Gummy Bears are a fruity, non-chocolate candy found in many homes with small children. Because they are so prevalent, you may be wondering if it is ok to feed some to your pet. The quick answer is no. It would be best if you did not feed your pet gummy-bears for a variety of reasons that we will look at coming up.
Join us while we look at any harmful side effects that can occur as a result of feeding your dog gummy-bears as well as if there are positive aspects to this sweet treat.
Are Gummy Bears Bad for My Dog?
We said you should not feed gummy bears to your dog, so let’s look at a few reasons why.
The biggest concern when feeding your pet a gummy bear is whether it contains an artificial sweetener named Xylitol. Even a small amount of this chemical can cause an extreme reaction in your dog, resulting in death. Xylitol causes the pancreas to release an excess of insulin, which removes the sugar from the blood and causes a condition known as hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of Xylitol poison begin to appear within 15-30 minutes and include vomiting, weakness, tremors, lack of coordination, and difficulty walking. If your dog ingests xylitol accidentally, we recommend calling a veterinarian or poison control immediately.
If your gummy bears do not contain Xylitol, then it’s unlikely that eating a few here and there will be life-threatening. However, there is little more than gelatin and sugar in the ingredients, so this is a treat that can still lead to obesity and raised sugar levels. Too much sugar over an extended period can also lead to other conditions like diabetes that can dramatically shorten your pet’s life.
Another problem you will need to worry about if you feed your dog a regular diet of gummy bears is that they may present a choking hazard. Their small size can easily get lodged in the teeth and throat of your pet.
Are Gummy Bears Good for My Dog?
As we have mentioned, there is very little in a gummy bear besides gelatin and sugar or xylitol, so there is no nutritional benefit in feeding this food to your pet. There is some evidence that gelatin can help ease joint pain, but you will not feed enough to your pet to see a benefit in this area.
How Can I feed Gummy Bears to My Dog?
Since we don’t recommend feeding any store-bought brand of gummy bear to your pet, we have sought out a recipe you can make at home. We found the perfect recipe at Fluffy Planet that allows you to create a safe gummy treat to give your pet in just a few steps.
Gummy Treat for Dogs
- ½ cup broth, preferably bone broth
- One envelope of gelatin
- Half a beet
- 3-4 strawberries
- Handful of parsley
Fluffy Planet also suggests substituting coconut water for broth. You can also substitute almost any fruit for strawberries to get a wide range of flavors. These treats should last ten days or more and are much healthier and tastier than the kind you buy in the store. There is no sugar and no xylitol, while the strawberries, beets, and parsley provide a meaningful amount of nutrients, as does the broth while adding flavor your dog will love. You can cut squares or shapes as large as you need, so there is much less chance that your gelatin treats will be a choking hazard.
The primary danger of giving your dog gummy bears or other sugary candies lies in the Xylitol that they may contain. Such a large percentage of this food has xylitol that it finds itself on many lists of the most dangerous foods to give your dog, and to eat only a few will require an emergency call to the vet or poison control. However, if they should eat a few that do not contain Xylitol, they will be fine. We recommend researching and avoiding bringing foods home that contain Xylitol if your dog is the type that likes to sneak food.
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