (severe and potentially life-threatening anemia) in dogs but due to different compounds. The toxic compound in onions is called N-propyl disulfide, and the toxic compound in garlic is thiosulfate. Thiosulfate is much more potent than N-propyl disulfide.
Dogs love bacon, and croissants with bacon are a real delicacy. However, same as other meat delicacies from this family, bacon is loaded with salt and fats. Slat poisoning is rarely an issue, but the fat content is highly likely to cause gastrointestinal upset or, worst-case scenario – acute pancreatitis.
MY DOG ATE CROISSANTS – WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you caught your dog eating your bag of croissants or came back to find a half-devoured croissant package, it is important not to panic.
Distress affects your rational thinking, so when dealing with dangerous situations, you need to stay calm. Mainly, if you find yourself in one of these mentioned scenarios, follow these steps.
Step number 1 – Assess the situation
First of all, see how your dog feels and acts – is it happy and responsive or lethargic and drooling. Next, check what type of croissants your dog ate – are there any potentially troublesome ingredients and whether your dog ate just the croissants or the package too.
Step number 2 – Secure your dog
If your dog looks fine, confine it to another room while you are performing the next step. Again, separating your dog from the “crime scene” is essential to prevent additional eating.
Step number 3 – Call your vet
Next, you need to call your trusted vet or the nearest emergency clinic and explain the situation. Once again, it is important to stay calm and describe the situation in detail. The more info you provide, the easier it will be for the vet to determine future actions.
Step number 4 – Do as the vet says
Generally speaking, if the dog ate croissants with toxic ingredients, you would be instructed to come to the vet’s office as soon as possible. On the other hand, if the croissants were not toxic, the vet will likely recommend monitoring your dog at home and calling if its situation changes. You will be provided with a list of signs and symptoms your dog might develop.
Step number 5 – Do not self-treat
It is paramount not to try treating your dog at home and on your own. Dogs are different than us, and unless you have a degree in veterinary medicine, you are simply not fit to solve medical problems. Furthermore, Self-treating can cause more damage than the actual croissant-eating incident.
Croissants have a deliciously irresistible taste and soothingly fluffy texture, which dogs love just as much as we do. However, not every croissant type is safe for dogs – it all depends on the ingredients, the feeding amount, and frequency.
A croissant bit or two now and then from a traditional croissant is not going to hurt your dog. However, if the croissant contains some of the explained toxic ingredients, even one piece can trigger devastating consequences.
If you are not sure which ingredients are involved in making the croissant you are eating, it is better to err on the side of caution and do not indulge your dog’s croissant cravings.
Can dogs eat Pillsbury crescent rolls?
Pillsbury crescent rolls are like a vegan croissant version – they do not contain milk and butter, meaning they are more dog-friendly than the highly buttered traditional croissants. However, just like any other pastry, they are not suited for long-term consummation and should never be offered in large amounts.
Can dogs eat toast with butter?
No, dogs cannot eat toast with butter. A toasted slice of bread is alright but adding butter is like adding unnecessary calories to an already high-calorie food. Additionally, if consumed excessively, butter can cause gastrointestinal upsets manifested with vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and abdominal pain. It is also possible to trigger an acute pancreatitis episode.
Is bread bad for dogs?
On its own, bread is not bad for dogs. It provides dogs with energy and has a substantial amount of B vitamins as a rich carbohydrate source. However, bread does not contain every nutrient dogs need to thrive, which means it cannot be an essential component of its nutrition. Another issue can be the potentially troublesome ingredients that some people add to the traditional bread recipe.
Is bread dough okay for dogs?
Bread dough is extremely dangerous to dogs. Even in small amounts, bread dough causes severe stomach bloating, and then as the yeast starts fermenting and releasing ethanol, it leads to alcohol poisoning. Therefore, a dog that ate dough is considered an emergency and requires prompt and adequate veterinary attention.