Candy is the best antidote for a bad day – or even a good day for humans. Can you say the same for your dog? Absolutely not, it is dangerous for dogs to eat candy. Consuming candy could cause a range of health problems in your pup, from an upset stomach to a life-threatening reaction. Read more below to learn about the potential risks associated with dogs eating candy. 

The Dangers of Candy for Dogs 

Pet poisoning significantly increases during the holiday season. Owners are even busier during the holiday season, but dogs cannot be forgotten. The most common food-related holiday hazards for dogs are chocolate, candy overindulgence, raisins, and candy wrappers. See below for the potential dangers associated with these common hazards. 

  • Chocolate: Chocolate is the most hazardous of all candies, and most readily available, when it comes to dogs. Dogs are attracted to the smell and taste of chocolate, which makes it a serious risk. Dogs can get jealous when owners get all of the chocolate they want. The darker the chocolate the more hazardous it is because it contains elevated levels of theobromine, a chemical that is highly toxic to dogs. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures. 
  • Candy: Dogs may be tempted to eat candy because of the varying smells. The elevated levels of sugar and fat can lead to pancreatitis. This potentially fatal condition is inflammation of the pancreas and is very painful for dogs. Symptoms may not be noticeable for up to four days after the candy is ingested and they can include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, and in severe cases, kidney failure or organ damage. 
  • Raisins: While some may choose to distribute healthy snacks such as mini boxes of raisins during the holidays, this can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Just a small number of raisins can cause kidney failure. Unfortunately, some dogs can have an idiosyncratic reaction to raisins, meaning that they can be poisoned by any amount. Symptoms of raisin poisoning include vomiting, nausea, decreased appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, and severe kidney failure.
  • Candy Wrappers: The crinkle of candy wrappers can heighten a dog’s curiosity. Prevent your dog from eating candy wrappers because they pose a choking hazard. Foil and cellophane wrappers can cause a bowel obstruction, which may require surgery if it’s severe. Symptoms to watch out for include vomiting, decreased appetite, constipation, or lethargy. X-rays may be necessary to diagnose this issue. 

Be sure to keep your dog safe during the holiday season. If you suspect that your dog consumed something hazardous, it is important to get help as soon as possible. Treatment is usually less expensive, easier, and safer when done right away. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline® immediately at (855) 764-7661 if you have any further questions or concerns.