People love marshmallows. We have them in smores, after roasting, and even plain. But can dogs eat marshmallows?
Even if your pup looks at you with big puppy dog eyes, the answer is always no.
I mean, the smell is great.
So understandably, your dog might want just a little bite every time winter hits, and you’ve decided to have some comfort food.
But no matter what, always muster up the courage to tell them “NO”, if they insist on sharing.
Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows: Why marshmallows can be toxic
While marshmallows aren’t toxic in and of themselves, they do contain multiple things. All of which are either unhealthy or flat-out poisonous for dogs.
The most dangerous one of these, which we will discuss first, is called: Xylitol
Xylitol is a crystalline white solid. Normally, it isn’t highly suggested for people either since it can pull water into the intestines.
Xylitol in Dogs
When it comes to dogs, however, the substance quickly becomes part of the bloodstream, stimulating a large amount of insulin to be released from the pancreas.
Once this happens, much of the sugar present in the body is quickly broken down, leading to a sudden drop in blood glucose levels.
This extremely low blood sugar leads to a condition known as hypoglycemia. Effects may include seizures and eventual liver failure if the condition is left untreated.
Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows: Marshmallows Without Xylitol
Even if the treatment doesn’t contain the harmful substance, it may still have a lot of other harmful things owing to the way it is prepared.
This includes large amounts of refined sugar, gelatin, corn syrup, starch, and vanilla extract.
Add up the amount of sugar present in all of these things and you’d wonder if anyone should have marshmallows.
I mean, there is after all a reason why even humans only have them in moderation and that too, only on special occasions.
Dogs are simply put, far more sensitive than us when it comes to digestive problems.
Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows: How having too much sugar can affect dogs
Not all of the carbohydrates taken in by the body are consumed. Leftover carbs are usually converted to fats and kept in storage for later usage.
This is one of the reasons why too many carbs are the no-no when it comes to creating diet plans.
In dogs, however, while having too many sugars can lead to things such as obesity, it can also lead to them developing pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is a condition whereby digestive enzymes are released prematurely into the pancreas itself, rather than the small intestine, thereby leading to the pancreas getting heavily damaged.
This in turn can completely ruin the whole digestive system, not to mention, lead to abnormal pH changes in the body. This is why pancreatitis can be very lethal to a dog.
Just as it happens in humans, dogs too can become diabetic if their blood glucose levels are unregulated.
Giving them too many sugary diets such as marshmallows, for instance, would be one good way to put them on the path to a diabetic future.
Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows in S’mores?
S’more, short for sandwiched marshmallows, are even worse for your dog than plain marshmallows.
This is because these contain chocolate as well, which can be very dangerous for dogs and should simply not be given to them.
Remember, every human treat cannot be a dog treat.
Okay… but surely, you must be wondering,
“Dogs can eat one piece, right? – how bad could one piece be?”
Most articles will tell you that it’s okay to let your dog have just one marshmallow if they really, really beg for it.
And the justification for this is usually simple: most health conditions associated with marshmallows happen over time.
So, giving them just one or two bites shouldn’t be too harmful. RIGHT?
Unfortunately, this is not true.
Yes. If the product is xylitol-free then the aftereffects will not be immediately visible.
But here we have two things to say to you.
How many times does anyone even check the package before opening a pack of marshmallows?
So, if you’re having a handful one day and decide to toss your dog just two of them absent-mindedly, then the consequences could potentially be disastrous!
Let’s say you’re super careful and only let your dog have xylitol-free ones. Even then, the sugar content is abnormally high. Problems can become visible one or two days later, if not immediately.
Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows: Alternate Treats and Foods
There are plenty of good alternate foods your dog can have.
These include rice, vegetables, and most importantly, simply cooked chicken.
Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows: Fun Facts about Marshmallows
- Ancient Egyptians were the first of all human beings to enjoy marshmallows
- Marshmallows are composed of gelatin, sugar, corn syrup and starch
- On average, Americans purchase 90 million pounds of marshmallows every year!
Can dogs eat marshmallows if they’re plain?
No. Even plain marshmallows contain a lot of sugar, gelatin and overall harmful ingredients.
Can dogs eat marshmallows and still avoid a visit to the vet?
Ideally, you should check in with your vet if your dog has had more than one or two. But even if they have had just a small bite, be sure to check the packaging for the presence of xylitol!
Can dogs eat marshmallows as treats?
No. Marshmallows should never be given as a treat.