Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows 3 Potential Benefits and 5 Dangers

Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows? 3 Potential Benefits and 5 Dangers

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

Marshmallows are safe for dogs to eat, but only in very small quantities. Occasionally giving your dog a marshmallow treat is unlikely to cause any negative health effects, but giving them marshmallows too often or in large amounts is not recommended because of some ingredients.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows? 3 Potential Benefits and 5 Dangers“.

The marshmallow is a favorite of everyone. No matter how they are prepared they are sweet and tasty. Do dogs have the ability to eat marshmallows and are they totally safe to consume? Additionally are there any benefits or side effects associated with giving marshmallows to dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows 3 Potential Benefits and 5 Dangers

If you have been wondering whether you can give your dog marshmallows then the short answer is yes – dogs can eat marshmallows but only in small amounts and only as a very occasional treat.

Dogs cannot be harmed by marshmallows and will not get sick from just a little serving. In fact theres more to this so lets take a look at what marshmallows are and how giving marshmallows to your dog may affect them.

What are marshmallows?

Sugar-based confections like marshmallows are extremely popular. Small soft sweet air-puffed candies they’re typically served as small soft sweet treats.

A marshmallow today is made from a plant called Althaea Officinalis which was used for medicinal purposes in the past.

The following is an example of a modern-day marshmallow treat:

Todays marshmallows are made with sugar starch water artificial colors flavors and corn syrup (sometimes). Marshmallows contain some of these ingredients which are bad for dogs when consumed in large amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows?

Marshmallows are safe for dogs to eat but only in very small quantities.

Occasionally giving your dog a marshmallow treat is unlikely to cause any negative health effects but giving them marshmallows too often or in large amounts is not recommended because of some ingredients.

Despite their unhealthy nature marshmallows do contain small amounts of nutrients. These are a few minerals that are beneficial to dogs:

  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Copper

As a result of the lack of these nutrients in marshmallows these minerals provide some health benefits to dogs but the impact is fairly minimal.

Furthermore marshmallows can also be very high in calories which can cause your dog to overeat and interfere with its healthy diet

3 Potential Health Benefits of Marshmallows for Dogs

Its true that marshmallows have some minerals that may be beneficial in theory but the amounts are so small that its barely worth mentioning.

Below are three possible health benefits associated with giving marshmallows to dogs.

1. Selenium provides antioxidants for multiple health benefits

As well as preventing arthritis selenium may protect dogs from gastrointestinal illnesses and skin problems.

To achieve this result much larger amounts must be given and marshmallows would not be the best dog treat to supply your dog with sufficient amounts of selenium.

2. Iron helps improve cell function and blood pressure

Dogs require iron to survive. A dogs body produces hemoglobin which carries oxygen through red blood cells. Hemoglobin plays an essential role in how certain enzymes function in the body.

The calorie content of marshmallows is not worth the amount of iron contained in them. Similarly dogs should not be fed marshmallows because of the trace amounts of selenium.

3. Copper provides multiple health benefits

A dogs diet must also include copper. The body of the canine is able to absorb iron form red blood cells and form connective tissue and bones with its help. Iron also has antioxidant properties.

However the amount of copper found in marshmallows does not justify feeding marshmallows to dogs due to the high caloric content and the ingredients found in marshmallows that are not particularly useful or healthy for dogs (even though they may not be toxic).

“So can I give my dogs marshmallows?”

Yes technically you can give your dog an occasional marshmallow treat. Despite this it is not recommended that you make this a regular snack for your dog.

There are a lot of other tasty treats you can give to your dog in place of marshmallows and most of them provide some health benefits at the very least.

Bottom line: Pets can eat marshmallows if they are in very small quantities. Because they are tasty dogs should be kept away from them and they should only be fed in moderation.

Safety of Marshmallows for Dogs

5 Potential Dangers of Giving Marshmallows to Dogs

Despite marshmallows for dogs being safe a sugar-rich diet can result in multiple health issues for dogs in the short and long term. Here are some of these issues.

1. Excess sugar in a dog’s diet leads to obesity

Even though dogs can eat marshmallows owners should not make this a regular dog treat because making sugar a regular part of your dogs diet will lead to weight gain and obesity.

Sugar is not necessary for dogs to consume so they should not consume it.

2. Eating sugary foods causes spikes in blood sugar

Marshmallows contain a lot of sugar which can mess with dogs’ blood sugar levels.

An increase in blood sugar levels is followed by an increase in insulin levels which causes a significant and sudden drop in the dogs blood sugar levels. A dog experiencing this may feel sick hungry or lethargic. According to studies it can also result in diabetes in dogs.

3. Marshmallows can lead to gum disease and tooth decay

Again marshmallows’ high sugar content may be problematic for dogs.

Dogs may get gum diseases if they eat too many marshmallows. This includes canine periodontitis a condition characterized by the buildup of plaque and calculus under the dogs gum line and damage to the tissue surrounding the teeth resulting in tooth loss.

The inflammation of the gums in dogs which is known as canine gingivitis can reduce circulation in the mouth and lead to a serious widespread infection.

4. Too many marshmallows can cause gastrointestinal upset

Sugar is completely unnecessary for canines and its best to avoid it altogether.

Sugar-based foods are never meant to be digested by dogs’ digestive systems. After the dogs system has worked its way through the sugars diarrhea may develop.

5. Marshmallows may be a choking hazard

While marshmallows are soft and spongy their consistency (depending on the size of the marshmallow) can still be dangerous for dogs.

Dogs tend to swallow more than chew and that can make large marshmallows for dogs a dangerous threat if they get lodged in their throat. Smaller breed dogs must be especially careful with large marshmallows.

Side Effects of Feeding Marshmallows to Dogs

Unless ingested in large quantities marshmallows have no adverse effects on dogs.

Some dog owners may assume however that since marshmallows contain a high amount of sugar they should give their dogs sugar-free marshmallows instead.

Giving a dog sugar-free marshmallows is dangerous

Many sugar-free marshmallows (and other sugar-free treats) contain xylitol a natural sugar alcohol used to sweeten many treats.

Dogs are poisoned by Xylitol. In addition to contributing to coagulopathy hypoglycemia and liver disease it has been demonstrated that it contributes to a host of other health problems in dogs.

The xylitol in xylitol contributes to acute liver disease and liver failure in dogs because it destroys the liver cells that are necessary for the organ to function.

More on Marshmallows for Dogs

A Pill Assistant

Even though marshmallows are not necessarily beneficial for dogs they can be useful as a pill delivery system (such as the famous Greenies pill pockets/pouches which are usually more expensive).

We all know that giving pills to a dog can be a challenge as they can easily smell the medication despite your best efforts to hide it within food or treat.

Marshmallows are often used by dog owners to get their pets to take their medication. It is easy to hide the pill within the texture of a marshmallow by placing it in the center.

Keep an eye on your dog while using marshmallows to avoid potential choking hazards. Use only as many marshmallows as is necessary to hide the pill. For anyone who has never given a dog a pill before heres our video on how to do it.

Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows?

Small amounts of marshmallows are safe for dogs to eat. As a rare treat dogs can eat marshmallows as long as they are used sparingly.

Despite their omnivorous nature marshmallows are not an appropriate treatment for dogs and its best not to feed your dog anything sweet. There are no good reasons to feed your dog marshmallows.

Dogs can suffer from multiple health problems ranging from mild to very serious if marshmallows are regularly fed to them. You can provide your dog with better healthier snack options that would not adversely affect his health or cause discomfort.

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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.

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