Candy corn, those waxy, tricolored triangles that suddenly appear in grocery store aisles and office candy jars when the first leaf of fall graces the ground, can be a divisive treat.
Some people adore them, while others despise them. But before you let your dog have a say in the matter, you need to find out if candy corn is safe for canines.
One of the many Halloween treats you shouldn’t share is candy corn, says Ginger Watts Brown, DVM, DABVT, DABT, director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Is Candy Corn Safe for Dogs?
It’s up for debate whether or not you should partake in candy corn, but the answer is unambiguously negative when it comes to your dog.
Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in sugar-free foods and candies (especially gum), is the poisonous trick in this Halloween treat.
Although xylitol may not appear to be harmful at first glance, feeding it to a dog can result in a potentially fatal drop in blood sugar levels.
Brown explains that symptoms of hypoglycemia include nausea, weakness, and incoordination.
The elevation of liver enzymes is another possible adverse effect of xylitol ingestion in dogs. Acute xylitol overdose can cause liver failure and death.
Even though not all candy corn contains xylitol, keeping your pet safe requires a blanket ban on the treat and all of its variations.
That’s because the sweet kernels are frequently found in places other than their packaging, such as in treat bags or the trash (or, in the case of your dog, in a crack in the sidewalk).
Even if you check to make sure your candy corn doesn’t contain xylitol, it’s still not a good idea to give it to your dog or cat.
Sugar, corn syrup, and oil are among the less dangerous ingredients that can still trigger nausea, cramping, and diarrhea.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Candy Corn?
Unfortunately, even when we take every precaution, mishaps can occur. To prevent your dog from getting sick from eating candy corn, it is best to use the original packaging if you can find it. Even if xylitol isn’t on the list of ingredients, the information it contains may prove useful down the road.
Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) if your dog shows any signs of illness.
If you have questions about whether or not your pet needs to see a veterinarian, you can call these numbers and speak with an expert like Brown. (Now would be a good time to consult your list of ingredients.)
Brown stresses the fact that symptoms of illness may take time to manifest. She explains that while the drop in blood sugar can be rapid (within 30 minutes of ingestion), it can also take up to 12 hours.
It may take up to three days after ingestion for symptoms of liver damage to appear, such as a lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, and an enlarged stomach. ”
Whether or not your dog’s symptoms align with those for hypoglycemia or liver damage, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible (ideally with the product packaging in tow).
Most dogs can recover from xylitol poisoning with the help of a veterinarian, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Is All Candy Bad for Dogs?
Brown offers general, straightforward guidance on the subject of sweets: Keep an eye on pets even more closely than usual this Halloween and store all candy safely out of reach. ”
Not only should you lock up your Halloween loot, but you should also prevent your dog from getting into the kitchen trash and potentially getting into some of the harmful garbage.
Also, if you have children, make sure they understand that candy isn’t something to be shared.
These measures are crucial for the following reasons:
- It’s important to note that xylitol isn’t the only sweetener that can be harmful to canines. Dogs should also avoid eating chocolate and raisins.
- Human candy isn’t designed for dogs’ stomachs, so giving them too much can cause tummy aches, gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. The same goes for gum, hard candies, and/or candy wrappers and sticks; if your dog eats too much, they could end up with an obstruction in their digestive tract.
- All the same things that can obstruct your dog’s digestive tract can also obstruct their airway, so be careful around those.
Your time and attention is a sugar-free treat that will be greatly appreciated by your pet this spooky season.
Now that the days are getting shorter and cooler, it’s important to make time for your pet to play and bond with you.
Why Is Candy Corn Bad For Dogs?
One of the most common treats given out at Halloween, candy corn, is completely made of things that are harmful to dogs.
Although some varieties of candy corn include extras like honey or milk powder, sugar and corn syrup are always present in this triangular treat.
Even more concerning, one widely available variety of candy corn contains cocoa powder, which is toxic to dogs in even small doses.
The fact that candy corn contains lac-resin, the secretion of insects, made headlines. The effects of lac-resin on dogs after ingestion are still up for debate, so it’s best not to try to find out.
It’s important to note that xylitol, a natural sweetener substitute found in some candy corn varieties, is highly toxic to dogs, even in very small doses. In general, you should avoid giving this treat to your dog.