The Short Answer is:
Neither Swedish Fish nor any other type of candy should be eaten by dogs. There are no specific ingredients in Swedish Fish candy that are toxic to dogs, but it does contain sugar. The consumption of large amounts of sugar at once can result in stomach upset, cavities, weight gain, and diabetes.
Your dog may wonder what kinds of food it can eat beyond traditional dog food. Those who love candy may also wonder “Can dogs eat Swedish fish?”
- Can Dogs Eat Swedish Fish?
- Is Swedish Fish Good for Dogs?
- How Sugar Affects Dogs
- Types of Candies Dogs Shouldn’t Eat
- Candy with Xylitol
- Other Foods Dogs Shouldn’t Eat
- Side Effects of Swedish Fish for Dogs
- How Much Swedish Fish Can a Dog Eat?
- What to Do If Your Dog Eats Swedish Fish?
- How to Train a Dog Not to Eat Forbidden Foods
- What to Do if a Dog Eats Something Unsafe
- In Summary
Heres your chance to find out what the answer to that centuries-old question is.
The adorable fish-shaped gummy candies are not an exception to the rule of being careful with any food that is not specially formulated for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Swedish Fish?
Most people have a bag of Swedish Fish stashed somewhere in their pantry if they like the fish-shaped candy. It is likely that you have wondered what would happen if your pooch got its paws on some Swedish Fish candy as a dog owner and candy lover.
So can dogs eat Swedish Fish? Neither Swedish Fish nor any other type of candy should be eaten by dogs. There are no specific ingredients in Swedish Fish candy that are toxic to dogs but it does contain sugar. The consumption of large amounts of sugar at once can result in stomach upset cavities weight gain and diabetes.
This article explains why dogs should not eat Swedish Fish and what you should do if your pup eats some. To learn more keep reading!
Is Swedish Fish Good for Dogs?
The short answer is that Swedish Fish candy is bad for your dog and bad for you as well! This fish-shaped candy is full of empty calories and contains no essential nutrients.
Sweden Fish candy contains sugar inverted sugar and corn syrup as its first three ingredients. The fact that dogs need proteins to thrive makes it clear that eating candy would not satisfy their nutritional needs.
Furthermore these candies do not contain any essential vitamins and minerals that your dog needs in order to function properly. Additionally Swedish Fish candy contains no dietary fiber so it will not benefit your dogs digestive system.
As a whole your dog would not benefit from eating Swedish Fish candy nutritionally or health-wise. This candy is full of empty calories that can make your dog gain weight and become obese.
The short answer is that you should not give Swedish Fish to your dog.
This is shocking to me.
Despite the candy not containing any specific ingredients toxic to dogs it does contain sugar which is not good for them.
Ingesting small amounts of sugar can be okay for dogs but eating large amounts all at once or over time can be dangerous.
How Sugar Affects Dogs
Wikipedia lists sugar invert sugar and corn syrup as ingredients in Swedish Fish. All of that adds up to a lot of sweetness.
Dogs can accumulate water when they eat sugar because the sugar molecules draw water from their cells.
Dogs may not be able to drink enough due to this buildup which can lead to electrolyte imbalances especially with sodium. It is possible to become toxic from too much sugar.
The microorganism balance in the gut can also be upset by sugar leading to problems like vomiting and diarrhea. Despite the fact that these are not fatal a little candy is not worth your dogs misery. Not to mention the cleanup you’ll have to do.
Furthermore sugar can cause teeth cavities and weight gain both of which are huge (no pun intended) problems for dogs.
Acids are produced in the mouth by bacteria using sugar in candies. As a result decay is caused by these acids eating away at the enamel and coating of the teeth.
It is inevitable that your dog will eventually develop problems such as metabolic changes obesity and diabetes as a result of prolonged weight gain.
One or two Swedish Fish are not a big deal if you give them to your dog. There should be no problem with your dog. In the event that your dog ingested a whole bag of Swedish Fish you should call your veterinarian as this amount of sugar is toxic for dogs.
It’s best to err on the side of caution when asking yourself “Can dogs eat Swedish Fish?”. You can give your dog a few sweet treats here and there but you should stick to safe dog treats.
Types of Candies Dogs Shouldn’t Eat
Dogs are generally not supposed to eat candies but two kinds are particularly toxic:
- Candy containing xylitol
Here’s a closer look at each:
Dogs can become ill and even die when they eat powdered chocolate in even small amounts.
Dogs have difficulty metabolizing Theobromine a molecule found in chocolate.
It is a good idea to never give your dog chocolate and to keep it locked away in an upper cabinet so that your dog cannot access it.
While chocolate does not always cause death it can cause seizures and other health problems. A small dog seems to be more affected than a large dog by dark chocolate and dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate.
Any amount of chocolate ingested by your dog should be treated by a vet.
The symptoms your dog may exhibit include nausea (excessive drooling) vomiting diarrhea drinking lots of water and a rapid heartbeat.
Candy with Xylitol
Sweeteners such as xylitol can be found in sugar-free foods such as gum mints and candies.
In addition to peanut butter sugar-free desserts medicines toothpaste and mouthwash it is also found in some types of toothpaste.
Xylitol increases a dogs insulin production when it is ingested. It is possible to develop hypoglycemia as a result of this increase which is very dangerous.
Any product with xylitol should not be given to your dog. You should always store these items and other harmful foods out of reach of your dog.
When you eat candy its tempting to share it with your dog especially if hes sitting at your feet begging. Nevertheless you should be aware that he may suffer some harm from it. Obesity cavities and diabetes can all be caused by too much sugar just as they are in humans.
Other Foods Dogs Shouldn’t Eat
Dogs can also be poisoned by many other human foods. Here are some common types of foods dogs should avoid:
The effects of coffee or anything containing caffeine is similar to those of chocolate.
It is possible to develop stomach problems and more serious issues when eating onions garlic and chives.
In the same way that raw meat is dangerous for humans raw meat is dangerous due to its bacteria content.
There is a risk of kidney failure associated with grapes and raisins. Foods containing them such as raisin bread should be avoided.
Chips and crackers may cause health problems due to their salt content. Sunchips and Funyuns are some examples.
Generally you should stick to foods that are specially designed for dogs.
Side Effects of Swedish Fish for Dogs
Swedish Fish candy does not contain xylitol a naturally-derived sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs (source). If your pooch manages to steal a few candies while you are not looking do not panic!
The fish-shaped candies however come with certain side effects and are not completely risk-free. Feeding Swedish Fish candy to your dog has the following disadvantages:
1. Too Much Sugar
In addition to sugar invert sugar and corn syrup Swedish Fish candy contains several other ingredients. The amount of glucose and fructose in each of these sweetening products varies.
Ingredient-wise there isnot much else that can slow down your dogs bodys absorption of glucose and fructose. Your dogs blood sugar levels will spike when he eats this fish-shaped candy followed by a crash.
Additionally the sugar molecules can pull water from your dogs cells leading to a buildup of water. As a result of excess water in the organism your dog may not stay hydrated leading to an electrolyte and sodium imbalance.
2 Digestive Problems
Dogs can suffer from digestive problems if they consume too much Swedish Fish candy at once. Dogs can experience vomiting and diarrhea if they consume large amounts of sugar from this candy.
Some dogs can also become constipated from eating too much sugar. It is likely that your pup will experience digestive issues after eating Swedish Fish because the candy contains sugar.
3. Teeth Cavities
Sugar can also cause dogs to develop cavities and rotten teeth if they eat too much of it (source). As a result of the bacteria in your dogs mouth using sugar to produce acid the enamel is destroyed resulting in tooth decay.
The bacteria from your dogs teeth can also spread to his gums causing gingivitis and painful dental problems. Treatments and dental surgeries may cost a lot of money depending on the severity of your dogs dental problems.
All candies including Swedish Fish are full of empty calories that will do nothing but make your dog fat.
While eating a few candies here and there would not have an immediate adverse effect on your puppy it will lead to weight gain and obesity in the long run. It is well known that excess fat affects the entire body and obese dogs are much more likely to suffer from diabetes heart disease and joint pain.
Its unfortunate that obesity is a big problem for many dogs and their parents and it would not go away overnight. Keep an eye on how much food you are feeding your dog and avoid human foods and snacks that contain a lot of sugar and calories (source).
How Much Swedish Fish Can a Dog Eat?
Some dogs will experience diarrhea and vomiting after eating a few Swedish Fish candies while others will eat an entire bag without experiencing any side effects.
The amount of fish-shaped candy your dog can eat depends on its size age breed and overall health. You should however keep Swedish Fish out of your pups reach and avoid feeding him Swedish Fish.
Small dogs such as Chihuahuas may experience a dangerous sugar spike after eating Swedish Fish candy but Great Danes might not. However just because your dog is big does not mean that he can eat candy safely.
What to Do If Your Dog Eats Swedish Fish?
You should not worry if your dog steals one or two Swedish Fish candies since Swedish Fish candy does not contain xylitol. In any case you should monitor your puppy for any signs of digestive issues and seek advice from your veterinarian.
In the event that your dog eats a whole bag of Swedish Fish candy call your vet right away and watch for signs of internal blockage or digestive upset.
Food and Candies Dogs Can Eat
Although your dog should not eat candy and other foods with sugar such as Sour Patch Kids there are some human foods that are safe for them. Moderation is the key when it comes to dogs eating most human foods.
Cooked eggs meats fish plain popcorn apple slices and peanut butter (without xylitol) are among the treats your dog may enjoy.
Nevertheless if you still find yourself wondering whether dogs can eat Swedish Fish: while a few are not toxic excessive amounts of sugar should be avoided.
How to Train a Dog Not to Eat Forbidden Foods
First you must not feed your dog any human foods if you want to stop eating forbidden foods.
You can only prevent your dog from eating dangerous foods by only allowing them to eat from a specific bowl. Dogs cannot discern between safe and unsafe foods. To make the behavior habitual use positive reinforcement.
A particular way of receiving treats may also be trained for your dog. You may have to wait for your dog to receive a treat before he can sit in a particular spot. As a result of this process the idea that certain foods should only be consumed under certain circumstances is reinforced.
It is important to remember that your dog is still an animal and if you leave something out he may be tempted by it. Foods especially dangerous foods should be kept away from your dog in an area he cannot reach.
What to Do if a Dog Eats Something Unsafe
The first thing you should do if your dog eats an unsafe item is to contact the veterinarian. You can get the best advice about how to help your dog from a veterinarian.
Keep the package if your dog ate something from a package so that you can check the ingredients and determine how much he ate.
Dogs that have eaten toxic substances may benefit from activated charcoal as a first-response option. As a result the poison would not be absorbed by the body but will instead be excreted safely.
It is likely that you will need to monitor your dog for symptoms such as vomiting diarrhea excessive drooling and other abnormal behaviors. The signs listed above should alert you to take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
The biggest mystery in life has always been “Can dogs eat Swedish Fish?” Today here at Joy Pet Products it’s finally been solved.
Despite the fact that dogs can technically eat Swedish Fish the candys sugar content makes it unsuitable for them. The consumption of too much sugar in dogs’ diets can result in an electrolyte imbalance which leads to vomiting and diarrhea.
It is much safer to give apple slices and peanut butter to your dog if he is hankering for a treat.