Can Dogs Eat Sour Patch Kids?

can dogs eat sour patch kids
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My niece loves Sour patch kids and Cotton Candy so every time she comes to visit, I’ll have these two snacks ready for her. Last Wednesday, my niece accidentally left an open bag of Sour patch kids on the coffee table. When I walked into the living room, I caught my yellow Labrador eating some of the Sour patch kids gummy and panicked. Luckily she was fine, but this incident inspired me to write this article.

Can dogs eat Sour patch kids? No, dogs should not eat Sour patch kids because this sour candy has high sugar content. Although they are not toxic, excessive consumption of Sour patch kids can lead to several health troubles in dogs.

Can dogs have Sour patch kids?

large sour patch kids
huge sour patch kid

There are several reasons for your furry friends to avoid Sour patch kids, some of which are:

Sugar causes canine obesity

Just like humans, sugary foods can make our furry family members fat. Sour patch kids are full of simple, sugary carbs which provide no nutritional value. Unless your pooch has a very active lifestyle, these carbs will get stored as fats in the body.

All of this leads to obesity in dogs, and obesity opens the doors to numerous other diseases.

Sugar causes digestive distress in dogs

Excessive sugar consumption upsets the ratio between the good and bad bacteria in your canine friends’ stomach. When your dog’s gut is teeming with nasty bad bacteria, eating anything will cause them indigestion. This will be evident from vomiting and explosive diarrhea.

Sugar causes cavities in dogs

Our canine friends lack the enzyme in their saliva that dissolves sugar, and they can’t use toothpicks either. So once a sticky Sour patch gummy gets trapped in your dog’s teeth, it stays there for a good while. This promotes cavities and gum diseases.

Dogs are also prone to dental disease. Research shows that a good 80% of dogs over three years of age have dental disease. As responsible dog owners, let’s try to avoid giving our pooch sugar so we don’t contribute to this already high percentage.

Citric acid is not for dogs

Citric acid gives sour food and candy their tangy taste. However, it can also cause stomach distress to our canine buddies. While the amount of citric acid in one Sour patch kids isn’t that high and won’t do much harm, eating too much of this sour candy can give your pooch a tummyache.

Xylitol is extremely dangerous for dogs

Pet owners should avoid giving anything with xylitol to dogs because xylitol is toxic to dogs. This chemical is a staple in many candies and desserts. Luckily, Sour patch kids don’t have this toxic sweetener.

Handy Hint: Make sure not to feed your canine companions sugar-free Starburst as this type of candy contains xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener that is very harmful to dogs.

Are Sour patch kids bad for dogs?

watermelon sour patches
sour patch watermelons

Yes, Sour patch kids are unhealthy for dogs because they contain lots of sugar, corn syrup, and glucose. Dogs don’t need much sugar in their diet, and giving them something like Sour patch kids can raise their blood glucose to unhealthy levels.

What are Sour patch kids?

Sour patch kids are soft and chewy gummy candies. They have a sweet interior with sour and tangy exterior. The name refers to the sour taste and child-like appearance of the candy. In Canada, this candy is known as Maynards Sour Patch Kids. People in France call this candy Very Bad Kids.

Where do Sour patch kids come from?

Sour patch kids are available in many countries such as the United States, Canada, France, and UK. They are sold in different flavors, colors, and sizes.

What are the ingredients in Sour patch kids?

Sour patch kids, like any candy, are made primarily of sweeteners, food coloring, and artificial flavors. They also contain various mild acids to give them their signature tart flavors.

Let’s discuss their ingredients in detail.

1. Sugar, glucose, and corn syrup are harmful to dogs

Like all candies, Sour patch kids are chock full of sugar as well as glucose and corn syrup. All these ingredients serve the same purpose in our dogs’ bodies: increasing their blood sugar level and calorie intake. 

Before you give sugary food or candy to your canine friends, know that sweeteners can be highly addictive. A dog craving sugar may seek every opportunity to eat sugary treats which will worsen their health. In addition, sugary products can lead to the following short and long term effects:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stomach soreness.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Obesity.
  • Diabetes.

2. Citric acid can cause irritation in dogs

Citric acid isn’t the only acid in Sour patch kids, but it is definitely the worst one for our furry friends. While the amount of citric acid per Sour patch kid candy is pretty low, eating this candy in excess can be risky. Citric acid can cause the following symptoms:

  • Irritation in the mouth.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Loss of coordination.
  • Central nervous depression.
  • Vomiting.

3. Artificial coloring is not good for canines

The fruity taste and color in Sour patch kids come from artificial ingredients, not actual fruits. While the safety of these ingredients is assured for humans, there’s no such guarantee for our four-legged friends. So when it comes to your furry family member’s diet, it’s best to keep things natural.

4. Modified Corn starch provides no nutritional value to dogs

Modified corn starch is safe, as it is a common ingredient found in dog food. However, it is used in Sour patch kids to increase the volume of the candy and modified corn starch does not provide any nutritional value.

How are Sour patch kids made?

Sour patch kids are made with modified corn starch mixed with sugar, inverted sugar, and corn syrup. The desired flavor and corresponding color are then added, and the mixture is shaped into little human-shaped gummies. Sour patch kids are then coated with tartaric and citric acids to give them their signature sour taste.

When shouldn’t you feed Sour patch kids to your dog?

how much sugar is in sour patch kids
dog eats candy

Sugary treats are especially harmful to overweight, old, and diabetic dogs. The amount of sugar in just a few Sour patch kids can lead to a state of elevated blood sugar, which is also known as hyperglycemia.

Sugar is a primary reason behind cavities and gum infections in dogs. If your pooch already has poor dental health, feeding them sour patch kids would only make things worse.

Do Sour patch kids provide nutritional benefits to dogs?

Sour patch kids hardly provide any nutritional benefit to your little buddy; all they have to offer is sugary carbs. Dogs do need a certain amount of sugars; however, the canine bodies manufactures them themselves. This means that dogs don’t have to have sugar in their diet. 

How many Sour patch kids can a dog eat?

Dogs shouldn’t eat more than 10g of candies a day. Considering that a single Sour patch gummy weighs about 2.5g, you can see how just a few of these sweets exceed a dog’s daily sugar allowance.

While our canine companions should avoid candies altogether, you can occasionally share a Sour patch gummy or two with your furry friends.

What if my dog accidentally eats Sour patch kids?

If your pup eats a few Sour patch kids, there is no need to panic. Sour patch kids are unhealthy in large amounts and a few won’t hurt.

Even if your pooch eats too many, the worst you can expect is lethargy and stomachache. This condition will fix itself after a few spells of vomiting and diarrhea, without any need to visit the vet.

If your four-legged friend is diabetic, any amount of Sour patch kids is unhealthy. Contact your vet immediately if your diabetic dog consumes anything sweet. 

Symptoms to watch for

It is unlikely for your pooch to get seriously ill after eating a few Sour patch kids. However, too many sugary treats can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Hyperactivity.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

Diabetic dogs may also experience:

  • Increased thirst.
  • Increased urination.
  • Depression.
  • Seizures.
  • Collapse.

Treatments if your dog has poisoning from Sour patch kids

There’s usually no reason for dogs to visit the vet if they ingest too many Sour patch kids. Nevertheless, monitor their condition closely and see if any severe symptoms appear. 

Diabetic dogs are much more sensitive to large-scale changes in their blood glucose levels. But even then, low blood sugar is much more dangerous than elevated blood sugar. Since sugary treats cause a spike in glucose level, they’re not likely to cause symptoms as severe as low blood sugar. However, elevated blood sugar can still warrant a trip to the vet if acute symptoms appear.

Dog-friendly and healthy substitute for Sour patch kids

If you want to treat your pup with something sweet while keeping them healthy, here are some nutritious and delicious alternatives:


Berries are sweet, juicy, easy to digest, and healthy alternatives to candies. Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries are all safe for dogs. However, avoid cherry, as the pit can be a choking hazard.


Watermelon is rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and natural sugar. This juicy fruit can be a refreshing and revitalizing treat during a hot summer day. While you can feed furry friends watermelon flesh safely, remove the green outer skin and seeds to prevent choking.


If your pooch loves the sour taste or sour food, another good option is sauerkraut. Plain Sauerkraut that is free from any added ingredients or species like is great for dogs. Sauerkraut provides your pooch with many health benefits since it contains good bacteria or probiotics.


Honey is a much healthier version of sugar. It’s thick, syrupy, and organic, making it the perfect candy alternative for dogs. However, if your pooch has a weak immune system, avoid giving them honey.


Coconut makes an excellent treat for your canine companions. It helps improve fur quality in dogs and makes their fur shinier. Plus, coconut also improves your dog’s oral health and can cure skin irritation and flea allergies. 

Here is the canine-friendly probiotics we give our pooch:

If you don’t have time or ran out of dog-friendly food, here are some sweet and crunchy dog treat options that your pooch will love:

How to train a dog not to eat forbidden food

Reinforcing positive habits and discouraging negative behavior is the simplest way to train your furry friends. Reward them when they listen to you and show disapproval when they misbehave.

Sugary treats make effective reward snacks when training your dog. Instead of candies, you can try fruits, honey, and peanut butter.

The best way to keep a pup from eating forbidden food is to not feed them any. If your canine companion isn’t accustomed to human food, they won’t be tempted to try it.

Keep in mind that dogs are naturally curious. Even with all the training, they will still look to try forbidden foods. Therefore, it’s best to keep such items out of the dog’s reach. You can place them on top of the refrigerator or on the top shelf.

So, can dogs eat Sour patch kids?

While Sour patch kids are not toxic, they are still high in sugar and other sweeteners, which are harmful to your dog’s teeth and dental health. So if you want to share Sour patch kids with your canine buddy, feed them very little and don’t make it a habit.

Related Questions

Can dogs eat sour candy?

No, dogs should not eat sour candy. Even if they don’t contain any toxic ingredients, they are very rich in sugars, making them unhealthy for canines.

Is there xylitol in Sour patch?

No, Sour patch kids does not contain xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used instead of sugar in sugar-free foods. While Sour patch kids contain copious amounts of sweeteners, they don’t contain xylitol.

Can dogs die from candy?

Yes, if the candy contains xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener that is harmful to dogs. In dogs, xylitol ingestion causes a severe drop in blood glucose. If not treated in time, this can be fatal.

Do dogs like eating sour patch kids?

Possibly. Dogs don’t like intensely sour foods. However, Sour patch kids are very sugary, and sugar can be addictive. So even if your pooch doesn’t find Sour patch kids tasty, they can still get hooked to them.

Can dogs eat sour patch watermelon?

No, dogs should not eat Sour patch watermelon. While watermelon is safe for dogs, Sour patch watermelon is an artificial product. The unhealthy amount of sugar, glucose, and corn syrup makes it unsuitable for dogs.

Can dogs taste sour?

Yes, although dogs don’t rely heavily on their sense of taste, they can still distinguish between sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy tastes. Animals associate sour taste with toxic or rotten food, so being able to taste sour can be life-saving for them.

Can dogs eat Sour punch straws?

No, dogs should not eat Sour punch straws. Sour punch straws are loaded with sugar, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup. Such high sugar content is unhealthy for dogs and can lead to diabetes and obesity.

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.

SOUR PATCH KIDS is a registered trademark of Mondelëz Canada Inc. Dogleashpro does not claim any ownership of the SOUR PATCH KIDS name, logo, or any identifying mark in any way. This article is for educational purposes only.