The human-dog bond is the best example of loyalty. For centuries, dogs have proved their love for their masters and are always ready to sacrifice their life for their human friends. In a study conducted in 2013, professors proved this bond through science. It stated that when a human spends time with a canine companion, his brain releases oxytocin, the happy hormone. This hormone plays an important role in one’s behaviors, including trust, recognition, attachment, and happiness is on the top of the list.
Given this beautiful bond, owners usually feed their pets with whatever they are eating. But, unfortunately, they don’t consider the harm human food can pose to pets. They need to understand that it’s dogs’ innate instinct to ask their owners for whatever they are eating, but it doesn’t mean they should be fed with every type of food without considering the after-effects.
Dogs are innocent souls who don’t know what’s beneficial or what’s harmful to their health. Therefore, it’s the responsibility of humans to look after them and keep their diet in check. One such issue arises when it comes to feeding gummy bears. Here is the complete guide regarding gummy bears and your pet’s health to ensure the dog’s safety.
Why are Gummy Bears Popular?
Gummy bears make a tasty sweet treat. They are popular because of their colorful and attractive appearance. In addition, children prefer them over other candies.
Gummy bears provide no nutritional benefit even though they have gelatin. Gelatin doesn’t give foods any taste or color, but it’s healthy. Got a joint issue? Have a gelatin treat. Got a skin issue? Gelatin is the remedy. Want to improve gut health? Gelatin can help.
It’s the remaining ingredients (sugar syrups, artificial food colors, and flavors) that make the entire package of gummy bears bad for health, including gummy vitamins. Gummy vitamins might have some nutrients, but they lack major ones as well as have high sugars.
Can Dogs Eat Gummy Bears?
A quick answer to this question is “NO.” Gummy bears are not safe for your dog. The major reason is the large quantity of sugar in regular gummy candies.
What Happens if Dog Eats Too Much Sugar?
If a dog intakes sugar in a large amount, he might suffer from a number of health issues, including:
The predominant danger to the dog’s wellbeing because of sugars is diabetes. Almost all dog breeds are equally at risk for this disease. During this disease, the pancreas fail to produce sufficient insulin, leading to a high concentration of glucose accumulating in the blood. It results in a condition called hyperglycemia. Untreated hyperglycemia can prove to be fatal.
It doesn’t mean you have to keep dogs completely away from sweets as it can lead to hypoglycemia -- low blood sugar level. Severe hypoglycemia can cause tremors, muscle twitching, poor vision, and weakness.
In this case, you still can’t let your dog eat gummy bears instead, go for naturally sweet treats, such as strawberries, watermelons, sweet potato, banana, or apple flesh. But avoid fruit juice as it is high in sugar too.
Dog’s diet high in sugar can lead to obesity, which reduces your dog’s lifespan. Obesity can make your dog lethargic. An obese dog easily gets tired, suffers excessive panting, and refuses to play games. His ribs and waistline are not visible as the body becomes bigger and rounder.
Obesity makes a dog susceptible to many other diseases, including cancer, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, and bladder stones. Obesity can adversely affect immune functions as well. A weak immune system combined with all these diseases can become the cause of the dog’s death.
When a dog’s regular menu becomes high on sugar, he suffers tooth decay. A tooth decay, if not treated, can damage surrounding parts of the oral cavity leading to a severe gum infection called periodontitis. It can cause pain, gum recession, and tooth loss.
It can also cause bad breath and excessive drooling with bloody saliva. Use a mouth wash for the former issue, and don’t let dogs eat gummy candy for the later one.
Can Dogs Eat Gummy Bears Without Sugar?
This is the most dangerous situation, even worse than feeding your dogs sugar gummy bears. The reason why dogs should never be given sugar-free gummy bears is the probability that they contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame, erythritol, and xylitol.
Although any artificial sweetener is not healthy for dogs at all, the risk is mainly due to xylitol. The consumption of xylitol is toxic to dogs. It is, in fact, one of the most dangerous foods for dogs.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener. It is used in a variety of human consumables to prevent plaque formation and reduce the calorific value of the foods. Many “sugar-free” foods usually contain this sweetener, such as sugar-free gummies, candies, and juices.
If ingested by the dog, xylitol proves to be extremely toxic. Your dog’s body may lose control, and he may fall or face trouble sustaining his weight. It induces convulsions, vomiting, hypoglycemia, liver dysfunction and can be fatal despite its little concentration.
In dogs, consuming xylitol causes liver damage and coagulopathies. When dogs consume more than 0.5 g/kg of sugar, they can develop acute liver failure. The primary cause of this liver damage is severe hypoglycemia caused by pancreatic insulin secretion. It is because after consuming xylitol, dogs develop a dose-dependent rise in plasma insulin levels. Dogs with mild hypoglycemia have a good chance of surviving. However, those with severe hepatotoxicosis have a lower chance.
How Much Xylitol Is Safe for Dogs?
Xylitol is highly toxic for your pet, even more toxic than chocolate. It can lead to serious conditions though consumed in minor concentrations. Call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline if you doubt your dog has consumed a xylitol-containing product.
Unless the vet specifically instructs you otherwise, do not induce vomiting or give him medication by yourself. Your dog must receive treatment as soon as possible. In addition, inducing vomiting can harm a dog that is already hypoglycemic.
Can Dogs Eat CBD Gummy Bears?
CBD gummies have cannabidiol in them. Though small amounts of this compound promote sleep and calmness, it’s dangerous for a dog if ingested in a large amount. Moreover, it has a high sugar content that makes it unsafe for your pet.
What we conclude is that it’s best not to let your dog eat CBD gummy bears, CBD candy, or any of the CBD treats.
Can Dogs Eat THC Gummy Bears?
THC is a compound similar to cannabidiol (CBD), except that it has a much stronger effect on the body, especially on the mind. Although both are the components of marijuana, you might have already figured out the edibility of THC gummy bears for dogs.
Dogs can’t have marijuana and THC gummy bears as well; it’s because THC is not safe for dogs. Sometimes, a veterinarian has to prescribe a small portion of medical marijuana as it relieves pain. However, it doesn’t mean you can let your dog have marijuana without consulting the vet.
Clinical signs of THC toxicity appear within 30 to 90 minutes of its intake. It can cause urine dribbling, sedation, and low heart rate. Severe THC toxicity can cause seizures, coma and can even put your dog on the death bed.
Can Dogs Eat Gummy Fruit Snacks?
Just like fruit juice, gummy fruit snacks are not healthy for a dog. Common sense says both are derivatives of fruits, so what’s there to worry about? Exactly that’s the issue. Both are derivatives with additional components and have lost almost all the beneficial nutrients originally present in the fruit.
Furthermore, such treats are high in sugars that cause all those teeth and obesity problems. Lots of sugars can also disturb the digestive system leading to diarrhea or other complications. If such a situation arises, you need to immediately call your pup’s vet.
Other Possible Risks
If your dog eats gummy bears, he might suffer the following negative effects as well:
While trying to swallow a gummy bear or a regular gummy candy, your dog may suffer from a choking hazard resulting in throat obstruction.
Another major threat to a dog’s health is gastroenteritis. It is a condition characterized by abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most dogs suffer a loss of appetite, fever, and tiredness during this situation.
What If Dog Has Eaten a Gummy Bear?
If you are worried because your dog ate gummy bears, you need to ensure a few things. Firstly, if your pet had a single gummy bear and it didn’t contain xylitol or THC, then it’s fine. But if he has ingested many gummy bears.
What to do if Dog is Suffering After Eating Gummy Bears?
If your dog ate some gummy bears accidentally, don’t practice self-made remedies, neither do induce vomiting. Vomiting can cause electrolyte imbalance in your pet and can worsen his health condition.
The best and wise option is to take your dog to a veterinarian immediately. A veterinarian is the only person who can diagnose and medicate a dog the right way.
Safe Gummy Treat For Dogs
Gummy treats available in the market are not safe for your pet. Instead, consider trying out homemade gummy recipes for your dog. You can easily keep the ingredients harmful for your dog away from him. Moreover, you can use the bear mold to give it a bear shape. It’s the only method to make gummy bears safe for your dog.
Other Safe Sweet Treats For Dogs
You can also opt for other sweets that are healthy for dogs. It can include peanut butter cookies or bars, berries, and pumpkin cakes.
Moreover, while treating a dog with yogurt, make sure it does not have any natural or artificial sweetener in it.
Gummy bears are not safe for dogs to eat. It can cause many health issues due to high content of sugar and xylitol in sugar-free gummy treats. Xylitol toxicity can be fatal enough to cause your dog’s death. However, you can feed him homemade treats that are tasty and healthy. If your dog has eaten store-bought gummy bears with harmful ingredients, you need to call a vet immediately to keep your dog safe.