Are Gummy Bears Safe for Dogs? Know the Risks & Alternatives 



Gummy bears are tempting sugary treats for us humans. They’re so good that many of us are tempted to share them with our favorite four-legged friends.

But are gummy bears safe for dogs? 

Most big dogs can consume one or two gummy bears with minimal side effects, but because they contain a huge amount of sugar, it’s best to avoid sharing your treats with your furry buddy. 

“Gummy bears are a combination of artificial and natural flavors, citric acid, gelatin, glucose syrup, and sugar which can have adverse effects on your dog.”

Why Are Gummy Bears Bad for Dogs?

To answer the question, are gummy bears safe for dogs, it’s always best to look at their ingredients. Gummy bears are a combination of artificial and natural flavors, citric acid, gelatin, glucose syrup (made from wheat or corn), and sugar. 

With a list like that, isn’t hard to see why they’re considered bad for canines. 

Dogs get all the sugar they need from natural sources like fruits so when we give them gummy bears, it could increase their sugar intake to unhealthy levels. While sugar alone isn’t toxic to dogs, it can make them susceptible to a host of health issues that include: 

Dental Damage 

Dogs, just like humans, need their teeth brushed after consuming sugar-laden treats. Otherwise, it can expose them to harmful oral bacteria which can produce an acidic substance that erodes the tooth enamel. This could lead to cavities, tooth decay, and in some scenarios, tooth loss. 

Digestive Issues 

Eating gummy bears can cause digestive issues like stomach upset in your pet. 

This is because sugar intake — especially one so concentrated — is too much for your dog’s digestive system. It could disrupt the balance of microorganisms in the gut, which assists in the digestion of food. This could lead to gastroenteritis and put your pet at risk for diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, and vomiting. 

“Gummy bears and its ingredients can cause dental and digestive issues, obesity and diabetes, xylitol poisoning,liver damage, and a host of other health conditions.”

Obesity and Diabetes 

The sugar in gummy bears can lead to metabolic changes in your pet’s body. Your pet is unlikely to burn off all that extra energy so this could result in long-term health issues like weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

Xylitol Poisoning 

Can dogs have gummy bears without sugar? 

Sorry, but still no. 

Sugar-free gummy bear varieties contain xylitol — an artificial sweetener that can have devastating effects on your pet even when consumed in trace amounts. 

It can cause hypoglycemia (a drastic drop in blood sugar levels) and hepatic necrosis (liver damage).

Can gummies kill dogs? Unfortunately, yes. These ill effects can be fatal if left untreated.

Other Health Concerns 

In addition to sugar, gummy bear for dogs contain other ingredients that can adversely affect your pet’s health in several ways. Let’s go over them:

  • Artificial flavors can cause health issues like hyperactivity and allergies. In worst-case scenarios, they can also cause tumors.
  • Citric acid can lead to central nervous system depression when consumed in large quantities.
  • Gelatin is generally well tolerated by dogs but once it’s mixed with preservatives and flavoring, it becomes unhealthy for your pooch. 

In severe cases, it can also cause pancreatitis.

So, if you were wondering, “can dogs eat gummy bears” we hope this has given you all the motivation you need to keep your pet away from it.

“If you want your dog to stay healthy and well, it’s best to keep gummy bears away from it.”

What To Do if Your Dog Consumes Gummy Bears

If your mischief maker has consumed gummy bears, here’s what you need to do:

  • Examine them closely. Are they showing any signs of illness?
  • Go FBI on them. Try to find out how much they consumed and if they ingested the wrapper.
  • Take your dog to the vet. 

Depending on how serious the situation is, your dog’s vet might keep them under observation for a few hours. That said, it would definitely speed up the diagnostic process if you can provide the doctor with a wrapper of the snack along with an approximate time of consumption so they can induce vomiting.

Healthy Alternatives to Gummy Bears

If not gummy bears, can dogs eat gummy worms?

No, even gummy worms are high in sugar and starch. So, if you want to reward your dog for being a good champ, switch gummy bears and gummy worms with treats that add value to their diet. 

Persimmons, for example, are a good choice. Are persimmons safe for dogs? You’ll be glad to know they are.  Read the article by The Upper Pawside to find out how to safely feed your dog some fresh Persimmons. 

Alternatively, you can give your pet apples, bananas, mangoes, peaches, and pineapples mixed with yogurt or peanut butter to give it a boost of energy and satisfy its sweet tooth. 

Bottom Line

Are gummy bears safe for dogs? To recap, gummy bears are unlikely to cause any serious health issues in dogs, but because the treats add empty calories to your dog’s diet, it’s best to keep gummy candies away from it. The wide array of health risks just isn’t worth the risk.

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