Can dogs eat sugar?

In this article, we will answer the question, “Can dogs eat sugar?” along with some other questions like is sugar safe for dogs? What artificial sweeteners are unhealthy for your dog? And how can you keep your dog safe from sugar toxicity?

Can dogs eat sugar?

No, dogs cannot eat sugar. It is not safe for your dog to consume. There are two forms of sugar: the first one is the natural sugar that is present in certain fruits and vegetables which are safe for your dog to consume in moderation. 

The second category is the artificial sugar or the artificial sweeteners that are used in most human products, they are not safe for your dog.

Is sugar safe for your dog?

No, sugar is not safe for your dog to consume. Following are the health hazards of consuming sugar:

Dental problems

Consuming too much sugar can lead to dental problems like cavities. This is because the sugar your dog consumes is the favorite food of the bacteria in the oral cavity. Bacteria use this sugar and produce acids that are not healthy for your dog. 

These acids are capable of removing the mineral content of the teeth which is in the outer covering of teeth. This leads to tooth cavities and many other problems.

Please avoid sugar and give your dog a less carbohydrate-containing diet so he might not develop this problem. Consult your vet once a year for your dog’s dental health. Brush the teeth of your dog daily.

Stomach upset

You should be aware that your dog’s digestive system is very sensitive. The stomach needs bacteria to digest the food for your dog. When you are feeding too much sugar then the balance of these bacteria is disturbed leading to gastrointestinal upset like diarrhea and vomiting. 

Diarrhea and vomiting lead to dehydration in which your dog becomes weak and finally emaciated if not treated properly.

Unhealthy weight gain

One of the problems with consuming too much sugar is obesity and heart disease. It is important that you know this. Unhealthy weight gain leads to joint problems and difficulty in respiration. This is because with increasing weight your bones should carry the weight, which results in joint problems. 

Difficulty in respiration is due to the extra weight on the chest wall of your dog.

Obesity leads to heart problems because the extra fat your dog has metabolizes and can get stuck in one of the blood vessels of the heart leading to heart problems.

Hormonal problems

The next thing you should keep in mind is that consuming too much sugar can lead to hormonal imbalance and many hormone-related problems. When you are feeding sugar to your dog a hormone called insulin is released in the body which lowers the blood sugar level in the body.

This hormone not only lowers the blood sugar level but also disturbs the function of other organs in the body. If the insulin level is continuously high in the blood it can affect the immune system, fat storage, and muscle tone of your dog. 

So far we have discussed the harmful effects of sugar on your dog’s health. Now let’s dive into the details of what types of artificial sweeteners are dangerous for dogs?

What types of artificial sweeteners are dangerous for dogs?

Following are the types of artificial sweeteners that are dangerous for your dog:

Xylitol

The first one is the xylitol which is the most common artificial sweetener used in many human products. Xylitol is toxic for your dog because it can affect many organs in the body. Following are the clinical signs of xylitol toxicity in your dog:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Liver damage
  • Seizures

Xylitol enters the body and is absorbed in the bloodstream which activates the pancreas to release insulin which lowers the blood sugar level leading to hypoglycemia and other problems.

Fructose

Although fructose is present in many fruits and vegetables naturally and is consumed by your dog daily, there are certain fruits your dog cannot consume such as grapes. Grapes have a high content of these sugars which is unhealthy for your dog. 

High fructose corn syrup is another product your dog shouldn’t consume because of its high sugar content in it.

How to keep your dog safe from sugar toxicity?

Following are a few things you can do to keep your dog safe:

  • Keep the sugar cookies out of the reach of your dog.
  • Clean your trash can so there are no leftovers there.
  • Keep the sugar intake of your dog low.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the query, “Can dogs eat sugar?” We also discussed other questions like is sugar safe for your dog? What types of artificial sweeteners are unhealthy for dogs? And how can you keep your dog safe from sugar toxicity?

References

https://www.rover.com/blog/can-my-dog-eat-sugar/

https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/6-reasons-why-your-dog-shouldnt-have-sugar#slide-1

https://www.msdvetmanual.com/dog-owners/hormonal-disorders-of-dogs/disorders-of-the-pancreas-in-dogs

https://www.hepper.com/can-dogs-eat-sugar/

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/can-dogs-eat-sugar#3-health-risks-of-sugar-for-dogs

https://bondvet.com/b/can-dogs-eat-candy-what-you-should-know-about-dogs-sweets

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.