There is nothing like hot chocolate with marshmallows. We love them, and we know just how delicious they are. And therefore we might feel tempted to share them with our dogs from time to time. But is that safe? Can dogs eat marshmallows? In short — no! Marshmallows aren’t canine friendly. And even though not all marshmallows are equally bad for dogs, you should still keep your dog away from them as much as possible.
Marshmallows pretty much don’t contain any nutrients at all. They are mostly sugar, corn syrup and gelatin. Therefore they won’t add anything good or healthy to your dog’s diet, except for sugars and calories. But one occasional marshmallow every now and then should be fine.
We all know that dogs think that our human treats are the best, and when they look at us wistfully during holiday season while we enjoy our mini sugar marshmallows in our hot milk chocolates, it’s just way too hard to say no as a dog parent. Isn’t it?
Can dogs eat marshmallows?
While in most cases marshmallows aren’t toxic for dogs, they should be avoided. Unfortunately in some cases, like when the marshmallows contain xylitol, they can be extremely harmful. Even in small quantities, xylitol is known to be dangerous for dogs. Xylitol lowers the blood sugar so much that could even lead to seizures and death if not treated properly. It’s also proven to have toxic effects on the canine liver.
Xylitol is a substance often used in place of natural sweeteners, and it is highly toxic for dogs.
It’s usually extracted from corn fiber, birch trees, and other vegetable materials. While it is safe for people to eat without issue, it can be incredibly dangerous for dogs!
Xylitol when ingested by animals gets absorbed rapidly, and trigger an extremely high release of insulin from the pancreas. This can cause a sudden drop of blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. This condition can occur in as little as ten minutes and in worst case scenarios can even be life threatening.
Always make sure that the food you are feeding to your dog doesn’t contain any Xylitol in it.
On the other hand, the high concentration of sugar found in marshmallows can also be dangerous. Especially for dogs suffering from diabetes or obesity. Even if your dog is perfectly healthy, a diet rich in carbohydrates will lead to weight gain. Which can eventually end up with obesity and/or diabetes.
Marshmallows can also cause symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort. If your dog eats a large amount of marshmallows, he might show symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea. And those are only the symptoms for marshmallows that don’t contain Xylitol. The ones that are with xylitol could lead to seizures, coma, or in the worst case — death.
What makes marshmallows so bad for dogs?
Feeding marshmallows to dogs has no health benefits. The majority of marshmallows are produced with sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin, all of which are bad for people and far worse for dogs. While dogs can acquire nutrients from vegetables and grains, they are primarily carnivores, which means that animal products provide the majority of the nutrition they require to stay active and happy.
Sweeteners, such as sugar, will add extra calories to your dog’s diet, as well as the risk of cavities. They might not be able to digest all of the substances in marshmallows.
To put it another way, their digestive systems aren’t designed to handle the quantity of sugar in each marshmallow. Even a couple of marshmallows might cause your dog to have gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation. In the long run, the extra sugar in their diet can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and a much shorter life expectancy.
Marshmallows are made from the mallow plant’s sap, which is mixed with sugar. Parts of the mallow, on the other hand, have holistic benefits for humans—and, some suggest, canines. Coughs and sore throats are two of the most common ailments for which mallow root is used. “Can dogs eat marshmallow pills?” is a question that may arise as a result of this. “Can dogs eat marshmallows for coughs?” and “Can dogs eat marshmallows for coughs?”
Mallow root is typically safe for dogs, although there isn’t any evidence that it has any health benefits for them. It’s best to check with your veterinarian first to make sure it’s safe for your pet.
My dog ate marshmallows! What should I do?!
If your dog accidentally ate large amounts of marshmallows, call your vet immediately! Also read the label of the marshmallow and check if they contain any xylitol. Your vet will most likely induce vomiting to prevent any possible symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis or seizures.
Immediately tell your vet if you’re suspecting that the marshmallows contain even the smallest amounts of xylitol. You don’t want to risk your dog positioning! If the marshmallows do contain Xylitol, it needs to be seen as a medical emergency. Every moment is precious and your dog should see a professional as soon as possible. The most likely procedure will be induced vomiting.
It’s very important to recognize the symptoms of xylitol consumption early on, some of the most common ones are:
- black or tarry stool
- acute collapse
- walking as if drunk
- lethargy or weakness
- liver failure
Instead of marshmallows, give your dog treats that aren’t so rich in sugar. Try healthier snacks such as baby carrots, blueberries, apples. Those will be equally delicious to your dog, while being better for his overall health. Having a healthy and balanced diet is as important for dogs as it is for humans.
Conclusion: Should I feed my dog marshmallows?
The short answer is yes, but why would you want to? There really aren’t any health benefits at all to giving your dog marshmallows to eat. One marshmallow every now and then isn’t considered that awful as long as the marshmallows aren’t sweetened with an artificial sweetener like Xylitol. But this is still too much sugar for our pooch. A standard marshmallow is still considered junk food, and the nutritional value is pretty much nonexistent.
Large amounts of these sugary treats might induce bloating, constipation, and diarrhea in the stomach. So if your dog ate marshmallows, be on the lookout for these symptoms. In addition to that, sweet treats can also cause your pooch to develop tooth decay, from all of the sugar marshmallowsa contain.
And don’t think that sugar free marshmallows are any healthier, as they often contain xylitol. Even a small amount of xylitol can cause extremely low blood sugar, which requires an immediate visit to the veterinarian. That’s why it’s a good idea to go for healthier sweet snacks such as peanut butter. But one sugar marshmallow every now and then as a special treat will be fine as well. But we can’t deny that there are better options out there.