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Caramel is made by heating sugar or syrup until it turns brown and it can be used for a lot of things and it tastes really good. Which you would expect because it’s sugar. And too much sugar can cause a host of problems for your dogs and that’s why we have to ask, can dogs eat caramel? A question which would be answered below.
Can Dogs Eat Caramel?
Well, yes, and in small amounts, it’s perfectly fine but it has to be very small amounts. Caramel isn’t toxic for dogs but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. Take xylitol as an example. It’s toxic to dogs but it’s contained in some types of dog toothpaste because it only causes issues when consumed in high amounts. The same thing goes for caramel. High amounts of sugar can be harmful to dogs and humans too and caramel is, well, sugar. And as much as we love it, they should only have very little or none at all.
Side Effects of Caramel for Dogs
Caramel contains a lot of sugar and excess sugar can lead to anything from dental problems to gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea to more serious problems like obesity and diabetes.
High amounts of sugar in your dog’s system can lead to behavior changes like irritability, lethargy, hyperactivity, difficulty concentrating, and a host of other things, and eating sugar regularly can lead to long-lasting health issues in your dogs.
It also causes stomach upsets in puppies and should be avoided to prevent diarrhea and vomiting.
It might be hard to resist their begging sometimes but their health should be a priority for you. Most of us treat our dogs like children and they’re as dependent on you as children are and if you leave them to themselves they can get themselves into a lot of danger.
You should also feed them the way you look out for them. Caramel tastes good and your dog might love it but too much sugar we have very negative effects on their health.
Short Term Side Effects
Just like kids, dogs can experience a sugar rush and unlike kids, it’s much worse for them. Your kids can’t do anything except run around and maybe break a few things but imagine your much bigger and father dog coupled with the heightened hyperactivity. You’ll definitely end up with a lot of destroyed property or injuries for you and your dog and they might end up passing out.
After a prolonged period of agitation and restlessness, they’ll immediately go into a state of inactivity and sluggishness and may even become unresponsive. They might become Noddy and irritable because of this and the biggest problem here is that all they’ll remember is the good feeling from the sugar.
It might seem strange to think about a dog with addiction but it’s very possible and you can’t just explain why it’s bad to them. They don’t understand addiction and how it’s bad for them, they usually just adjust their behavior to get what they want and your dog will start behaving in ways that you might not understand because what they want is that good feeling from the sugar.
Long Term Side Effects
Too much sugar will cause a sharp decline in your anybody’s health and this is much worse for your dogs. The first signs are usually weight gain because it contains a lot of calories and has no nutritional value and since their bodies don’t do well with excessive weight gain it will lead to obesity. This in turn can lead to or aggravate health conditions like arthritis, hepatitis, cardiovascular problems, hypothyroidism and so much more. Excess weight can also lead to cancer.
The bacteria in their mouth use sugar and end up producing acids. These acids then increase the loss of minerals in the outer coating of the teeth (the enamel) and because of this they will begin to develop dental issues like cavities, root canals and may even lose some teeth and because they use their mouths for a lot of things it can cause a great deal of discomfort and pain other than the pain that most dental issues cause already. Your dog’s teeth should also be checked at least once a year to make sure they are as good as they can be.
Excess sugar for dogs can also lead to diabetes and it’s just as bad as it is in humans. It opens them up to numerous other health problems and will definitely shorten their life.
As much as you can, keep your dogs away from sugar.
Can Dogs Eat Caramel Products?
Dogs should not eat caramel popcorn. Plain popcorn is fine and can even be a low-calorie treat but the added caramel makes it bad for them. For products like caramel ice cream or cake, even without caramel, you should stay away from these because they contain a lot of other ingredients like fats and wheat that are not good for dogs, and in most cases they contain artificial preservatives and additives.
Very small amounts of caramel themselves are safe but all these other added ingredients pose a greater health risk to your dog. Some dogs also suffer from allergies and dairy intolerance and if these products contain milk or cream it could lead to anything from an upset stomach and diarrhea to life-threatening allergic reactions. If your dog ever eats any of these products and you notice any signs of pain or discomfort or unusual behavior please contact your veterinarian immediately.
What About Other Sugar Products
It doesn’t matter what shape, size, or form it comes in, sugar still has the same disadvantages. Anything that’s very sweet should be kept away from your dogs. If you want to give your dog something sweet fruits are the most appropriate hut make sure your selected fruits can be fed to them safely.
Conditions like diabetes or other preexisting conditions might prevent your dog from being able to eat certain fruits so you should discuss with your veterinarian what they can and can’t eat, how frequently they should, and in what amounts. There are so many healthy and sweet alternatives out there so there’s no reason for you to put them in danger.
According to the 90/10 rule, 90% of your dog’s calorie intake should come from their dog foods and only 10% should come from treats so even if when giving treats they should be given in moderation.
Some dog foods contain caramel but these are usually in very tiny and completely harmless amounts. Be sure to verify this though and don’t overfeed them with it.
Is Caramel Bad For Puppies
It’s advised that you stick to food made for puppies while they grow because these are made to meet their specific nutritional needs. A little deviation here and there can be accepted but you have to be careful. Because of their smaller size what might seem normal for your bigger dogs will be way too much for them and you don’t want them running into serious health issues at such a young age.
Why Do Some Dog Foods Contain Caramel?
We don’t normally imagine dog food to be sweet and a lot of the ingredients aren’t. Little amounts of caramel, and sugar generally can help to mask the bad taste and in some cases, the smell of these ingredients. That way your dog won’t just avoid it completely. They may not have as many tastes buds as us but they appreciate sweet food and treats too.
What to do if Your Dog Eats Too Much Caramel
A little caramel will have little or no effect on your dog, just like chocolate, but make sure they don’t eat a lot of it. If ever end up eating too much, you should keep an eye on them for a while. They might show signs of restlessness, hyperactivity, lethargy, diarrhea, excessive drooling, difficulty concentrating, unusual howling, and irritability.
You don’t need to panic if they’ve had just a little bit If you notice any of these or any very unusual behavior, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Sugar is ok for humans occasionally but we’re much bigger and our digestive systems are different from those of our dogs.
Caramel is basically sugar and dogs need carbohydrates for energy, which are broken down into sugar or glucose, but they’ll get most of that if they have a healthy diet and you feed them right. You don’t need to fill them with excess sugar.
Unlike some other foods or fruits like raspberries for example which can be toxic to dogs but has its benefits, the only benefit of sugar is that it’s sweet. It doesn’t have any other health advantages and can lead to so many other problems that it’s best to stay away from it as much as you can. Only as treats on rare occasions. If your dog ever ends up eating too much sugar and starts acting up make sure you don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.