French toast – ooh la la! This yummy dish is traditionally made from sliced bread dipped in egg and milk then pan fried. It’s usually topped off with things like cinnamon and something sweet. Et, voila! You have a quick and easy breakfast treat. But, can dogs eat French toast? And, is it really French? Let’s find out.
French Toast Nutrition
First things first. No, French toast probably isn’t French. It’s first described by the Romans in the 1st century A.D. It seems to have been popular all over Europe ever since.
French toast is usually served as a sweet dish but it can be served as a savory food if you omit the sugar, vanilla, and sweet toppings. Trying adding some avocado or a slice of tomato on top of the French toast for a completely different breakfast.
In terms of nutrition, French toast runs the gamut, depending on the ingredients used. If you pan fry the toast in butter, expect more calories. If you use whole milk, expect more calories.
The recipe we found uses eggs, fat-free milk, and whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread. You wouldn’t use this kind of bread if you were going to share a bite with your dogs since raisins are toxic to dogs but it’s not easy to find French toast recipes that include nutritional data. The French toast is fried in vegetable oil.
With this recipe, one slice of the toast has 172 calories with 10 grams of protein, 21 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of fat. It has 1 gram of saturated fat and 124 milligrams of cholesterol. It also has 3 grams of fiber and 253 milligrams of sodium.
You can increase the protein percentage for your French toast by using an extra egg. Make sure you dip the toast well in the egg solution.
You can use different kinds of bread for your French toast. Whole grain breads are usually considered to be healthier since they retain more fiber than breads made from more refined flours.
A piece of French toast made from a slice of whole grain bread is not especially high in calories or fat if cooked in vegetable oil. The eggs also make it a good source of protein. However, if you use a lot of syrup, butter, sugar, jam or other toppings, your French toast can become less healthy.
Should You Give Your Dog French Toast?
Actually, yes. You can share a small piece of French toast with your dog as long as it’s “plain.” A piece of toast dipped in egg and milk and fried without any toppings should be safe for most dogs to eat unless your dog has any special food allergies.
Exceptions might be a dog that is lactose intolerant. A dog that is extremely lactose intolerant might have a problem with French toast because it’s dipped in milk. Your dog would probably have to be very sensitive to have a reaction but it could occur. In that case, you could omit the milk. Just dip the bread in egg and fry it for your dog.
Another exception might be a dog that is allergic to eggs. Some dogs do have egg allergies. For these dogs French toast is probably a no-go. Fried milk toast (without the egg) is probably not very appealing.
You shouldn’t give any dog French toast that has nutmeg added. Nutmeg is often a popular spice added to egg dishes, including French toast. While humans enjoy it, nutmeg acts as a neurotoxin to dogs. It can even be fatal to dogs.
Don’t give your dog French toast that includes raisins. Raisins (and grapes) are harmful to dogs.
And, of course, you should not give your dog any French toast that is loaded with syrup, jams/jellies, sugar, artificial sweeteners, or chocolate. These ingredients can all be harmful to your dog.
It is safe to add a little cinnamon to the French toast your dog eats. Vanilla is also safe for dogs. Butter won’t harm your dog but it will add calories. You can always add a little yogurt to your dog’s French toast. Most dogs love yogurt and it’s very tasty on French toast. Choose low-fat yogurt if you need to watch your dog’s calories.
If your dog likes some kinds of fruit or berries, you can add some to his plain French toast. Blueberries make a good topping for French toast for dogs.
Can Dogs have French Toast?
While some sources claim that dogs can’t eat bread for some vague reason, hinting that dogs aren’t evolved to eat bread, dogs have actually evolved to digest carbohydrates over the last 10,000-15,000 of living with humans. Wolves don’t have the same digestive enzymes that dogs have developed but dogs are perfectly capable of digesting many starches. The carbohydrates in bread are not a reason to avoid giving your dog French toast or any other kind of bread. This doesn’t mean that you should stuff your dog with bread but you should know the facts.
Likewise, dogs can eat foods that contain wheat and other grains. Most dog cookies sold today are made using wheat flour. Glutens are not a particular problem for most dogs either unless your veterinarian has diagnosed an allergy or digestive issue affecting your dog.
French toast might not be an ideal treat for your dog but it’s not particularly harmful either, especially if it doesn’t contain any added toppings.
How Much French Toast Can You Give Your Dog?
Even though plain French toast should be safe for most dogs to eat, it’s best to only give your dog a small amount. For a large dog, one slice of French toast (about 172 calories) would be plenty. For a small to medium-sized dog, one-half slice would be enough.
How Often Can You Give Your Dog French Toast?
With the bread, egg, and milk, along with the frying, calories can add up in a slice of French toast. You could let your dog have a little French toast once or twice per week without doing too much damage to his regular diet. If he eats it more often, he could begin to put on unwanted weight.
If you’re making French toast for yourself there is no real reason not to cook a slice for your dog. Just make sure to keep it plain. Most dogs can safely eat a slice of French toast as long as it’s only dipped in egg and milk and doesn’t contain any added toppings. If you want to give your dog something even healthier, try using whole grain bread for his French toast. Just don’t let him eat too much French toast or eat it too often. Even when it’s plain, it can still contain a lot of calories.