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Can Dogs Eat Candy Canes? Everything You Need To Know

No. Dogs cannot eat candy canes. It is a zero nutritious treat rich in sugar. Further, it is harmful to dogs even if it is sugar-free and contains xylitol. 

You find it tempting to feed your puppies candy canes when Christmas is around and you are all in a festive mood. However, as a responsible pet parent, it becomes essential to understand that these candy canes are high sugar delicacies that are hazardous to your dog’s health. In addition, you know that some ingredients in candy canes are toxic for dogs. So why make the festive chaos? Scroll down while we explain the downsides of feeding candy canes to your canines.  

What Are Candy Canes?

Candy canes are candies that come in two flavors – Peppermint and wintergreen. In addition, there are some variants, such as the ones made with cream, vanilla-icing, butter, etc. These candies are not only edible treats but also visual treats when they are hung on Christmas trees. When one is struck by the word “candy canes,” the first thing that comes to mind is a J-shaped cane-like sweet treat with red-white alternate stripes. Amongst children, it becomes a tradition to break the candy on one end and lick and suck the syrup to the other, leaving the stick empty. 

Are Candy Canes Safe for Dogs?

Candy canes are prepared with dog-toxic ingredients and are completely unsafe for your dogs to consume. With several side effects and health hazards that candy canes pose to your dogs, it is best not to share them with your dogs. Keep candy canes away from your pet’s reach.

Why Are Candy Canes Bad for Dogs?

By all means, candy canes are bad for dogs, and the downsides of feeding candy canes to your dogs are explained below in detail:

Sugar: Natural sugars through carbohydrates are not harmful to dogs. However, table sugar and powdered sugar are detrimental to dogs. The consequences of consuming sugar are:

  • Obesity
  • Vomiting
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloat
  • Diabetes
  • Fat
  • Weight gain
  • Joint issues
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Lethargy
  • Hyperactivity
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness

Xylitol/Corn Syrup: Xylitol and corn syrup are dangerous for dogs as they are artificial sweeteners added to candies. They are strictly prohibited for dogs to consume. The consequences of consuming these elements are:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Fat
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Muscle cramp
  • Degradation of coat and skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Liver diseases
  • Coma
  • Death

Chocolate/Caffeine: Candies contain chocolate; hence, they contain caffeine that has theobromine in it. Consumption of these elements are harmful to dogs. The consequences are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Muscle cramps
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Stomach issues
  • Lack of coordination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Distress in urinating
  • Pancreatitis

Choking hazard: While chewing a small hard candy, a dog may accidentally gulp down due to its slick nature. Hence, swallowing it results in choking. Candy wrappers can create blockages in the esophagus and the intestinal tract. The consequences are:

  • Throat injury
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Breathlessness
  • Intestinal injury
  • Choking
  • Coughing
  • Whining
  • Throat ache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Digestive issues

Some artificial additives: Candy canes may contain some artificial additives like copper chlorophyllin, which gives them the green color that is toxic for dogs if consumed. Further, some citrus oils as flavoring agents such as lemongrass essential oil or extracts from oranges and lemons are hazardous for dogs.

 Can Dogs Eat Candy Canes

How Much Candy Canes to Feed Your Dog?

It would help not to offer candy canes to canines. Further, please do not provide other candies, chocolates, or choco-chip cookies to dogs as they are unhealthy and lethal. As responsible pet parents, give them other healthy dog treats that are safe for dogs.

What if My Dog Ate Candy Canes?

If your dog accidentally consumes candy canes, first check how many candy canes he has eaten. Next, you will have to visit the vet. The symptoms which will appear after your dog consumes candy canes are:

  • Vomiting
  • Lack of coordination
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Stomach upset
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

Take your pooch to the veterinarian to diagnose the issues, and follow as prescribed. Keep candy canes out of your dog’s reach. Keep the local poison control hotline number easily accessible in an emergency.

Alternatives to Candy Canes

Some dog-safe treats that offer several health benefits to your dogs are:

Some Dog-safe sweet treat suggestions

Soft baked assorted cookies

Soft baked assorted cookies
Buy at Amazon


Real peanut butter dog treats
Buy at Chewy


Carrot cake-flavored tiny dog treats

Carrot cake-flavored tiny dog treats
Buy at Amazon


Frequently Asked Questions

Can puppies eat candy canes?

No, puppies cannot eat candy canes. This is because candy canes are harmful to dogs. They have xylitol and corn syrup which can cause death in dogs.

Can dogs eat peppermint candy?

No. Dogs should not eat peppermint candy as they contain xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.

Can candy canes kill a dog?

Yes. There are ample chances that candy canes can lead to death in dogs.

Why do dogs like candy canes?

Owing to the sweet smell, taste, and attractive appearance, dogs are attracted to taste them.

Can dogs eat chocolate candy canes?

No, chocolate candy canes have theobromine, which can be fatal to dogs.

Final Thoughts

Sadly, you can’t serve your dog a candy cane while relishing it. However, as a devoted pet parent, you should not offer candy canes for your dog’s well-being, considering the side effects discussed earlier. Instead, give him healthy alternatives as suggested and ensure a “pawfect” lifestyle for your pet.

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