Can Dogs Eat Candy Canes?

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We might enjoy eating candy canes as our festive holiday treats. However, they can be harmful to our canine friends. So, can dogs eat candy canes?

Unfortunately, no. Candy canes add no nutritional value to your dog’s diet and can cause severe health issues in your pet.

There is also a risk of choking associated with eating these candies. That’s why they aren’t suitable dog treats under any condition.

Here is something more that you need to know about can dogs eat candy canes? Probably, you are curious to get answers to all your thoughts. So, let’s start.


What Are Candy Canes?

To know more regarding can dogs eat candy canes? First, let’s have a look at what candy canes are.

Candy canes are sweet treats containing J-shape and have red and white striping. They come under two types, including peppermint and wintergreen flavored.

Cream, butter, and vanilla-flavor icing are the common ingredients of these candies. You have probably seen these candies hanging on Christmas trees as decorations. But, most people like to eat them as well. 

Why Do Dogs Like Candy Canes?

Let us answer these questions for you, can dogs eat candy canes? Why do they like them?

What makes candy canes attractive for dogs is their sweet taste. Your canine friend also wants to play with these candies considering their toys.

Besides, chewing is an instinctual behavior that cleans teeth and exercises your dog’s muscles in the mouth. Dogs also chew on things to relieve anxiety and stress. So, that’s true in the case of candy canes.

Are Candy Canes Safe For Dogs?

Well, it’s a common question from many pet owners, are candy canes safe for dogs?

Overconsumption of candy canes can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and increase blood sugar problems.

So, if your pet has eaten these sweets in large quantities, call your vet immediately. Let him know when the incident happened to assess the situation accordingly.

In short, candy canes are not safe for your dog. So, try to keep them out of your pet’s reach.

Dangerous Ingredients of Candy Canes

Now, let’s see what makes these candy canes harmful to your dog.

Peppermint Oil

One of the intense flavors used in these candies is peppermint oil. Your dog might find these candies attractive because of their smell.

Did you Know?

We have written many articles about what dogs can eat. But did you know about this one? Can Dogs Eat Twizzlers?

Sugar and Corn Syrup

These candies contain sugar and corn syrup which makes them unhealthy for dogs. The red stripes have a dye called Red 40 derived from petroleum. This dye can cause cancer in animals, so never let your dog lick these candies.


In addition, an artificial sweetener called xylitol in candy canes can cause toxic liver damage and even death.

Coloring Agents

The green coloring in candy canes comes from copper chlorophyllin. It’s pretty toxic for canines, so they shouldn’t eat them.

Citrus Oils

Your dog might end up with pancreatitis after consuming candy canes containing citrus oil. Citrus present in lemongrass essential oil can result in vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Are Candy Canes Bad For Dogs?

Yes, candy canes aren’t healthy for dogs, and here’s how.

Choking Hazard

Like chicken bones, these candies break into sharp pieces on chewing, which can be dangerous. These pieces can cause severe damage to their esophagus and intestines. Consequently, your dog might suffer from:

  • A hacking cough
  • A bloated belly
  • Difficulty to defecate
  • Loss of appetite and lethargy

Plastic Packaging

Further, candy canes contain plastic packaging, another concern for dog owners as your dog won’t be able to remove the plastic before eating. So, this plastic packaging being indigestible, can hurt your puppy’s stomach.

Harmful Flavors

Moreover, these candy canes have different flavors, like chocolate which is quite unhealthy for dogs. Chocolate can badly affect his heart and nervous system. If your dog has consumed the chocolate flavor, watch out for these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Restlessness

What to Do If My Dog Has Eaten Candy Canes?

First, find out what kind of candy cane he has consumed. Also, monitor your dog carefully to make sure that he is okay.

If you aren’t sure whether the candy cane is sugar-free or not, call your vet immediately. Let him know the whole situation, the amount, and the type of candy cane your dog ate.

Final Words

To sum up, can dogs eat candy canes? Never let your dog eat candy canes. These sweet treats offer little to no health benefits to canines as they are for humans and not for dogs.

They can badly affect your dog because of their dangerous ingredients. Instead, you can give your furry friend other dog treats, which he might enjoy.

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