Every dog owner wants to treat their pet from time to time, and thankfully we have a wide range of options to choose from. Some of these are made specifically with dogs in mind, but some people choose to feed them human foods instead, such as fruits, yogurt, or peanut butter. We’re going to take a look at the popular candy Twizzlers and find out whether they are an acceptable treat for man’s best friend.
Can My Dog Eat Twizzlers?
Many have asked this question online, and there’s an abundance of information available. Opinions vary, but only slightly. While a few people say dogs can eat Twizzlers, that does not mean they should. They refer to a very small amount, and they do not pretend that they’re in any way good for them. Though some owners claim to use them as a treat, the majority advise against it.
While Twizzlers may be a favorite for kids and adults alike, we cannot recommend feeding them to your dog. If they eat too much, they’re likely to encounter problems. Here we will explain why, looking at the ingredients and the specific issues with the candy and compiling all the facts. That way, you’ll be fully informed and know what to expect if your dog does accidentally ingest Twizzlers.
The Nutritional Value of Twizzlers
We’ve taken a look at the nutritional value of regular Twizzlers to see if they would have any benefits for your pet.
Sugar – 19g per serving
Excess sugar and dogs do not mix well. A small amount is okay, and many have a sweet tooth like us, but sources should be strictly regulated. Human candy is not the way to give it to them. Proper dog treats or fruit are more appropriate alternatives, and your dog will enjoy them just as much.
Sodium – 95mg per serving
While dogs may need a little salt in their diets, too much sodium is bad for them and can even lead to poisoning. A medium-sized dog weighing 33 pounds should consume a maximum of 100mg of sodium per day, meaning one serving of Twizzlers will give an entire day’s intake. Unless that single serving is all you intend to feed them, they are incredibly likely to surpass this limit, and as such, Twizzlers definitely come under the ‘too much sodium’ category.
Carbohydrates – 36g per serving
While dogs do not necessarily need carbs, they can give them energy and are preferable to sugar. Twizzlers are high in carbs, and a single serving will provide 12% of an average human’s requirement, and a dog would require much less. A far better source of carbohydrates would be their regular dry food.
Protein – 1g per serving
Protein is a vital part of any dog’s diet, but treats are not the best way for them to get it. A good rule of thumb is to give 1 gram of protein per day for every pound of the dog’s body weight. That means a 40lb dog would require 40 servings of Twizzlers to get their necessary protein, making this a terrible option.
Other Nutrients and Benefits – negligible
Twizzlers also contain iron, calcium, and potassium, though only in trace amounts. If your dog has any deficiencies, speak to your vet about options. We highly doubt they’ll be recommending Twizzlers.
Are Twizzlers Bad for Dogs?
The short answer is yes, they are. There are several potential downsides to feeding Twizzlers to your pet.
If you leave your pack of Twizzlers within your dog’s reach and they manage to get into them while you’re not looking, the first problem they’re going to encounter is tummy trouble. The high amount of sugar can cause diarrhea and vomiting, so try to make sure Twizzlers and any other candies are somewhere that your pet can’t get to them. Tolerance will depend on size, but a dog doesn’t know this, and if they have the chance, they’ll eat far more than they can handle.
Dogs are just like us in that they need a healthy, balanced diet to stay fit. Obesity is a risk to them too, which is another reason to make sure they aren’t overfed sugar. If, for some reason, you do decide that Twizzlers are the right treat for your pet, expect them to start piling on the pounds quickly.
Canine obesity can lead to a host of related problems, including damage to the heart and liver, joints and bones, and even diabetes. Allowing this to happen won’t just lower the quality of life for your furry friend; it will also hurt your bank balance with the added trips to the vets.
Another long-term downside to giving your pet Twizzlers and other candy is the effect it has on their teeth. Sugar will rot them just as it does with ours, leading to cavities and the need for extractions. We don’t like having dental work done, and your dog isn’t going to enjoy it either. Ensuring they’re fed appropriate food is one way of promoting good oral health. There are even some treats that will help keep their teeth in good shape, but Twizzlers are certainly not one of them.
Twizzlers are also very chewy and could get stuck in your dog’s teeth, which will not be pleasant for them and is likely to make any decay and tartar problems even worse.
Types of Twizzlers and Their Effects on Dogs
Regular, strawberry-flavored Twizzlers are not the only kind on the shelves. Here we’ll look at some of the others and whether they’re any better for pups.
Twizzlers come in a variety of flavors, and the nutritional value can differ depending on the type. That doesn’t mean that there are any we would recommend for your pet. They all contain high levels of the bad stuff and low levels of the good stuff.
Chocolate is poisonous for dogs, or more specifically, a chemical found in chocolate called theobromine is. It can cause problems ranging from tummy trouble to heart problems, seizures, and even death. As such, we thought that these Twizzlers deserved a special mention.
While the amount of theobromine in Chocolate Twizzlers is not excessively high compared to other products, you should still avoid it at all costs. It doesn’t take much for problems to arise, and it’s not worth taking the risk with something that could potentially kill your dog.
Black Licorice Twizzlers
The issues or benefits of licorice when it comes to dogs are not as clear cut. Some claim it can be good for them, but it is also reported to be toxic by others. It is said that black licorice can negatively affect their blood pressure. While these Twizzlers are the only ones to have actual licorice in them, Hershey’s says they do not contain a large amount, but when it comes to your pet’s welfare, it is always best to be on the safe side. We say you should avoid them completely.
Just because there’s an option without sugar does not mean these Twizzlers are a good treat for your pet. They are still lacking in nutritional benefits and have around 65mg of sodium per serving, though thankfully, Hershey’s Sugar-Free Twizzlers do not claim to contain Xylitol.
Xylitol is a chemical used as a sugar substitute in many products, and unfortunately, it is extremely toxic to dogs. Off-brand substitutes might contain it, and we always recommend reading the packaging before buying. Even if it’s something you’ve gotten before, it is worth double-checking. Its possible changes could have been made to the recipe.
FAQs About Twizzlers and Dogs
Can Twizzlers cause my dog long-term damage?
Yes. While a small amount of Twizzlers are unlikely to have any immediate visible effects, using them as a regular treat could have repercussions down the line. This is largely due to their sugar content.
Are Twizzlers toxic for my dog?
Hershey’s regular strawberry Twizzlers are not toxic to your dog, but Chocolate Twizzlers do contain theobromine, and other brands of similar candy may have other dangerous chemicals. Staying aware of what is in all of your pet’s foods is very important.
My dog accidentally ate my bag of Twizzlers. What should I do?
If your dog has eaten regular Twizzlers, they could encounter stomach problems, leading to vomiting or diarrhea, depending on the amount. It isn’t likely to get any worse than that, but always consult a vet if you’re worried about something your dog has eaten.
Other than sating his or her sweet tooth, there are no upsides to your dog eating Twizzlers. The ingredients will do nothing to benefit them, and there is a range of risks to their health. There are plenty of alternatives, including some other human-grade foods, and some treats will even have advantages such as keeping their teeth or coat healthy. If you want something special for your dog, then Twizzlers and other candies should be off the menu.