Most pet parents avoid giving sugary treats to their dogs and for a good reason. Yet, some parents may have questions regarding the sugar consumption in dogs. They may be wondering whether brown sugar is better compared to refined sugar. In this case, can dogs eat brown sugar?
No. Brown sugar may sound better but dogs shouldn’t consume any type of sugar. Brown sugar and white sugar are essentially the same. Dogs that consume more sugar than needed can experience a series of health issues such as an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, obesity and diabetes.
We have prepared this guide to explain why brown sugar and any other sugary treat is not good for your dog and what you should do if your dog consumed too much sugar.
Is Brown Sugar Better than Refined Sugar?
When people are trying to live a much healthier life, they make changes in their diet. While some quit sugar for good, some switch to brown sugar, thinking that it is much healthier. Pet parents may think the same and assume that brown sugar wouldn’t be as harmful as white, refined sugar.
The truth is, white and brown sugar are essentially the same, they are both sucrose. It is true that white sugar is refined which is far away from being natural. Brown sugar, on the other hand, is usually made with molasses and not refined.
In the end, even though the making process is different, they are both sugar. Sugar is a big no when it comes to a dog’s diet. So, no, brown sugar is not better than refined, white sugar.
Why is Sugar Bad for Dogs?
Dogs need a certain amount of sugar in their diet for sure. High-quality dog foods are designed to provide all the nutrients that your dog needs in a well-balanced way on a daily basis. Carbohydrates in dog foods provide the sugar they need.
The ideal diet for dogs is a high protein diet. This means that a quality dog food should contain more and quality protein than carbohydrates. Poor quality dog foods tend to contain more carbohydrates than protein.
When you give your dog sugary treats, you cause him to consume more sugar than what is recommended for a daily intake. While a one time treats would not pose serious harm or a health issue, excessive consumption of sugar can have a negative impact on dogs, especially in the long run.
The Negative Effects of Sugar in Dogs
Stomach Upset, Vomiting and Diarrhea
The short-term negative effect of sugar is usually an upset stomach. There are bacteria and microorganisms in our stomach as well as dogs’. These bacteria and microorganisms help in digesting food.
Consuming more sugar than usual disturbs the balance of bacteria and microorganisms found in the stomach, causing diarrhea as well as vomiting.
Sugar Causes Cavities
As parents, we don’t want our kids to eat too many candies because we know that they will get cavities. The same rule applies to dogs. If they eat too many sugary treats, the chances of them getting cavities will be much higher.
Sugar causes acid to be produced in the mouth which causes mineral loss in the enamel of the teeth. As a result, dogs may get many different dental problems along with cavities. Therefore, it is better to choose dog foods that contain fewer carbohydrates and more protein to cut down on sugar consumption and avoid such dental issues. It is also important to regularly brush your dog’s teeth and have his dental health checked annually.
Excessive Sugar Consumption Causes Weight Gain
Sugar that is consumed more than needed provides empty calories for dogs which exceeds the number of calories your dog needs on a daily basis. Naturally, when excessive sugar consumption continues for a long time, it causes weight gain in dogs.
Gaining weight comes with many different health issues. The overall weight of the body will increase and cause pressure on the joints. Along with joint problems, overweight dogs experience difficulty in breathing and lethargy. It can also cause heart diseases which can get serious if the weight gain continues.
Weight Gain Leads to Diabetes
If the weight gain is not controlled and your dog keeps gaining more weight, it will lead to obesity. Unfortunately, obesity in dogs is more common than you might think. Obesity can cause other health conditions such as arthritis.
This uncontrolled and continuous weight gain can lead to Type II diabetes in dogs. When sugar is consumed excessively, insulin production in the body becomes excessive as well. In time, cells might become nonreactive to insulin. This causes the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin to be exhausted which leads to high sugar in the blood since it can no longer regulate the sugar levels in the blood.
What to Do If Your Dog Consumed too Much Sugar?
If you have given your dog a few sugary treats, it is unlikely to cause any health issues. If it is a bit too much, it may cause vomiting and diarrhea as a result of an upset stomach. It may be a good idea to check with your veterinarian to see if you need professional help.
If your dog found an open bag of sugary treats and ate an entire bag of them, it may have serious consequences. While your dog may react with vomiting and diarrhea, it can also cause much more serious health issues. We recommend that you contact a veterinarian immediately.
If you have been feeding your dog with sugary treats for a while and noticed that he started to gain weight, we strongly recommend that you stop feeding your dog sugary treats and contact a veterinarian immediately in order to see if your dog has any health issues related to excessive sugar consumption and weight gain to prevent serious conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Brown Sugar?
Can dogs eat brown sugar? No. Brown sugar is not better than white sugar. Dogs should not consume any sugary treats as excessive consumption of sugar can cause an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, heart diseases, joint problems, breathing difficulty, obesity, arthritis and diabetes.
If your dog consumed too much sugar, it is recommended that you contact a veterinarian to be on the safe side.