Can Dogs Eat Candy?


As a dog owner, you want to stay informed about what your dog should and shouldn’t eat. It’s common knowledge that your dog’s main source of sustenance should be their dog food, given two or three times a day in meal-sized portions. However, most pet parents like to give their dogs other snacks or treats interspersed throughout the day.

What human foods are safe for dogs to eat? For example, can dogs eat candy? The short answer is no; your dog should not eat candy. We’ll go into the details of why this is the case so you can make informed choices regarding your dog’s diet. Additionally, you’ll learn what to do if your dog accidentally eats something they shouldn’t. 

Can Dogs Eat Hard Candy?

Can dogs eat Skittles, candy canes, and other types of hard candy? Eating things like these could cause serious digestive and gastrointestinal upset for your dog, so you should never intentionally feed them to your dog.

Many hard candies, especially candies made with artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners, can be toxic to dogs. If eaten in a high enough amount, hard candy could cause your dog to become seriously ill. 

Even if your dog eats just a few hard candies, the sugar content in the pieces could cause digestive issues for several days afterward. Additionally, since hard candies are typically difficult to chew, they could become lodged in your dog’s throat and cause pain or difficulty breathing and swallowing. 

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

The short answer is no! Chocolate is known as one of the most toxic human foods for dogs. Depending on the dog’s size and how much they eat, a small amount of chocolate may not cause your dog to become sick. 

However, avoiding chocolate for your dog altogether is the safest course of action, especially if you don’t know how your pup responds to chocolate in their system.

The cocoa used in chocolate candy contains theobromine, which is the ingredient that’s most dangerous for dogs. The darker the chocolate is, the more toxic it is for your pup. If your dog accidentally eats chocolate, keep a close watch on their behavior and look out for symptoms like seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle tremors. 

Can Dogs Eat Sour Candy?

Sour candy is designed to have a much less sweet taste than its traditional candy counterpart. Does that mean that dogs can eat it safely? 

The answer is no. Sour candy can contain many of the same harmful substances that could make your dog sick. Additionally, many sour candies are hard and difficult to chew, making them serious choking hazards for your pet. 

If you look at the ingredient list on your sour candy package, it probably still contains several grams of sugar. With all this considered, you should keep your sour candy far away from your dog.  

Can Dogs Eat Ginger Candy or Mint?

It’s clear that dogs shouldn’t eat candy for the sake of their health, but can dogs eat peppermint or other similar foods made with less sugar? Ginger candies and mints are in the same food category as candies, but they are typically made with healthier ingredients. 

Even though ginger candies and mints might be lower in sugar than other candies, they should still be avoided for your dog. Additionally, mints commonly contain sugar-free sweeteners like xylitol, which is highly unsafe for dogs to consume, even in small amounts. The risk of choking is also present in mints, ginger chews, and similar foods.

Can Dogs Eat Sugar?

You understand that dogs shouldn’t eat candy, but what about sugar in general? Sugar itself is not toxic to dogs. In fact, as omnivores, dogs are naturally predisposed to eat a variety of foods that naturally contain sugar, including yams, beets, and carrots. 

However, in naturally-occurring foods like these, the sugar is bonded with fiber that supports healthy digestion and effective nutrient absorption. In highly processed foods like candy, chocolate, and other sweets, the sugar content is abnormally high, and there is usually very little fiber present. 

When it comes to sugar, you should generally keep it away from your dog for the sake of their long-term health in addition to potential toxicity. Even if some foods containing sugar aren’t immediately dangerous for your dog, they could cause weight gain, heart problems, and other health issues over time if eaten regularly.  

How to Keep Your Dog Safe From Candy

Keep sweets like chocolate, cotton candy, licorice, Twizzlers, and Starburst candy away from your pet as a rule. Store these items on a high shelf or in a cabinet to prevent your dog from getting into them. 

If your dog accidentally eats candy, call your vet immediately. They will be able to provide a recommendation based on what your dog ate and how much. Don’t wait for your dog to show symptoms — contact a professional right away!

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Jeffrey Manheimer

I have grown up with dogs my entire life. My current fur baby is Frankie, a Bernese Mountain dog that is scared of flies, running water and the gameshow Jeopardy. Her health and joints have been managed by key supplements, vitamins and a variety of food.

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