Can dogs eat marshmallows?

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Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows

Marshmallows are sweet snacks paired with hot chocolate. They bring back some memories from our untroubled youthful years. And as dog parents, we love to share our foods with our furry friends.

But can dogs eat marshmallows, and are there any risks if they accidentally consume a bag of marshmallows? 

Most marshmallows are poisonous to our pets and could cause grievous organ detriment. They are commonly made with sugar, gelatin, vanilla extract, and xylitol, which are highly fatal for dogs’ health. 

Let’s check out the ingredients in marshmallows that make it toxic for your beloved pet and what you can do in case of accidents.

Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows?

Most canines like foods that are sweet with supple, soft textures. However, experts advise not to give them marshmallows. Therefore, to answer the question, it’s a NO! Dogs cannot and should not eat marshmallows.

Though you could unintentionally drop a marshmallow around, which your dog could then consume, you’ll be glad to learn that there’s nothing downright poisonous in normal sugar marshmallows for your furry friend.

Marshmallow and Dogs

Marshmallow’s Ingredients

A common marshmallow has sugar, water, corn syrup, gelatin, and some air. Sometimes they are made of other ingredients, like vanilla extract. 

Water is of no threat. And gelatin is actually tolerably good for your dog. It is a protein made by boiling various animals’ skin, bones, ligaments, and tendons. But its sugar content is a different case. 

Technically, sugar is not harmful to dogs as it is a carbohydrate. However, too much of it makes it toxic for our pets. Our dogs need carbohydrates to provide energy and fuel.

What Makes Marshmallows Bad For Dogs?

So since we know the ingredients comprising a marshmallow, we can discuss why they are not great for dogs. So, why can’t dogs eat marshmallows?


Since marshmallows are made from sugar and corn syrup, they contain many calories and sugar. This can lead to gastrointestinal problems or, worse, pancreatitis in some dogs. It can also cause several health concerns like:

  • Diabetes – It is brought about by insulin resistance in your dog’s body, and too much sugar triggers this condition. Marshmallows have 60% sugar, which is dangerous to dogs and people.
  • Obesity – Overindulging in sweet foods can cause obesity. Extra weight is very tough on canines and can result in cardiovascular disease, arthritis, joint problems, and other illnesses.
  • Cavities – The problem with sugar is that microorganisms in the mouth utilize it, creating acids. And these acids aid in reducing the mineral in the enamel resulting in tooth decay. 

Vanilla Extract

Unexpectedly, vanilla extract is poisonous to dogs because of its high alcohol content, approximately 35% alcohol. Vanilla extracts have the same amount of alcohol as rum and vodka.

Alcohol is usually added to herbs since it helps in releasing the flavor. And dogs can’t break down alcohol in their system, causing respiratory and nervous system deterioration. 

Artificial Sweeteners

Xylitol is a popular artificial sweetener. It is generally used in “sugar-free” chewing gums, mints, and marshmallows. It is very threatening to pups that many experts state it is even more toxic than chocolate. 

Xylitol is immediately exhausted within the bloodstream, causing a strong insulin discharge from the pancreas. This potent release induces a drastic decrease in blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include

  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lethargy or sluggishness
  • Shakings
  • Convulsions
  • Coma 

Without treatment, hypoglycemia can be life-threatening.

Is Marshmallows Bad For Dogs

What to do if your dog eats a marshmallow?

Suppose your dog only had a few traditional marshmallows made with sugar (not xylitol); you can breathe easily.

However, if he devoured the whole pack, you can perhaps notice a bit of gastrointestinal upset (such as diarrhea and vomiting). But it is not fatal.

If you notice any alarming signs, it’s always best to take precautions and bring your dog to the vet. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, lethargy, hypoglycemia, incoordination, staggering, convulsions, and coma.

Xylitol ingestion triggers an accelerated reaction (generally within 30 minutes though it can get about 12-18 hours) and a drastic rise in blood insulin following hypoglycemia which can persist for 12-24hrs. 

Review all notes for xylitol. And be highly cautious in storing marshmallows and other sweeteners.

The Safest Way to Feed Marshmallows to Your Dog

You may occasionally desire to serve your dog marshmallows. And you wish to give him a few marshmallows without any harmful effects. Regarding this concern, take note of the “10% rule. It is vital for dog foods or snacks not to be more than 10% of your dog’s everyday caloric consumption. The other 90% of the pup’s food must contain a healthy diet. 

If your pet displays any disease symptoms, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your veterinarian right away. To err on the side of caution, however, limit your dogs’ consumption of marshmallows.

Final Thoughts

As caring dog parents, we only wish the best for our pets, and sometimes, we can quickly yield to their wants. 

Occasional intake of marshmallows is not dangerous to your dog! Dogs can eat marshmallows, perhaps a few, and he may be okay! But, as much as you can, avoid feeding them marshmallows because of the health risks involved.

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