Can Dogs Eat Gummy Worms

Can Dogs Eat Gummy Worms?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

It’s great news that there is nothing toxic or poisonous in most brands of gummy worms for dogs. Those who consume sugar-free varieties might experience a lethal exception. If a dog eats gummy worms, his condition will be determined by how many he ate and how large he is. Gummy worms won’t harm dogs and they may think that they have just won the lottery after eating them.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Gummy Worms?“.

I’m going to tell you whether you should or should not feed gummy worms to your dog today!

Can Dogs Eat Gummy Worms

In truth I’m more interested in trying to figure out why this is happening than deciding whether our dogs should be fed this kind of candy.

It makes me wonder if Lockdown is the cause.

As a result most of us are spending more time at home than we normally do which is good for our dogs. 

In addition we eat more comfort food and sweet things to keep our spirits up.

Is it true that we give some of the human treats to our dogs?

I do not know the answer but I will discuss whether dogs are able to consume gummy worms in the next section.

My dog ate gummy worms! What should I do?

Its great news that there is nothing toxic or poisonous in most brands of gummy worms for dogs.

Those who consume sugar-free varieties might experience a lethal exception- I discuss this in more detail below.

If a dog eats gummy worms his condition will be determined by how many he ate and how large he is.

Gummy worms would not harm dogs and they may think that they have just won the lottery after eating them.

However a dog that has eaten a whole bag of gummy worms will feel very ill indeed.

Afterward they might vomit and have diarrhea for a few days. 

Thus in this situation just grab the rubber gloves!

Please contact your veterinarian if your dog exhibits unusual behavior such as lethargy or diarrhea that persists for more than a day or two.

What are gummy worms?

Jelly worms are one of the many shapes of gummy or jelly sweets a type of sweet that uses gelatin- that Jelly Baby texture. 

Sweets and candies can be found in an almost infinite number of colors and shapes from any number of different manufacturers. 

Additionally gummy bears gummy fruit gummy burgers gummy suckers and gummy snakes are popular selling shapes.

Sweet or sour smooth or sugar-coated the choice is yours.

Vitamins are also made from them!

If all the options werenot enough to make your head spin it even seems as if size does not matter.

It is possible to buy gigantic gummy worms.

Are you talking about Gummy Snakes?

Sadly no. I’m referring to the largest gummy worm in the world. 

They have three feet and four thousand calories. 

What are the main ingredients of gummy worms?

A trip to the veterinarian is necessary if your dog ate a super-sized gummy worm.

However what ingredients make these sweets so moreish and addictive?

The exact recipe is a top-secret of course.

I am going to give you a list of the ingredients and make sure you start with the most used ones. 

In addition two of the worlds largest manufacturers of gummy worms provide the following ingredients: Haribo and the Black Forest. 

To make this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

Black ForestHaribo
Corn syrupGlucose syrup
Modified corn starchDextrose acid
Concentrated apple juiceCitric acid
Sodium nitrateFlavoring
Natural and artificial flavorsFruit and plant concentrates
Coconut oil

Gummy worms are made almost exclusively from one type of sugar or another.

Glucose or corn syrup is the primary ingredient. 

It is the same product under two different names.

Cornstarch and several types of sugar are mixed together to make this syrup.

Sugar is the next most important ingredient.

Next we have gelatine as a third ingredient.

In the past the gelatine was made from boiling animal bones but nowadays there are vegetarian alternatives. 

A soft jelly-like texture is imparted to gummy worms (and jelly).

Using dextrose and citric acid Haribo makes its “gummies”. 

Citric acid is a flavoring that tastes like lemons and dextrose acid is another form of sugar. 

Corn starch which is not strictly a sugar but a carbohydrate is in Black Forest gummy worms.

Additionally it can cause blood sugar levels to rise. 

Is sugar poisonous to dogs?

Having said all that I guess the key question is how does sugar affect dogs?

Sugar is not poisonous for your dogs but it is not an ingredient they require.

When a dog has eaten too much sugar he can experience five possible side effects. 

There are four of them: diarrhea cavities hyperactivity and obesity.

The way that sugar interacts with bacteria in the stomach can lead to diarrhea

Sugar in a dogs mouth is used by bacteria to make acid which attacks the tooth surface. 

When the body is forced to store sugar as fat it causes obesity.

The danger of going sugar-free

In response to the bad press sugar has received in recent years the food industry has come up with alternatives that contain less or no sugar.

A cynic might say “better late than never” when looking at the five side effects that your dog might suffer from eating too much sugar.

It does not matter how good sugar-free foods are for us they can be deadly for our dogs.

Alternatively one sugar-free ingredient can be used called xylitol.

The good news is that I was unable to find any mention of sugar-free gummy worms on Amazon (and sugar-free gummies in general).

Please note however that does not mean that it has not been added to any package of gummy worms. 

Why is xylitol used?

Xylitol is the name of this ingredient.

The reason for using xylitol is that it is as sweet as processed sugar but contains fewer calories (about 40% fewer) and it is much kinder to teeth than traditional sugar. 

A wide range of products contains it including chewing gum mints toothpaste dietary supplements and drugs. 

You can kill your dog with xylitol

Dogs can be poisoned by even quite small doses of xylitol due to its effect on their blood sugar levels.

If a dog ingests xylitol it triggers the pancreas to release massive amounts of insulin into the bloodstream.

In turn this causes their blood sugar levels to crash potentially resulting in death. 

How much xylitol can kill a dog?

The amount of xylitol your dog ingested will depend on both its size and how much they have consumed.

This is where the problem lies.

Even in the same products the amount of xylitol used differs.

Dog-friendly alternatives to gummy worms?

As a result I think it makes sense to consider alternative approaches to gummy worms.

I will not even include a section in this article about the best candy for my dog since there is no such thing! 

Candy should not be consumed by dogs – period.

Even if you exclude commercial dog treats like biscuits and dog treats there is a vast array of readily available alternatives to feeding dogs candy.

My suggestion would be a few “sweet” vegetables both of which can be fed raw to your dog.

Their natural sweetness is enhanced by their natural crunch which your dog is sure to prefer over the soft chewy texture of a gummy worm!

Celery sweet potato and carrots are the vegetables I have in mind.

You can also think outside the box- how about giving your dog frozen carrots?

The fact that most of us keep these items readily available in our kitchen cupboards or in the fridge on a regular basis makes them an ideal choice. 

In the next section I want to address a slightly more complicated issue. Why do we feed our dogs gummy worms in the first place?

Why might dogs be fed gummy worms?

This is indeed a strange one I must admit.

However I can see how it could happen in a couple of scenarios. 

In the first context toddlers are involved.

The two-and-a-half-year-old grandson of mine sometimes eats while moving from one toy or activity to another.

In a perfect world we would want him to eat at the table so this isnot the ideal situation.

The world is not perfect is it?

Toddlers eating food while roaming is problematic because the food is at the same height as a dog.

My grandson does not eat gummy sweets anymore (yet). 

But I can see how a dog might eat the odd gummy worm or two if he lives with a toddler and a dog. 

The second context involves feeling guilty as an older child or adult.

I have a dog that stalks my grandson as well as a Golden Retriever that can be very vocal and demanding.

In the afternoon before she has eaten dinner or early in the evening when she is getting ready to sleep are the trigger points.

I sometimes give in to her demands and give her a biscuit instead of just ignoring her and making her wait for her dinner.

After all I need to get some work done!

In the same situation someone might feed her a biscuit but another person or child might offer her sweets or candy to “shut her up”.

We are all under lockdown in some form or another. 

We are spending more time at home with our dogs- which they love because we can not go to work or school.

Unfortunately this makes it harder to say “no” to them and they can easily become more spoilt!

How to stop my dog from eating gummy worms?

In most situations the best way to prevent your dog from eating gummy worms is to prevent everyone in your house from feeding them to your dog.

As I explained above dogs eat gummy candy because they are fed to them as treats most of the time.

Then I would suggest feeding one of the vegetables I suggested above as a treat for your dog if this is the case. 

There may be an exception to this.

In a moment of complete forgetfulness a bag of gummies is dropped on the kitchen counter or the living room floor.

In my opinion it is very hard to prevent those types of one-off events where despite our best efforts we forget because we’re so busy.

There is no organizational trick that will prevent these errors from happening.

Just stating that all kitchen surfaces must be left clean before you leave the house would not do will it?

Share on:
Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *