Can Dogs Eat Cotton Candy?

can dogs eat cotton candy

My two canine friends and I visited a dog-friendly beach yesterday. As we were jogging on the boardwalk, we saw a few vendors selling Cotton candies. I thought about buying a Cotton candy and sharing it with my two pups but wondered if this colorful sugary treat is safe for them to eat.

Can dogs eat Cotton candy? No, dogs should not eat Cotton candy. Cotton candy is just refined sugar; too much sugar can make your canine friends sick. While regular Cotton candy isn’t toxic, its sugar-free variants can be lethal to our canine friends.

Is Cotton candy bad for dogs?

can dogs have cotton candy

Yes, Cotton candy is bad for dogs. To find out why this candy is terrible for dogs, let’s find out what Cotton candy is and the ingredients in this candy that may be toxic to our furry friends.

What is Cotton candy?

Cotton candy is a famous circus and carnival confectionary known for its signature cotton-like form.

What flavor is Cotton candy?

Cotton candy is usually plain sugar mixed with food dye. Sometimes artificial fruit flavors are also added.

Where does Cotton candy come from?

Cotton candy originated in 19th century Europe and is found all over the world today. Not only is Cotton candy famous for its taste, but the way it’s made is also a spectacle.

What is Cotton candy made of?

Cotton candy only requires sugar. Food coloring is added to improve its appearance. Some sugar-free varieties use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar.

How is Cotton candy made?

Cotton candy is made by melting colored sugar, spinning it at high speed, and passing it through tiny holes. The sugar solidifies as thin strands while exiting the holes. The strands are then rolled into a ball.

Cotton candy ingredients

cotton candy dogs

White sugar is the primary ingredient in Cotton candy and it is very unhealthy for our furry friends. Let’s take a look at how different Cotton candy ingredients may affect our pups.

1. Refined sugar

Cotton candy barely contains anything other than refined sugar—also known as granulated, white, or table sugar. While dogs do have a metabolic need for sugary carbs, they can produce sugars from their natural food. In other words, they don’t need to consume sugar separately.

Sugar is calorie-dense and fattening. Just two tablespoons of it contain about 97 calories. Insane, right?

Due to its addictive nature, dogs can get hooked on sugary treats. This can be dangerous, as your four-legged friends will look to gobble up candies every chance they get.

As with humans, excessive sugar consumption can lead to all sorts of health issues in dogs. Short term effects of eating lots of sugary treats are:

  • Stomachache or upset stomach.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Blood sugar imbalance.

Eating lots of sugar also leads to long-term effects like:

  • Diabetes.
  • Dental issues including tooth decay or cavities.
  • Obesity.
  • Loss of appetite.

Handy Hints: It’s best to stick to healthy and well-balanced dog treats instead of sugary human treats like Fruit Snacks that are filled with refined sugar or artificial sweeteners such as xylitol.

2. Xylitol

Instead of sugar, many confectionaries like Cotton candy contains an artificial sweetener called xylitol.

For humans, xylitol is a healthier sugar alternative. It’s low in calories, dissolves easily in the body, and is just as sweet as sugar. Unlike sugar and other artificial sweeteners, xylitol doesn’t damage teeth, making it one of the safest sugar alternatives.

For dogs, however, xylitol is a deadly poison. Dogs who consume candies or desserts sweetened with xylitol may experience:

  • Weakness.
  • Seizures.
  • Fainting.
  • Liver damage.
  • Coma.
  • Death (in severe cases).

3. Artificial color

To make Cotton candy more vibrant and attractive, its sugar is often dyed in various food colors. These food dyes aren’t always naturally sourced and may contain chemicals harmful to your canine’s health.

When it comes to dog food, it is always best to keep things natural and organic.

Xylitol toxicity in dogs

cotton candy dog

Xylitol is often used as a healthier alternative to white sugar. But while it is perfectly safe for humans, it’s toxic to dogs. Once digested, xylitol causes the dog’s pancreas to release a dangerously high amount of insulin. This causes a massive drop in blood sugar, resulting in exhaustion, shivering, weakness, seizures, unconsciousness, and in severe cases, death.

Xylitol is considered poisonous at 0.1 gram per kilogram of the dog’s body weight. Meaning if your dog weighs 30kg, just 3 grams of xylitol is enough to induce toxicity.

When shouldn’t you feed Cotton candy to your dog? 

Sugar is especially harmful to diabetic, old, and overweight dogs. The amount of sugar in Cotton candy can potentially cause hyperglycemia or elevated blood sugar in canines. For diabetic dogs, this can be fatal.

Experts recommend that your furry family members get 90% of their daily calories from proper well-balanced dog food and only 10% from snacks. If your pups have had their share of snacks for the day, you shouldn’t feed them any more snacks or treats like Cotton candy.

Cotton candy can be bad for your pup’s oral health. For a dog suffering from gum infection or cavities, it’s recommended that all sugary treats should be forbidden.

Does Cotton candy provide nutritional benefits for your dog?

No, Cotton candy serves no nutritional value to dogs at all. This sweet candy has way more sugar than the recommended maximum amount for dogs, which is why they shouldn’t eat this sugary treat or any other human treats that are loaded with sugar.

What if my dog accidentally ate Cotton candy?

While Cotton candy is unhealthy, it isn’t toxic. Your canine companion will likely be fine after eating some Cotton candy. Cotton candy is also more fluff than substance, meaning even a big ball of it isn’t a lot.

After your pups eat Cotton candy or any other sweet, make sure to brush their teeth thoroughly. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have the enzyme that dissolves the sugar in their mouths. This means any sugary treat stuck between their teeth will stay there, which increases the chances of getting tooth decay.

What should I do if my dog consumes xylitol-rich Cotton candy?

dog ate cotton candy

If your pooch consumes xylitol-rich Cotton candy, you should call your vet right away or contact your local poison helpline. Inform them of your dog’s breed and weight and how much Cotton candy they’ve eaten. Make sure to mention any preexisting health conditions.

Ask your vet for advice. Don’t try to force your dog to vomit if it’s not recommended by your vet. It’s best to bring your pooch to the vet and have the veterinary professional handle it.

If xylitol stays inside your dog for more than 30 minutes, it will get absorbed and your dog will start feeling the effects.

How long does it take to get a dog sick?

Depending on your dog’s age, size, and health, symptoms of xylitol poisoning can appear immediately or as late as 24 hours. Dog owners shouldn’t wait for the symptoms to show before seeking medical help for their pups.

Instead, it’s best to get medical care right away for their dog following xylitol consumption.

What if my dog accidentally ate a Cotton candy wrapper?

Similar to the Slim Jims wrapper, the Cotton candy wrapper can also get stuck inside the dog’s throat or intestines if it is not removed first before eating. This risk is more pronounced in smaller dogs due to their thinner throats and intestines.

Larger dogs may pass the wrapper through their system naturally. For smaller dogs, though, medical assistance may be necessary. If your dog struggles to breathe or poop after eating a wrapper, take them to the vet right away.

How do I know my dog has swallowed a Cotton candy wrapper?

dog eats candy

It is essential to know the signs of blockage inside your pooch as dogs can be pretty sneaky when eating garbage. Symptoms that your dog has ingested a Cotton candy wrapper include:

  • Gagging or choking.
  • Blue hue on gums.
  • Difficulty passing stool.
  • Lethargy.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Symptoms to watch for

Cotton candy isn’t toxic, but you may need to keep an eye on your dog for symptoms of xylitol poisoning or wrapper blockage:

  1. Vomiting/diarrhea is a dog’s natural response to toxic food. Vomiting and diarrhea help the dog get rid of the toxin naturally.
  2. Weakness is a symptom of hypoglycemia o dangerously low blood sugar caused by xylitol poisoning.
  3. Seizures/shivering is another sign of xylitol poisoning. As the blood runs out of sugar, the dog’s body struggles to function, resulting in tremors, seizures, and collapse.
  4. Shortness of breath can occur when a dog has a candy wrapper stuck in his throat. He will have difficulty breathing and most likely it will be short and quick breaths.
  5. Gagging/choking is another symptom that the wrapper is stuck in the dog’s esophagus. The muscles will contract to eject the blockage and the dog will gag uncontrollably.
  6. Difficulty defecating because an intestinal blockage will make pooping difficult. Constipation would mean an object is blocking the bowels, while a bloody or odd-colored stool would mean the object has caused internal damage.

Treatments if your dog has Cotton candy and Cotton candy wrapper poisoning

Xylitol poisoning is a serious matter and requires immediate veterinary attention. Don’t wait for your pup to show signs of xylitol poisoning; take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Treatment for xylitol poisoning involves purging the dog’s stomach, hooking them to IV fluids, and administering activated charcoal to counteract the xylitol’s effects. The dog will be kept under supervision until his or her condition stabilizes.

Cotton candy wrapper is a potential choking hazard—especially in small dogs. It’s best to familiarize yourself with choking or intestinal blockage symptoms and take your pooch to the vet upon noticing odd behavior.

An X-ray will determine the nature and extent of the blockage. The vet may administer Metamucil or some other laxative to help your pup pass the wrapper. Some blockages may require surgery.

Dog-friendly and safe alternatives to Cotton candy

Cotton candy isn’t a treat or snack to intentionally feed your dogs. If you want them to have a sweet and tasty treat that is safe and healthy, you can try these alternatives:

  • Berries are the closest natural, low-calorie alternative to candies. Strawberries, Goji Berries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all safe for dogs.
  • Pumpkins are healthy and safe alternatives to sweets for dogs. They’re also packed full of fiber which helps promote gut health. 
  • Fruits like apples, bananas, melons, mango, oranges, and pears are perfectly safe for dogs. Unlike candies, fruits are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Baby carrots are sweet, safe, nutritional, and easy to eat. They’re packed with vital nutrients.
  • Peanut butter is a canine favorite for its rich, creamy texture. Make sure to check the ingredients carefully.

How to prevent dogs from eating Cotton candy and xylitol?

If your canine companions get addicted to sugary snacks, they will seek sweets and eat them behind your back. To make sure your dog doesn’t consume something unsafe, don’t get them hooked onto the sugar. Training can help discipline your dog so they refrain from eating anything they’re not allowed.

Dogs are good at finding hidden foods, thanks to their highly sensitive nose. Make sure the food that is unsafe for doggy consumption is out of your furry friend’s reach.

So, can dogs eat Cotton candy?

Although there is a chance that your four-legged friends will be fine after eating Cotton candy, the associated risks are just too high. Excessive sugar, the possibility of xylitol toxicity, and the absence of any nutritional value make Cotton candy an unfit treat or snack for your pooch.

Related Questions

What happens if a dog eats Cotton candy?

Dogs can get sick from eating lots of Cotton candy. But a little bit won’t harm them.

Is it safe for dogs to have Cotton candy?

While it is safe, dogs shouldn’t consume too much Cotton candy or they might get sick.

Will Cotton candy kill my dog?

No, Cotton candy won’t necessarily kill your dog. However, regular Cotton candy consumption can make the dog sick.

How bad is Cotton candy?

Cotton candy is unhealthy junk food. But as long as it doesn’t contain xylitol, it isn’t lethal.

Can dogs eat Cotton candy grapes?

No, dogs should not eat Cotton candy grapes. Cotton candy grapes or any type of grapes are poisonous for dogs.

Can dogs have a little bit of Cotton candy?

Yes, dogs can have a little bit of Cotton candy. As long as it isn’t made of xylitol.

Does Cotton candy have xylitol?

Not all Cotton candy have xylitol, but a few recipes of Cotton candy may xylitol instead of sugar.

Will xylitol kill my dog?

Yes, xylitol is toxic to dogs. About 0.5 grams of xylitol per kilogram of the dog’s body weight is considered deadly.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding dietary needs.

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_candy

https://www.nutritionix.com/i/nutritionix/cotton-candy-1-cup/58bf1984897312016715d994

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