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Can Dogs Eat Jolly Ranchers? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Hanh Duong

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat Jolly Ranchers? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Do you have a candy jar on the coffee table or the counter? Does your dog enjoy stealing food when you’re not looking? You are not alone! With dogs, this is a common situation.

You might be curious if Jolly Ranchers candy is okay for your dog if they’ve managed to get into your stash. The short answer is that Jolly Ranchers are safe for them to eat in very small amounts and they’ll likely be fine, but this varies between dogs.

What Are Jolly Ranchers?

Jolly Ranchers are hard candies with a fruity flavor and have a sour/sweet taste. Apple, watermelon, blue raspberry, grape, cherry, and lemon are just a few of the varieties available.

The candies are often packaged in a big box and individually wrapped.

Jolly Ranchers contain the following ingredients:
  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Malic acid
  • Artificial color
  • Natural & artificial flavors

Are Jolly Ranchers Safe for Dogs?

You’ll be glad to know that Jolly Ranchers are regarded as safe for dogs in amounts of 10 grams or less. However, even giving dogs safe sugary treats is never a good idea. While it’s fine if your dog has managed to sneak one or two of these sweets, you should never give one to your pooch on purpose.

Puffed Freeze Dried Fruit Flavored Candy Isolated on a White Background
Image Credit: P Maxwell Photography, Shutterstock

Can Puppies Eat Jolly Ranchers?

If the Jolly Ranchers don’t include harmful ingredients like xylitol, puppies can eat them with the same risks as there are to adult dogs. But this doesn’t imply you should offer them candy as a treat. Avoid giving them any candy in their delicate growing phase.

Why Jolly Ranchers Are Unsafe for Dogs

Offering Jolly Ranchers to your dog might put them at risk for the following health issues:

1. Obesity

Dogs gain weight quickly, and sugars speed up this process. Sadly, an overweight dog is more likely to develop diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and joint pain.

an obese dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

2. Dental Issues

Although dental cavities are not common in dogs, eating sugar would increase the risk of developing cavities. Some of the sugar from sweet treats remains on the gums and teeth after consumption, where it is converted into an acid that leads to tooth decay.


3. Choking risk

Given the shape and that they are a hard candy it is possible that your dog could choke on one in their rush to snarf it down.

a white fluffy dog choking
Image Credit: Milos Momcilovic, Shutterstock

3. Diarrhea and vomiting

Stomach troubles brought on by eating too much sugar might result in vomiting and diarrhea.

My Dog Ate Jolly Ranchers — What Should I Do?

Finding out how many your dog may have consumed is the first step. There is a chance they will be fine if they have only eaten a few Jolly Ranchers. However, calling the vet is usually a good idea if they have consumed more. Before doing that, verify to see if your companion ate the Jolly Rancher wrappers along with them. If they swallow a wrapper, it should pass through without issue. However, if the dog ingested multiple wrappers, this could result in an issue known as an intestinal blockage.

Therefore, call the vet immediately if your pet has ingested a lot of Jolly Ranchers and/or multiple wrappers. They’ll have the best suggestions for what actions you should take next.

sad and worried border collie dog lying on a wood floor
Image By: Elayne Massaini, Shutterstock

Potential Risks

At the time of writing Jolly Ranchers and the sugar free varieties are not formulated using Xylitol. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and is used as a sugar replacer. We recommend checking the packet for ingredients in case the recipes change. If xylitol is mentioned then be sure to call your veterinary surgeon for advice.

Summing Up

Jolly Ranchers are unhealthy for your dog because they are primarily made of sugar and lack any vitamins or minerals. While one or two of these sweets shouldn’t do much harm, regularly giving them to your dog can contribute to health issues such as diabetes, GI distress, or even obesity.

No pet owner wants to witness their animal companion in pain due to a situation they can prevent. So, to maintain your dog’s health, feed them complete and balanced proper dog food, and avoid treats like Jolly Ranchers.

See Also:


Featured Image Credit: P Maxwell Photography, Shutterstock

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