Let’s face it, we love eating junk food. We especially love eating gummy bears because it evokes the child inside us with all those bright colors and the tasty flavor. When we are having a snack our furry friends usually become curious and want to taste it. While dogs can eat some of the snacks that humans eat, some can be quite harmful. In this case, can dogs eat gummy worms?
The short answer is a strict no. Dogs cannot eat gummy worms. To be more exact, dogs shouldn’t eat gummy worms because it contains xylitol which can cause many health issues, and it can also be lethal.
Even though you are careful about what your dog consumes, sometimes accidents happen. Your child might have given gummy worms to your dog, or he might have found an open bag of gummies. To be prepared for such a situation, you need to know what you are dealing with and what you should do.
Why Shouldn’t Dogs Eat Gummy Worms?
As parents, we are considerate of what our kids eat. We try to provide them healthy foods instead of junk food. The case is similar when it comes to dogs. They need healthy food options. Gummy worms are not exactly the healthy food option that you are looking for because it contains lots of additives and preservatives.
The one ingredient you need to look out for is xylitol. Xylitol is essentially a type of sweetener that is used instead of sugar. Unlike sugar, it does not raise blood sugar levels, and it has fewer calories. For humans, xylitol does not seem to pose any health risks. Studies even suggest that xylitol can be beneficial for dental health when consumed in small amounts.
However, even a small amount of xylitol can be very toxic for dogs to consume. Like consuming sugar, when eaten for an extended time, it can cause obesity in dogs. When xylitol is consumed by dogs, its first apparent sign is hyperactivity.
Contrary to its effect on humans, consuming xylitol causes many health problems in dogs. Xylitol mainly causes a sudden drop in blood sugar levels in dogs because it is absorbed into the bloodstream faster compared to humans. The blood sugar level drops quickly, within 10 to 60 minutes after consuming xylitol.
This low blood sugar level is also known as hypoglycemia, which is a very dangerous condition for dogs. A serious drop in blood sugar levels can cause irreversible brain damage. Depending on the dose of consumption, xylitol can also cause liver failure.
For a small breed dog, a few gummy bears can cause serious issues, while for big breed dogs, a whole pack of gummy worms is more likely to be dangerous. However, it is best to consult a veterinarian regardless of the number of gummies your dog has consumed. If xylitol poisoning is not treated quickly, it can be deadly for pups.
Symptoms of Xylitol Poisoning
Your dog might have eaten a few or a whole pack of gummy worms. Xylitol poisoning occurs quite fast, after about 15 to 30 minutes of consumption. Depending on how much he has eaten, the level of xylitol poisoning and, therefore, the symptoms may change. However, the common symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs are vomiting, weakness, lethargy, difficulty in walking, depression, shaking, seizures, and finally coma.
What to Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Gummy Bears?
If you suspect that your dog has eaten gummy bears, observe his actions for the symptoms mentioned above. If you realize that your dog is showing one or more symptoms, then contact your veterinarian immediately. If you are sure that your dog has consumed gummy worms and if it contains xylitol, we recommend that you contact your veterinarian immediately even if there are no symptoms.
Xylitol poisoning is a serious issue that needs to be treated without losing time. Especially if your dog has eaten a lot of gummy worms, the consequences of it can be lethal. Early diagnosis can save your dog’s life.
How to Avoid Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs
There may be a lot of products around the house that contain xylitol. In fact, most xylitol poisoning in dogs occurs due to the consumption of chewing gums. If you have such products that contain xylitol, you need to store them in a safe place that your dog cannot reach.
You should also warn your kids and tell them not to share their food with the dog. If your child is quite young, observe them while enjoying their snacks and keep your dog away from it.
If you tend to share your food with your dog, make sure to check the ingredients first. Since many products for humans contain additives and preservatives, we recommend that you stick with trusted dog snacks and foods to treat your pup.
When brushing your dog’s teeth, make sure to use a toothpaste specifically made for dogs and not humans since it also contains xylitol. Even though it is in small amounts, it can still cause many health issues in dogs.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Gummy Worms?
So, can dogs eat gummy worms? No! Gummy worms are meant for humans to consume and contain many additives and preservatives that can be harmful to dogs. One of these ingredients that are toxic for dogs is xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener used instead of sugar in many products. Even in small amounts, xylitol is highly toxic and can cause many health issues in dogs.
Consuming xylitol causes a sudden drop in blood sugar levels in dogs, which can lead to hypoglycemia. If consumed in high doses, it can cause liver failure and eventually lead to death.
The symptoms of xylitol poisoning are vomiting, lethargy, weakness, difficulty in walking, depression, shaking, seizures, and coma. If your dog has eaten gummy worms and experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you need to contact a veterinarian immediately. Xylitol poisoning symptoms can be seen within a short time after consumption. Early diagnosis and treatment play a crucial role as xylitol poisoning can be lethal if not treated as soon as possible.