Marshmallow is a soft, sweet snack that can be a cake decoration or a way to spice your hot chocolate. Who can imagine a camping trip without roast marshmallows?
Everyone likes marshmallows, and it seems that your dog likes them too! Your pup will always whine and beg for just one tiny bite of the sweet treat whenever he sees it.
As soon as you opened a bag to add a few to dessert – your dog grabbed them from your hand. Before you could stop him in any way, he already devoured one. So, what happens now?
Is eating marshmallows safe for dogs or is it a cause for a visit to the emergency vet clinic? Read our article to find out!
Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows?
First of all, yes, dogs can eat marshmallows. However, you mustn’t overdo it. Too many marshmallows can put your pet in real danger!
There are a few things to keep in mind before you give your pet some marshmallows. First, are all marshmallows safe for your pet?
The answer is no! Be very careful if you want to give your pet this sweet. Always check the ingredient list before your pet eats some – look for this listed in the ingredients list:
Xylitol is a chemical compound known as an artificial sweetener. If ingested even in the smallest quantity, it can cause your dog’s sugar levels to drop, seizures, and liver failure. Xylitol can even be a hazard to your pet’s life.
Never give your dog any food that has this type of sweetener, on any occasion. If the dog does ingest xylitol accidentally, rush to the emergency vet as soon as you can. Even if the dog eats one mini marshmallow containing xylitol – go to the vet nevertheless.
Please take seriously if your dog ingests anything containing this dangerous compound – this is the same as your dog eating chocolate. Xylitol is the sweetener that makes chocolate dangerous food for dogs.
On the other hand, if the marshmallows in question don’t contain xylitol they are safe for your dog – if consumed in a moderate amount. There is no need for your pet to eat sweets on the regular, but it’s a-okay from time to time. To find out can dogs eat zucchini, read our article.
Giving Your Pet Marshmallows
Whenever you’re giving your pet some new food, make sure to introduce it first. Introducing food consists of giving your pet a small quantity of it and watching their reaction. If the dog responds well, add a little more next time until you reach the optimal amount.
When you do want to give your pet a marshmallow, don’t go overboard – less is more with this sweet. Too many snacks can affect your dog like any other food, so, let’s check out the safe amount for different sized dogs:
|Small and toy breeds||Medium breeds||Large breeds|
|¼ of a marshmallow||½ of a marshmallow||Up to 1 marshmallow|
Since this is a snack full of sugar and syrup, it might be hard to pass through your dog’s digestive system. Do it according to the table above and your dog will probably be fine.
Dogs shouldn’t eat marshmallows often. However, once a week or less is ideal.
Furthermore, whenever your dog eats something new, watch its behavior afterward. If the dog starts acting unusually after eating marshmallows, or he is lethargic, stop giving him this snack!
Using Marshmallows As A Snack
Marshmallows can be used as a snack, but only on special occasions. Sure, they are fun food for your pet, but they can affect your dog long-term, and we’ll talk about it more in the next section of this article.
Instead, opt for healthy snacks like dog-safe fruit and vegetables – they are beneficial to your dog’s health and they can be equally tasty! Read our article to find out can dogs eat cabbage.
Also, remember the 10% rule – treats should make only 10% of the daily food consumption. The rest should be regular dog food (scraps from the table count as treats, and not usual meals).
Benefits Of Dogs Eating Marshmallows
To be fair, there aren’t many benefits to dogs eating marshmallows. Your dog may whine and beg until you give in and toss them a little – but you should only give in from time to time. For example, if your doggie got some shots today and was extra brave (and didn’t even attempt to bite anyone), this is a great moment to give the dog this sugary snack.
Let’s check out the nutritional value of 1 ounce of marshmallows (4 regular marshmallows):
As we can see, there aren’t many good nutrients inside marshmallows. They are rather high in calories and sugar count. That’s no good for your pet – a dog needs a well-balanced diet with a lot of vitamins and minerals.
Sure, there are a few milligrams of iron and sodium, but it’s such a tiny amount, it’s not beneficial to your pet’s health in any way. We strongly recommend that if marshmallows have to be a part of your pup’s diet that you try to give them to your pup as rarely as possible.
Even if the dog begs, it’s up to you to say no sometimes. After all, it’s for the dog’s wellbeing.
If you like to spoil your furry baby and you want to give them whatever they want to eat, that’s mostly okay. But if the food in question is a marshmallow – that’s not.
Additionally, feeding your pet whatever they beg for, encourages bad behavior. Maybe you find it adorable, but your guests will be annoyed when your puppy whines at the dinner table. Everyone likes to spoil their furry baby, but some things are too much!
What Happens To Dogs That Eat Marshmallows Regularly?
Well, marshmallows are considered junk food. Junk food is tasty (we’re all guilty of eating some on bad days), but has little to no nutritional value. It’s full of sugar and carbohydrates and has a high-calorie count – which is bad for your health and the health of your pet, too.
If your dog eats junk food regularly, it can lead to these illnesses:
|Obesity:||Sugars can lead to obesity, even if your dog is very healthy|
|Diabetes:||An obese dog will develop insulin resistance, which will then lead to diabetes|
A dog struggling with obesity, or worse, diabetes, will stop being vibrant and playful. They will suffer and the extra pounds they gained will shorten their life span. And who wants to part with their pet before their time?
What If The Dog Eats Too Many Marshmallows?
You know that your pooch can eat up to half of a marshmallow, but he got his paws on the bag and ate a few. What will happen to him now? Is he in grave danger?
Well, eating too many marshmallows can result in an upset tummy – some lack of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting are to be expected for two days. If the symptoms persist for longer than two days, you have to visit the veterinarian. The doctor will prescribe something to ease your pet’s tummy woes.
For peace of mind, go to the vet right after your dog ingests too many snacks – the vet will induce vomiting to reduce long-term tummy troubles. Be careful and put all sweets and snacks away from the dog’s reach!
Lastly, we’ve determined that dogs can eat marshmallows safely. As long as the marshmallows in question don’t contain xylitol, your pet will be fine eating a little.
Make sure to store marshmallows away from your pet’s reach – eating too much can make them ill and it can lead to a rather expensive trip to the emergency vet. Your toy poodle shouldn’t eat more than a quarter of a regular marshmallow – or two to three mini marshmallows. A large dog can get away with eating a full marshmallow, though.
However, avoid giving your dog this sweet treat often. It can lead to obesity and diabetes – those can affect the quality of your pet’s life and lead to more diseases and a shorter life span. Marshmallows contain a large amount of sugar per serving and not any useful nutrients.
To conclude, marshmallows can be a great treat for special occasions but don’t make a habit out of it. Rare consumption of marshmallows is not harmful to your pet!
Learn More: What Can Dogs Eat? A Comprehensive List Of Dog-safe Foods