Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Pudding? [The Sweet Truth]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

All of us love our dogs, and when they look at us with those innocent eyes while you snack, it makes them irresistible to us to feed them some.

While there are certain types of human food that dogs can eat such as fish, corn, and eggs, it is best to avoid feeding them anything that is processed. In this instance, you might wonder, can dogs eat vanilla pudding?

It is not recommended to feed your dog vanilla pudding as they are not nutritious to them, and they contain excessive sugar and milk that causes weight gain and diarrhea amongst other issues. You can try homemade pudding, but it is best to avoid it altogether. A well-balanced diet should take priority.

In this post, we find out more about why vanilla pudding is not ideal for dogs as well as discover healthy alternatives that your dog will love.

Medical Questions? Talk to a Veterinarian 24/7.
Connect one-on-one with a licensed vet who will answer your questions in minutes.

Ask a Vet Now or Schedule a home visit

*Article may contain affiliate links to retailers like Amazon and Chewy. Learn more on our disclosure page.

Can dogs eat vanilla pudding featured image
Dear Dog Owner

How is vanilla pudding made?

If you are making homemade vanilla pudding, the main ingredients used are milk, eggs, sugar, and cornstarch, with a dash of vanilla flavoring of course!

The mixture is cooked over low heat to thicken and pasteurize the eggs, and the pudding is cooled and usually eaten cold. Some recipes exclude the eggs and instead use higher amounts of cornstarch to thicken the pudding. 

You can also make vanilla pudding from a premade mix that comes in powder form. The main ingredients of these mixes are sugar and cornstarch. They also contain additives and preservatives to add color, and flavor, and thicken the mixture while preventing the separation of fats.

Store-bought vanilla puddings that come pre-made contain many of the same ingredients, like milk, sugar, and cornstarch, but also contain palm oil and similar additives as the dry powder. 

Doggy says, read this too: Can dogs eat farro?

Is there any nutritional value in vanilla pudding

Technically one could argue that there are nutritional benefits found in milk and eggs, which are the main ingredients found in the pudding.

However, this only applies to a homemade pudding made with real ingredients and not store-bought equivalents. 

Eggs are nutrient-dense and packed full of vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy, balanced diet.

These nutrients include iron, fatty acids, folate, riboflavin, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin B12. 

Eggs are also an excellent source of protein which is a crucial nutrient to support strong, healthy dogs.

The protein in eggs contains all nine essential amino acids to support muscle growth and strength, as well as promote healthy skin, fur, and cartilage.

Amino acids also help support healthy brain function for your dog.

Milk is also packed with important nutrients, like calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin D.

These nutrients promote bone health and can prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis.

Doggy says, read this next: Can Dogs Drink MiO? [Learn The Dangers]

dog essentials banner in content

However, dairy products are not good for your dog as discussed in the next section. 

Though there are *some* nutritious ingredients in the pudding, the reality is that pudding is a dessert intended for human consumption.

Pudding contains a lot of carbohydrates mostly coming from refined sugar, and in no way should be considered a “healthy treat” for a dog.

Also, store-bought puddings and powders will contain fewer nutrients and have added chemicals.

If you are looking to give your dog a nutritious treat, pudding is not the answer.

Consider something else such as chicken broth!

They will love it!

Is vanilla pudding poisonous to dogs?

Vanilla pudding is not toxic to dogs, however, it still does not mean it is a good treat to feed your pooch. It is mostly made from milk and sugar which are both bad for your dog. 

When it comes to milk, your dog’s digestive system may have a hard time digesting lactose and dogs can easily become lactose intolerant.

It is generally recommended to keep your dogs away from milk and dairy products. Dairy can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems for your pup and can trigger food allergies.

Sugar is also not good for dogs. Though dogs do need to consume carbohydrates as part of a balanced diet, they shouldn’t be getting those carbs from sugar and sweets.

Excess sugar can cause your dog to gain weight and develop tooth cavities. It can give your dogs high energy levels and hyperactivity followed by depression and lethargy.

It can even lead to kidney infections, urinary tract infections, and diabetes.

Ready for more pawsome knowledge? Can dogs eat relish?

is vanilla pudding poisonous to dogs

What types of pudding can a dog eat?

Most conventional puddings in the United States will contain milk and sugar. It is not recommended to feed your dog any of these typical “dessert” puddings.

However, in another part of the world, they have a type of pudding that is much better suited for your pup.

In the UK and Ireland, there is a popular delicacy called Black Pudding. It doesn’t look (or taste) anything like vanilla pudding. Actually, it resembles sausage and is served as a main meal along with baked potatoes. 

Black pudding is primarily made from cooked pig’s blood and a combination of other ingredients including pork fats and oatmeal.

Since it is a meat-based product, it contains a good source of animal proteins and amino acids. However, it is processed food so it also contains high amounts of fats and chemical additives.

Your dog will like it, but if you are looking to share something more similar to vanilla pudding then read below!

Doggy says, read this too: Can dogs eat goldfish crackers?

Alternative Treats to Vanilla Pudding for Dogs

There are many treats better suited to your dog and if you are looking for a dessert to share, here are some alternatives to vanilla pudding. 

  • A peanut butter snack is definitely a dog-friendly dessert. Homemade and store-bought products that contain peanut butter will entice your pup without overloading them with sugar.
  • Pumpkin and sweet potato desserts also contain natural sugars that make delicious and nutritious treats that are a far superior alternative to something containing processed sugar. 
  • On a hot summer day, rather than sharing ice cream with your dog (dairy = diarrhea), opt for a fruit popsicle instead. It is refreshing, tasty, and has some vitamins and minerals from the fruit. Popsicles are usually dairy-free and make a great frozen treat. 
  • Finally, you can try making your own dog cookies. Having control over the ingredients going into these treats makes all the difference. One popular cookie flavor for dogs is apple bacon and oatmeal. You can even drizzle some peanut butter on top!

Here’s a bunch of our favorite dog snacks:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is sugar bad for dogs?

Though dogs need carbohydrates as part of a healthy diet, too much sugar in a dog’s diet is not good. Dogs will most likely be overweight if they consume too much sugar and can be at risk for developing diabetes, urinary tract infections, and kidney infections. 

Is milk bad for dogs?

Milk and all dairy products are not good for dogs. Their digestive systems do not have the enzymes necessary to break down the lactose found in milk. This will lead to gastronomical problems in your dog, such as diarrhea, stomach pains, flatulence, and vomiting. 

Can dogs eat sugar-free pudding?

Is this sugar-free pudding homemade or bought from the store? If you make pudding from scratch and omit to add sugar during preparation, then it should be fine. However, if you buy sugar-free pudding from the store it will most likely contain artificial sweeteners. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener often used in sugar-free puddings and it can be deadly for your dog. Avoid feeding your dog any sugar-free products intended for human consumption. 

Doggy says, read this too: Can dogs eat marrowfat peas? Useful diet tips

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Vanilla Pudding?

While it can be tempting to share your favorite pudding with your dog, it can turn out to be a negative experience for everyone involved.

The truth is, dogs eat almost everything, so why not opt for something that will not harm them?

There are lots of healthy options available which are readily available online or in stores.

You can also opt to make your own homemade pudding as a treat for them once in a while.

Just remember, anytime you are not feeding your dog specially-made dog food, there can be dangerous substances in them.

Stay on the safe side rather than a one-time satisfaction.

Doggy says, read this too: Can dogs eat quince fruit?

Share this post!
Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

no more bad dog breaths banner