Are Candy Canes Toxic to Dogs?
The answer is it depends on the ingredients in the candy cane. Some candy canes are made of sugar, while others are made with an artificial sweetener called xylitol. Neither type of sweetener is especially good for dogs, but the worst one is xylitol. This is extremely toxic to dogs.
So, before calling the vet, see if you can find the packaging for the candy canes. Then, check the ingredient list for sugar or xylitol.
If your dog has eaten one candy cane sweetened with sugar, he should be OK. He may have an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea; however, these should pass.
On the other hand, if your fur baby has eaten a candy cane that contains xylitol, then you’ll need to head to the vet’s right away. This is a medical emergency.
What Are Candy Canes?
Candy canes are a type of candy that is shaped like a cane. There are two types of candy canes: peppermint and wintergreen flavored. They may also be made with cream, butter, or vanilla-flavored icing instead of just sugar. The most common use for them is to hang on Christmas trees as decoration; however, they’re often eaten as well.
A popular tradition among children during the holidays involves breaking off one end and then licking off the syrup from inside while sucking at the other end until all that remains is an empty stack. This leaves behind a long stringy “snow” effect which many people find attractive enough to eat in addition to their favorite flavors.
AKC is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to akc.org. If you purchase a product through this article, we may receive a portion of the sale.
Dogs certainly have a sweet tooth and some will gluttonously and ravenously go for any sweets they can ferret out. We need to dog-proof the house and ensure that dogs cannot get into potentially harmful things like xylitol-containing gum and candy.
The biggest concern with candy (that isn’t chocolate) is the risk of the ingredient xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol commonly used as an artificial sweetener and is toxic to pets. This ingredient is often used in sugar-free items but has been showing up in more and more foods every day even when they aren’t labeled as sugar-free. Most often, xylitol is found in sugar-free gum, sugar-free candy, and sugar-free baked goods.
In addition to the risk of candy itself, the wrappers can also be an issue. Wrappers can become lodged in your pet’s throat or intestinal tract, requiring surgery to remove them. Foil or cellophane wrappers have the potential to result in gastrointestinal irritation.
For many small breeds, xylitol poisoning can be fatal without early veterinary intervention. There is no know antidote for xylitol intoxication and the only therapy is supportive. Treatment goals are the correction of hypoglycemia and prevention of developing acute liver failure.
What happens if my dog eats candy canes?
How much of a candy cane can hurt a dog?
How much xylitol is in a peppermint candy?
Even a small amount of xylitol can be lethal for your dog. If they consume just 0.1 grams of xylitol per 2.2 pounds of their weight, they can have seizures so severe that can result in death.