Can Dogs Eat Fruit Cake? The Dangers Explained

For many families, fruit cake is a classic holiday dessert. But is it safe for dogs to nibble? With ingredients like raisins, nuts, and rum, fruit cake can be dangerous for our four-legged friends. In this article, we’ll discuss what’s in fruit cake that could upset a dog’s stomach or cause serious harm. We’ll also discuss signs your dog may have eaten fruit cake, like vomiting or diarrhea. And we’ll share what to do if your pup sneaks some from the holiday table. While fruit cake is a yummy tradition for people, it’s best to keep it away from our canine companions. Read on to learn why dogs and fruit cake don’t mix!

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐅𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭 𝐂𝐚𝐤𝐞?

Chopped dried fruits, such as raisins, currants, cherries, citrus peels, and candied fruits, are used to make fruit cake. Nuts like almonds and walnuts usually are included. Additives like cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon are common ingredients in fruit cake. Specific recipes need the use of alcohol, such as rum or brandy. The cake is a favourite holiday treat because of its thick structure and good storage.

𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐃𝐨𝐠𝐬 𝐄𝐚𝐭 𝐅𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭 𝐂𝐚𝐤𝐞?

Fruit cake can spell trouble for dogs. Ingredients like dried fruits and nuts, while delicious for people, can wreak havoc on a dog’s digestive system. The high sugar content in dried fruits may cause diarrhea, gas, or bloating. Nuts contain high fat levels that could lead to painful and dangerous pancreatitis. Even small amounts of alcohol, like rum or brandy, are toxic if ingested by dogs. With so many hazardous ingredients for dogs found in fruit cake, keeping it away from your furry friend is safest. The health risks of gastrointestinal distress, pancreatitis, and toxicity make fruit cake a dangerous forbidden food for dogs.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐅𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭 𝐂𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐃𝐨𝐠𝐬

Here are some of the potential dangers of dogs eating fruit cake:

  • Raisins and grapes: These dried fruits contain toxins that can cause dog kidney failure. Even small amounts could be harmful.
  • Macadamia nuts: These nuts are also toxic to dogs, potentially leading to weakness, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia.
  • Xylitol: Some baked goods contain this sugar substitute which is highly toxic to dogs. It can lead to plummeting blood sugar, seizures, and liver damage.
  • Fat content: The high fat content of fruit cake could cause pancreatitis.
  • Choking hazards: Dried fruits, nuts, and candied pieces may present a choking risk, especially in small dogs.

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𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐅𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐅𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭 𝐂𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬

Some of the common dried fruits used in fruit cakes that are hazardous for dogs include:

  • Raisins and currants
  • Dates
  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Coconut
  • Citrus peels

𝐒𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐅𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭 𝐂𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐓𝐨𝐱𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐃𝐨𝐠𝐬

If your dog managed to get into the holiday fruit cake, watch for these signs of trouble:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased drinking or urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Neurological symptoms like tremors or seizures

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐃𝐨 𝐢𝐟 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐃𝐨𝐠 𝐄𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐅𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭 𝐂𝐚𝐤𝐞

If you suspect or know your dog has eaten fruit cake, take action quickly:

  • You should contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA poison control hotline immediately.
  • Bring a sample of the fruit cake with the ingredients list (if possible).
  • Induce vomiting only if instructed by your vet and it’s been less than 2 hours since ingestion.
  • Monitor for signs of illness and take your dog to the vet if symptoms develop.
  • Prevent access to additional fruit cake.


Fruit cake may be a beloved holiday tradition, but it’s best kept away from our canine companions. Dogs cannot eat fruit cake. The dried fruits, nuts, and other ingredients can cause toxicity and upset stomach. If you believe your dog ate any quantity of fruit cake, call your vet right away as delayed treatment could be fatal. The safest way to enjoy the holidays with your dog is to keep harmful human foods out of reach!

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Rice Cake?


𝐐: 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐝𝐨𝐠 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐚 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭?

No, it’s best not to feed any fruit cake to dogs. Even small amounts could potentially cause a problem.

𝐐: 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐟 𝐦𝐲 𝐝𝐨𝐠 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐫𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐟𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐤𝐞?

Contact your vet to be safe, as even small amounts may cause an upset stomach. Monitor for vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy.

𝐐: 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐞-𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬 𝐬𝐚𝐟𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬?

Not necessarily. Many store-bought cakes contain toxic ingredients like raisins, macadamia nuts, and xylitol. Check labels carefully before use.

𝐐: 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐮𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐝𝐨𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐤𝐞?

No, the remaining cake likely contains spices, fat, and sugar that could cause issues. It’s not worth the risk.

𝐐: 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐟𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐝𝐨𝐠𝐬?

Stick with plain, unseasoned turkey meat, bland mashed potatoes, or small amounts of simple pumpkin pie filling without crust. Avoid anything with added sugars, fats, spices or toxic ingredients.

Sufiyan Ali is a canine nutrition expert with over 3 years of experience researching dog foods. I read books on providing dogs a healthy, balanced diet. Now I love to share my knowledge about dogs diet with you.

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