If you are a fan of the fish-shaped candy, you probably have a bag of Swedish Fish stashed somewhere in your pantry. As a dog owner and candy lover, you have probably wondered what would happen if your pooch got their paws on a bag of Swedish Fish candy.
So, can dogs eat Swedish Fish? No, dogs shouldn’t eat Swedish Fish or any other type of candy. While Swedish Fish candy doesn’t contain any specific ingredients that are toxic to dogs, it does contain sugar. Ingesting large amounts of sugar at once can cause stomach upset, cavities, weight gain, and lead to diabetes.
In this article, we’ll tell you why dogs shouldn’t eat Swedish Fish and what you should do if your pup manages to eat some. Keep on reading to find out more!
Is Swedish Fish Good for Dogs?
Long story short, Swedish Fish candy isn’t good for your dog, nor is it good for you! Nutrition-wise, these fish-shaped candies are full of empty calories and don’t contain any essential nutrients.
The first three ingredients in Swedish Fish candy are sugar, inverted sugar, and corn syrup. Keeping in mind that dogs need proteins to thrive, it’s very clear that eating candy won’t fulfill your pup’s nutritional needs.
Furthermore, these candies don’t contain any essential vitamins and minerals your dog’s body needs to function properly throughout the day. It’s also worth mentioning that Swedish Fish candy doesn’t contain dietary fiber, and won’t provide any benefits to your dog’s digestive system.
Overall, eating Swedish Fish candy won’t provide any nutritional benefits to your dog or their health. In fact, all those empty calories found in this candy can only cause your dog to gain weight and become obese.
Side Effect of Swedish Fish for Dogs
The good news is that Swedish Fish candy doesn’t contain xylitol, a naturally-derived sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs (source). So, you don’t have to go into panic mode if your pooch manages to steal a few candies while you aren’t looking!
However, eating these fish-shaped candies isn’t completely risk-free and comes with certain side effects. Downsides of feeding Swedish Fish candy to your dog are:
1. Too Much Sugar
As mentioned previously, Swedish Fish candy contains sugar, invert sugar, and corn syrup among other ingredients. All of these sweetening products have varying levels of glucose and fructose.
When it comes to ingredients, there isn’t much else that can slow down the rate your dog’s body absorbs glucose and fructose. Consequently, eating this fish-shaped candy will cause a huge spike in your dog’s blood sugar levels, followed by a crash.
Furthermore, the sugar molecules can pull water from your dog’s cells causing the water to build up in the body. The excess water in the organism can keep your dog from staying hydrated, thus creating electrolyte and sodium imbalance.
2 Digestive Problems
Eating too much Swedish Fish candy in one go can cause digestive problems in dogs. When consumed in large amounts, the sugar from this candy can cause vomiting and diarrhea in canines.
Keep in mind that eating too much sugar can also cause constipation in some dogs. If your pup experiences any sort of digestive issue after ingesting Swedish Fish, know that it is caused by the sugar in the candy.
3. Teeth Cavities
Believe it or not, like people dogs can also get cavities and rotten teeth from eating too much sugar (source). The bacteria in your dog’s mouth use sugar to produce acid which destroys the enamel thus leading to tooth decay.
Furthermore, the bacteria from the teeth can spread to your dog’s gums and cause gingivitis and painful dental problems. Depending on the severity of your dog’s dental issues you may end up spending a lot of money on treatments and dental surgeries.
Like all other candies, Swedish Fish is full of empty calories that won’t offer anything to your dog, except gain weight.
Eating a few candies here and there won’t have an immediate adverse effect on your pup, but it will lead to weight gain and obesity in the long run. Excess fat has a negative effect on the entire body, and obese dogs are much more likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and joint pain.
Unfortunately, obesity is a big problem for many dogs and their parents and can’t be fixed overnight. Thus, keep track of how much food you are feeding to your dog and steer clear of human foods and snacks that contain sugar and a lot of calories (source).
How Much Swedish Fish Can a Dog Eat?
Some dogs will suffer from diarrhea and vomiting after eating a few Swedish Fish candies, while others eat an entire bag before experiencing any side effects.
How much fish-shaped candy can your dog eat depends greatly on their size, age, breed, and overall health. Nevertheless, you should avoid feeding Swedish Fish to your pup and always hide bags of candy out of your dog’s reach.
Eating a handful of Swedish Fish candy can cause a dangerous sugar spike in a small dog such as a Chihuahua, but might not do any harm to a Great Dane. However, just because your dog is big doesn’t mean that eating candy is healthy or safe for them.
What to Do If Your Dog Eats Swedish Fish?
Since Swedish Fish candy doesn’t contain xylitol, you shouldn’t panic if your dog manages to steal one or two candies. However, you should monitor your pup for any signs of digestive issues and call your vet for advice.
If by any chance your dog eats a whole bag of Swedish Fish candy, call your vet right away and observe your pooch for signs of internal blockage and digestive upset.
While some dogs are born with a sweet tooth, no dog should eat sweets or candy. While some dogs like the flavor of Swedish Fish, this candy contains sugar which can be toxic when consumed in large amounts.
Instead of giving your dog candy, there are many other safe fruits, veggies, and human foods you can feed as treats. When it comes to dogs and Swedish Fish, err on the side of caution and stick to safe dog foods.