Every dog has an immense desire to nibble on the lip-smacking human food their owner is eating. Be it a packet of choco chips, a plate of fries, or the delicious Sour Patch Kids candy. True that your dog will feel heavenly pleasure and a sense of triumph in getting at the food that you were hiding from him. But seeing him eat what he isn’t supposed to will leave you worried and panicked to the fullest.
Has it ever happened that you were enjoying a bag of sour patch kids and mistakenly left the same on the table? Your dog grabbed the golden opportunity and popped a few into his mouth. Well, let’s take a look at all you need to know about sour patch kids and its effects on your dogs.
What Are Sour Patch Kids?
Sour Patch Kids are soft gummy candies having sugar as their primary ingredient. These candies have a unique taste, a combination of sweet and sour. The blend of tartaric and citric acid contributes to its tartness, whereas the sugary coating makes the candy immensely sweet.
A bite of these chewy candies would certainly play with your taste buds taking them to another level. The Sour Patch Kids come in various colors and flavors like lime, orange, cherry, redberry, and so on. They are called by various names in different countries. Like, in France, people call it Very Bad Kids. While in Canada, these gummy candies are known by the name of Maynards Sour Patch Kids.
Are Sour Patch Kids Good For Dogs? Should Owners Give Their Dogs Sour Patch Kids?
Now comes the main question. Are these lip-smacking candies good for your dogs? The answer is a combination of a YES and a NO. To put it this way, if your dog ate one or two of these candies, it won’t do him great harm. But they aren’t healthy for your dog.
Moreover, eating too many of them could make your canines severely sick. Then comes the size and weight of the dog as well. A big or giant breed eating two to three candies will have less severe health effects than a small breed or a pup eating the same number of candies.
So that’s why as a responsible pet owner, you shouldn’t consider the option of giving your dogs Sour Patch Kids, even as a treat.
What Ingredients Do Sour Patch Kids Have?
We have already established above that Sour Patch Kids aren’t a healthy option for dogs. So, it is important to know the ingredients these candies contain. This will help us to analyze the risks Sour Patch Kids might pose to dogs, especially if eaten in increased amounts.
Here are some of the common ingredients one would find in Sour Patch Kids:
- Invert sugar
- Corn starch
- Tartaric acid
- Citric acid
- Synthetic food dyes/colorings
- Xylitol (all candies do not have it)
Can Dogs Have Sour Patch Kids or Not? 6 Possible Risks
As mentioned, one or two sour patch kids occasionally wouldn’t harm your dog. But you should try not to give your dog Sour Patch Kids at all. So, to answer it in short, YES, your dogs could have them occasionally, but you should NOT give them to your pet, as it isn’t healthy for your pooch. Let’s check out the possible risks your dogs could be at upon consuming these candies (particularly in increased amounts).
1. Increased Sugar Content May Pose Harm to Dogs
Sour Patch Kids are sugary treats, and the effects of excess sugar in your dog’s system aren’t unknown. The direct impact of increased sugar is that it triggers obesity, aggravating certain conditions in dogs like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, respiratory distress, etc.
Though sugar or glucose is harmful to all dogs when consumed excessively. Yet, if you have brachycephalic breeds like a Pug or French Bulldog, or any other dog susceptible to obesity, the risk is even more.
Remember, a small amount of sugary treats, once in a while, isn’t bad. But anything in excess can be dangerous for your four-legged friend. If your dog has consumed too much of this sugar treat, he will show symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and other signs of discomfort.
2. The Citric Acid Could Irritate Your Dog’s Tummy
Another important ingredient present in Sour Patch Kids is citric acid, which isn’t good for dogs. One or two candies won’t be harmful. But if your dog has had too many of them, it means that a lot of citric acid has gone inside his tummy. The common side effects include gastrointestinal disorders like vomiting, bloating, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.
Increased consumption of citric acid products could even result in CNS (Central Nervous System) depression. If your dog faces such a condition, then it could make him sleepy and lethargic. Your dog’s movements may even appear uncoordinated. In severe cases, he might collapse.
3. The Artificial Colorings Aren’t Healthy For Your Dog
The vibrant colors of the Sour Patch Kids may be attributed to the artificial colors added to make them look appealing. They aren’t safe for your dogs at all. These colorings may trigger allergic reactions in dogs causing several health hazards. So your pooch should stay away from these candies.
4. Sour Patch Kids Might Contain the Deadly Xylitol
Xylitol is a sweetener present in gums, candies, cough syrups, and so on. It is safe for humans but not for dogs. Even small quantities of xylitol could cause your dog’s blood sugar to lower drastically, resulting in hypoglycemia. It may even prove fatal for your dogs.
Luckily, most Sour Patch Kids do not contain xylitol, except for one variety, possibly sugar-free ones. So, if your dog is unfortunate enough to have the sugar-free ones, it might take a serious toll on his health, depending on his size.
5. Corn Syrup Can Have Adverse Effects on Canines
Corn syrup has glucose and starch as its primary ingredients. True that it isn’t toxic for your canine. But its high sugar content could trigger obesity in dogs, also putting them at a high risk of diabetes when consumed excessively. If your dog has had a lot of these candies, then he could have a stomach upset, showing symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
6. The Wrappers May Cause Choking Hazards
It’s not only the candies that would pose problems to dogs; you can’t ignore the wrappers as well. If the candies are inside the wrapper, your dog may not know the skill of unwrapping the candy.
The outcome is that he will gulp down the candy with the wrapper itself. This will cause a serious choking hazard. Even if it has gone down the dog’s system, there is a risk of an intestinal blockage. If the wrapper isn’t eliminated through his stool, surgery might be needed to remove it from your dog’s system.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Sour Patch Kids? 4 Useful Tips
When you return from your urgent call only to see that the bag of Sour Patch Kids you left behind has been emptied by your dog, all hell is sure to break loose. However, do not panic, and analyze the situation properly to identify the problem and get a quick solution as well. Here are some of the initiatives you need to take when you notice that your dog has ingested Sour Patch Kids.
1. Remove the Source
If you see that your dog has eaten quite a few of these candies in your absence, make sure that he doesn’t hurt himself more. The first thing you must do is remove the packet from your dog’s sight. If you spot some of the candies lying on the ground, pick them up at once and throw them in the trash can. In this way, you save your dog from hurting himself further.
2. Check the Ingredient List
As mentioned, all Sour Patch Kids do not contain xylitol, barring the sugar-free variants. If your dog was unfortunate enough to consume the candies with xylitol, then you need to consult the vet at once. This is irrespective of the fact your dog consumes a little bit of Sour Patch Kids or too much of it.
3. Monitor Your Dog’s Symptoms
This is another essential thing to do. When you have identified that your dog has eaten xylitol, then you need to keep a close watch on him. In most cases, the gummy candies won’t harm him if he has eaten the xylitol-free ones, that too in small amounts.
But if you notice your dog showing the following signs right after eating Sour Patch Kids or within a few days from consumption, then you must consult the vet at once.
The signs that are an indication of a red flag include:
- Lethargy or hyperactivity
- Stomach cramps
- Abdominal pain; your dog will howl, yelp, snarl, or growl
If your dog is choked, he will retch, gag, cough, salivate excessively, and even paw at his mouth. All these indicate that your dog is uncomfortable and struggling for some particular reason. He will need medical assistance at once.
4. Consult the Vet
The moment you find your dog has eaten Sour Patch Kids; then it is essential to contact the vet at once to ensure all is well. Please do not try any remedies at home. The earlier you seek a vet’s advice, the sooner you’ll be able to help your dog recover if the candies have done any damage to him.
Do Sour Patch Kids Provide Nutritional Benefits to Dogs?
After all that has been discussed above, this question needs no elaboration. The answer will be a straight NO. The ingredients in Sour Patch Kids would do more harm than good to dogs. None of them come with any significant health benefits as such. So, it would be better if you avoid giving it to your dog completely. If your motive is to give your dogs a treat, you could opt for healthy options.
In most cases, one or two Sour Patch Kids won’t do much harm to your dog unless they contain xylitol. Moreover, a lot depends on your dog’s weight, size, and overall health. Like, if your dog is diabetic, even moderate amounts of this candy will be dangerous for him.
If you are on the lookout for healthy treats to give your dogs, Sour Patch Kids are not the ultimate option. Alternative to it include apples, fresh or frozen green peas, carrots, watermelons, cooked sweet potatoes, and so on.
The sweet-tart treat you, and your munchkin swear on isn’t that beneficial for your dog. So, the next time you see your pooch demanding a bite of Sour Patch Kids, don’t fall for his innocent face. By submitting to his temptation, you’ll harm him more than do any good. Instead, keep healthy treat options at hand to give your dog the moment he demands some.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.