You love your furry buddy, and you want to share everything you eat with them, especially when they stare at you as if they are begging for it, right?
But you already know that chocolates are off-limits for your doggo. And that is not the end of the list. Almost all snacks made with refined sugar can be harmful to your canine buddy.
So what about gummy bears? Can dogs eat gummy bears?
We will discuss that in this post.
Are Gummy Bears Bad for Your Dog?
Well, there are different types of gummy bears available. So let’s discuss them one by one.
#1. Regular Gummy Bears
By regular gummy bears, we mean the kind of gummy bears that you traditionally get – those made without artificial sweeteners. But, of course, they are filled with sugar. So you cannot count refined sugar as an essential nutrient. It doesn’t do anything good to the health of your dog.
If and when you feed these sugary treats to your doggo, they will have to deal with its adverse effects, as they are not much equipped to handle sugar. The sugar in gummy bears can lead to the following in your pup:
- Decay of Tooth
To promote their dental health, you need to brush your pup’s teeth. Similar to humans, they are susceptible to tooth decay. You need to brush their teeth at least three times a week to prevent this.
Gummy bears are sticky. When your doggo eats them, the sugar in them will get stuck to their teeth and stay. Oral bacteria feed on this sugar, and they grow more in your dog’s mouth. When the bacteria eat the sugar, they excrete a substance that is acidic and eats away the enamel of your furry buddy’s teeth. As a result, your pup may suffer from painful tooth decay and even tooth loss.
You may already know that there is a particular measurement of your dog’s regular diet so that they can get maximum nutrition from it. This limitation exceeds if you feed calorie-dense treats such as gummy bears to your doggo. Now, your dog will not always exercise more and burn the excess sugar off, right?
Gummy bears are not healthy, and eating them can lead your dog to diabetes. This is because just a few gummy bears have calories similar to a spoonful of peanut butter or an entire banana.
But they are not directly toxic or poisonous to your pup.
Do you have a dog of a large breed? Did they eat just one or two of these gummy bears?
Then the chances are that they will not have any adverse side effects at all.
But, does your dog fall under the small breed category? And did they eat quite a huge quantity of gummer bears?
Then they may suffer from gastroenteritis. And this may lead them to vomit and suffer from diarrhoea.
So, it would be wise if you choose treats for your pup that would be able to provide at least some kind of nutritional value to their everyday diet.
- Digestive Issues
Your pal’s digestive system cannot handle much sugar. Too much consumption of gummy bears can cause gastroenteritis in your pup.
So the best thing that you can do is not to give them gummy bears.
Please note that some dogs even eat the plastic that the candies are wrapped with. Ingesting plastic can cause a choking hazard to your dog. Also, it can lead them to have a blockage in their gut. Call your vet immediately if you suspect that your furry buddy has eaten a plastic.
#2. The ‘Edibles’ or THC gummy Bears
Marijuana such as Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa has been legalized in some states. This is making it more and more common in the use of medicinal purposes and recreational uses. Unfortunately, because of this, the cases of accidental pet intoxication have increased a lot – over the last few years. And we are not saying it. The Pet Poison Helpline has said it.
The active substances from the marijuana plant include cannabinoids. The most common ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). You can blame the latter for the high-inducing or psychoactive effects.
And did we tell you that it is toxic to your doggo?
Do you suspect that your canine companion has been exposed to marijuana in any form?
Call your vet immediately.
Make sure to tell your vet what your pup has eaten. This will help them to treat your dog successfully.
#3. Sugar-free Gummy Bears
This type of gummy bear is the most dangerous of all for your pup. And so, we suggest not to feed these gummy candies to your doggo.
Do you suspect that the gummy bear you are thinking of sharing with your furry friend has artificial sweeteners in it?
Then DO NOT feed them to your dog.
This artificial sweetener can be xylitol.
In several human foods, you can find xylitol. This has become popular because of its plaque-reducing effects. Also, it is used to reduce the content of calories in foods.
You can find this artificial sweetener in jelly beans, sugar-free gummy bears, chewable vitamin gummies, breath mints, peanut butter, protein bars, toothpaste, mouth wash, and certain medications.
If your pup eats xylitol, they can have two severe toxic effects.
Xylitol can cause severe hypoglycemia. This means your pup’s blood glucose and blood sugar levels will be extremely low.
Also, xylitol can cause damage to your favorite buddy’s liver.
Both of these conditions are deadly.
If you suspect that your doggo has eaten xylitol, contact your vet as soon as you can.
Apart from xylitol, some other artificial sweeteners in gummy bears and gummy candies include steviol glycosides (Stevia), sorbitol, and maltitol. But these are not toxic to your furry buddy.
We have come across some product reviews for the sugar-free Haribo gummy bears. Users say that if it is eaten in large quantities, it can cause severe diarrhea and gastronomical upsets.
What are the Major Risks of Feeding Gummy Bears to Your Dog?
Suppose your dog eats the regular candy gummy bears that are made without using artificial sweeteners. In that case, it doesn’t cause any harm to your doggo. But, of course, we are talking about when they eat it in small amounts – one or two. And you may not notice any side effects at all.
However, if you have a small pup and if they have eaten quite a lot of gummy bears, they can show the signs of gastroenteritis. If you have any concerns about your dog’s health, make sure to talk to your vet.
As already mentioned, if your dog has eaten a large quality of gummy bears, then the chances are that they can have an upset stomach. This is especially true for dogs of smaller breeds.
Following are some signs of gastroenteritis:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
Usually, this occurs for a short period of time, and with time, it gets resolved. However, we suggest that you get in touch with your vet immediately if you notice any of these symptoms. Smaller dog breeds get affected quickly. Their blood sugar levels become low, and they become dehydrated.
#2. THC Toxicity or Marijuana
In dogs, marijuana toxicity can cause several symptoms, including:
- Dilated pupils
And in more serious cases, your pup may experience:
- Dribbling urine
The signs of marijuana toxicity can take about five minutes to twelve hours to appear.
If you give your dog ‘edibles,’ for example, THC gummy bears to eat, they can be exposed to marijuana toxicity. Also, it can happen through second-hand smoke inhalation or if they eat your stash in any form.
And if it happens, your doggo will need medical treatment.
#3. Liver Damage and low Blood Sugar
As already mentioned, the main reason you should not give gummy bears and other candies to your pup is that many of them contain xylitol. It is safe for you but extremely toxic for your dog. The level of toxicity depends on the number of gummy bears your dog has eaten. For small dogs, even a small amount can prove to be fatal.
When it becomes toxic for your dog, it can lead to a significant drop in your pup’s blood glucose levels. This is known as hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
As it becomes severe, it can even cause death to your pup.
Once a dog eats xylitol, you can start noticing the symptoms after thirty to sixty minutes. And the effects can stay for more than twelve hours. So it can be deadly if not treated immediately.
Xylitol can cause hepatic necrosis too.
Now, what is this hepatic necrosis?
Well, it is sudden and severe damage to the liver of your pup, and it can lead to acute liver failure.
It may take twelve to twenty-four hours after exposure or even a longer period of time for these signs of liver damage to get revealed. If your dog experiences this, they will need extensive medical treatment.
It is the liver that produces several blood clotting factors. And liver failure can cause spontaneous internal bleeding. This is known as coagulopathy.
When it comes to xylitol toxicity, the essence of time becomes extremely important. So the sooner you take your pup to your vet, the better.
#4. Potential Intestinal Obstruction
Accidentally, suppose your doggo chewed up the plastic wrapper and swallowed it with the gummy bear. In that case, they will be at risk of intestinal obstruction or blockage in their gut. Some signs of intestinal obstruction include:
- Difficulty in passing feces
- Vomiting multiple times
- Loss of appetite
If you notice any of these signs in your pup, consider this as an emergency and call your vet immediately.
Your Dog Ate Gummy Bears: What to Do Now?
Did you just find out that your pup has eaten a pack of gummy bears?
Well, depending on the type of gummies your dog has eaten, the size of your dog, and the ingredient list – you may need to take quick steps. Here is what you can do:
Examine your Dog
Check your pup closely. Can you notice any signs of discomfort or illness? Are they vomiting or having diarrhea? Are they drooling too much? Are they pacing or panting more than usual?
If your answer to all the above questions is a big “yes,” then go to your nearest emergency vet as soon as you can. The signs can be tremors, seizures, or collapse.
If you are sure that your furry buddy has consumed gummy bears that have toxic ingredients such as marijuana or xylitol, make sure to call your vet immediately.
Clean up the Area
Clear the area and remove the remaining gummy bears and wrapping papers, if any. Your furry buddy should not be able to get to them. If your pet can access the trash can, make sure to move it from their reach.
Before you call the vet, make sure to gather as much information as you can. First, try to know how many gummy bears your pup has eaten. Then, check and estimate how much of the pack is eaten.
Did your dog chew up or eat the packaging too? When might they have eaten the gummy bears? And the most important thing, did those gummies contain any artificial sweetener or xylitol?
In case the packaging is missing, look up the ingredients on Google. Sometimes, xylitol is listed under INS 967 or E967. Let your vet know if you are not sure of the ingredients or the brand.
Contact your Vet
Once you call your vet, give them all the information you have collected till then, including your dog’s breed, weight, and age. Also, let them know if your doggo has any previous illness.
If your doggo ate only one or two regular gummy bears, then they may tell you to monitor them at home. You will need to look out for any signs of illness, such as diarrhea.
If your doggo is sick, has consumed xylitol or the plastic packaging, your vet may ask you to take them to the clinic for a check-up so that they can provide your pup with the necessary treatment. Likewise, if you have the wrapper, take that to your vet.
Dog-Friendly Alternatives to Gummy Bears
Your dog cannot resist chewy, colorful gummy bears?
Try out these recipes made with various delicious and healthy ingredients – perfect for your doggo!
Honey and Fruit Juice Dog Gummies
- One tablespoon raw honey
- Two tablespoons powdered gelatin
- Three to four cups of pear juice
How to make:
- Take a saucepan and pour half a cup of fruit juice into it
- Heat the saucepan and bring the juice to a boil. Use moderate heat
- Take the remaining fruit juice and sprinkle gelatin over it
- For four to five minutes, let the juice absorb the gelatin
- Now pour the hot juice into the gelatin and fruit juice mixture
- Add honey to it and blend thoroughly using a whisker
- Take the mixture and fill the silicone molds with it. Refrigerate it for three hours
- Pop the gummy bears out of the molds – it is ready to eat!
- You can store it in your freezer for two to three months.
Your pup will love this sweet and all-natural dog treat for sure. They will get the nutrition of fruit juice and honey. There are tons of minerals and vitamins in fruit juices. As they are naturally sweet, you don’t need to add sugar to them.
Raw and pure honey has loads and minerals and vitamins too. And it has anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and anti-viral properties that are beneficial for your doggo.
Bone Broth Savory Gummy Treat
- 1/8 tablespoon turmeric
- ¾ cup of bone broth
- A pinch of black pepper
- Two tablespoons of powdered gelatin
How to make:
- Take a saucepan and pour half a cup of the bone broth into it
- Add black pepper and turmeric to it
- Bring the mixture to a boil using moderate heat
- Take the remaining cold bone broth and add gelatin to it
- Give it some time to absorb the gelatin
- Now pour the hot bone broth slowly into the gelatin and broth mixture
- Fill your silicone molds with it and put it in the freezer for three to four hours
- Take the gummies out of the molds. You can store them in your freezer for two to three months.
Bone broth offers exceptional nutritional value to your pup. It contains essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, and gelatin. These nutrients enhance joint health and boost your pup’s immune system. This delicious gummy treat is easy for your pup to digest. It removes the toxins from their body. Also, it contributes to the healthy function of their liver.
You can either buy the bone broth from the store or make it at home. If you are going to buy it, go for the organic one. Also, make sure that it doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary ingredients.
The other ingredients used in this recipe have health benefits too. Turmeric contains curcumin with strong anti-inflammatory properties. Also, it has anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties.
To keep your dog healthy and safe, make sure that they stay away from gummy bears!