Can Dogs Eat Caramel? (Vet’s Comments Included)

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Caramel consists mainly of sugar, which is often not suitable for dogs. Even though it can take several various forms, it is most commonly used in a candy production and many desserts, including pastries, puddings, ice cream and more. Although we, humans, can freely savor it as a sweet treat, it offers nothing good for dogs and can cause some real harm.

Is caramel bad for dogs?

Technically pups can eat caramel. It’s not poisonous to them. But because there is something dogs can eat, it doesn’t imply they have to. Many people identify chocolate as the greatest’ danger’ to pets when it comes to sugary treats, and even though chocolate must certainly remain “non-grata” in dog’s nutrition plan,  the caramel sugar is as bad for the overall well-being of your dog. Though not considered bad or poisonous, that much sugar can make your dog unwell and trigger long-term health problems that sometimes are hard to reverse. Heating sugar creates a caramel. A small piece of such candy contains approx. 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar that translates into 6.6 grams of added sugar. A small pack of caramel sweets contains seven candies. And it’s almost 50g of extra sugar. The last thing your dog has to have in his diet is more sugar.

Sugar can trigger several health problems for dogs, including:

  • Dental cavities
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Some dogs have negative reactions to sugar and will develop diarrhea or vomiting after eating it. Other symptoms to look for:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Moodiness

“Dogs need sugar of some sort. They need carbohydrates [which are broken down into sugar or glucose by the body] to live and operate. We don’t need to be giving them candy since there’s no real added value, excessive amounts cause inflammation throughout the body, and it’s just not necessary.”

says John Faught, DVM from Firehouse Animal Health Center, Austin, Texas.

What to do if your dog ate caramel?

If your dog eats a piece of caramel accidentally, he’ll probably be all right. But you really shouldn’t regularly give your pet caramel. Even though caramel itself is not toxic to pets, some caramel-containing treats most likely have some additional ingredients that are dangerous for canines. For instance, chocolate.

Side effects of chocolate ingestion include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Racing heart rate

if your pup has mistakenly swallowed a bit of caramel chocolate, bring him to the vet immediately.  Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may take hours to evolve, and these symptoms may last for days. If your pup sips a caramel-flavored drink or eats coffee-flavored caramel sweets, the same safety measures should be taken.

Dogs and caramel. Summary

Dogs shouldn’t have too much sugar for starters. Sugar can cause obesity, problems with dentistry or even diabetes. Too much candy is bad for us, so it shouldn’t be surprising that on an even bigger scale it’s bad for dogs also. Too many sweets are bad for us, so it shouldn’t be surprising that on an even bigger scale it’s bad for dogs too. There are a lot better options out there to enjoy, and you can feel good about offering them! There’ re a lot better choices to spoil your pup and feel good about it. For instance strawberry crunchy treats, delicious and healthy, under 9 calories per treat.

Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Kobby Mendez on Unsplash