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Who can resist the smell of a peppermint candy cane? Just seeing one makes you think of the fun festivities of the holidays.

Many dog lovers share their favorite foods and drinks with their four-legged friends. We know it’s done out of love, but it’s not always a good idea.

Now, back to our striped candy. Can dogs eat candy canes? The quick answer is no. Candy canes pose a threat to your dog’s health. They may even end up causing serious harm to your pooch.

Keep reading to find out more about the dangers of feeding your dog candy canes.

Artificial Sweeteners

Candy canes contain peppermint as their main ingredient. By itself, peppermint extract isn’t harmful to dogs. Providing you use it in small doses, peppermint extract can provide relief from allergies. It also prevents ticks and fleas while helping provide relief from itchy bites.

The problem is that candy canes contain other ingredients as well. The most harmful is the artificial sweetener, xylitol.

Xylitol can be toxic to your dog because its digestive systems can’t break it down. As a result, your pup may experience vomiting or diarrhea. In addition, it can cause liver failure and hypoglycemia in dogs.

There are many other types of treats and food products containing xylitol. Here’s a brief list of some of the most common ones:

Sharp Edges

You know how sharp a candy cane piece can be if it breaks or when you bite off a piece. If your dog gets their hands on a candy cane and bites into it, your dog will be left with a mouthful of painful shards and slivers.

Those sharp pieces can wreak havoc on your pooch’s mouth, throat, and intestines. They can even lead to choking, internal bleeding, and gastrointestinal problems.

Dangerous Flavors

Not all candy canes are peppermint-flavored. Some are savory, fruity, or chocolatey. They’re all harmful, but chocolate candy canes are the ones that pose the biggest threat.

All kinds of chocolates are highly lethal for dogs. They affect the nervous and circulatory systems because they contain theobromine and caffeine. Dogs can’t metabolize either component, which results in serious illnesses.

Plastic Wrappers

The candy cane isn’t the only thing that can harm your dog. Have you ever stopped to think what would happen if your pup swallowed the plastic wrapper?

Your dog’s digestive system can be finicky. It may pass the wrapper without a problem. Yet, there’s always the chance it may cause a blockage in the digestive tract.

Another scenario is that the wrapper may stick to the sides of their stomach lining. It can pinch the abdomen walls, and cause bleeding and other serious health concerns.

Summary

So, can dogs eat candy canes? Unfortunately, no.

These sweet, minty treats are delicious for us, but they can be extremely harmful to your pooch.  The main reason why your canine friend should stay away from candy canes is xylitol. This artificial sweetener can make your pup sick and can even be fatal.

In addition, hard candy and wrappers can be a choking hazard. They can also cause blockages in the esophagus or digestive tract.

If you have hard candy or foods that contain xylitol at home, keep them away from your pooch. If you suspect your dog has consumed anything harmful, contact your vet immediately.

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