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No, it would be best to avoid feeding candy canes to your dog. This holiday treat has little to no nutritional value, is high in sugar, and can cause various health issues in dogs. So, they are not safe for dogs, no matter what happens.

Candy Canes
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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 Exercise caution, avoid feeding
Nutritional Issues high sugar content, xylitol
Potential Risks Obesity, xylitol poisoning, liver failure, choking hazard
Poisoning Symptoms vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, gas
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

How Many Candy Canes Are Bad for Dogs?

While a couple of licks won’t harm your dog, candy canes should generally be avoided. If your pup somehow gets a hold of an entire candy cane stick, it can lead to xylitol poisoning and potential choking hazards. Furthermore, candy cane has sharp edges and can damage your dog’s gums.

What Makes Candy Canes Unsafe?

Sugar-free candy canes may include xylitol as an artificial sweetener, which is toxic to dogs. In dogs, using this alternative sweetener can cause a decrease in blood sugar and liver damage. So, it’s best to avoid the sugar-free kinds specifically.

Symptoms of Poisoning from Candy Canes

Some symptoms when it comes to your dog taking too much xylitol-containing candy cane include seizures, tremors, motor control loss, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

What to Do If Your Dog Is Sick from Candy Cane Poisoning

If you suspect your dog has consumed xylitol-containing candy cane, take it to your veterinarian immediately. Because hypoglycemia and other significant effects may not emerge for up to twelve hours of xylitol poisoning in most situations, your dog may require hospitalization for medical supervision or until the xylitol is flushed out of its system.

Common Candy Cane Ingredients

  • Flavoring– the chocolatein chocolate-flavored candy cane is quite dangerous for dogs. It can harm their stomach and nervous system.
  • Sugar-candy canes are high in sugar. So, it should be avoided for dogs. Sugar consumption can lead to obesity and various stomach-related issues in dogs.
  • Xylitol-Xylitol is a known toxin for dogs. It is found in sugar-free candy canes and can cause liver damage in dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Candy canes contain sugar and xylitol (sugar-free candy cane). The former leads to stomach issues and obesity, while the latter can cause liver damage and failure.

  • You shouldn’t be alarmed if your dog takes a couple of licks from a candy cane. However, overfeeding can lead to xylitol poisoning, requiring a vet visit.

  • Peppermint candy cane can harm your dog drastically. Candy canes are high in sugar and can lead to weight gain. Similarly, peppermint can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and allergic reactions in dogs.

About the Writer
Dan Greco , Dog Dad

Having been a dog dad for 5 years, I know how hard it is to make sure your dog gets the right nutrients and stays away from hazardous foods. With the help of a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition, I created this blog to help dog owners quickly access food information they need.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Contributor
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.