Your dog’s affinity for human foods isn’t unknown. He’ll be interested in eating everything you have on your plate.
Also, if you have kids at home, it’s pretty common to have fruit snacks. Your kids will surely enjoy savoring the gummy snack coated with fruit flavorings, and your dog will surely want his share of fruit snacks, too. So, what would you do? Will you submit to his innocent look and offer him a bite?
No, that wouldn’t be the right thing to do as a dog owner. Before you give your dog these sugary treats, knowing how beneficial they are for your canine is essential. Read on to learn all about fruit snacks and their safety for dogs.
What are Fruit Snacks?
Before we analyze the safety of fruit snacks for dogs, let us know what it is. It’s a tasty gummy snack prepared from natural gelatin and fruit flavoring. Joray Fruit Rolls was the first fruit snack Louis Shalhoub, a confectioner, developed during the 1970s.
It was popular among backpackers, who often consumed this high-energy snack when traveling. They vary in size and shape, like rings, sticks, wedges, discs, and bites. Some of them even replicate small fruit pieces. Recently, fruit snacks have become a favorite among kids due to their delicious taste. Fruit snacks come in purple, pink, orange, red, and yellow colors.
What are Fruit Snacks Made Out Of?
The main ingredient in fruit snacks is sugar, which comes from concentrated fruit juice and corn syrup. It also comprises modified cornstarch, gelatin, citric acid, artificial flavorings, artificial food dyes (Red No. 40, Blue No. 1, Yellow No.5), and so on.
It’s often said that fruit snacks have real fruits in them. But that’s untrue. They have fruit flavorings, not the actual fruits.
Some brands, however, include fruit puree or fruit juices of apple, pear, raspberry, strawberry, peach, orange, banana, kiwi, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, orange, etc. These aren’t the only ingredients, but some of the basic ones. One brand varies from the other in their choice of ingredients.
Are Fruit Snacks Good for Dogs?
Fruit snacks aren’t toxic to canines. However, it is not good for dogs because it is high in sugar and can cause weight gain, stomach upset, and other health hazards when eaten excessively or frequently. Some fruit snacks are prepared from grape juice or puree.
Grapes, currants, raisins, and all products made of grapes are considered highly toxic to dogs, leading to renal failure in severe cases. So, it would be better if you looked into healthier alternatives for fruit snacks to give your dog as treats.
Can Dogs Eat Fruit Snacks Safely?
As mentioned above, it would help to refrain from giving your dog fruit snacks. There is no safe way of giving fruit snacks to your dog.
Yet, if you cannot stop your dog from getting at them at times, you should restrict their consumption of fruit snacks to just one or two, that too once in a while. Moreover, check the ingredient list before pampering your dog with fruit snacks.
If you find grapes as one of the main ingredients, never offer your dog that particular fruit snack. Grapes can harm dogs and lead to renal failure when ingested in large amounts.
Also, refrain from giving your dogs fruit snacks containing xylitol. This artificial sweetener can result in hypoglycemia and other serious problems.
Are There Any Risks To Eating Fruit Snacks?
Fruit snacks aren’t healthy for your dog; they have more banes than boons. Let us check out the different risks fruit snacks can pose to your dogs and the reasons behind the same.
- The biggest risk of eating fruit snacks comes from its high sugar content. One hundred grams of fruit snacks contain 39 grams of fruit snacks. Consuming added sugar isn’t safe for your dogs. It will lead to a whole lot of problems.
When your dog overconsumes sugar, it leads to an imbalance of stomach bacteria that helps digestion. The result is gastrointestinal disorder, leading to diarrhea and vomiting. Increased sugar intake also leads to obesity and diabetes in the long run.
- The next hazard is because of the xylitol present in some brands of fruit snacks. As mentioned, xylitol is toxic and may lead to hypoglycemia in its severest form.
- The delicious fruit flavors in the fruit snacks are achieved through artificial flavorings, which aren’t safe for your canine. They could trigger dog allergies, especially if your pet has a sensitive immune system. Artificial flavorings may even lead to cancer in the long run.
- Another ingredient is citric acid, which is okay for dogs when eaten in moderation. However, excessive consumption of citric acid could trigger gastrointestinal disorders in dogs.
- Some fruit snacks may have concentrated grape juice, which is a no-no for dogs since it contains grapes, which are toxic to dogs. Grape toxicity could result in renal failure and may even be life-threatening in extreme cases.
- Fruit snacks contain artificial dyes linked to cell damage, cancer, and even changes in the brain’s functioning.
Your dog could even develop an allergic reaction as an instant response to the dyes. So, it is better to keep your dog away from these munchies.
- These delicacies are high in calories. For example, one pouch of fruit snacks may have approximately 89 calories. So, a Chihuahua weighing about 4-5 pounds will need about 225 calories daily.
If you give it around 5-6 gummies daily, it will intake over 40 calories from these sugary treats alone, which isn’t healthy.
What Happens if My Dog Eats Fruit Snacks?
The effect fruit snacks can have on a dog depends on its weight, size, and overall health. The effect of 2-3 gummies will be much more on small dogs like Chihuahuas and Yorkies than big breeds such as a Great Dane or St. Bernard. Similarly, if a dog with diabetes has 5-6 fruit snacks in a go, it will be affected more than a canine in good health.
Moreover, if the fruit snacks contain any toxic ingredient to dogs, like grape puree/ grape juice or xylitol, you must immediately contact the vet.
Also, it is essential to watch your dog after he has eaten fruit snacks. If he shows symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, restlessness, reduced appetite, etc., do not delay seeking medical help.
Are There Any Health Benefits Of Fruit Snacks?
Fruit snacks are mainly marketed as nutritional snacks for kids because of their high vitamin content – Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C. However, there have been a lot of controversies regarding the nutritional value of fruit snacks because of their high sugar and calorie content. So, they aren’t a healthy snack for humans, and when it comes to dogs, they are even more hazardous. Besides the sugar, some fruit snacks may have toxic ingredients that could even be life-threatening to canines.
Fruit Snack Alternatives For Dogs
A fruit snack isn’t the best and safest option if you want a fruity and tasty snack for your four-legged friend. There are several healthier alternatives to try. You could give your dogs small pieces of fresh fruits like apples, mangoes, strawberries, cantaloupes, bananas, blueberries, etc. You could even make innovative treats with these fruits, like cantaloupe smoothies or frozen strawberry yogurt.
If you wish to replicate fruit snacks at home, you could also make some interesting gummy treats. You will need a cup of clear stock, around three tablespoons of powdered gelatin, and natural coloring ingredients safe for dogs.
Beetroot powder could be a good option for making red gummies. Spirulina powder will be apt for green gummies; for the white ones, you can use yogurt. If your dog is lactose intolerant, you must consider another substitute for yogurt.
Can dogs eat Mott’s Fruit Flavored Snack and Welch’s Fruit Snacks?
Irrespective of the brand, all fruit snacks are harmful to dogs since they have an increased sugar content and are high in calories. They may hurt the dog’s health.
Can you give your dog gummies?
Besides fruit snacks, gummy snacks, candies, and gummy bears are not safe snack options for your dog. The reason is similar – high sugar content is strictly forbidden for dogs.
How are fruit snacks different from gummies?
The difference lies in the ingredients they are made from. Fruit snacks are a gummy made from processed fruit, sugar, and gelatin. In gummies, the fruit content is much less, and they have sugar as the primary ingredient.
You are mistaken if you think that fruit snacks will serve as a tasty snack for your dog and, at the same time, provide him with the required nutrients. Your canine will undoubtedly enjoy the delicious treat but at the cost of his health.
You certainly don’t want your pup to fall sick. Right? So, allowing him to snack on fresh fruits and not fruit snacks is advisable since the former is a much healthier option.
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.