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No, dogs should not eat sugar because it can lead to a number of health complications. Sugar is not toxic to dogs and they also have taste buds for sweet food. However, feeding a dog sugar can cause conditions like obesity, pancreatitis, and diabetes. Sugar can also cause dental problems.

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Caution: This food is generally considered risky by the veterinary community. Dogs should not eat this food and should be monitored for adverse effects.

Food Safety Not toxic, however owners should not feed their dogs food with added sugar. A rare sweet treat in small amounts is usually safe.
Nutritional Issues Eating processed white sugar regularly can cause several health issues in dogs. Foods with added sugar can also sometimes cause dental decay.
Potential Risks Eating sugar regularly increases blood sugar levels in dogs which can lead to pancreatitis and diabetes. Excess sugar can also lead to obesity, which in turn can cause numerous issues including joint and heart problems.
Symptoms Abdominal discomfort, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

How Much Sugar is Bad for Dogs?

Dogs can consume food with naturally occurring sugar such as fruits without any problem. However, any amount of processed added sugar is bad for them. If you want to treat your dog, it is best to stick to food that has natural sugar such as fruit.

What Makes Sugar Unsafe?

Processed added sugar is bad for the health of both humans and dogs. Sugar, even when consumed in small amounts, can lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity in dogs. It can in rare cases also cause dental decay which is painful and may require extensive surgical extractions.

Is Some Sugar Better Than Others?

The worst kind of sugar to feed your dog is processed white sugar which is added to other calorically dense foods. However, if you want to give your dog a sweet treat, foods with naturally occurring sugar such as fruits are a great and healthy option.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The main component of candy is sugar and while dogs might be able to safely eat some candy, it is best to avoid giving it to them. These contain high sugar levels which can be harmful for their health.

  • Eating an excessive amount of sugar increases a dog’s blood sugar. This can lead to diabetes.

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About the Writer
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.