Is Ingestion of Candy an Emergency?

My dog ate a candy, is he going to die?

Ideally, you want to keep any candy away from your dog so they cannot decide to snack on any in the first place. Dogs do have a sweet tooth and can find candies attractive.

Unfortunately, even if you do everything right, it doesn’t mean that your dog cannot get their mouth on some outside or from other people.

Is Ingestion of Candy an Emergency? My dog ate a candy, is he going to die?

Is the dog going to be okay?

The answer to that question depends on the type and amount of candy. First, let’s go over the mechanical dangers.


Along with other things of “just the right size,” candy can be a choking hazard. The only difference between people and dogs is access. Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury death in people. Hard candy is one of the culprits, particularly in children. A dog could choke on candy just like a human can.

Depending on size, a bag the candy comes in can be a suffocation hazard. Particularly the large Halloween candy packages. Just like any other snack bags.


Sugarless candy

Sugarless candy can be deadly

Xylitol, a common sugar substitute, is a major poison for dogs. This puts candy along with gum, some brands of peanuts and other items which now contain xylitol.

See a comprehensive list of products that contain xylitol on You’ll be shocked by how many things can be hiding this dog killer.

Further information: Xylitol, the Sugar-Free Sweetener that’s Toxic to Your Dog

Chocolate candy

Chocolate candy is next on the list

Depending on the amount of theobromine, chocolate toxicity fades next to xylitol. It takes only a tiny amount of xylitol to be deadly. For chocolate toxicity, you can check out petMD’s toxicity meter.

Further information: Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs

Sugary candy

Sugary candy, such as gumdrops are not as innocent as they seem either. If enough sugar makes it into the dog’s system, it draws water to it. This can lead to electrolyte disturbances.

Further information: Why Sugary Candy is Dangerous to Dogs

High-fat candy

Ingestion of high-fat candy can lead to pancreatitis. That is particularly a concern with candy that contain a lot of nuts.

Make no mistake, extremely painful, severe pancreatitis too can be potentially fatal. It can also lead to enough damage to the pancreas to cause diabetes or EPI.


Those are just some of the dangers candy poses to dogs. So while potentially harmless, candy can also be potentially very harmful or fatal.

Related articles:
Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs: What Happens In The Dog’s Body with Xylitol Poisoning

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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