Can Dogs Eat Reese’s Pieces? The Real Truth Exposed!

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Reese’s Pieces are a fantastic treat, full of peanut buttery goodness and encased in a crispy coat of candy.

As you consume the pieces with selfish delight, your dog looks at you yearningly and makes you ponder benevolently,

“Can dogs eat Reese’s Pieces too?”

Just like with Sunchips, dogs can technically eat a few of the treats since they do not contain any toxic ingredients such as chocolate or raisins. However, that doesn’t mean that they are the healthiest choice- or even a healthy choice at all.

Reese’s Pieces are primarily composed of fats and sugar, with a bit of sodium, fiber, protein, and iron. While the trace nutrients are nice, they are negligible when compared to the disadvantages that sugar and fat can bring to the table.

Eating a few pieces of Reese’s likely won’t affect your dog in any significant way, but if it managed to eat a handful (or the whole packet) it could suffer GI distress in the form of diarrhea and vomiting.

It is bad for dogs to consume fat and sugar both in the short and long-term, as the ingredients inevitably lead to diseases such as pancreatitis, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

These are all conditions that need to be treated professionally with medication, so both you and your dog will be better off if you only gave it vet-approved treats instead!

What are Reese’s Pieces?

Only one of the most famous candies in the known world.

For those that have been living under a rock (or are reading from a foreign country, of course) Reese’s Pieces are circular candies containing peanut butter and encased in candy shells. They are typically brown, orange or yellow coloured.

Ingredients in Reese’s Pieces

The primary ingredients of Reese’s Pieces are:

  • Sugars
  • Peanuts
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Corn Syrup

With less than 2% of:

  • Salt
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Cornstarch
  • Resinous Glaze
  • Carnauba Wax
  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Artificial Colors
  • Artificial Flavors

It is possible for dogs to have an allergic reaction to one or more of these ingredients, such as peanuts or soy. Be aware of your dog’s body preferences before you consider feeding them Reese’s Pieces.

You can find out the signs of an allergic reaction, and how to manage an allergic reaction by clicking here.

Nutritional Profile of Reese’s Pieces

Reese’s Pieces Nutritional Information (Per Piece)













Total Fat



Saturated Fat















Based on Calculations Using Reese’s Pieces Nutritional Information

What Happens If Your Dog Eats Reese’s Pieces? The Dangers Lurking Within

What Happens If Your Dog Eats Reese’s Pieces? The Dangers Lurking Within

As you can see, a piece of Reese’s Pieces contains 4 calories, 0.49 grams of carbohydrate (0.41 gram of sugar) and 0.18 grams of fat (0.16 gram saturated).

This means that 80% of each piece of Reese’s Pieces is fat and sugar! In other words, eating Reese’s Pieces is nearly equivalent to directly eating raw fat and sugar, so you might as well just take out the butter and syrup and let your dog have at it.

Although eating a few pieces of candy will not have a significant impact on your dog’s health, it is easy to imagine how quickly your dog can consume tens of hundreds of pieces at once when you are not looking.

Once your dog consumes a whole packet of Reese’s Pieces, the amount of calories, fat and sugar they will absorb will lead to immediate and long-term consequences.

Dangers of Fat

Fat is required as a macronutrient in a dog’s diet as a nutrient that helps to maintain healthy eyes, skin, coat and ensures that the brain can operate normally.

It has been suggested by the National Academy of Sciences that the average 33-pound dog should eat roughly 14 grams of fat a day.

However, excessive consumption of fat leads to increased creation of fatty tissue and subsequently unwanted weight gain. The fatty tissue will place significant pressure on internal organs, joints and bones, which can in turn deteriorate bodily functions.

Maintaining a high fat percentage over long periods of time can lead to severe problems, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

When your dog chomps on a large amount of fatty food in a short period of time, there will be an elevated risk for it to develop sudden acute pancreatitis.

Acute pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas suddenly becomes inflamed due to a rapid intake of fat, leading to internal breakdown of the pancreas.

Symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, lethargy, and a hunched back.

Most dogs recover from pancreatitis if treatment is provided early. However, the situation can deteriorate quickly and become life-threatening.

In severe cases, prescribed painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications and IV fluids will need to be administered in order to save a dog’s life.

Dangers of Sugar

Sugar cubes stacked

Each piece of Reese’s contains over 50% sugar by content.

Your dog does not need such a high sugar intake and consuming Reese’s Pieces can lead to various immediate gastrointestinal issues..

Common stomach problems caused by sugar consumption include diarrhea and vomiting. These consequences occur as excess sugar draws water out into the intestines. This can then lead to dehydration and other digestive tract issues.

Sugar consumption also leads to weight gain and tooth decay in dogs, just as it does in human beings.

Over time, continuously giving sugary foods to your dog and letting it maintain a high fat percentage can lead to the development of metabolic issues, diabetes, and obesity.

Once your dog suffers from one condition, it can quickly become much more severe as each condition will build onto the other.

With a poor diet and an unhealthy routine, the body composition of your dog will shift from primarily muscle to primarily fat. This will make it less motivated to move around and exercise.

Absence of exercise will make it fatter and fatter, increasing the likelihood that your dog becomes diabetic. Once it is diabetic, the dog’s body will no longer be able to produce enough insulin to metabolize food for energy.

Sugar is also used as a fuel by oral bacteria in your dog’s mouth to make corrosive acids. The acid is capable of removing the enamel and coating of their teeth, causing cavities and decay.

At least 80% of dogs suffer from dental disease by three years old, and providing your dog more sugar in the form of Reese’s Pieces surely is not going to help prevent or delay the problem.

Although Reese’s Pieces are not poisonous to dogs and it may seem alright to give them a few pieces, it would be even better to provide healthy, canine-friendly alternatives instead. Maybe try Dentastix (just don’t give them the whole bag!)?

Can You Feed Reese’s Pieces To Your Dog If They Are Past Their Best-By-Date?

You can technically feed your dog Reese’s Pieces even if they have passed their best-by-date as they are primarily sugar-based and have a long shelf-life. However, there will be changes to the texture and flavor- not that it will matter to most dogs.

If you are still adamant about feeding your dog the Pieces, have a look at the condition of the candies first before feeding your dog any. Usually, the packet will be clearly marked with the expiration date so you can make an informed decision.

Regardless, even if you can feed your dog Reese’s Pieces, it is not recommended for you to do so due to the high fat and sugar content.

Should You Induce Vomiting If Your Dog Ate Reese’s Pieces?

There is really no need to induce vomiting if your dog has consumed Reese’s Pieces. The only time when you may need to induce vomiting is when they have consumed several servings or many packets at once.

(In case that this has happened, use 3% hydrogen peroxide at a dosage of 1 teaspoon/5 lbs. body weight to make your dog throw up.)

In most cases, all you will need to do is make sure that your dog has plenty of water to drink, and to fast it for the rest of the day if it does experience any vomiting or diarrhea.

It is technically plausible that consuming a horde of Reese’s Pieces can bring on pancreatitis, due to the dog’s inability to process the excess fat and sugar that it’s suddenly been bombarded with.

If such a situation were to occur and you notice your dog being bent over in pain or lethargic, be sure to contact your veterinarian immediately for further directions.

In Summary

Can dogs eat Reese’s Pieces?

Technically, yes- as in it won’t kill your dog if it has small quantities.

However, it is recommended that you do not feed any Reese’s Pieces to your pup anyway due to the high sugar and fat content. It is easy for a whole bag to be consumed at once especially if you don’t keep a constant eye on your dog, and the consequences aren’t pretty.

(And the goalpost shouldn’t be set at keeping your dog merely alive anyway, right…?)

With over 80% of fat and sugar per piece, eating Reese’s Pieces can lead to negative short-term effects including vomiting, diarrhea and acute pancreatitis.

They can also escalate issues such as tooth decay, and increase the risk of serious long-term conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Next time you do think about giving your dog Reese’s Pieces as a treat- please be careful and think again!

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