They are puffy, fluffy, sweet, and light. They can be roasted, toasted, and torched. And who could imagine a mug of cocoa without a few of these guys on top?
In simple term, marshmallows are an absolute delight, especially during the winter season. But that doesn't necessarily mean you should be giving them to your dog... or does it?
If you have a fluffy dog and are tempted to give him a fluffy treat to match, it just might beg the question: are marshmallows toxic to dogs? Can dogs eat marshmallows?
Where do marshmallows come from?
Marshmallows were not always the white, pillow-like candy that we are most familiar with today. According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, Marshmallow originated as a medicinal ointment and syrup made from the root sap of the marsh mallow. In its modern form, marshmallow candy generally consists of corn syrup, dextrose, gelatin, and egg albumen. When the mixture is heated at 240 degrees Fahrenheit and whipped, marshmallow becomes the white fluffy candy that we know and love.
Can dogs eat marshmallows?
No, dogs cannot eat marshmallows. The high sugar content in marshmallows and potential for toxins in certain brands make them a poor choice to give to your furry friend. Do not give your dog marshmallows. Opt for healthier, more dog-friendly choices like carrots, apples, or sweet potatoes if you want to give your dog a yummy and healthy treat!
What are the concerns with feeding marshmallows to dogs?
Although not all marshmallows are necessarily toxic to dogs, you should not feed them to your pet. Here are some concerns with feeding marshmallows to dogs that you should be aware about.
High sugar content
According to AKC, the high sugar content in marshmallows can cause tummy trouble, vomiting, los of appetite, diarrhea, or pancreatitis. The high sugar content of marshmallows is not good for your dog, especially those with underlying health conditions like diabetes or weight problems. Even if your dog does not have a health condition, giving him treats high in sugar and calories can contribute to obesity and insulin resistance which is not good for him in the long run.
Although one marshmallow may not be enough to harm your dog, it is important to be aware that some brands of marshmallows could contain high levels of xylitol, a natural sweetener which can be toxic to dogs. Xylitol can contribute to the development of health issues in canines like liver problems and hypoglycemia. This is why it is very important to check the ingredients of anything you eat around your canine. You could be unknowingly consuming something that is very poisonous to your pet.
Signs of xylitol poisoning in dogs
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, these symptoms of xylitol poisoning usually develop within 15-30 minutes of consumption. If your dog displays any of these signs or symptoms of hypoglycemia after ingesting xylitol, you should contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) immediately.
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulty walking or standing
- Depression or lethargy
Although one marshmallow may not seriously harm your dog, it really all depends on your pet's health, age, size, and the ingredients in the marshmallow—especially toxic ingredients like xylitol. The high sugar content in marshmallows can give your dog gastrointestinal symptoms and make him very sick, so it is best that you do not give your dog any marshmallows to ensure that he is healthy and happy. As always, watch your dog carefully. If your furry friend is displaying any unusual behaviors or symptoms, do not hesitate to consult your vet.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.