English muffins are one of the most popular breakfast choices in the world. They are incredibly delicious and can be combined with both sweet and sour toppings. If English muffins are a common addition to your breakfast menu, you have probably given your dog a bite or two (after all, your dog was begging, and you could not resist). However, now you are wondering whether your action was safe or not.
So, can dogs eat English muffins? Yes, generally speaking, dogs can eat plain and regular English muffins. The original English muffins recipe does not contain any toxic ingredients for dogs. However, that does not mean that dogs can eat this breakfast food daily and in excess amounts. It is also worth mentioning that certain types of enriched English muffins can be dangerous or even toxic to dogs.
This article will go through the different ingredients used to make English muffins and review their dog-friendliness. We will also help you determine which types of English muffins are safe and which are not.
WHAT ARE ENGLISH MUFFINS?
English muffins are yeast-risen, small, round, and flat breadstuff. They are made from several simple ingredients, including flour, milk, sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and yeast. Once baked, English muffins are usually sliced horizontally, buttered and toasted. Then they can be served with either sweet or tart toppings.
Some newer English muffin recipes add other ingredients to the original recipe to achieve a more specific taste. Common additions include fruits like blueberries and raisins as well as spices like cinnamon.
CAN DOGS EAT ENGLISH MUFFINS?
The good news is English muffins are not dangerous to dogs, as long as they are served occasionally and in small amounts. Although classified as omnivores, dogs thrive mainly on proteins coming from animal-based sources.
Considering that the English muffins are primarily carbs, they are not necessary for mainstream canine nutrition. However, they are not harmful either.
Here is a short review of each English muffin ingredient, as well as a description of its dog-friendliness.
Raw flour is inedible for dogs, just like it is inedible for humans. However, when used for baked goods, it is considered a dog-friendly ingredient.
There are many different types of flour, but they are stem from grains meaning they are rich in carbs and vitamins from the B-complex. Generally speaking, whole-grain flour versions are healthier than refined, white flour.
Milk can be a potentially troublesome ingredient for dogs considering most dogs are lactose intolerant. However, in this baked form, the milk is not likely to cause problems.
Additionally, many vegan English muffin versions use alternative milk options (coconut, almond, cashews, soy, or oat milk). Some recipes suggest skipping the milk part entirely and using yogurt instead.
Dogs love sugar, but they should not be eating it – at least not in substantial amounts. Although English muffins include sugar, the amount of sugar in the English muffin portion for dogs is not likely to cause any issues.
Once again, the amount is the key to safety. In small amounts, butter is safe and beneficial (same as in humans) because it contains fats, and contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad.
On the other hand, butter can cause digestive upset or an acute pancreatitis episode if eaten in substantial amounts. Both conditions are painful, but the first is less dangerous than the latter.
Just like humans, dogs need small amounts of salt. However, salt is not typically added to dog foods because almost every ingredient contains trace amounts of salt.
If exposed to exceedingly high amounts of salt, dogs can develop a so-called salt poisoning manifesting with drooling, vomiting, dehydration, and neurological deficits – ataxia (drunken walk), tremors, and seizures.
However, the amount of salt in English muffins is not nearly enough to cause salt poisoning, particularly in small dogs.
Eggs are a healthy food. In fact, many dog food manufacturers use different egg parts in their kibble recipes.
The egg white is packed with proteins which are essential for growth. The egg yolk contains different vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
In dogs, eggs promote cardiovascular health, properly functioning reproductive organs (especially in males), shiny coats, and healthy skin.
The yeast ingredient is what makes things tricky. Namely, the yeast in baked English muffins (mixed with other ingredients, processed in the oven, and then cooled down) is perfectly safe.
On the other hand, unbaked, raw yeast is extremely dangerous to dogs and poses two great risks – bloating and alcohol poisoning.
Bloating and alcohol poisoning
Simply put, the role of the yeast is to make the dough rise (the temperatures additionally aid the rising process in the oven). The problem is yeast rises regardless of whether it is in the cooking bowl, the stove, or the dog’s stomach.
Therefore, if a dog ingests yeast, the yeast will eventually start rising (in terms of temperature, the stomach is pretty similar to the oven). The rise causes bloating, and the bloat pressures the surrounding organs and tissues and impairs digestion.
Since the digestion is impaired and the yeast cannot be removed, it ferments. The yeast fermentation process is accompanied by the production of ethanol (in simpler terms, alcohol). Once the alcohol byproduct is absorbed in the bloodstream, the dog develops alcohol poisoning.
DOGS AND THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ENGLISH MUFFINS
As mentioned, the original recipe involves the above-explained ingredients, but there are alternative recipes using various ingredients. And sadly, not every English muffin version is safe for dogs.
Can dogs eat whole wheat English muffins?
Yes, dogs can eat whole wheat English muffins. As we mentioned in the flour review section, whole grain flours are healthier than white flours, regardless of the grain source.
English muffins made with whole-grain flour would be richer in B vitamins and a bit lower in calories. Many homemade dog treat recipes include whole-wheat flour.
Can dogs eat blueberry English muffins?
Yes, dogs can eat blueberry English muffins. Blueberries, same as many other berries, are a dog-friendly fruit. In fact, blueberries are not just dog-friendly but healthy and with a taste and texture dogs love.
Blueberries are like health bombs – they are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Many dog food manufacturers using non-typical ingredients add blueberries to their kibble formulas.
Can dogs eat cinnamon raisin English muffins?
No, dogs must not eat cinnamon raisin English muffins. Namely, both the cinnamon and the raisins are dangerous ingredients.
In small amounts, cinnamon can be safe for dogs but in most cases, its strong scent and powdered form are associated with uncomfortable irritations of the lining of the nose and upper airways.
Raisins are much more dangerous than cinnamon. Raisins are highly toxic and, even in small amounts, can cause kidney failure and death.
Interestingly, raisins are not toxic to all dogs. There is no exact explanation behind this phenomenon. Still, it is suspected that dogs lacking the enzymes necessary for breaking down raisins are sensitive, while dogs that do not lack the enzymes can eat raisins without getting intoxicated.
Can dogs eat buttered English muffins?
No, dogs cannot eat buttered English muffins. This is because English muffins already contain butter, and adding more as a spreading can be harmful to dogs. Although butter can be healthy, too much of something is never good.
Can dogs eat English muffins with fruit jams?
No, dogs cannot eat English muffins with fruit jams. All jams are packed with sugars. What is worse, some jams contain artificial sweeteners instead of regular sugar, and one of the most popular artificial sweeteners – the xylitol is toxic to dogs.
Can dogs eat English muffins with bacon or sausages?
No, dogs cannot eat English muffins with bacon or sausages. Both meat delicacies fall under the category of highly processed foods, meaning they are loaded with fats, salt, and artificial additives – colors, preservatives, and taste enhancers.
Can dogs eat English muffins with cheese?
No, dogs cannot eat English muffins with cheese. As already mentioned, dairy products are not a good choice for dogs. In addition to the lactose issue (which is less pronounced in cheese than in milk), cheese contains too much salt.
Same as in humans, there are theories that cheese causes addiction in dogs. Studies suggest that the addictive component is due to casein, a protein specific to milk.
Can dogs eat English muffin dough?
No, dogs must not eat English muffin dough. As described in the yeast section, dough poses a double danger for dogs – it can cause bloating and alcohol poisoning. Even a small amount of dough is enough to cause serious health issues.
English muffins are not part of the dog’s regular menu. However, an occasional bite or two is not harmful as long as the muffins are made exclusively from dog-friendly ingredients.
Just like for us, English muffins can be addictive for dogs too. And just like in us, gulping down on too many English muffins will make your dog gain weight and move the scale-up.
If the muffins are made with questionable ingredients which you do not know whether are safe or not for dogs, it is best advised to refrain from sharing them with your dog. After all, English muffins are not the only treat option for dogs.