You’re adding Caramel sauce onto your favorite dessert when your furball babies start circling around you. They paw at you to get your attention. When you look down, they’re sitting there nicely with their adorable puppy eyes begging for some of that sweet Caramel. But is Caramel safe for doggy consumption? Here’s the short answer first.
Can dogs eat Caramel? No, dogs should not eat Caramel since Caramel is raw sugar. Although Caramel is not poisonous to dogs, simply eating pure raw sugar can cause a host of health issues such as canine obesity, diabetes, dental disease, metabolic changes, and even upset stomach. Some dogs may show signs of behavioral changes such as difficulty concentrating and hyperactivity followed by irritability and lethargy.
Can dogs have Caramel?
No, dogs should not have Caramel. Although Caramel is neither toxic nor poisonous to dogs, it doesn’t mean that this pure sugar is safe for dogs to eat.
In this article, we’ll discuss all the different types of popular Caramel-flavored snacks and Caramel candies you’ll find at your local grocery store and see whether they are safe for doggy consumption. We’ll also let you know what to look out for if your precious pooch accidentally ate Caramel.
But before we do so, let’s find out why Caramel is bad for canine consumption.
Is Caramel bad for dogs?
Yes, Caramel is bad for dogs. Here’s why.
Caramel is essentially pure sugar that is mixed with butter and cream. If we take a look at the ingredients used to make Caramel, they are simply:
- Granulated sugar, also known as regular sugar or white sugar (pure cane).
- Heavy cream.
- Salted butter.
Now, if you want salted Caramel, then salt is another ingredient as well.
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Granulated sugar in Caramel can cause diabetes in dogs
Sugar is extremely harmful to dogs because it can cause many health problems to your canine friends.
Our furry friends actually don’t need us to feed them sugar. That’s because their bodies absorb natural sugar from the carbohydrates in their regular, well-balanced, and healthy doggy food.
When dogs eat their main food, the carbohydrates get broken down into glucose or sugar by their bodies so it’s not necessary for their owners to offer them candy as it doesn’t do any good for their bodies.
Instead, when dogs consume a lot of sugar, they start to have inflammation all throughout their bodies.
Upset stomachs: Some dogs may have upset stomachs and start to vomit or have diarrhea. What goes on inside their body is pretty disturbing since consuming a lot of sugar disrupts the balance of good to bad micro-organisms and what results is your four-legged friends having bloody or even explosive diarrhea.
Dental disease: Just like us, our K9 friends can also have cavities from eating too many sweets. Additionally, when dogs eat sugar, the sugar can stay on or around your dog’s teeth. The bacteria in your pup’s mouth then use the sugar to produce acids and these acids will eat away at the tooth’s enamel.
The enamel contains minerals at the outer coating of the teeth and when the acids eat this away, it can lead to tooth decay.
Canine obesity: Feeding your pooch sugar regularly can cause weight gain in dogs. Sugar doesn’t provide any nutritional benefit to your pooch and it is considered “empty calories.” When dogs can weigh, they can start to experience a whole host of other health problems as well such as:
- Joint problems due to the additional weight putting stress on the joints.
- Respiratory issues such as difficulty breathing due to the extra weight on the chest.
- Lethargy or lack of energy to do anything throughout the day.
- Not interested in playing, walking, or running.
- Heart disease.
As we can see, regularly eating sugar can decrease your dog’s quality of life.
Diabetes: Let’s not forget that dogs can start to develop Type II diabetes if they regularly eat sugar and continue to pack on the pounds. Diabetes is when the dog’s body isn’t able to process sugar properly because its pancreas isn’t producing insulin to control the amount of sugar in the blood.
Change in metabolism: When dogs regularly eat sugar, you’ll notice a change in their muscle tone as well. That’s because consuming too much sugar can affect the hormones in your dog’s body.
Your dog’s body will have an increase in insulin secretion, which his body will store and this causes fat storage. As a result, a change in your dog’s metabolism can affect their energy levels and immune system. Your pooch may become more vulnerable to infections and hormone-related diseases.
Fun Fact: Jello is a fun snack and some may contain artificial sweeteners so is it safe for canine consumption? Check out Can Dogs Eat Jello? to learn more!
Heavy cream in Caramel is bad for dogs that are lactose intolerant
While heavy cream isn’t toxic or poisonous to dogs, there are health consequences when dogs consume too much heavy cream.
For one, if you know your pooch is lactose intolerant, avoid feeding them any food or snack that contains dairy products. Most adult dogs are lactose intolerant so if you’re not sure, we highly recommend that you consult with your dog’s vet.
Heavy cream is milk fat and milk or dairy products contain a sugar called lactose. After the dogs have weaned, their lactase production drops. This means that they don’t have the lactase enzyme in their gut to properly digest the lactose sugar found in milk.
Dogs that consume heavy cream or other dairy products even though they are lactose intolerant may experience the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite.
- Bloating, which can be very uncomfortable for dogs.
- Flatulence or passing gas – and lots of gas!
RELATED: Check out Can Dogs Eat Whipped Cream? to find out if Whipped Cream is bad for dogs.
Salted butter in Caramel can cause salt poisoning in dogs
Regardless of whether the butter is salted or not, dogs should avoid it altogether. Salted butter is worse than plain butter since it contains salt. When dogs ingest too much salt, they are at risk of sodium poisoning.
Keep in mind that our four-legged friends should only have about 0.25g to 1.5g of salt for every 100g of dog food. When our pooch is eating Caramel that contains salt in it, this can put them over their salt intake limit.
Signs and symptoms of salt poisoning in dogs include:
- Extreme thirst.
- Frequent urination.
- Swollen face and body.
- Muscle weakness and tremors.
- Seizure (in severe cases).
If you suspect your dog has sodium poisoning, contact your vet immediately as the sooner your pooch is treated, the better.
Additionally, while butter or salted butter isn’t toxic to dogs, our furry friends shouldn’t be given butter or any food fried in butter.
That’s because butter is rich in fat and mostly saturated fat, which is bad for your dog’s health. Butter also does not provide your pooch with any health benefits so it is also an empty-calorie food for dogs.
Also, butter is a dairy product which means it contains lactose, the sugar found in milk. If you know your furry pals are lactose intolerant, avoid feeding them butter.
Fun Fact: Alfredo is a popular sauce that’s also made with heavy cream, butter, and salt, but can dogs have it? Check out Can Dogs Eat Alfredo? to find out!
So, is Caramel toxic to dogs?
As you can see, Caramel is not toxic to dogs since there are no toxic ingredients in Caramel that can harm your pooch.
But, is Caramel harmful to dogs? Yes, Caramel is harmful to dogs since regularly consuming this pure sugar can cause a series of health issues in dogs as we explained above.
Is Caramel good for dogs?
No, Caramel is not good for dogs and since Caramel is not safe for doggy consumption, it’s a good idea to avoid feeding your pooch Caramel at all costs. Caramel is considered sugar or candy for our dogs.
Allowing your pooch to eat Caramel puts them at risk of diabetes, heart disease, dental issues, weight gain, and more! To avoid expensive medical bills, the first step is to cut sugar or candy from your dog’s diet.
If your furry friends do consume a little bit of Caramel, they should be fine. You’ll want to monitor them closely after they’ve consumed Caramel and watch for any symptoms or behavioral changes. Call your vet if you do see changes in behavior or your dog is having symptoms we described above.
Dogs and Caramel
Below are some of the most popular Caramel-flavored candies and snacks you will find at your local supermarket. Let’s discuss whether they are safe for canine consumption.
We’ll also take a look at both the ingredients and the nutritional profile in the Caramel snacks or candies listed below.
Can dogs eat Caramel popcorn?
No, dogs should not eat Caramel popcorn. Caramel popcorn is not the best treat to give your canine friends.
But my dog ate Caramel popcorn! What should I do?
If your dog is healthy and accidentally ate a piece or two of the Caramel popcorn, then he or she should be fine as this human snack is neither toxic nor poisonous to dogs.
Keep in mind that consuming Caramel popcorn on rare occasions is fine, but don’t make it a habit of feeding your pooch this snack daily or regularly.
Try to keep Caramel popcorn away from your canine friends if you know they are diabetic, pre-diabetic, or have digestion issues. Dogs with diabetes should avoid Caramel popcorn and all types of sugary food.
If you suspect your dog is not feeling well or are ever concerned, contact your vet immediately and ask for further instruction.
Can dogs have Caramel popcorn?
No, dogs should not have Caramel popcorn. So, is Caramel popcorn bad for dogs? Yes, Caramel popcorn is bad for dogs. Here’s why.
Not only is Caramel popcorn very sweet, but also it can be a bit hard on your dog’s teeth. The Caramel sugar coating on the popcorn can also get stuck between your dog’s teeth.
As mentioned above, the bacteria in your dog’s mouth will use the sugar to produce acids which will destroy the tooth’s enamel. What results are tooth decay and tons of cavities.
Also, some dogs don’t chew their food properly before swallowing and the Caramel popcorn can be a choking hazard in this case. If it’s not chewed properly, the Caramel popcorn can also cause intestinal obstruction.
Depending on the situation, some intestinal obstruction cases may require surgery.
For these reasons, we highly recommend that owners avoid feeding their pooch Caramel popcorn.
Can dogs eat Caramel rice cakes?
No, dogs should not eat Caramel rice cakes. Can dogs have Caramel rice cakes? Dogs should not have Caramel rice cakes and this includes Quaker Caramel rice cakes.
Caramel rice cakes provide no health benefits to dogs and it’s simply considered an empty calorie food for dogs. This means eating Caramel rice cakes can put your dog at risk of weight gain and obesity if eaten regularly or frequently.
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Can dogs eat Caramel ice cream?
No, dogs should not eat Caramel ice cream. Both Caramel and ice creams are dairy products so if your furry friends are lactose intolerant, avoid feeding them Caramel ice cream.
Caramel ice cream is also high in calories which is not healthy for dogs. Keep in mind the 10% rule when it comes to dog treats. Only 10% of your dog’s daily calories should be from treats.
Does this mean dogs should not eat salted Caramel ice cream?
Can dogs eat salted Caramel ice cream?
That’s right! Dogs should not eat salted Caramel ice cream because it is high in salt in addition to being a dairy product. Too much salt intake can lead to sodium poisoning in dogs.
Can dogs eat Caramel sauce?
No, absolutely not. Dogs should not eat Caramel sauce. Caramel sauce is pure sugar in liquid form and it’s very easy for dogs to slurp up a huge mouthful. Consuming a lot of Caramel sauce that is packed full of sugar can cause a spike in their blood sugar level.
Regularly allowing your pooch to ingest Caramel sauce can also lead to weight gain and canine obesity.
Can dogs eat Caramel apples?
No, dogs should not eat Caramel apples. While apples alone are good for dogs, apples dipped in Caramel sauce are harmful to your dog’s health. Eating Caramel apples means taking in way too many calories that your dogs don’t need.
It also means consuming a lot of sugar your dogs don’t need and this can cause an unhealthy spike in your dog’s blood sugar level.
Some Caramel apples are topped with sprinkles, nuts, cinnamon, and chocolate. Chocolate, cinnamon, and some nuts are not safe for dogs to eat and are actually toxic to dogs.
For these reasons, keep Caramel apples away from your furry family members.
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Can dogs eat Caramel fudge?
No, dogs should not eat Caramel fudge. If you’re having Caramel fudge, avoid sharing it with your canine family members. The main ingredients in Caramel fudge are sugar, butter, and milk.
Some Caramel fudge has additional ingredients such as sweetened condensed milk, syrup, and salt. From these ingredients, we know that Caramel fudge contains a lot of sugar and since it is also a dairy product, it’s best to keep it away from your pooch.
Before offering your pooch a spoonful of Caramel fudge or any other food, it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients first.
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With over five years of specialized experience as an animal writer, my expertise lies in dog nutrition, health, behavior, grooming, and training. I am dedicated to delivering helpful and informative content that caters to the well-being of our furry friends. My primary goal is to empower pet owners with knowledge and ensure our canine companions thrive in health and happiness. In my free time, I love volunteering at local dog rescue centers.