Can dogs eat custard?

Written by Dr Andrew Miller MRCVSDr Andrew Miller MRCVS is an expert veterinary working in the field for over 10 years after graduating from Bristol University. Andy fact checks and writes for Pure Pet Food while also working as a full time veterinarian. Pure Pet FoodPure Pet Food are the experts in healthy dog food and healthy dogs featured in media outlets such as BBC, Good Housekeeping and The Telegraph. Working with high profile veterinary professionals and nutritionists, Pure Pet Food are changing dog food for the better. - Our editorial process

Creamy, delicious custard is one of the greatest desserts out there, and it pairs perfectly with a piping hot apple pie or scrummy crumble.

It’s mostly milk and eggs too, so you might wonder if dogs can eat custard as a special sweet treat. But can your pooch scoff some custard, or is it a surefire way to give them a pup-set stomach?

Can dogs eat custard?

Ideally, your dog shouldn’t eat custard, or at least not in large amounts. Custard certainly isn’t healthy for dogs and eating a lot of it can make them sick and cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

However, custard doesn’t usually contain any toxic ingredients so in small amounts it is still considered “safe” for dogs should they manage to snuffle any. It does contain vanilla though, which is a bit of an iffy ingredient when it comes to our furry friends.

That being said, some custards could contain ingredients that are poisonous to our pets. You should always check the label of any sweets and desserts to make sure there is no Xylitol, which is a sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs. Chocolate flavour custard is also a big no-go for Fido, since chocolate is also poisonous to pooches.

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Generally, if your pooch manages to hoover up a blob of custard that you’ve dropped on the floor, or you want to let your pooch lick your spoon, they’ll probably be alright. Just don’t do it regularly and don’t deliberately feed your pooch their own dessert after dinner.

Can dogs eat fresh custard?

Fresh or homemade custard shouldn’t contain anything toxic to dogs, so it isn’t immediately harmful should you want to give a little lick to your pooch.

There is an awful lot of cream and milk in fresh custard though, and dogs are usually lactose intolerant and can’t digest dairy very well. That means eating a lot of custard could cause vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and gas, which is uncomfortable for your pooch and pretty unpleasant for their parents to deal with too.

Fresh custard, like any other kind, also contains a lot of sugar. In tiny amounts on an irregular basis, your dog can eat a little sugar and be perfectly fine. However, eating too much sugar can cause hyperactivity and can contribute to weight gain and the development of diabetes.

No matter what kind of custard you’re munching, whether it’s canned, fresh, homemade, or powdered, it’s best not to let Fido scoff it.

Can dogs eat frozen custard?

Nope, your pooch shouldn’t eat frozen custard either, since it’s basically just regular custard that’s frozen. It’s got all the same caveats and potential problems as any other kind of custard, so it’s always safest not to let your pup eat it and instead offer them a healthier snack or treats that are meant for dogs.

If you want to make a sweet, cooling treat for your pooch you can make healthy doggy ice cream, or simply freeze a banana or berries and mash them on a licki mat. You could even mix up some Pure and freeze it in a popsicle mould or in a Kong for your pooch to enjoy on a hot day!

Can dogs eat custard tarts?

At risk of sounding like a broken record, no, your dog shouldn’t eat custard tarts. (Certainly not a whole one!) These tarts are packed full of calories, fat, and sugar which your dog is better off without.

In fact, one custard tart will usually contain more calories than a small breed of dog should eat in an entire day! Most custard tarts also contain nutmeg, which is toxic for your furry friend, meaning that custard tarts must be off the menu for Fido.

Can dogs eat custard creams?

No, you shouldn’t feed your dog a custard cream or any sort of human biscuit. Although your pooch might be begging for a sweet treat, the amount of calories, sugar, and fat in each biscuit are far too much for them to eat and stay healthy.

In fact, custard creams are one of the worst food offenders for dogs, and a single biscuit fed to your dog is the equivalent of a human scoffing half a pack of biscuits in one sitting. If you want to give your pooch a treat, stick to healthy and dog-friendly foods like strawberries, pears, or carrots, or just use doggy treats.

The effect is even worse for small dogs, who need far fewer calories every day and can handle smaller amounts of foods before it can make them sick. A single custard cream packs around 57 calories and a tiny dog like a Chihuahua should only eat about 225 calories each day. So even a single biscuit “as a treat” packs a quarter of their daily calories, making it very easy for them to be overfed.

Is custard bad for dogs?

Custard can be considered “bad” for dogs because eating a lot of it will no doubt make them sick.

The main problem with custard is that it’s high in calories, fat, and sugar, which can all contribute to unhealthy weight gain if your dog eats too much.

Custard is packed full of whole milk and cream. This doesn’t just add a lot of fat into the dreamy dessert, it means it’s full of dairy. Adult dogs are lactose intolerant because after they are weaned off their mother’s milk, their body stops producing the enzyme lactase which is responsible for digesting the sugars in dairy.

Because they don’t have this enzyme, your pup can’t digest dairy particularly well and it can lead to similar problems as it does in lactose-intolerant humans. In other words, your pooch will suffer from frequent bowel movements, loose stool, diarrhoea, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain.

Although bloating is fairly common and considered a minor problem for us humans, it can actually be life-threatening for dogs. If your pooch seems to be gassy and suffering from bloat, they’ll need to visit the vet.

Are dogs allergic to custard?

Custard contains a lot of milk and cream, and since dairy is a common allergen for dogs, it is possible that your dog could be allergic to custard. It is much more common for dogs to be lactose intolerant though, which means their body can’t digest dairy very well, resulting in mild illness such as diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Custard also contains a lot of eggs, which is another common canine allergy. All in all, it means that your dog can potentially be allergic to custard if they are allergic to any of the ingredients inside this creamy pudding.

Recap: Can dogs have custard?

No, your dog shouldn’t eat custard. Although it is usually non-toxic and “safe” if your pup happens to lick some up, it’s not healthy for your furry friend and they shouldn’t eat it regularly or in large amounts.

A tiny bit of custard, like licking the back of your spoon on special occasions should be safe though. Although, if you want to give your pup a sweet treat, you can make them some sup-aw simple healthy doggy ice lollies or just opt for a healthy doggy treat they can eat more regularly.

Make sure to feed any treats, homemade or not, alongside a complete, healthy diet as to not pile on the pounds. For example, Pure is healthy, natural and wholesome, making it the perfect food to pair with a few treats to keep your pooch in tip top shape.