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No, dogs can’t eat jelly beans. Many types of jelly beans have an ingredient called xylitol which can be very toxic for dogs. It is easy to drop or lose a few jelly beans after a holiday like Easter or Halloween, so dog owners need to be very careful of how they and their kids handle jelly beans in the house.

photo of Jelly Beans
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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 Unsafe, and dangerous if jelly beans contain xylitol
Nutritional Issues Xylitol, high sugar levels
Potential Risks Hypoglycemia, Dental problems, Diabetes, Obesity, and death (in the case of xylitol)
Symptoms Upset stomach, seizures, drooling
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

Common Ingredients in Jelly Beans

  • Sugar: Natural sugar from food does not harm dogs, but added sugar can be quite harmful and may even cause type 2 diabetes.
  • Corn Syrup: Corn syrup is primarily sugar syrup which is not healthy for dogs.
  • Starch: Starch contains high levels of carbohydrates which dogs may have trouble digesting.
  • Xylitol: Some candies for human consumption contain xylitol. It seriously affects dogs and may cause death if not treated on time.

How Many Jelly Beans Are Bad for Dogs?

If your dog consumes jelly beans that do not contain xylitol, then one or two jelly beans are unlikely to cause a problem. However, intentionally feeding your dog jelly beans is still not advisable because of the other ingredients present.

Signs a Dog Ate Too Many Jelly Beans

If your dog has eaten several jelly beans, look for signs of discomfort, an upset tummy, lethargy and vomiting. In severe instances (such as with xylitol ingestion), it’s possible for your dog’s blood sugar to drop which can result in seizures and death. Xylitol can be fatal.

Actions to Take If Dog Has Eaten Jelly Beans

If your dog has consumed jelly beans, immediately check the ingredients on the pack to see if it contains xylitol. If it does, immediately take your dog to the vet regardless of how much your dog has consumed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, jelly beans can hurt dogs and even from just a couple jelly beans. Owners need to practice excellent food safety if jelly beans are in the house.

  • Too much sugar can cause your dog discomfort, gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. The severity of the upset stomach depends on how sensitive your dog’s digestive system is.

  • When a dog’s blood sugar is high, the only visible sign you will notice is increased thirst. If you notice other signs like frequent urination, it could be because of an underlying disease.


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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.