Gummy bears are one of our favorite tiny snacks. Were you walking past the gummy bear jar? Anyone is quite likely to grab a handful of them. You see your dog begging for some? Just giv- WAIT! BUT CAN DOGS EAT GUMMY BEARS?
Well, no… we highly recommend keeping this human food away from your pup. Now, we have to find out why exactly. Do not fret, as we are here with the answers for you.
There are plenty of reasons why. The main and the biggest reasons are the common ingredients. In this 5-minute read, we will learn about all those components and what safe options you can choose.
Are Gummy Bears Safe For Dogs?
A classic gummy bear’s components should be a combination of glucose syrup, starch, sugar, food coloring, flavoring acid, water, food coloring, and gelatin. The intake of these ingredients can be a cause of health-related issues. As time passed by, the recipe for gummy bears has changed more and more depending on trends and additions.
Nonetheless, none of these ingredients are still okay for dogs to consume. Let us see how the ingredients affect your pup:
1. Glucose syrup and added sugar content
ALMOST all foods can be fed to your fur companion in small amounts. Glucose syrup is one of those. Glucose syrup is used for commercial foods as a sweetener, thickener, or moisture-retaining agent. It is often used in candy-making factories and various prepackaged foods because it does not crystallize.
Besides the science-ey terms, glucose syrup results from chemical reactions. The chemical reactions in a concentrated sugary liquid. For further added sugar, it gets even worse. Because the mixture already contains plenty of sweeteners. And doggy tummies are built to handle that amount of concentrated sugar content.
The high amount of sugar is never okay for your already adorable puppy dog. If your dog is diabetic, this can be hazardous to their health.
2. Excessive starch content
One of the primary sources of energy for hoomans is starch. This type of carbohydrate is very commonly found in our surroundings.
Starch is one of the three major types of carbohydrates that are not harmful to dogs as long as they do not make up a good chunk of your pup’s diet.
Weight gain, digestive issues, and dental issues can result from overeating carbohydrates.
3. Citric acid
One of gummy bears’ most popular flavor and food preservation ingredients is citric acid. This sour acid is not the best for dental health (which is why doctors advise us to brush our teeth after consuming citrus fruits). Moreover, the acidic factor in citric acid can irritate the throat and mouth.
This acid can also cause various other health-related issues in dogs. These are pancreatitis, allergic reactions, and kidney stones.
4. Xylitol poisoning
Now, xylitol is the greatest villain in the friendship of gummy bears and your beloved fur buddy. Xylitol is a common ingredient in plenty of commercially produced sweet products. In both you and your pup, the insulin released from the pancreas controls the blood sugar level.
Xylitol, a sugar substitute known as sugar alcohol, is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, which results in a rapid release of insulin from the pancreas. This quick release of insulin results in a drastic decrease in the level of blood sugar. These effects start within 10 to 60 minutes of xylitol consumption (article).
This condition is referred to as hypoglycemia. If not treated properly, it can be potentially fatal.
Why Should We Steer Away From High Sugar Content?
Sugar in minimal quantities will not make your dog a bedridden Victorian child. However, it is always best to exercise caution when it comes to products or dishes that contain sugar as their most prominent ingredient.
The problems of high sugar consumption are
1. Weight gain or obesity
High-sugar products are generally calorie-dense. Overconsumption of these can lead to abnormal weight gain or, as we know, obesity. After all, your favorite boy cannot get his gym membership, right?
Obesity leads to other potentially fatal health conditions such as heart disease, joint issues, diabetes, etc.
2. Dental and oral health deterioration
Sugar degrades dental health in dogs (and humans, but we cannot let you take the spotlight for now). Excessive sugar consumption leads to tooth decay, gum diseases, and bad breath.
3. Gastrointestinal Issues
Gastrointestinal upset is one of the most common and first disorders after excessive sugar consumption. Diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort are results of gastrointestinal upset.
Sugar is a notorious component in your pup’s diet. If your pooch has ingested a good amount of sugar, you need to seek medical care as soon as possible.
Then, Can Dogs Eat Gummy Worms?
Gummy worms have the same ingredient composition as gummy bears. As tempting as they might look as quick dog treats, we advise that you avoid them. Regardless of their shape, if it is not explicitly made for dogs, gummies will be hazardous to their health.
Some Dog-Friendly Gummy Bear Options
So, gummy bears are all bad for dogs? You cannot give even one to your dog?
As we said earlier, we highly recommend you avoid it. Gummy bears are specifically designed for human consumption. But there are also dog-safe gummy bear options available.
Here are the ingredients that you need to look out for while choosing –
- Gelatin: Gelatin is a safe ingredient for dogs. Doctors sometimes recommend paw-rents to feed gelatin to their fur buddies. This binding agent helps with canine companion’s joint health.
- Natural flavoring and colors: Dog-safe gummy bears must contain more natural ingredients. These can be vegetable or fruit-based. Artificial flavors or colors can lead to several health disorders. It would be best if you also kept an eye out for natural preservatives such as rosemary oil.
- Supplementary requirements: Just like for humans, some gummies for doggies have medicinal components in them. These will help keep your pup healthy and thriving.
Gummy bears that you got for yourself are NOT suitable for your pooch! While a few gummy bears may not be toxic, avoiding them will serve your best interest.
If your pup ingested the sugar-free ones (that is, the ones most likely containing xylitol), rush them to the veterinarian clinic immediately. Xylitol poisoning can eventually be fatal.
Keeping gummy bears out of your pupper’s reach or sight is essential. Gummy bears should never be a part of their regular treats. These can cause symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
One haribo gummy will not cause much harm to your dog. However, gummies are human food. They are highly sugary and contain artificial additives. All of these ingredients can be very toxic for your dog.
Gummies are definitely filled with harmful substances that can be hazardous to dogs. But one gummy will not likely cause any harm.
As a responsible pet paw-rent, you must take a look at the ingredients. Monitor for a few days. If they show any anomalous behavior, seek medical help immediately.
The answer to this question depends on how the ingredients were derived. If these ingredients were naturally derived, they are much less likely to cause harm. If not, then one or two will not cause much harm either. But again, we suggest monitoring them for a few days. Consult your veterinarian if necessary.