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Can Dogs Eat Candy?

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Candy is not good for dogs as it is full of sugar and toxic ingredients.
  • Giving dogs candy regularly can cause pancreatitis and diabetes.
  • If your dog accidentally eats candy, call a vet immediately and watch for signs of illness such as vomiting or weakness.
  • Xylitol is a harmful ingredient in sugar-free candy that can cause severe health problems even in small quantities.
  • Theobromine in chocolate is toxic to dogs and can lead to symptoms ranging from shaking to heart failure.
Written by Kalgi
Kalgi is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Taimoor is a well-traveled practicing veterinarian performing duties related to pet care, staff supervision, laboratory work, and diagnoses.
Published on
Saturday 23 May 2020
Last updated on
Wednesday 17 May 2023
Can Dogs Eat Candy?
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Every owner adores their dog and we want to spoil them. Therefore, you may have asked yourself the question “can dogs eat candy“? As many foods can negatively affect a dog’s health, such as leading to poor dental health or obesity.

Some dog-specific candies exist, but owners are often found doubting whether these treats are too unhealthy. We will discuss the different candy for dogs and how it can affect them.

Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat Candy?

Unfortunately, you can’t treat dogs with candy as it is extremely high in sugar. Candy for dogs poses several health risks and it is very harmful to them to consume it. You may find yourself wanting to treat your dog with whatever you are eating, candy included. But sadly these treats can’t be candies or anything even closely related to chocolate or sugar. It is all toxic to them.

Avoid feeding your pet all types of candy, including hard candies and mints, chocolate bars (dark or milk chocolate), Halloween candy like candy corn, sweets with nuts (especially macadamia nuts), and candy that contains raisins or grapes, as these are toxic to dogs and can lead to kidney failure. Do not offer your dog other sweets like ice cream and cake as well.

Toxic Ingredients

Certain ingredients in candies are not only unhealthy for dogs but toxic. These can lead to negative consequences such as illness, obesity, and even death if candy is given in large quantities


Candies are filled with sugar and so are chocolates and chocolate candies. Sugar isn’t good for dogs’ health. You may think sugar-free candy would be an exception, but they’re even worse! Such sugar-free candies have a substance called xylitol, which is harmful to dogs. So quit the guilt when you’re savoring that piece of chocolate – if your dog stares at you or begs you for it – do not give in! You might just end up poisoning your pooch.

Xylitol poisoning can start within 20 minutes!! Signs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Decreased activity level
  • Weakness and collapse
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Shaking or seizures
  • Coma
  • Liver failure
  • Bleeding problems

A lot of times, we consider candy to be okay if they are only given to your dog as an occasional treat. However, you’re not doing your dog a favor by feeding them sugary candies. Other types of human treats can contain xylitol; Gums, toothpaste, and sugar-free baked goods too contain xylitol and should not be given to dogs. In all discussions of harm caused due to sugar, xylitol plays a key role, as it is never added to dog foods or treats due to its toxicity for dogs.


If your dog consumes chocolate or candy, the results can range from being concerning to tragic. Keep your chocolate bars and sugary candies away from your dog. Dogs can be affected by something called theobromine poisoning, this is the main toxin in chocolate. Theobromine poisoning can lead to your dog displaying symptoms anywhere from shaking to heart failure.

Theobromine toxicity can cause a variety of signs ranging from mild to severe. Signs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Urinating more
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Other neurological signs

You may wonder if a dog can gain any of their required dietary sugar intake from chocolate, but this is not the case. Dogs get their required carbohydrates in their daily diet and the needed sugar from fruits in the form of natural sugar. Dog foods contain sugar that makes their food tastier for them to eat. Granulated sugar in any form is not healthy for your dog at all. A cube of sugar, a bite of your cookie or a thin slice of cake can be harmful and lead to serious diseases for your dog. Use different treats like an extra piece of chicken or a slice of fruit (as it consists of natural sugars).

Induced Diseases

Candies can quickly lead to your dog feeling ill and even developing diseases. Here are two of the most common diseases to affect your dog if you regularly give them candy.


Due to the consumption of chocolate or sugar, your dog may end up vomiting, having abdominal pains, and diarrhea. These can be symptoms of Pancreatitis. Xylitol may cause lethargy, lack of appetite, sickness and their digestive system can become increasingly upset, leading to Pancreatitis. Furthermore, candies that have nuts in them are also a threat to dogs as they are extremely high in its oil/fat content, which can lead to Pancreatitis.

All forms of candies are harmful, but high-fat candies are more harmful as they can cause pancreatitis. Just like humans, dogs can also get addicted to sugar. Even if their treats or dog food contains some amount of sugar, they may begin to become fussy eaters and crave unhealthy, sugary foods and treats. This can be a difficult habit to get rid of and a high sugar diet can also result in pancreatitis.


Excess sugar from products such as candy can lead to your dog getting diabetes. Some of the symptoms include excessive thirst, increased urination, and weight loss. Even though there might not be any noteworthy change in their diet, diabetes can cause this negative effect. A lot of people think it is okay to give your pet pooch a square of dark chocolate – but they couldn’t be more wrong! Dark chocolate also contains theobromine, so it is more dangerous for dogs (yes, even worse than sugar) and should be kept far away from their reach.

Sugar can lead to your dog gaining weight, a factor that can often lead to diabetes. This is because the level of glucose in your dog’s blood rises and the pancreas attempts to fight this by raising your dog’s insulin levels. If your dog is overweight, it is a good idea to consider dog foods designed for weight loss and exercise programs.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Some Candy?

Now that you know that dogs cannot eat candy, what do you do if they did eat it by accident? The first thing to do is to try and find out what they’ve consumed and in how much quantity. As soon as you know what it is, you will know what needs to be done next. If your dog consumed xylitol or chocolate, you should immediately call Animal Poison Control Center. Regardless, a call to the vet is always recommended.

See if your dog’s behavior has changed or there are obvious negative health signs. Look out for subtle signs like retching or discomfort, and if you happen to notice any, call your vet immediately. There is a possibility that your dog could have eaten the wrappers of the candies as well. This can cause more problems and obstruct the intestinal tract. So, check for wrappers and if, you are unable to find them, then assume that your dog has consumed those too. That can cause vomiting and it has to be addressed properly by taking them in for an urgent vet visit.

candy for dogs
Can Dogs Eat Candy? Well, No!

Can Dogs Eat Candy – FAQs

In case you need to quickly skim through a few essentials about how harmful candy can be for dogs, find all your questions answered here.

Is Sugar Harmful To Dogs?

Sugar can harm dogs and do so quickly and severely. It can result in vomiting, diarrhea and other negative symptoms. As time progresses, the consumption can lead to other harmful conditions if the issues aren’t addressed in time. Consumption of sugar can cause dogs to be affected by diabetes, obesity, dental problems and more. Consumption of sugar eventually can also lead to seizures, or in the worse case, death. It may start with vomiting, lethargy and other smaller signs.

What Types Of Candy Are Bad For Dogs?

All kinds of candies are bad for dogs. Sweets, in general,are bad for dogs. Sugar is extremely bad for dogs and can affect their health in disastrous ways. Candies, chocolates, as well as sugar-free candies are bad for dogs and shouldn’t be given to them. Candies with raisins are also not good for dogs, as grapes are harmful to them and therefore so are raisins.

Hard candies also pose a threat to dogs as candies, like lollipops, are at times swallowed by dogs and can block their windpipes. Candies that are wrapped in paper, plastic, and foil can be eaten in one go and becomes stuck or cause injury.

Can Dogs Eat Peppermint Candy?

All candies have sugar content in it and therefore all candies are harmful to dogs, including peppermint candy. In case, candy doesn’t have sugar, it has xylitol, which is a replacement for sugar and works as an artificial sweetener that is toxic for dogs. It can cause hypoglycemia, liver failure and at times even death.
Peppermint by itself isn’t all that harmful, but peppermint can cause indigestion or bloat at least. Meanwhile, peppermint candy can be fatal and affect the body in various ways, eventually leading to seizures or even death. A grave situation can arise and you may end up losing your pet.

What Happens If A Dog Eats Candy?

Depending on the candy and amount, your dog can feel ill or even die. If a dog eats candy – check what all he ate along with the amount, like its wrapper and such. Take a look at the ingredients of the candy and approximately how much they would have had. Based on that, you will know how badly it could affect them. Watch them closely to see signs of fatigue, low blood sugar levels, weakness, and lack of coordination. Rush them to the vet as soon as you can.

What Types Of Candies Have Xylitol?

Sugar-free candies, chocolate, and gum have xylitol as it works as a sweetener in place of sugar. Not only candies use xylitol but many human products also contain this chemical including:
– Toothpaste
– Mouthwash
– Mints
– Low-calorie foods
– Lollipops
– Some brands of ice cream
– Jams and jellies
– Syrup
Peanut butter
– Ketchup
– Some energy drinks
Xylitol is fine for humans, but fatal to dogs so be aware of these products.

Now that you know what all can be harmful, try to prevent your dogs from consuming any candy to keep them healthy and happy.

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