Can Dogs Have Caramel? | The Surprising Truth

If your dog is like mine then he just loves a treat. The trouble is, as any owner of a dog with diabetes will tell you, giving your pet too much sugar can have some very unpleasant consequences.

No matter how much we love our furry friends, we can’t always treat them the same way we would treat another human. They just aren’t able to process some things the same way that we can. Certain ingredients in food can be harmful to your dog.

Can dogs eat caramel? Turns out, the answer isn’t so straightforward.

There’s a lot of debate about whether or not dogs can eat caramel. After all, it’s a pretty sugary treat, which is usually not recommended. But is it safe for your pup?

Read on to find out more about this sweet treat and whether or not your canine companion can enjoy it too!

By the way, if you want an add a new flavor to your dog’s diet, try adding bone broth for dogs.

Can Your Dog Eat Caramel?

In a word, no. Caramel is generally not toxic to dogs but it is not advisable to give your dog raw sugar. Sugar can cause diabetes, obesity, and dental disease, and cooked sweet foods can contain dangerous preservatives. 

Even though caramel is not hazardous to your dog’s health, eating too much sugar isn’t good for them either.

Sugar can cause behavior changes in dogs such as hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating. If this happens, your dog might become irritable or lethargic.

You might notice your dog becoming more hungry or thirsty than usual. These could be signs of diabetes. You need to take your dog to the vet for a check-up if you suspect that he has developed this disorder and you should stop feeding your dog any kind of sugary treat to prevent it.

Eating caramel (or too much sugar) can cause what’s known as a ‘candy flip’, which is when your dog’s body goes into shock because of an excessive buildup of insulin. This can lead to hypoglycemia, which could quickly become life-threatening if not treated.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten caramel, you should call your local vet for further instructions.

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Is Eating Caramel Good Or Bad For Dogs?

As with many human foods, eating caramel presents both risks and benefits.

Caramel is relatively low in calories, which makes it an alternative to other sugary snacks. It is also high in antioxidants, which are good for your dog’s immune system.

However, even though caramel might not be toxic for dogs overall, it can still be harmful and you should still think twice before giving it to them. It contains ingredients such as butter, salt, cream and is high in sugar which is bad for your dog and provides no nutritional benefits.

According to the American Kennel Club too much sugar intake can cause hypoglycemia in dogs. This is when the level of glucose in the blood becomes too low and it can lead to loss of coordination, seizures, and possibly even death if not treated quickly by a vet.

Eating foods like caramel can lead to an increased risk of health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, arthritis, addiction, sugar overdoses, and severe dental issues.

  • Obesity

Obesity is especially common among dogs that are given sugar regularly. This can be very dangerous for your dog’s health.

If your dog is overweight it could lead to orthopedic issues and heart disease and could shorten his life expectancy.

  • Dental Issues

Caramel is often sticky and goes straight to the dogs’ teeth. This can cause plaque to build up, which can lead to a variety of dental diseases. These include gingivitis and tooth decay.

  • Diabetes

Rapid increases in blood sugar can cause diabetes. This will likely require insulin injections to manage. Dogs who have had too much caramel can experience insulin spikes, which can lead to hypoglycemia and drastic changes in behavior such as lethargy and confusion.

  • Arthritis

Sugar intake has been linked to arthritis development in pets with chronic inflammation of the joints and sugar intake may also increase the signs of osteoarthritis, making it more painful for your dog to move around.

  • Sugar Overdoses

Too much sugar can cause an overdose, which is dangerous for your dog. Symptoms of this include breathlessness, depression, lethargy, and loss of coordination.

If your dog seems to have had a sugar-induced hyperactive episode or a ‘candy flip’ you should call a vet immediately for instructions on how to treat it.

  • Addiction

If you give your dog caramel regularly it could lead to sugar addiction and this can become a dangerous habit. You know how hard it might be for someone to stop eating chocolate or candy? This is the same for dogs.

The sugar rush is addictive, and your dog will crave more. However, they don’t get it and you can’t explain it to them. He wants more, and you can’t give him it. And he doesn’t know why. This may result in your dog being more anxious or behaving worse.

Read More: Best Dog Food for Chihuahua Puppy. Read this buying guide for your chihuahua puppy.

How Much Caramel Is Safe For Your Dog?

Although it is not recommended to feed your dog any caramel at all, a small amount is considered reasonably safe. Although it has some benefits, like antioxidants and low calories, too much can still be harmful.

pug eating on blue bowl

Even though your dog might not experience side effects from eating caramel, you still won’t want him to eat too much.

If you do give them some then make sure they chew it slowly and don’t swallow any solid parts.

The safest way to feed your dog caramel is very sparingly and as a treat, and this will help you make sure he isn’t eating too much and causing any harm.

Do not feed your dog the doughy parts of the candy or anything with nuts in it, as these can often be dangerous for dogs to eat. Some dogs can be allergic to nuts.

Several types of caramel are not recommended for dogs. These include “hard” candies, candy corn, and chocolate-covered caramels because they contain ingredients that can be toxic to your dog if ingested in high amounts.

The main ingredient you should stay away from with sugar is Xylitol. It is a common ingredient in sugar-free candy that can be extremely harmful to dogs.

Xylitol has been shown to cause low blood sugar, liver damage, seizures, coma, and even death in just small amounts.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate Caramel?

If you catch your dog in the act of eating caramel, try to take it away from them. However, if they have already swallowed some or chewed it up into smaller pieces you will need to make sure they don’t eat anymore.

Even if they haven’t eaten very much you should still contact a vet for advice on what to do next.

Keep an eye on them for any signs of adverse effects. Signs to look out for include:


This can occur because the caramel has upset the dog’s sensitive stomach or because they have accidentally ingested some of the doughy parts. If your dog is acting sick after eating caramel you should take them to a vet immediately.


This can occur if your dog swallowed too much sugar, which might lead to diarrhea that is watery and dark in color. If your dog gets diarrhea after eating caramel you should take them to a vet just to be sure they are alright.

Breathing Problems

If your dog starts breathing strangely after eating caramel the best thing to do is get them to a vet immediately. You may need to call ahead so that they can arrange to be ready for your dog.

Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)

This occurs when the caramel causes your dog’s blood sugar to drop too low. It can be treated by giving them water or milk with sugar in it, but you should talk to a vet first.

Drowsiness And Confusion

If your dog starts acting drowsy or confused after eating caramel you should take them to a vet immediately. It may be that they are having an adverse reaction to the candy, but it could also be something more serious like a stroke or seizure.

Lethargy And Ataxia (Lack Of Coordination In Their Muscles)

This occurs when the caramel causes your dog’s blood sugar to drop too low. They may appear droopy or have trouble moving around, but it will only be temporary if they are treated quickly.


If your dog starts to have seizures after eating caramel you should take them to a vet immediately. It might seem scary if your dog is suffering from seizures, but it can be treated.

Increased Thirst And Urination, Dehydration

This occurs if your dog has ingested too much sugar, which may lead to increased thirst and urination. If your dog starts drinking or peeing excessively after eating caramel you should take them to a vet immediately. If left untreated this can lead to more serious problems for your dog.

You may not notice any of these signs at first, as they can develop a little later on.

If there are no signs of any problems, you can monitor your dog until the effects wear off naturally. Once you have got rid of the caramel, then it is just about making sure that your dog is alright and waiting until any side effects from the sugar wear off.

The majority of dogs will recover within a few hours, but if any other adverse effects show up then you should take them to a vet.

Caramel Alternatives For Your Dog

If you and your dog both love caramel and sugar, then these 4 alternatives can still give them some sweetness without the risks.

Raw Honey

This is a healthy sweetener that also has some added health benefits for your dog. Bees make raw honey from flower nectar and pollen which means it contains antioxidants and other good compounds.

honey on a wooden spoon

It doesn’t have any added ingredients and it is less processed than honey that you buy at the store. It has a thick gooey texture that makes it great for dogs to eat and their body will break down much of it into glucose and fructose, which won’t cause as many problems as cane sugar.

Maple Syrup

This sweetener is made from maple tree sap and is a healthier alternative to cane sugar. It contains calcium, manganese, and other vitamins and minerals that can benefit your dog. It has a similar consistency to caramel and it can be used in the same way.

Peanut Butter

This is a great alternative for dogs that love the taste of caramel. It doesn’t have to be spread over anything, as it can simply be licked off your finger or a spoon. You can also mix it with other ingredients like maple syrup and banana to make a healthy peanut butter cup.

If you are making any treats at home, then this is a great alternative to use instead of caramel. It is also good for dogs that tend to be overweight, as it can help them feel full before they start eating too much. Just make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol, which is very harmful to dogs.

Coconut Sugar

This is a healthier alternative to cane sugar that has a similar texture and taste. It comes from the sap of cut flower buds on coconut trees and it has a lower glycemic index than other sweeteners, so it won’t cause as many problems for your dog.

It doesn’t have any added ingredients or chemicals, so it is an all-natural sweetener that dogs can eat. It is slightly more expensive than cane sugar, but it will be better for your dog’s health if you opt for this one instead.

People Also Ask

Can Dogs Have Caramel Yogurt?

No, it is not recommended. Dogs can eat yogurt, but it is important to check the label before giving any to your dog. Some yogurts have added sugars and artificial sweeteners that won’t be good for your dog’s health. You can buy plain unsweetened yogurt and mix in some raw honey or maple syrup as an alternative.

Can Dogs Have Caramel Frappe?

Even if there is no caramel in the drink, your dog shouldn’t have it. Frappes can contain chocolate or other ingredients that aren’t safe for dogs. You can make a healthier frappe at home by using peanut butter and some other ingredients.

Can Dogs Have Caramel Ice Cream?

Depending on the ingredients, it might be okay. However, it is not recommended. Some ice creams have artificial sweeteners that aren’t good for dogs to eat and you should never give them chocolate or other unsafe toppings. You can make your own caramel ice cream by mixing in some peanut butter with vanilla frozen yogurt as a safer and healthier alternative.

Can Eating Caramel Kill Dogs?

Caramel isn’t a food that is known to kill dogs, but it can make them sick. It has a high sugar content and can cause problems like obesity and diabetes. Dogs can also get an upset stomach and vomit from eating caramel, so it is best to keep them away from it.


Dogs are just as likely to enjoy the taste of caramel, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. If you want your dog to have something sweet, try one of the alternatives I mentioned above instead.  

Caramel generally isn’t fatal or toxic for dogs, but it is not recommended as a treat or source of food.

It contains sugar and fat – two things they should avoid in their diets (unless prescribed by a veterinarian). Ingesting it can cause an upset stomach or long-term issues such as obesity, diabetes, and dental issues.

Coconut sugar is a healthier alternative. Maple syrup or peanut butter make good substitutes in recipes. Of course, if your dog eats it by accident you shouldn’t punish him – he’s not doing it on purpose. And don’t give up giving him yummy stuff altogether just because of this one incident!

Do you give your dogs caramel? What do you think about this information? Share your experience in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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