Can Dogs Eat Cotton Candy?

  • Date: February 8, 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Has your dog ever come up to you with those beady eyes while eating cotton candy?

Did you know that dogs should not eat cotton candy? Some people think that the sweet, colorful treat is harmless for their furry friend. However, eating sugar can cause serious health problems in our canine friends.

Cotton candy sometimes contains artificial sweeteners which are toxic to dogs! It is tasty and fun to eat, but is it safe for our canine friends?

Why should you NOT feed cotton candy to a dog

While a small piece of cotton candy won’t be completely harmful, it is highly suggested to not give cotton candy to your dog.

The problem with dogs eating cotton candy is the unnaturally high amount of sugar, which is what cotton candy is completely made of. Dogs do need carbohydrates but they should come from their diet such as fruits.

Here are some reasons why dogs should not have cotton candy.

Dental Issues

First, how often do you clean your dog’s teeth? Not every day I am willing to bet. Having sugar residue on your dog’s teeth is a sure way to have dental problems.

Dogs do not have molars so they cannot grind their food very well; therefore how much of the tooth surface comes into contact with the food is more important than how hard they can bite down on something!

Cotton candy does not make good “teeth cleaners” because there are no abrasive particles that actually scrape off any tartar. The bits of sugar gets stuck between the teeth and will cause problems like teeth decay and gingivitis.

Sugar spikes and crashes

The second reason being is that dogs’ digestive systems just can’t handle the blasts of sugar that a human can. Excessive sugar consumption will not be pleasant for your furry friend’s digestive system.


If you ever had a hyperactive dog, then you know how overbearing it can get. Like children, giving dogs too much sugar will have them hyperactive followed by a “sugar crash”.

What is cotton candy made of

Cotton candy is typically made with coarse sugar with flavoring and coloring additives that have been heated and spun into tiny strands. These strands are collected to make bundles of cotton candy.

One piece of delicious cotton candy may not seem harmful for dogs; however, eating too much sugar at one time will spike your dog’s blood glucose level and then cause it to crash soon after. This rapid change in blood sugar levels is dangerous if they eat too much or often that it causes hyperglycemia (high blood glucose).

Artificial sweeteners are (rarely) used when making cotton candy and these can be very dangerous if ingested by your dog.

While it is not dangerous for dogs to have one piece of cotton candy, make sure your cotton candy is not made from artificial sweeteners, which can include chemicals that are toxic to your furry pal.

Signs that your dog has had too much sugar:

  • Excessive hunger or dehydration
  • Increased thirst and/or urination
  • Sudden weight gain/loss (inability to control weight in general)
  • Other symptoms of diabetes
  • Hyperactivity

What happens if my dog eats artificial sweetener?

Another problem with feeding cotton candy to a dog is the presence of artificial sweeteners in some cotton candies. This is particularly the case with packaged cotton candy. Don’t give your dogs anything sugar-free!

Flyer from FDA

Xylitol, a sugar alcohol sweetener, while safe for humans in moderate consumption, is almost like poison to dogs.

After a dog consumes xylitol, it will experience a large spike in insulin which is produced by the pancreas. Subsequently, their blood sugar drops fast resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Xylitol is a very popular choice in sugarfree chewing gum and other sweet snacks but is in other consumable items such as:

  • Mints
  • Mouthwash
  • Deserts
  • Pudding
  • Pretty much anything sugarfree

While xylitol is helpful for humans with diabetes, dogs do not have this “need” to consume something sweet.

Related Questions

Can dogs eat cotton candy grapes?

No, dogs should never eat grapes of any kind, including raisins. Grapes are highly toxic to dogs and can easily cause kidney failures.

If your dog eats grapes, it is extremely important to call the vet immediately.

There are many delicious fruits that dogs can eat instead such as bananas and apples!

Does sugar make dogs hyper?

While there are many reasons that explain a dog’s hyperactivity, excess sugar can make a dog act hyper.

Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and stimulation as boredom is a typical root cause of hyperactivity in dogs.

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