Can Dogs Eat Candy Canes? Answered!

Yaniv Oxenhandler
Yaniv Oxenhandler
I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.

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Can Dogs Eat Candy Canes?

Dogs are notorious for eating the craziest things they can get their paws on. We have all heard stories of dogs eating weird things like vines, leaves, and even rocks. However, most of us probably wouldn’t think that our sweet little doggy could digest a piece of candy cane. The truth is, it depends on what type of candy cane you have! Let’s take a closer look at whether or not your dog will be able to handle this festive treat.

Quick Answer:

You should not give your dog candy canes. They contain xylitol which is extremely toxic for dogs. In addition, the shape can be hard for them to digest and lead to serious health issues.

Continue Reading 

What Is a Candy Cane?

Candy canes are candy as the name suggests, shaped like a cane. Usually associated with Christmas they come in many flavors. The most common use for them is to hang them on Christmas trees as a decoration. However, they’re usually eaten as well.

Kids and adults alike love to eat it on Christmas and other holidays. It’s a holiday treat!

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What Are Candy Canes Made Of?

The basic ingredients in candy canes usually are made of corn syrup, gelatin, and artificial food coloring. Yes, that’s right, that’s usually all the ingredients that candy canes contain. The issue with these ingredients is that they should not be given to dogs. They provide no benefits and most of the time can cause harm. Let’s take a look at them one by one. While none of these ingredients are necessarily toxic to dogs they should not be given to dogs. 

Corn Syrup – While corn syrup is not toxic for dogs, it has a high sugar content that’s not recommended to be given to your dog.

Gelatin – It’s actually safe for your dog, and in some cases, experts say it’s good for them, However, the issue arises when it comes to candy canes. Candy cane gelatin is made with xylitol and that is extremely toxic for dogs. 

Artificial food colors – They may not be harmful to your dog, especially in very small doses, but they also don’t provide any nutritional value.

Now when it comes to candy canes these aren’t the only ingredients but they are the main ones.

Let’s take a look if dogs can eat them when it comes to other factors after mentioning just the ingredients.  

Can Dogs Eat Candy Canes? No Top 3 Reasons

Your dog should avoid feeding your dog candy canes. There are numerous reasons as to why you shouldn’t let your dog eat candy canes. These holiday treats are not suitable for dogs to eat because they contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to canines, especially xylitol. Which is extremely toxic for dogs. Besides the ingredients, candy canes are hard for dogs to chew and digest properly due to their shape. In addition, they simply provide no health benefits and are not a healthy snack for your dog to consume. Candy canes are mostly composed of sugar that can cause dental problems and obesity. 

1. Candy canes contain xylitol

Most candy canes contain xylitol. No matter the dosage, xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs. This alternative sweetener should be avoided at all costs.

2. Hard For Dogs To Digest

We all know the classic candy cane shape. For us, it’s easy to digest as we know how to eat it properly. Unfortunately, dogs do not. The odd shape and sharp edges of candy canes can be hard for a dog to properly digest. This just adds another reason as to why you should not be feeding your dog candy canes.

3.  The Artificial Flavoring 

Candy canes come in many different flavors. Not just the minty ones we’re used to. These flavors are not healthy for dogs, in any way. Including the classic mint. They can be extremely toxic, especially chocolate flavors. 

Those are just three reasons why you should be avoiding feeding your dog candy canes as a treat. But are candy canes poisonous to dogs?

Are Candy Canes Poisonous For Dogs?

Not exactly. Dogs can eat candy canes. They aren’t necessarily poisonous. Your dog may be able to munch down on the red sweeties, but he’ll never be able to fully digest the toxic ingredients found in them. Instead, they will pass through his system and cause a whole host of issues. Your dog may feel a rush of energy that lasts for a short while, followed by a crash. Vomiting and diarrhoea may come as a result.

Dogs can’t die from candy canes but they can cause a whole lot of issues due to their sugar  and xylitol contents.

My Dog Ate a Candy Cane What Will Happen?

If you have a dog that loves to snack on candy canes, don’t be too surprised if he’s able to eat one! Unfortunately, you can’t tell if your dog has eaten a candy cane or not. Firstly you should stay calm. Panicking will only worsen the situation. A candy cane or two won’t harm your dog to much. If he has eaten a couple, he’ll likely have some side effects such as a rush of energy followed by a crash and lethargy. He may also vomit, have diarrhoea, and experience seizures. The best way to treat your dog if he has eaten a candy cane is to induce vomiting. If your dog doesn’t vomit, give him a treat packed with vitamins and minerals that can help restore his health.

Always contact your vet if you do sense something is wrong or if he has eaten one.

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Bottom Line

Candy canes are not a safe treat to give to your dog. They are toxic, hard for your dog to digest, and a very unhealthy treat to give to your dog. Instead of giving your dog a candy cane, you should try to find healthier treats for your dog to snack on. If your dog does happen to eat a candy cane, he will likely experience a lot of side effects such as a rush of energy followed by a crash and lethargy. He may also vomit, have diarrhoea, and experience seizures. Candy canes are not good for your dog, and they aren’t a festive treat. Instead, you should try to find healthier treats for your dog to snack on during the holidays.

About The Author

I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.

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