Can Dogs Eat Sugar?

If you have a dog, it’s imperative that you know what your dog can and cannot eat. Foods such as chocolate and avocados can be toxic to your pet. But what about sugar? Can dogs eat sugar? When it comes to sugar, the answer is a bit more complicated than with other foods.

Dogs and Sugar

You may have noticed that when you give your dog a treat, it goes right for the sugar. In fact, dogs love sugar so much that they can consume large quantities of it and still want more! Sugar is so addictive to dogs because they don’t produce their own glucose in the same way we do—so when they eat it, they feel an intense rush of energy.

That said, there are some downsides to feeding your dog high amounts of sugar. Not only can too much lead to obesity (which can cause health problems like cancer), but too many carbohydrates has been linked to diabetes as well—and since dogs aren’t able to process carbs as quickly as humans do (or at all in some cases), giving them treats with added sugars will only increase this risk even further.

Effects of Sugar

Excessive sugar consumption can be detrimental to your dog’s health. It can lead to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. Sugar also causes behavioral problems, cancer and heart disease. Liver problems are another potential consequence of too much sugar since the liver has to process all that glucose that comes from eating too much of it. Diabetic dogs especially have trouble with their blood sugar levels when they eat too much sugary food or drink, so keep an eye on how many treats your pooch gets every day if you suspect he has this condition (see below).


If you have a sweet tooth and own a dog, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog sugar. The health effects of sugar on dogs remain largely unknown. It’s also difficult to separate the effects of sugar from other ingredients found in candy, like chocolate. If you’re worried about your dog eating table scraps or leftovers, do your best to keep those foods out of his reach and away from his nose.