We know kids like trick-and-treating, and we all know how much dogs love treats. But whether it is Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, there is never a time when treating your dog to some candy corn is safe. You may be thinking, “But what if my dog ate candy corn that wasn’t given to them?”. Most common candy corn itself is not dangerous. If your dog has eaten candy corn, depending on the ingredients and amount they’ve eaten, they may be in danger of acute poisoning, blood sugar fluctuations, and pancreatitis. Learn more about the potential dangers of candy corn for dogs by reading below. 

Why is Candy Corn Poisonous to Dogs? 

Standard candy corn may not harm your dog, but sugar-free candy corn may. The most dangerous ingredient to dogs in candy corn is xylitol, a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in sugar-free products. Xylitol is widely used in producing candy, chewing gum, syrups, peanut butter, pastries, toothpaste, and more. If your dog ate sugar-free candy corn, that contains xylitol, xylitol poisoning could cause a rapid release of insulin from the pancreas, leading to a lethal drop in blood sugar. It could also cause liver damage in dogs due to increased production of liver enzymes. 

Some candy corn is flavored with chocolate and chocolate contains theobromine, a toxic compound to dogs. If only a chocolate flavoring is used and not actual chocolate, theobromine is not typically present. Furthermore, even if your candy corn is xylitol-free, other constituents of candy corn, such as its high fat content, can cause pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas which can be very painful. 

Clinical Signs of Candy Corn Toxicity 

Stomach upset may occur if standard candy corn is ingested. The clinical signs of candy corn poisoning for products that contain xylitol or theobromine may be more severe. Depending on the ingredients and amount ingested, clinical signs may range from mild to severe. These are the possible symptoms you should look out for: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Coma 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Lethargy 
  • Inappetence 
  • Tremors 
  • Seizures 
  • Hypoglycemia 
  • Difficulty walking 

Treatment of Candy Corn Toxicity 

If you suspect or can confirm that your dog has eaten candy corn, visit your veterinarian immediately and call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for medical help. Your veterinarian might have to induce vomiting to expel the undigested candy and prescribe activated charcoal to bind the toxins and stop further absorption. They may also need to administer IV fluids to your dog to stabilize blood sugar levels. Early detection would benefit your dog’s recovery, as xylitol can poison a dog within minutes. With timely treatment and proper veterinary care your dog can make a full recovery.