Can Dogs Eat Caramel? (w/ Popcorn, Rice Cakes)

Most human foods are not ideal for feeding our furry friend, but it is heartbreaking to resist our pet dog’s pleading.

We might be disciplined to avoid feeding our dogs outrightly dangerous food such as chocolates or spicy ingredients-lashed meals.

But what about other similar food that does not seem dangerous?

Can dogs eat caramel? Is caramel good for dogs?

Unfortunately, contrary to spicy meals and chocolates, the answer isn’t precisely direct.

Caramel interacts with a dog’s body in different ways. Notwithstanding, it has its dangers.

This article explores the answer to this and other related questions you may have. Read on!

What is Caramel?

Caramel is a confectionery product created by heating any variety of sugar to 170 Celsius (340 degrees Fahrenheit).

During the process of heating, molecules are broken down to form new compounds that are a dark orange-brown color and have a deep, rich flavor.

This process is called “caramelization.”

This confectionery flavoring can be used in desserts and puddings, as a topping for custard and ice cream, or serve as a filling in bonbons.

Can Dogs Eat Caramel?

Nearly every dog parents are aware that chocolate is straight-up poison to dogs and is among the long list of things that your canine companion shouldn’t eat.

However, you may wonder how long does that list goes? Does it apply to all candy products?

If your dog has eaten caramel, you’re probably worried.

Caramel is primarily sugar mixed with other ingredients such as oil and butter.

Caramel Sauce in Glass Jar

Caramels aren’t toxic in themselves but still are not safe for your dog’s consumption because of the high sugar content.

They are likely to have a more negative effect on your dog’s health and outweigh any benefit it may stand to offer. 

Though caramel is technically safe for dogs to eat (i.e., it wouldn’t immediately harm your pooch after eating it), if a dog consumes a large quantity, it could result in some serious health complications in the long term.

Hence, caramel isn’t a safe treat to feed your pet dog.

To determine if caramel is good for canines, below is a breakdown of the nutrient components of 41 grams of caramel.

Nutritional InfoAmount
Calories89
Sodium140mg
Potassium27mg
Carbohydrates23g
Sugars23g
Protein0.5g
Vitamin A0.5%
Vitamin C0.3%
Calcium1.5%

Related:
Can Dogs Eat Cheesecake? The Untold Facts

Is Caramel Good for Dogs?

Our furry friends can be likened to our children. They are dependent on their owners for everything, including their diets.

Hence, the need to treat and feed them right.

Caramel is a sweet treat but terrible for dogs. It mostly contains empty calories and raw sugar.

Below are some long-term effects of caramel consumption on the health of dogs:

Dental issues

Eating too much sugar will result in dental problems in dogs, and even humans.

The difference is with dogs, the effect set in faster. Cavities, missing teeth, and root canals are some of the plagues your dog will have to deal it.

Dogs rely significantly on their mouths and teeth in their interaction with the environment around them.

Their mouths are helpful in manipulating objects and in defending themselves against threats.

Dental issues may directly affect your dog’s mouth but indirectly crumple the behavioral well-being of a dog.

Addiction

Feeding dogs raw sugar can result in addiction.

Dogs enjoy the rush associated with sugar consumption which makes them crave for more.

Being that dogs can’t think logically, they would not understand the addiction and would rather adjust their behavior to get more of it.

It is impossible to explain to your dog why it can’t have any more of it, and yet it would do all it can to get more of it.

As much as the possibility of a junkie dog sounds funny and unreal, it is realistically possible and not a pretty sight to behold your pet canine going crazy for a piece of caramel.

Sugar Overdoses

Vomiting and diarrhea are common side effects of sugar overdose in dogs.

This is often a result of a dog ingesting too much sugar (in this case, caramel).

If you suspect your dog of having consumed too much sugar and throwing up, do not feed it anything but water for the following 24 hours.

If symptoms still persist, contact your vet.

Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs happens when their body is unable to process sugar in the blood.

Dogs are much smaller compared to humans and do not digest sugars in the manner the human body does; thus, diabetes can set in faster in k9s.

Canine diabetes often leads to myriads of other health problems, which can be life-threatening or shorten their life span.

Obesity

Too much sugar consumption will result in unhealthy weight gain in dogs and obesity eventually.

Most dogs are predisposed to obesity, and caramel consumption further tips the scales.

The effect of such unhealthy weight gain in dogs will take a toll on their bones and joints.

Related:
Can Dogs Eat Sour Cream? The Good & The Bad

So, Can Dogs Have Caramel?

We have established that caramel isn’t a safe treat to feed to your pet pooch.

Caramel Candies and Caramel Sauce

Let’s consider other varieties of caramel-flavored treats to know whether they are safe or dangerous for dogs.

  • Caramel Dip: Caramel dip is almost the same thing as caramel but usually contains higher sugar content.

    They are not safe to feed to your dog, plus, they could potentially cause cavities when the dip gets stuck in a dog’s teeth.
  • Can Dogs Eat Caramel Ice Cream: Caramel ice cream contains excessive calories than a dog needs.

    Most dogs are lactose intolerant and should not eat any form of dairy products, including ice cream. So, caramel ice cream is among the list of unsafe food to feed your dog.
  • Can Dogs Eat Caramel Popcorn: A few pieces of caramel popcorn are considered safe to feed your dog occasionally.

    Anything beyond this is putting your dog’s health at risk. Dogs suffering from diabetes should never have a taste of caramel popcorn.
  • Caramel Lollipops: Lollipops, in general, are not safe for dogs to eat, including the caramel ones.

    They are a potential choking hazard to dogs, and the hardy candy can get stuck between a dog’s teeth resulting in dental cavities.
  • Caramel Nuts: Unsalted nuts free from unsafe ingredients and less sugar are safe for dogs to eat, but caramel nuts are not safe edible for dogs as most have chocolate in them.
  • Caramel Rice Cakes: Caramel cake is very much high in sugar, calories, and carb. Hence, it is not a safe treat to feed your dog.
  • Caramel Pudding: Caramel puddings free from xylitol are safe for dogs to eat in little quantity and occasionally.
  • Caramel Fudge: Caramel fudge contains too many toxic ingredients that are unsafe for dogs, including chocolate. So, it is a no-go for dogs.

Related:
Can Dogs Eat Honey? Is Honey Safe For Dogs?

My Dog Ate Caramel, What Should I Do?

Dog Seating in Naughty Dog Corner

If your dog had a few bites of caramel, you need not panic.

As noted earlier, caramel is not a toxic food. Hence, your dog is likely to be alright.

However, if your dog has had too much of it, that would be something to be concerned about.

Below are a few symptoms to watch out for if you suspect your dog has had too much caramel:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Moodiness
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you notice any of the symptoms above after your dog has consumed caramel, you should avoid feeding it anything at least for the following 24 hours and allow easy access to water for your dog.

Most times, these symptoms often clear up within hours and leave your dog sound in naps.

However, if symptoms persist after a few more hours, consult a vet.

Related:
Can Dogs Eat Grits? Are Grits Safe For Dogs?

Healthy Alternatives to Caramel Safe for Dogs

There are other sweet treats that can serve as healthy alternatives to caramel for your canine. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Plain Yogurt (strictly for dogs that are tolerant to diary products)
  • Peanut (excellent source of protein)
  • Apples (rich in antioxidants)

FAQS

Can caramel kill dogs? 

No. Caramel is not toxic to dogs. That being noted, it is still not a good treat to feed dogs.

Can I feed toffee to my dog?

Toffee contains a lot of sugar; thus, it is potentially harmful to a dog’s system. They can cause pancreatitis, stomach upsets, and teeth problems in dogs.

Can I feed my dog caramel syrup? 

No. Caramel syrup is filled with a high amount of sugar and poses a higher risk for obesity and diabetes in dogs.

Can I feed my dog caramel rice crisps?

Although a few bites of caramel crisps are safe for dogs to eat, it is still not a suitable treat to feed your furry friend.

Can dogs eat caramelized onions?

The onion plant as a whole is toxic to dogs, including the leaves, flesh, raw, cooked, powdered, juice, and other processed forms.

Final Thoughts

Dogs do not possess logical thinking, and thus, will eat anything that smells pleasant and taste sweet, including caramel.

While this sugary treat isn’t poisonous to dogs, it is something to keep off from your mutt.

A dog’s body is not designed to handle too well the side effects associated with too much consumption of sugar.

So, in conclusion, it would be safer not to feed caramel in any form to your canine buddy.

You May Also Like:
Can Dogs Eat Jelly? Is Jelly Bad For Dogs?

References: AKC, Vetericyn, WebMD

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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